Friday, August 26, 2005

Do You Have a "Girl Crush"?

The NY Times ran an article a few weeks ago about the phenomenon of the "girl crush" and I have been thinking about it a lot lately. Rather than a sexual attraction, the "girl crush" is really more of a very strong admiration that could lead to friendship.

I have been really lucky to have had some amazing women to look up to, both in my real life and fantasy life. Some led to long friendships, others broke up, and some influenced me so much, they changed the entire direction of my life.

From day one, I had a HUGE crush on my Mom (she was the coolest, prettiest Mom in the world). In high school: Kathy's creativity was an inspiration and her belly laugh cracked me up; Lanette was fiercely independent and bratty, which I could NEVER get away with; Teresa was beautiful, funny, and rebellious (she later went into the Air Force!).

In college, Becky was a GREAT actress and she loved to laugh. IN the "real world," Marion, Maryjo, and Marilyn all became mentors (what's with all the "M" names?). I followed Maryjo into the classroom as a teacher and found out how many students get crushes on you when you teach. I STILL get e-mail from former female students and I haven't taught in 4 years! I was inspired to start my new career from Marilyn and Marion is the editor's voice that I still carry in my head.

My girl crush on Carrie and the girls of Sex and the City (don't laugh) became part of my motivation to get out of my marriage and move to the big city. And when Natalie Cole recorded a tribute to her father back in the 1990s, all I wanted to do was sing jazz.

Currently, I have a total girl crush on my friend Laura, who is the MOST beautiful woman, she has no idea. Kasia, the make-up artist at Nordstrom is equally gorgeous. My crush on my friend Christy came from her GREAT sense of style, her boldness, and her sense of humor. Our crush turned into a friendship that I truly cherish.

In the realm of fantasy, there's Sarah Jessica Parker (cute body, can wear ANYTHING, incredible sense of style, smart, funny, kind); Queen Latifah (too beautiful, great confidence, love her voice); Annette Bening (always has a smile on her face and did you see Being Julia? She was frigging brilliant!); Hilary Clinton (smart as a whip and doesn't give her power away to anyone); Jane Fonda (she could have become a rich, whining brat, but she chose the hard path to self fullfillment and understanding, admittedly making mistakes along the way -- you have to see Coming Home); Kathy Griffin (she's brilliantly funny and balls-out bold); Rhonda and Iyanla the life coaches on Starting Over (they have learned the hard way how to become emotionally strong): Anjelina Jolie (great actress, incredible bone structure, love those adopted babies); Chita Rivera (still kickin', singing, looking great); and Marlo Thomas (is there a word for a female "mensch"?).

If I could go back in history, I would add Eleanor Roosevelt, Barbara Jordan, Barbara Stanwyck, Audrey Hepburn, and plenty more.

I actually got to meet two of my fantasy girl crushes: actresses Gena Rowlands and Colleen Dewhurst. I never got past the sweaty palm stage, but they were two of the great moments in my life.

There's a lot you can tell about me from my crushes: I'm a child of the 70s, I'm liberal, I love theater, movies, music, politics, self improvement stuff, and a little fashion. It's all there in my cast of characters. The best part is to realize how much we owe to our "sisters" in the way we live our lives. To paraphrase Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets, "They make me want to be a better woman." Thanks, girls!


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