June 16, 2010

When dream lovers and real guys collide

Blog, I’m doing it old school in today’s post: back to my old “Love, Sex and Romance” pontificating like on my old blog. And I’m thinking about one of my favorite topics of yore: celebrity crushes.

Who’s the lucky guy? Not any of the folks that readers of my Erotica with Soul blog remember, like Neil Gaiman, Michael Emerson/Ben Linus, or Les Stroud. No, my current crush is one T.J. Thyne. Not exactly a household name, but the man has plenty of chicks smitten with him. Blog, I can see on your noncorporeal face you need more info: T.J. plays Dr. Jack Hodgins on the show “Bones.”

I’ve never tried to hide my attraction to geeks in general, and Hodgins is one mega-geek. He specializes in identifying stuff like minerals and bugs in soil samples. He spouts off long Latin names for things (and I’ll bet T.J. has to practice them for hours in order to do that). He’s a conspiracy theorist, but not the kind that takes himself too seriously. He’s cute and funny and has a smile that...okay, Blog, before I get carried away, I’ll get to my point.

In googling T.J. Thyne I discovered he not only has a Facebook fan page, but he actually personally posts to it sometimes. This was both a blessing and a curse to me: A blessing because obviously I am proud to proclaim to the world my crush on him, and clicking “like” on Facebook was the least I could do. A curse because the fact that he actually reads and posts means crossing the Maginot Line of Celebrity Crushes. Uh-oh.

What is “the Maginot Line of Celebrity Crushes,” you ask, Blog? It’s when a fan stops thinking about the public persona, the “performance” if you will, of a celebrity and connects with the reality of that person’s personality and life. All sorts of muddling can happen then if you are not careful, and being careful when you are infatuated can be hard.

See, the typical pattern of a celebrity crush goes like this:

1. You experience a performance by the actor/singer/writer/athlete. (My husband introduced me to watching “Bones.”)

2. You get that tingle of attraction to the character/persona. (I thought Hodgins was a really interesting character.)

3. You suddenly realize you are actually kinda smitten with him/her. (I started wishing every episode would have at least 200% more Hodgins.)

4. You google the person, ostensibly to find photos, or other performances, etc. (I was wondering what else T.J. had done acting-wise.)

5. You find yourself staring at the Pandora’s box of the celebrity’s real life. (Facebook page referenced above, etc.)

And what exact danger do I refer to? Well, it’s like this, Blog: With the infinitely rare exception, when you crush on a celebrity it is because of how they look, the personality of the character they play, or some other thing that appeals to you. Because of the qualities you perceive, you glom on to the person and project upon them other traits that appeal likewise to you. Thus they become the ideal “dream lover” for you.

For example, I imagine Hodgins/T.J. to be this very nice, very smart, quirky guy, who combines being awe-inspiring with being approachable. So long as I don’t learn too much about T.J. Thyne, I can continue my fantasy about what the guy is like and fairly easily distinguish my “imaginary T.J.” with the real person.

But in reading about him on his Facebook page, which includes quite a bit of stuff he’s written about his life and career, I found out that in real life he is this very nice, very smart, quirky guy, who combines being awe-inspiring with being approachable. Okay, not so smart as Hodgins, but close enough. Cue Crush Alarms! Cue Crush Alarms!

This is the point at which a person becomes tempted to somehow court the celebrity, by writing fan mail or creating a fan site or merely commenting on his Facebook status (okay, I did do that last one, Blog). Don’t get me wrong--none of these count as stalking. But here’s the problem once you cross that Maginot Line of Celebrity Crushes:

You open up the possibility of feeling like the object of your crush is not what it truly is: a fantasy lover completely within your control. You start feeling instead like he is a real, unattainable person who cannot possibly return your feelings. Which is not fun.

Oh, don’t worry, Blog. After the approximately 217 celebrity crushes I’ve had, I have finally learned to control my emotions enough that this problem never gets beyond the slightly-painful-twinge stage. Still, I like to avoid it if I can.

But I am compelled to share this cautionary anecdote nonetheless: T.J. updated his status today, a fact that made me happy since he (or rather a sort of Diana interpretation of Hodgins) has been starring in my daydreams lately. In my fantasies I often find myself calling him “Teej,” which I cannot explain except for it being an adaptation of when they called D.J. on “Full House” Deej sometimes. Well, Blog, one of the commenters on T.J.’s status, who may or may not actually be a real life friend of his, called him Teej. A spooky intersection of fantasy and real life, however trivial.

So I must persist in not feeling an unreasonable level of affection for Mr. Thyne the real person. I’m confident I can manage, but sometimes I am challenged. Take, for example, this clip of the real guy interacting at Fox Studios with another very cool person, Cat Deeley (the host of “So You Think You Can Dance”). Anyone who can so naturally segue into such a gorgeous recitation of Hamlet’s soliloquy is pretty ridonkulously hard not to love, Blog.

Lord have mercy. Okay , I’ve got it under control, really I do.

JULY 31 UPDATE:  Forget that last video, here's the one you want to watch.  This is the creation of T.J. himself and encapsulates 5 years of Jack Hodgins in 5 minutes.  So very, very nice....


  1. Oh crap, R.G....am I really a goner already? Curse that man for pulling out the Shakespeare. Sigh.