Hello friends and neighbors.
Today I thought I`d take some time to talk about something very embarrassing, which given my history should be a surprise to exactly no one. Specifically, I want to talk about fantasies.
Not sexual fantasies – please, try not to be so pedestrian. I have been on the internet, and I have to tell you that unless your fantasies are particularly violent or cruel, they really aren`t all that embarrassing. There are only so many ways to put so many tabs into so many slots and I promise you someone has already thought of all of them and dedicated a webpage to it. While we like to pretend that sexual fantasies are embarrassing, most of them aren’t even original. You have a geriatric Pokémon fetish? You get a boner every time you hear the theme from Seinfeld? Bo-ring! Yawns-ville!
No, the really awful fantasies are the emotional ones where we create an entire romantic subplot in our heads and desperately hope nobody ever, ever finds out. We populate these love stories with absurd details and painstaking justification because even though most romantic fantasies never come true, they have to be just a little bit believable to really get our motors running.
The two most common fantasies, as far as I can tell, are the Highly Unlikely Acquaintance Crush and the Mortifyingly Contrived Celebrity Romance. I’ll go over both in detail, because I know that’s what we all came here for.
The Highly Unlikely Acquaintance Crush
If you are alive and living in society, there is approximately a 100% chance that you have had a crush on someone who, for probably many reasons, is entirely not right for you. Maybe they’re too old, or too young, or gay, or straight, or married, or a jerk, or your boss, or your mom’s jerky gay married boss. Maybe they have a debilitating personality flaw, or they’re some kind of service person whom you see semi-regularly but have never had a real conversation with. Whatever it is, you already know that you must never, ever date them. You know it would never work out. Despite these realities, you find yourself sustaining a crush on this person who may or may not actually know your name.
Here enters the fantasy: what I suspect is your brain trying desperately to justify what your dumb heart is doing. Soon you’re constructing a scenario in which you finally end up with your dreamboat. He leaves his wife, or, better, she dies suddenly and you comfort him and that’s when he finally changes his bad-boy ways and even though he was always kind of a misogynist and never worked very hard he finally gets his act together because you saved him. Or that good-looking guy at the coffee shop finally asks you out (even though you are 99% sure he’s dating the blonde girl who also works there) and you just get along so well and it turns out he likes all the same music as you do and you talk late into the night and he teaches you to play guitar and you teach him…to love. Maybe you get a new job and that hot girl who is not-quite-but-almost your boss runs into you at a conference three months later and you’ve lost weight and her husband has run away with the au pair and you spend the weekend making hot, sweaty love in the hotel and your girlfriend never finds out because magic. Or maybe she dies tragically too? Sure, that works.
These fantasies are dumb, obviously, and especially embarrassing because after spending the night hoping someone’s wife gets cancer it is really, really awkward to run into them at the vending machine the next day. It can be tough to attend a meeting or buy a coffee from someone you’ve masturbated to, and it’s even tougher when part of your one-handed waltz involved you imagining them telling you how you’ve got the most beautiful eyes. Meanwhile, they’ve misspelled your name in the mass email they sent asking you for a donation to their wife’s rowing team.
For all the trouble with an acquaintance crush, at least it’s someone you know. You’ve talked to this person (presumably), and there is something about them that you are actively attracted to, even if it’s a bad idea. Arguably, the acquaintance crush isn’t nearly as bad as what’s behind Door Number Two.
The Mortifyingly Contrived Celebrity Romance
It seems to be pretty normal to have a crush on a celebrity, even though most of them seem kind of weird to me. That being said, I still have a list of celebros who are high up in my fantasy life, and sometimes it’s also fun to fantasize that they just like me for who I am. The celebrity fantasy is embarrassing on so many levels, of course: it’s something stereotypical tween girls do, it’s about someone you have never and will never meet, and in order to make the fantasy stick you have to create a storyline that borders on the pathological. None of these things stop us.
First you have to pick your famous person (bonus points if you have a crush on someone from a few decades ago, ie. Michael J Fox from his Back to the Future days). Then you have to imagine a personality for them, one likely pieced together from interviews, tabloids and social media, all of which are definitely honest portrayals of a human being and not highly scripted and filtered PR tools. The next step is coming up with a way for the two of you to meet, despite the fact that they live in LA making movies and you live in Sleepytown, Nebrahoma making toilet paper in the toilet paper factory.
The “filming on location” is always a good route to take at this point, although of course you have to try to figure out why anyone would ever chose to shoot a film in your shitty town. Maybe you have big gorge nearby or something. This step is easier if you live in New York or London or any decent-sized city where a camera crew might actually show up. Then you have to figure out, in minute detail, exactly how the two of you will not only run into each other but also have a long enough conversation that your celebrity crush realizes that he/she can’t live his/her life without you.
The coffee shop meet-cute is always a reliable choice, although the odds of this particular person being in that particular coffee shop at the same time as you, and then willingly making conversation, are obviously astronomical. You might have to make up a whole new career for the fantasy to work; so, you’re a hairdresser, in New York for some reason, and suddenly Brad Pitt walks in and needs a haircut. And you find out that he and Angelina are secretly separated but it hasn’t made the papers yet. And you have a long conversation, which is a real and believable thing that happens in haircutting shops, and afterwards he offers to walk you to your car because it’s late (why is it late? Who gets a midnight haircut?) or it’s not late, but it’s dark out, because it’s the winter, and New York is dangerous, so he walks you to your car, right? But then your car won’t start! Because it’s winter! So then he offers to drive you home…
Actually, you know what? I wouldn’t want to ruin it for you. You can fill in the rest. I will give you one spoiler though:
You live happily ever after, and you never go back to Sleepytown or the toilet paper factory, except to gloat to fucking Marlene in purchasing.