I recently wandered up to the magazine rack at a local pharmacy in search of something to read. As I stood there scanning for my usual DIY magazines that often include instructions for making things like headboards out of a discarded doors (and of course we have a lot of those laying around the house so that sort of thing is super easy and convenient) and instructions for making a clock out of stuff you might find at the bottom of your sock drawer (like lint), I found myself curiously drawn to a few of those teenie-bopper magazines. You know the ones I’m talking about…Teen Beat, Tiger Beat, and Bop. The magazines many of us pored through as kids the minute they hit the shelf at our local Snyder’s Drug Store.

As I studied a few of the magazines that weren’t hermetically sealed, I noted that the pages were covered with “hotties” like Taylor Lautner, Cody Simpson (I honestly have NO idea who this kid is or what makes him so dreamy), Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift and of course, the boy that my son Noah would love to punch in the face, Justin Bieber. I guess they don’t look that different than the stars my friends and I had crushes on when were were kids: Leif Garret, Scott Baio, the Bay City Rollers…

What’s funny is that I was just telling my friend, Jean, about some of my childhood heart throbs –the boys that I would dream about as I gazed into the golden sunset while eating a bowl of Quisp cereal.  And with Valentine’s Day right around the corner I kind of feel that confessing my childhood loves is rather befitting.

Seriously, when I was a 3 year old, I thought Underdog was totally hot.  If I would have had a chance to meet him in person, I would have dressed up in my cutest seersucker sun suit and given that hussy, Sweet Polly Purebred, a run for her money. I know, I know…you’re wondering how a little girl can have a crush on a cartoon. Well, I wasn’t alone. I found out my friend, Pam, was in love with him when she was a preschooler too. I think a lot of 3 year olds were. How couldn’t you be?  Just check out those guns! He was completely gorgeous.



Okay. You had a secret crush on him back in the 60’s and 70’s, too. Who didn’t? I mean, every day when you got off the school bus you could run into your house and flip the ol’ Gilligan’s Island reruns on and see what this smokin’ scientist was stirring up. Yeah. I was like six years old but even then I knew a babe when I saw one. I only wish I knew his name (did he even have one?).



Now, don’t get me wrong. Although my friends pined over him, I didn’t have a crush on Peter Brady (or any of the Brady boys). Never. He was far too immature for me, especially after I had been in a prior imaginary relationship with a much older man, The Professor. Peter just wasn’t my type. He was a bit overly dramatic for a boy and I think what cinched my dislike for him was the episode when he did the lame magic show.  And that one when he tried to look older for one of his dates and his phony mustache slid off? Ugh. Nice try Peter, but those desperate tactics would never work on a highly sophisticated second grader like me.


But hmmm….I’ve seen photos of him all grown up and Christopher Knight, you be lookin’  mighty fine these days.


So, who didn’t have a crush on David Cassidy? If you didn’t you weren’t a red blooded American girl.

I remember when my sister spent her hard-earned babysitting money on a half-dozen mail order posters of him and the minute they showed up in our mail box, the roll of Scotch tape came out and she had them plastered all over our bedroom walls. My  mother was mortified. But let me just say that there was nothing more enchanting for an 8 year old than waking up in the morning to a gargantuan picture of David Cassidy dressed in a suede patchwork vest and holding a romantic daisy (sigh).

And lastly…

My crush on Barry developed a few years after the David Cassidy thing. I don’t know if I necessarily thought he was attractive but his songs were so “safe” and romantic (and he did have pretty good hair). I was vexed and jealous when I first heard the song, “Mandy.” Who was this woman with whom Barry was so enamored and why would he write a song about her? I hated her guts. Then I found out Mandy was his dog. I think it was later in his career when I saw him prancing around on stage in a white rhinestone bellbottom pantsuit singing “Copacabana” that I finally realized that a relationship with him was not to be.

I’ve had a few other grown up crushes over the years in addition to the sizzling dudes from my single digit years including William Hirt, Fabio (yeah…kinda embarrassed about that one, now), Kevin Kline, Brendan Fraser, and Johnny Depp. I’m thinking that even as I eventually head into my senior citizen years down the road, the list will continue to grow. I have always been boy crazy and always will be.  But am I the only one?

C’mon. Who have your crushes been over the years? I know not one of them could ever top Underdog.

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14 Responses to “A Comprehensive Guide to my Secret Childhood Crushes”

  • Linda (Me) says:

    LOL – I loved David Cassidy and Tom Selleck and Bruce Boxleiter (I think that’s his name – have forgotten it was so long ago !!)! David Bowie, Bon Jovi, Bruce Soringstein ! Posters on my doors and walls.

  • Diane says:

    Oh…now who didn’t have a crush on Jon Bon Jovi. And who still DOESN’T? Gimme a break! The guy is practically a senior citizen and he’s still a doll!

  • Jean says:

    Diane–you are so funny! I laughed out loud when your list got to Barry Manilow! I LOVED Barry but was never IN LOVE with him! Cute beagle though.

    With all the bad news in the world it is such a joy to read something that really makes me laugh! Thank you!

  • Diane says:

    The only reason you laughed was because you were having one of those awkward “Aha!” moments. You realized you actually WERE in love love with Barry.

  • Wendi says:

    Barry! Do we have to fight over him now? I hope not because I’m really out of shape.

    Have you read Alison Pearson’s “I Think I Love You”? Great book about finally meeting David Cassidy.

    Thanks for sending me the link–funny stuff.

    • Diane says:

      Naahhhh…you can have him now. I don’t like my men prettier than me… And I have enough trouble with my daughter swiping my beauty supplies. I don’t want to have to compete with him too.

  • The Professor. But of course, by the time I watched him after school, I think he was dead (if I had known that I probably wouldn’t have crushed so bad? Hmmm). Ok…my biggest crush, and don’t laugh! Was Michael Jackson. Yep. My room was plastered with his fake face. I found an embarrassing picture of it not too long ago. Some of the other minor ones: Mel Gibson (heck, I still like him, drunk or not), Burt Reynolds, Leonardo DiCaprio, Johnny Depp (still like him too…yummy…add in Orlando Bloom too…wowza!). I must stop now, because I figured out I have a thing for older guys. Must be why I married a man 12 yrs older than me. lol

    • Diane says:

      The professor is still alive. Probably in a lot better shape than me too. My friend had a crush on Michael Jackson too but that was post face work.

      • Is he really? Seriously? Well, I was told when I was a wee little grasshopper that he was dead. Never bothered to find out if it was true or not lol. Oh, see…I loved MJ even AFTER the face work. Yep, I’m a sad puppy. I finally got over it by the end of the 90s. Thank GOD!

  • Kristen says:

    Diane – what about Arthur Fonzarelli?

  • Kim says:

    Thanks Diane for the trip down memory lane! The professor and Sean Cassidy were definitely 2 of mine! I think I also sort of crushed on Ponzi from Happy Days and Chachi too.

  • I’m glad you enjoyed it. I actually found it a bit frightening. And yes…what happened to good ‘ol Shaun Cassidy? Where is he today? Mowing lawns? Road construction? Aluminum can collecting? I can’t imagine he’s been able to make a living off the residuals from “Da Doo Ron Ron.” but yes…such memories…


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