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Point of View: Celebrities pose real crush threat

Nov. 12, 2010

By Wakeelah Crutison
Copy Editor

Now that we're older, more mature and rational, you'd think we, as college students, would be immune to crushes. We're not.

After seeing the show "Supernatural," I developed a crush on one of the main characters: Dean Winchester, bad boy demon hunter extraordinaire, slaying baddies with nothing but snark and a shotgun full of rock salt. That crush traveled to his counterpart, the actor behind the brilliance -- Jensen Ackles.

I must say, at first, I watched the show solely for a chance to stare at him for an hour. Who wouldn't? The intense smoldering eyes, the light constellation of freckles spattering his nose, suggesting he wasn't as tough as he appeared, the smile- indescribably charming. The more I stared at him, the deeper, more meaningful and more real our "relationship" became. Until at last, we were riding side by side in his black '67 Chevy Impala after he rescued me from my doomed existence at the restaurant where I worked.

Before I knew it, my innocent crush morphed into infatuation. I had developed a celebrity crush.

The celebrity crush is a tricky thing. It actually feels real, as real as any regular crush that you may have -- like on the girl who sits two rows in front of you in class or the guy you make eyes at across the room while eating in Penland or your classics professor.

With a celebrity crush those emotional stirrings are there, except they're not actually for a real person. The crush is a product of feelings based on an image of a person, warped by your wishes and assumptions of what they would be like.

Though I know all of this about celebrity crushes, I was not impervious, and I was definitely not above it, as I had assumed.

Because celebrity crushes are fueled by the impossible, I was sure I'd never get to meet Jensen Ackles, and I was determined all the more to meet him. I figured there was always a chance, seeing as how he's from Dallas and was bound to visit his parents who still live in Texas at some point. I could always run into him at a grocery store, right?

By the grace of God, one summer I got my chance. He was starring in "A Few Good Men" at Casa Manana in Fort Worth, a mere 20 minutes away from my house. As soon as I heard this little tidbit, I bought a ticket front row, of course.

After the play was over, I high-tailed it to the back of the facility where the actors come out. Amid the families and friends waiting to congratulate their loved ones, I waited with other fans waiting for Jensen to appear.

It took an hour for him to emerge. Longest. Hour. Ever. When he finally opened the double doors, it was like a movie -- my mind saw him walking out in slow motion, wind blowing his hair, the proverbial ting of the light glinting off his bright smile.

This was my chance. Unlike the superfans (who were at least 40 by the way) who showed their love for him with all the alacrity of screaming teenage girls, I wasn't equipped to show the extent of my fanhood.

They had brought tons of Supernatural memorabilia and all I had was a sad little play program, wrinkled and creased after falling victim to my nerves, and a small Supernatural bonus dvd (that I must have subconsciously stuffed in my purse because I don't remember putting it there).

He was bombarded with requests for autographs (which he gave graciously), pictures and hugs (which he promptly declined).

Finally, my time had come, and he made his way over to me (and by me I mean his Range Rover parked 10 feet to my left). Conversation ensued:

A really nervous Me: Hi. You were really awesome in the play. Better than Tom Cruise.

A blushing Jensen: Thanks.

Me (still nervous): I really like "Supernatural." I'm a huge fan.

A slightly intrigued Jensen: Really?

A little less nervous Me: Yeah. I love it. Watch it every week.

Jensen: Thanks. I'm actually headed back to Canada to start shooting the next season next month.

Me: Can't wait.

Jensen: Did you want me to sign that?

I looked down at my manhandled program and remembered the dvd in my purse. I pulled it out, and of course, with it came the entire contents of my purse. But surprisingly Jensen helped me restore order to my purse and ease my humiliation.

To my delight, my plebian efforts at maintaining decorum didn't fail me. Jensen helped me with my purse, signed my DVD, and made physical contact -- a high five ­-- before heading to his car.

And at that moment I realized the only way I would be in the same car with him was if I became a limo driver or his security stuffed me in his trunk after they ran me over with his car.

I also realized that attempting to convey all the intense feelings you have for a celebrity with one look is a little crazy.

And that's just what the celebrity sees. You project your adoration praying it acts like a beacon leading him to you like a candle in the dark, but all the celeb sees is CRAZY. It's a distinctive look, broadcast as clearly and immediate as a text message. The look is one part excitement, one part panic, one part love, one part intense focus and all crazy.

Crushing on someone is not wrong by any means; if you like someone, you like them. I'm sure there is a higher explanation for why people develop crushes. Maybe crushes serve a higher purpose.

Maybe they serve to give hope or motivate or challenge people to pursue their romantic interests.

Or maybe it's just a cruel joke meant to make us suffer and succumb to romanticidal tendencies. Who knows?

But regardless of the reason behind crushes, the fact is that they will probably never go away and will have us acting like love-sick school kids even when we're well into adulthood.

A few weeks ago, I ran across an article about a guy with a crush. He was an adult but desperately in love with another author. He developed a celebrity crush. The article by Augusten Burroughs seemed to be a mirror image of my life, and inspired me to write about it.

Wakeelah Crutison a senior journalism major and a copy editor for The Lariat.

This opinion column was printed without the above last paragraph.