Friday, July 6, 2012

In Which I Rant On The Phenomenon Of The Crush

*Warning for male audiences: very girl-oriented post ensues*

Modern parlance is really something.  When a girl likes a boy (or vice versa), we say that she has a crush on him.  Ummm....please tell where this term came from?  The etymology must be fascinating.  For my part, when I hear it I think of cans of crushed pineapple.  Seriously.

I have many levels of distaste for this word (which I will admit I use in daily life because I'm too intellectually lazy to think of a better term), but the aspect which I encounter most often is the all-encompassing meaning of the word, especially when used as a synonym for "like" - which is, incidentally, another rant-worthy topic itself, which I shall not go into at present.  A crush can be anything from "the really cute cashier at Giant" to "Ohmygawsh the actor who plays X (insert fangirled movie character here)" to "that random person I just talked to for three minutes" to "my neighbor/friend/companion-in-hanging-about-after-Sunday-Mass who just happens to be a guy."  All these people (and you know about most, if not all of these situations, I know you do), lumped under the one term: "crush."  I cringe just seeing it, it's so expressive of teenage drama and silliness.  I think some of this very silliness could be dispelled if we called things by more proper terms.  What you feel for the good-looking young man at the grocery-store cash register is just passing admiration of his external features.  What you feel for the movie character is something between the cashier situation and what can only be called obsession.  The guy whom you had one short conversation with has inspired interest.  And as for your partner in after-church socialization (or whatever) - it could be simple friendship, or a sort of infatuation, or maybe, possibly, it could be a liking which will turn out to be much more.

You can easily see that all of these situations are vastly different, and ought to be considered as such.  (And, if I may say so, teasing is always called for, EXCEPT in the pure friendship case.  In the others, it provides a comic relief for overly-dramatic drama.)  I think we girls would be much less confused about these matters if we called them what they are.  Personally, when I was first introduced to the concept of "having a crush" I was horribly muddled and very anxious.  I thought that it was something very serious which one was pulled into against one's will.  I would frantically review every male being I knew and apprehensively try to ascertain if I had a crush on any of them.  My journals from 2007 and 2008 are the most mortifying (and laughable) things you can imagine.   This was one of the few matters in which I wish I had had an older sister to ferret things out and show me what was what.

The other aspect of crushes, intertwined with and illustrated by my first objection, is that of every single guy near one's age being, as my little sister used to put it, "crushed upon."  This is basically what happens to a girl who is called boy-crazy.  Everyone is looked upon as possible crush material when really they should just be looked on as a possible friend.  We girls confuse the two.  Sometimes we decide that we "like" a person when really all we want is to be friends with them.  This is the biggest thing I have had to contend with.  I think that when our feelings start getting carried away, we should sit down, give ourselves a mental shake (and perhaps some non-caffeinated tea) and really think what we want from this person.  Sometimes a so-called crush is just a desire to know more about someone.

Well, I believe I've exhausted my ranting capacity for the day - for two days, actually, since my rambling has now brought me to midnight.  See how much I love you all, to stay up till midnight for you?  Anyway, so, if you've made it down here, what do you think?  Do you disagree?  If you do I'd love to hear about it, with the reasons why you think that way.  I've had some awesome discussions in the comments section - particularly on the Hunger Games posts.  And of course if you agree I'd love to hear that too.  Always nice to know that one is not alone in one's strange opinions.

This is a peace offering in case you were discouraged by what might be construed as cynicism, on my part, about "love." :)


  1. I loved this post -- and I do agree! I definitely think I personally have a tendency to let my feelings run away if I don't keep myself in check. And that's a very important thing to do. I have a personal experience of getting the goal of what I wanted out of a young man confused because of the popularity of this "crush" term. And I admit I use it. I have "celebrity crushes," but if you really think about it, what's the point of them anyway? Really they're just admirations or some such thing. And looking at every guy as a possible crush only sets one up for heartbreak.
    This is a pretty harmless situation, but I think it can definitely go too far and lead to emotional heartbreaks. And all because of one word.

    Liz B

  2. Dear, you are not alone!!! Once again, I am so happy someone else shares my views on the horrific "crush" issue. I remember when I first heard that word from a friend about her brother and this other girl he knew, and I was almost scandalized. I would like to know, WHO came up with that term?? It is used very liberally at my parish, amongst the teenagers who hang out together after Mass. All those girls have "crushes" on those guys. I was never someone who had a serious crush on a guy, because none of them quite matched up to my idea of a perfect husband for me. Granted, some of them like me, but I just treat them like brothers. When I was a bit younger I had gotten involved in a crush with a guy who eventually turned on me, and really let me down, all through the sneaky workings of this other girl who HATES me and LOVES him. So after that experience I dropped the whole idea of ever having one again.

    Thanks so much for posting about this! It's so nice to hear young ladies speak out honestly about these kinds of things....

    God bless,

  3. Thank you and you're welcome to both of you! It's nice to hear that I'm not the only one who thinks this way and who has gotten sadly mussed up by the silly word. Thanks for the comments!

  4. Ugh. i know what you mean. every time i talk to my friends they go on and on about the boys they have"crushes" on.


Your comments make my day! I read every single one of them, and I'll usually check out my commenters' blogs, if I don't follow them already. I try to reply to my comments, but please don't be offended if I don't make it to yours. Procrastination habits do extend to comment replies, unfortunately.

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Thanks for making the effort to tell me your thoughts!

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