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And They Call It Puppy Love

August 11, 2011

August 23rd is my 9-year wedding anniversary!  Thank you very much.  I know it’s a tad inappropriate to use this as a springboard opportunity to reflect on my past loves.  But you should know, before Mark there were other loves in my life.  Many, many.  Shocking but true.  Yes, my imaginary boyfriends.  I just now tried to count them all and it came out to about 63.  But since people prefer countdown lists to be even-steven and tidy, I’ve condensed this to a solid list of 10.  And I’ve put them in order of heartache occurrence. 

Wait!  You there of the opposite persuasion – don’t go!  First, I have this picture to offer up.  Now, please stick with me to the end.  I promise you’ve never heard a teen idol story like #10.  (Get it, “10”?)

1.) Age 5:  Shaun Cassidy.  My friend Katie and I whipped-up this weeklong crush after watching The Hardy Boys.  Later, our favorite swing set chant became:  “Shaun Cassidy, yum-yum!  Shaun Cassidy, yum-yum!”  (Repeat.)  The yum-yum part was our clever twist on his last name because we believed “Cassidy” and “casserole” were interchangeable.  As in, “Yes, Mommy, I’d love some more Tuna Noodle Cassidy.” Just an example.  I can assure you I would’ve never eaten any form of casserole back then.

3.) Age 6:  Ricky Schroder.  (TV’s Silver Spoons.)  Adorable and rich.  The TV-Ricky, that is.  He had a racecar bed and a duck phone that quacked.  Adorable!  These possessions did not work as well for upping the sex appeal of his TV dad.  Who instead came off carnival-creepy while riding a life-sized model train through their living room.

2.) Age 7: Michael Jackson.  My first interracial crush.*  Once the Thriller album hit stores, my friend Jodi and I were goners.  We must’ve watched her beta tape of The Making of Thriller a couple dozen times I’d like to note two glaring oddities on that video.  First, Michael Jackson giggling while being tickled by director John Landis (see it here).  Second, a woman waiting in line to see Michael Jackson saying she likes him because, “He’s so down to earth.” 

(*If you must know, my first interracial crush was actually Age 6: DeBarge, thanks to my YMCA aerobics instructor’s fever for his “Rhythm of the Night” song.  But I’d prefer to pretend him away after finding this recent mugshot online.) 

4.) Age 8: Ralph Macchio.  I’m convinced that Ralph time-traveled forward from 1964 after voicing Rudolph on my favorite claymation Christmas movie.  Ralph and Rudolph:  “She thinks I’m cuuuuute!”  Play the audio of the Rudolph movie timed with The Karate Kid movie and it aligns perfectly.  Mr. Miyagi even says his “sand the floor” bit exactly when the Burl Ives Snowman starts singing “Silver and Gold.”  But you have to start it precisely when the MGM lion roars the third time or you’ll blow it. 

5.) Age 9: John Cusack.  You might be thinking, the movie Say Anything?  Better Off Dead?  No, The Journey of Natty Gann.  Get this.  Disney depression-era movie about a girl who rides the rails to find her dad.  John plays “Crazy Drifter Guy.”  A banged-up fedora never looked so good. 

6.) Age 10: Michael Schoeffling.  Um, who?  Oh, yes, Jake Ryan from Sixteen Candles.  I’ve scoured my mental rolodex of teen movies hunks and I don’t believe there was ever one cuter-looking or cuter-namedJake Ryan.  Say it a few times and you’ll see what I mean. 

Nobody puts Vonni in the corner, NBC.

7.) Age 12: Giovanni Ribisi.  (TV’s My Two Dads.)  Every girl I knew who watched that show was so like, “Oh, Chad Allen!”  And I was so like, “Huh-uh. Vonni Ribisi.”  And they were so like, “No way.”  And I was all like, “Yeah.”  And they were all, “Huh-uh.”  And I was so like, “What. Ever.”

8.) Age 12: Martin Short.  Okay, laugh if you want but it’s complicated.  And I don’t always have to explain myself to you.

9.) Age 13: Davy Jones.  If he’s good enough for Marcia Brady, he’s good enough for me.  When The Monkees hit syndication on Nick at Nite and that sexy accent graced my innocent ears, I swear to you, my Yankee heart began pumping British blood.

10.) Age 14: The Nelson Twins.  (AKA Ricky Nelson’s sons. AKA Matthew and Gunnar. AKA two-hit, long-haired wonders.)  Matthew had bangs and Gunnar didn’t.  That’s how my friend Kelley and I could tell them apart.  That and Matthew had this little crinkle-dimple thing over his left eyebrow when he squinted and Gunnar got the same thing when he wrinkled up his forehead.  But only under the right corner of his lip and only when he laughed.  Oh, wow, did that just sound as crazy to you as it did to me?  Yes, it did.

True story.  I met them seven years ago!  I got to drive them around after they flew in to perform for a fundraiser I was helping organize.  Despite that they looked sort of like funhouse mirror reflections of their former selves, I got completely freaked out scared out of my mind ready to pass out on the ground when I saw them not because they were my former teen idols in the flesh right there in front of me but more because I’ve never hung around anyone famous before okay not really famous just sort of famous okay borderline famous and so I started talking really fast about I don’t even know what I was saying and half the time they weren’t even listening but just nodding along and smiling uncomfortably because I was being so completely weird and asking inane questions about their hotel and their short hair and why they cut it all off hahaha and oh crap that was a big mistake because Gunnar got all defensive and asked me to tell him well why did I cut off my hair and I said I don’t know and he said exactly and I wanted to say no no honestly I wasn’t trying to insult him but I was just really freaked out of my mind and then thank goodness it was all smoothed over later and he was really nice to me and asked about Cornhusker football and runza sandwiches hahaha except then when I posed for a picture and leaned in next to him he made some crack about how I shouldn’t worry because hahahaha that thing I felt pushing into me was just his cell phone in his pocket hahahahahahahaha…or was it? 

And that was the exact moment when I returned to earth.  And swore off teen idols forever.          

64.) Age 26: My Mark.  My real life Tiger Beat pin-up boy who in many, many ways is better than all my many, many imaginary boyfriends combined. 


Do you have your own century-old Tiger Beat confessions to make?  Spill it.  In case my brother doesn’t volunteer this one.  Diane from The Price is Right.

62 Comments leave one →
  1. August 11, 2011 3:06 pm

    Wow – that last guy in the acid wash jeans and OP shirt looks like a stud! I hope his jean cuffs are tight rolled! :)

    PS – i think my parents still have that chair!

  2. Captain Stubbing permalink
    August 11, 2011 3:24 pm

    This is easy, not easy to condense though…so in no particular order

    Miss Piggy (probably need therapy for that one)
    Heather Locklear (TJ Hooker)
    Linda Carter (Wonder Woman)
    Princess Leia – who didn’t
    Cindy Crawford
    Daisy Duke
    Kelly Kapowski
    Nearly every girl that was the lead in a John Hughes type 80s movie

    • August 11, 2011 5:17 pm

      That’s okay to admit Miss Piggy, Captain. I sorta had a thing for Scooter. And Barney Rubble.

  3. Captain Stubbing permalink
    August 11, 2011 3:25 pm

    Can’t believe I forgot Alyssa Milano…

  4. August 11, 2011 3:26 pm

    I LOVED Shaun Cassidy. Yes, it’s true. And John Stamos (when he was Blackie on General Hospital). Oh, and the Dukes of Hazzard guys. Oh this is all embarrassing to admit….

    • August 11, 2011 8:36 pm

      How in the world did I forget about the Duke boys???

      • Clover permalink
        August 12, 2011 1:31 pm

        I was a Bo girl back then but grew up to be a Luke kind of woman.

      • August 12, 2011 2:24 pm

        That is about the most brilliant thing I’ve ever heard about love. I think that statement defines me down to my very core being.

  5. Punky Brewster~ aka Jaclyn permalink
    August 11, 2011 8:03 pm

    I love your run-on sentences, hahahahaaahhaaaha! Your memory amazes me, seriously! I vaguely remember a big crush on Kirk Cameron, I moved onto older men like Kyle MacLachlan from Twin Peaks (yes, my mom let her 11 year old daughter watch that horror), right after that I moved to athletes, David Justice (my first interracial crush) he kept me an Atlanta Braves fan for many years until it wasn’t cool to like them while living in Yankee territory. My final childhood crush was Pete Sampras- I was a teen but he made me swoon. I’m sure I’ll think of more……

    • August 11, 2011 8:35 pm

      Loved Kirk Cameron! I watched Twin Peaks (and Kyle), too, and I think I peed my pants on the part when the little guy talks backwards. Geesh, I guess I missed out on the sports babes.

  6. Davis permalink
    August 11, 2011 9:33 pm

    Here’s a fact to demonstrate the age range of your readers. You had a crush on Ricky Nelson’s twin sons. I was a charter member of the Ricky Nelson’s Fan Club in, what, probably 1959? I had the 45’s and two 8×10 autographed photos. My hair wouldn’t do that Ricky Nelson thing, though, otherwise I know I could have wowed the girls like he did.

    • August 11, 2011 9:40 pm

      I will be the first to admit that Matthew and Gunnar couldn’t hold a candle to their extra-dreamy father and his music. Autographed photos? Wow! I hope you still have those.

  7. Sonya permalink
    August 12, 2011 7:59 am

    I will admit to many of the same crushes. Plus, NKOTB (New Kids on the Block, for those who were not in high school in the late 80s/early 90s).

    • August 12, 2011 6:18 pm

      Sonya, I rebelled against joining the NKOTB fan club because, frankly, I didn’t want to get on board the “everyone” train. Secretly though I was madly in love with Joe.

      • Punky Brewster~ aka Jaclyn permalink
        August 17, 2011 6:41 pm

        “like” Angie! I also was a rebel non-NKOTB

  8. Clover permalink
    August 12, 2011 1:33 pm

    Kirk Cameron was hunky but the guy plastered in my locker was totally Corey Haim. Saddened, but not surprised when one turned religious zealot and the other, dead. To this day, I still can’t pass up a John Cusack movie though.

    • August 12, 2011 2:21 pm

      RIP Corey Haim :( I once heard someone say somewhere (pretty specific I am) that John Cusack is to women of the ’80s what Elvis Presley is to women of the ’60s. I love him so much my brother super-imposed my face on top of a picture of him hugging one of his leading ladies. Then he made a CD cover of it and entitled it “The Angie and John Album.” On the back of the CD was a letter “from John” about how the songs on the CD reminded him of our time together. Let’s just say the gift made my ENTIRE YEAR.

  9. Josh permalink
    August 14, 2011 6:43 am

    Funny :-)

  10. Timoree permalink
    August 16, 2011 1:59 pm

    I just noticed how the Nelson twin on the left bears a startling resemblance to Haldir from Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Weird.

    Anyway, I have to throw in Zach Morris, aka Mark Paul Gosselar. I had many a daydreams involving that guy showing up at my school just to see me. :)

    • August 16, 2011 2:10 pm

      Forgot about the SBTB guys! I think, like the Bo vs. Luke debate, a lot can be said about you as a person based on how you answer this question: Zach Morris or A.C. Slater? For me, like you, it was the former.

      I may have to revisit Lord of the Rings now. The twin on the left is Matthew! Geesh, Timoree, didn’t you learn anything from reading this? ;)

      • Punky Brewster~ aka Jaclyn permalink
        August 17, 2011 6:42 pm

        Zach attack! <3

  11. Gabaway permalink
    August 22, 2011 2:39 am

    Agree with so many of these….but sooo excited to finally find another Vonni and Davey fan!!! I looooved Vonni and could NOT stand Chad Allen. Chad still creeps me out to this day. I will never forget the day I was watching an old re-run of Friends and realized Vonni played Pheobe’s long lost brother LOL :)

    • August 22, 2011 9:30 am

      I swear on my cat Pigeon’s ashes, when I put “Vonni” in here, I estimated 99.9999991% of the planet would not even remember who that was (okay, that’s probably accurate). I’m thrilled to “meet” a fellow Vonni fan. Giovanni who?

  12. August 23, 2011 9:59 pm

    This was the funniest post yet. Holy. Crap. My most cliche crush: Kirk Cameron. My most obscure: The guy who played the tough, cool kid in Monster Squad.

    Oh, and TImoree… you know which character Haldir is. Just wanted to point that out to you.

  13. Cara permalink
    October 1, 2011 8:26 pm

    I’m sorry I’m going to have to make a correction. Your John Cusack crush did not stop and start at age 9. I’m fairly confident it lasted through high school graduation. :)

    • October 1, 2011 9:49 pm

      Thanks for outing me, punk :-)

      If you’ll refer to my comment above yours, you’ll see that I already outed myself about this life-long crush (obsession). Although, I have to say it peaked in high school when you, Kelley and I watched The Sure Thing. “Driving with a load not properly tied down…” Love.

      Sadly, he just hasn’t been doing it for me anymore. Not since High Fidelity maybe. So I think I’m ready to give up this one.

      • February 9, 2012 3:31 pm

        I STILL love John Cusack. I watched that show too and fell in love with him then. Plus not to mention all the follow up movies. His sister is really funny too! I love Joan.

        Okay, several of us grew up in the same time frame. :)


      • February 9, 2012 10:33 pm

        Isn’t he the best?!

  14. October 2, 2011 5:11 pm

    Okay I’m getting a little weirded out. We’re not the same person, right? I’m pretty sure I don’t have multiple personalities and one of them wrote this blog post about the celebrities I used to worship as a child since these are the celebrities I used to worship as a child.

    I had 47 Ralph Macchio posters in my bedroom.

    • October 2, 2011 5:21 pm

      Yes, I can tell already that you and I need to put our heads together right here and now and figure out how we can use our blogs to bring fame and fortune to us, restore the power of Shaun Cassidy and change the world, one obscure pop culture reference at a time. Let’s do it!

  15. December 9, 2011 7:01 am

    I was a member of the Erik Estrada fan club. I wrote the letter to join, got “handwritten” letters a few times a year and an “autographed” picture of the hunky CHip. What was I thinking?

    • December 9, 2011 2:28 pm

      I always leaned more toward Jon, only because Ponch was just so obviously the sexy one. Fan Club – love it!

      True story — when I was a kid I thought their names were Punch and Chips.

      • February 9, 2012 3:29 pm

        I loved Ponch. Funny. We saw him on some random internet tv commercial the other day. :) I can’t help but laugh…and that what he does…he does some crazy laugh flashing those huge white teeth. How could we have ever liked him? He’s so CHEESE.


      • February 9, 2012 10:34 pm

        When I still had cable, my husband and I got hooked on a reality show called The Surreal Life. He was on it. And next to Vanilla Ice and Gary Coleman, he seemed very sane.

  16. February 9, 2012 3:28 pm

    I had an “Electric Blue” (that was what the color was called- very light blue, shiny satin-ish) jacket that had a HUGE (we’re talking it took up the entire back of the jacket) of Shaun Cassidy’s face. Just his face.

    The jacket matched none of my clothes. (especially my red courdorys) but I wore it all the time. (yes, I was cool like that.) In elementary school, you can do that and get away with it.

    Lake Forest, CA

    • February 9, 2012 10:36 pm

      I had a “skate jacket” (as I called it back then) just like that, minus Shaun’s mug. It was blue satin with pink satin arms. Some of the really cool chicks had a sewn-on skate emblem on theirs. But now I’ve learned that apparently the really, really cool ones got Shaun on theirs.

  17. February 9, 2012 3:38 pm

    Oh, and you just reminded me- the Debarge guy. There were these beautiful twin gals that attended my high school. They came in the middle of the year and were just gorgeous that they were the main attention of everyone. Christine and can’t recall the other sister’s name. They looked like models…very fashionable. Anyway, one of them had recently had a kid. The father was that lead singer. Odd random stuff… (Joan Jett also attended our high school for a brief period of time and Motley crew Vince Neil and Tommy Lee- attended a rival highschool- about a decade before us) who knew little ole Covina, CA would produce stars.


    • February 9, 2012 10:29 pm

      Creepy, creepy Debarge. Why does this all not surprise me? Perhaps it’s the peach fuzz mustache that gives him away.

      The most famous star to come from my neck of the woods was the guy who invented Kool-Aid.

  18. April 27, 2012 9:04 am

    Angie, I don’t know how anyone could forget the Duke boys! I remember the very moment I stopped loving Shaun Cassidy and switched allegiance to Bo. I was 13 and was watching the Hardy Boys and Shaun was wearing one of those stripped Ts that could have only looked respectable on a five year old. I was embarrassed for him. I mean I couldn’t even look a the screen. You can’t even look cool if ya stuff a pack of Export As in the sleeve of shirt like that. You’d just look all the more ridiculous. This is where I learned the strange truth about how much more painful it is to be embarrassed for someone else.

    • April 28, 2012 1:54 pm

      Yes, the Duke boys definitely deserve a place on a list like this. Not on mine though because I think they might’ve seemed a little too manly for my 4-year-old taste. Shaun Cassidy was probably the same age as the Duke boys but at least he looked kid-like to me — and now you’ve helped me identify why. The striped T-shirts. I can imagine just the shirts you speak of. They were a very stiff cotton-polyester blend and the collar went really high up on the neck. I think I started wearing them in the mid-90s in order to look very ’70s-chic. Outside of a Halston dress, I don’t know that there is such thing as ’70s-chic.

      Wait, what were we talking about? Oh, yes, Duke boys.

  19. May 21, 2012 1:38 pm

    Kirk Cameron poster in my apartment AFTER graduating from COLLEGE.

    Dr. Noah Drake, commonly known as Rick Springfield

    Robin Zander, Cheap Trick.

    And Shaun Cassidy, I canNOT emphasize Shaun Cassidy enough.

    • May 22, 2012 12:38 pm

      Nice list. I always forget about Rick Springfield being on a soap opera. Crazy. Those things were like the launching pads for a lot of legitimate celebrity careers. Now we have reality TV for that. And that’s just super.

  20. June 15, 2012 10:28 am

    This is hysterical! Mine included Shaun too! I also loved John Schneider (but NOT Tom Wopat!), Robby Benson (“Ice Castles” – nuff said!), Glen Scarpelli (“One Day at at Time” was not enough for me!), definitely Ralph Macchio (I was convinced I was his biggest fan) and everyone from The Outsiders (but Leif Garrett), Rick Springfield (“Hard to Hold” but I would have done it real tight!)…and the list goes on! Then I fell in love with David Lee Roth and that’s when my childhood innocence faded!

    Thanks for this trip back in time!

    • June 17, 2012 8:07 pm

      This is a stellar list! The Outsiders was such good pickins for Tiger Beat loves. I didn’t even realize Leif Garrett played one of the socs in there until I watched it as an adult. I did not recognize him.

      How in the world did I forget about Robby Benson in Ice Castles — oh, the moment where he goes to her on the ice after she’s fallen. Is there anything more obnoxiously romantic than that?

      David Lee Roth — yes, I think when you fall for David Lee Roth, that definitely signifies the end of a childhood era.

  21. June 21, 2012 10:02 am

    I am crying, *crying* with laughter and empathy. The conversation you and your little friends had about Giovanni Ribisi and Chad Allen? I totally had the same talk with my little friends.

    El DeBarge?! Yes, so much yes. His mug shot and troubles over the last couple decades have not even shaken my infatuation for that man.

    The Nelson twins?!? Gah! They were the only “real” blondes I ever had a thing for. I think it was because there were two of them. Sheesh.

    As for John Cusak, he is coming for me one day. I have always know this. You can see him here:

    • June 26, 2012 1:08 pm

      Yes, Giovanni Ribisi, aka Vonni, was so underrated. But of course, I always went for the boy next door types — never the “obvious” heartthrobs like Kirk Cameron and Corey Haim. Oh, well, Shaun Cassidy was a passing fling. And I’m with you on the blond men thing!

      Great post, thanks for sharing!

  22. jamielynne82 permalink
    August 24, 2012 1:11 pm

    This is awesome on so many levels. I agree with one of the comments – the entire cast of The Outsiders. Yes please.

    • August 24, 2012 3:19 pm

      The Outsiders was most likely cast in my dreams one night. And I still can’t believe Leif played a Soc.

  23. September 8, 2012 5:35 pm

    Finally, someone who understands the obsession with Shaun Cassidy. I too, was very much in love, but I was not 5, not quite a bit older :-( but that being said, I love your blog and I will keep reading.

    • September 11, 2012 7:32 pm

      Thank you, Ellyn. I think I read that Shaun Cassidy is up there in the top five most popular teen idols ever. So even though America has forgotten about him, I’m glad you and I haven’t!

      • September 13, 2012 3:09 pm

        Who can forget the greatest guy well, since my husband :-) Keep writing, I love to read your blog, it brings back memories when time was fun. Unless your brothers were tormenting you :-)

      • September 14, 2012 10:14 am

        I only had one brother tormenting me and that was plenty enough! Thanks again for stopping by, Ellyn. You’re always welcome here.

  24. October 12, 2012 1:37 pm

    Scott Baio….Joannie Loves Chachi becomes Charles in Charge….Tall, Italian and Lanky, lol.

    • October 13, 2012 2:06 pm

      Okay, I get that. Let me by preface this by saying that I’ve never been attracted to Scott Baio. Just doesn’t do it for me. But in my early 20s, I had a reoccuring dream where I’d meet up with the man I was going to marry one day — in various locations. One time we were even rock-climbing. I couldn’t describe much about him because he was sort of faceless but with longish dark hair. I felt an unbelievable sense of love surrounding me every time I’d meet him in my dreams and would awake feeling incredibly happy. And then one night, and I swear I’m not kidding here, one night I saw his face. And it was Scott Baio! (Cue the Psycho movie music.)

  25. January 1, 2013 4:25 pm

    Parker Stevenson was MUCH hotter than Cassidy!
    But I also went for:

    Kent McCord, who played Jim Reed on Adam 12 (showing my age here!)
    Randolph Mantooth on Emergency 51
    Dr. Rudy Wells on the Bionic Woman, and I wanted to BE Lindsay Wagner
    Jack Klugman on Quincy

    I’m sensing a theme here that I never saw in myself before.

    Scotty and Dr. McCoy on Star Trek

    I used to practice fainting on my bed. Honestly.

    Jack Tripper on Three’s Company and last, but not really last,

    John Wayne, Cary Grant and Rock Hudson. This was much more fun than cleaning my oven, thanks!

    • January 1, 2013 6:31 pm

      I’m with you on Jack Tripper. And Rock Hudson. First time I saw ol’ Rock in a film, I thought I’d been knocked out by his animal magnetism. Before then, just seeing him in photographs never did it for me. But, wow. Such a shame that he batted for the other team. RIP Jack Klugman.

    • January 2, 2013 10:26 am

      OMG have you been peeking at my list??? LOL Loved Adam 12 and Jim Reed!!!! (I must be old too), and you are dead on about Parker as I already said below. I never crushed on Klugman, but Quincy was my favorite show and I wanted to BE Quincy. Cracking up at the “practice fainting” bit, so true except I think I was just hyperventilating because I had no idea what to do with all the warm fuzzies :p

  26. January 2, 2013 10:22 am

    I was lured here by the Freshly Pressed story, but found I like this much better. The other is great, don’t get me wrong, but the title of this was too great to pass by since for weeks I have had a draft in the que of my own blog that is very similar and even has a line item about Shawn Cassidy. Actually the mention is small since for some reason I was actually much more into Parker Stevenson and to hear about that you will just have to wait until I finally post my piece, LOL.

    Great little story and Blog. I think I will stick around for more. :)


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