Time to Renew My Subscription to Cougar Beat

After the Cardinals’ big World Series win last week, my friend and I conversed on Facebook about the most important aspect of the series. Not Tony’s managing or Freese’s miracle home run, but rather our attraction to Lance Berkman. 

Glancing back through my Facebook profile, I noticed Rene’ and I talk about our celeb crushes a lot. There’s that wall photo of Jon Hamm and Timothy Olyphant. My ode to Damian McGinty of Glee (for the cougar in me). The video of Justin Timberlake. The other video of Justin Timberlake. 

For a bunch of 34-year-olds, Facebook is like our virtual junior high-era locker and the Internet our personal Tiger Beat. Our photos of Jason Bateman are no longer ripped out of a Hogan Family spread in BOP, but downloaded from the Horrible Bosses website. 

At 34, our tastes tend to change a bit as well. We become more realistic. I know this wrinkly old broad isn’t going to attract Ryan Gosling and his killer abs, but maybe the odds will be stacked in my favor by going for someone older, sans the six-pack, say Steve Carell. (This is in the imaginary world in my head of course. The one where my hair looks like Emma Stone’s and I win a Grammy for my rap remake of “Whisky River.”) 

Bringing a celeb into the marriage

Celebrity crushes among the married sect are nothing new. According to Andrew G. Marshall, author of I Love You But I’m Not In Love With You, in a UK Daily Mail story, a quarter of the population admits to having a crush on a celebrity. So for the ¼ of us who aren’t big giant liars, are celeb crushes a sign of something missing in a marriage? 

Rarely, said Dr. Deborah S. Miller, Ed.D., a licensed professional counselor in St. Louis, via email. “Generally, if a third person is part of a couple – like in an affair – then it’s not possible for the couple to be truly intimate (physically and emotionally) since the trust or covenant is broken. So it depends on the degree of the crush. I would imagine a celebrity crush as you described it, is not reflective of marital issues."

"Some fantasizing is normal and healthy. Fantasies give us a nice mini-vacation from the drudgeries of life. But, a high degree of obsession with a celebrity will distract one from being truly present in their relationship.” 

Mr. P and I approach each other’s crushes with a sense of humor as neither of us are the jealous type. He knows I’m not going to hook up with some movie star. Mostly because lying on the couch eating Twizzlers hinders my opportunities to run into Lenny Kravitz on the red carpet. And second, I’m just too stinkin’ tired. If JT came to my house and dropped trou, my first thought would be, “Great! Another male who leaves his dirty clothes all over my damn floor.” 

However, sometimes those crushes can hit too close to home. Sarah’s husband, for instance, was furious when he learned she had the opportunity to hang out with her comedian crush after one of his shows. “My husband had nothing to worry about. I never would do anything anyway, but the celeb was so arrogant and boring, he killed any fantasy I had.”

I had to stop verbalizing my crushes after my daughter received a Cardinals pennant featuring one of the players. “Hey, Mommy’s imaginary boyfriend’s on that pennant,” I joked, not thinking anything of it. Until MJ confided to my in-laws that Mommy’s boyfriend plays for the Cardinals. Thankfully, the announcement stopped there before it reached her daycare center. Or the Cardinals locker room. 

Like with most guilty pleasures, too much of a good thing can be problematic. Dr. Miller shared some guidelines to keep in mind if you think a crush might be going over the line. 

“I would suggest making an analogy with addictions. Determination of ‘use’ versus ‘abuse’ versus ‘addiction’ can be diagnosed with a few simple questions: 

  1. Does the celebrity crush affect the marriage in a negative way?
  2. Does the celebrity crush interfere with their occupation (spending too much time on Facebook)?
  3. How much time does the celebrity crush rob from the marriage and family? How much time is spent planning the next celebrity-crush event?
  4. Is the spouse seen negatively as compared to the celebrity? Is the celebrity image the standard set for the spouse?
  5. Does the ‘user’ get irritable or angry if they don’t get an opportunity to spend time on the ‘celebrity crush’?” 

Dr. Miller noted that in her best estimate, about 1% of those with celebrity crushes take it to the obsessive level. So for the majority of us, it’s alright if our loins quiver slightly at the sight of Ryan’s abs and LL Cool J’s lips. It’s normal, it’s natural, and it can add a little spice in to a dreary day. 

So, who is your celebrity crush? Come on – the weirder, the better! 

By Nicole Plegge, Lifestyle Blogger for SmartParenting

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Metro East mom Nicole Plegge has written for STL Parent for more than 12 years. Besides working as a freelance writer & public relations specialist, and raising two daughters and a husband, Nicole's greatest achievements are finding her misplaced car keys each day and managing to leave the house in a stain-free shirt. Her biggest regret is never being accepted to the Eastland School for Girls. Follow Nicole on Twitter @STLWriterinIL 

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