Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I Met Him on a Monday and My Heart Stood Still

Shaun Cassidy turns 48 today and when I read that in the paper this morning, for one brief moment the ground underneath my feet shook with the quivering of my heart.

With his 1000 kilowatt smile and awesome shiny blond feathered hair, Shaun Cassidy was my first real crush. I was 10. He was 19. Before Shaun, I wasn’t actually sure what a crush really was. At school I kind of liked Mike O’Leary, the kid who sat next to me, but “liked” meant that I thought he was funny and a little bit cute and I didn’t mind it so much when he yanked my pig tails and got paired with me as my “husband” in our “Japanese Family” unit.

But from the first moment I gazed into the soft, brown doe eyes of Shaun as he stared back at me from his poster tacked on my wall, I knew the meaning of true love. True love meant butterflies in my stomach, goose bumps on my arm and many hours toiling away with my Fashion Plates and crayons designing the wedding dress I would wear when we married.

When mom and dad let us stay home from Sunday night church I watched the Hardy Boys every other week with great anticipation to see how “Joe” was going to super cute his way out of another tight spot. Oh yes, that Parker Stevenson’s “Frank” might have been the smarter Hardy brother, but Shaun’s “Joe” was always the real scene stealer. On the alternating Sundays when they would air Nancy Drew, I would watch that whole thing just to get a glimpse of the preview for the next week’s Hardy Boys.

And the very first record album I ever got? That’s right - Shaun Cassidy – Da Doo Ron Ron. My way-cooler-than-me younger brother got a Kiss album and I got this dreamy salute to the bubble-gum pop machine of 1977. Barbie, Ken and I danced like MANIACS to that record.

Then there were the endless clippings of Shaun I tore out of my Tiger Beat and Teen Beat magazines that mom would get me from the grocery store, along with my equally loved Archie comic books. I always knew what that guy was up to.

Jacquie and I wrote Shaun many fan letters, and while we did hear back from Don Knotts, Eric Estrada, the Fonz and Tim Conway, Shaun was always too busy to write back. I forgave him. Unconditional love is like that.

As my tween years progressed, my celebrity crushes grew to include Jimmy Osmond, Andy Gibb, Scott Baio, Leif Garrett, Ian from the Bay City Rollers and, weirdly, Steve Cauthen the tiny little jockey who rode Affirmed to victory in the 1978 Kentucky Derby. But Shaun? He was the real deal. The first crush. My first husband and father to our children Lilly and Chip. The one I will never really forget.

Da Doo Ron Ron Ron, Da Doo Ron Ron…..


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