Both the children are in the throes of crushes at the moment. Love is in the air, even if it's autumn.
They are at the ages where crushes are very much the thing. For the daughter, it's mainly actors--David Tennant (Dr. Who), John Barrowman (Torchwood), and Orlando Bloom (anything she's old enough to see), though I've just learned the junior high History teacher has also become an object of affection. I couldn't help but point out that he is far too short.
The age of actresses has largely passed for the son; he keeps an ever-changing ranking of the girls in his class, and I was recently treated to the current top 5. I teased him about T., the new girl, but he responded, with something bordering on disgust, "Every time I get the courage to talk to her, she's surrounded by the other girls."
A tough lesson to learn so young. "Yup," I told him, "at this age they run in packs. And you don't even want to know what they're talking about in the girls' restroom."
At this, the spouse burst into laughter. Years ago, on our first real date, we doubled with some mutual friends of ours. He was horrified when my friend S. and I disappeared into the ladies' room together. "What were you doing in there?" he asked plaintively, later. "I thought you were climbing out the window to escape me."
"Riding the rollercoaster," I told him drily. I've learned that many men believe there are carnival rides in the women's room, hence the immense amount of time we seem to spend in them. Reality pales in comparison, of course.
(As an aside, there used to be a nice little restaurant in West Hollywood that actually featured an enormous rocking giraffe in the women's room. So the guys aren't entirely wrong there.)
What were S. and I doing in the ladies? S. was flipping out. In my usual showstopping fashion, I'd asked my date about the subject matter of his Ph.D. thesis. He told me, and I chirped, "Oh! You mean like the air pillow mechanism that so-and-so proposed in the USGS monograph he wrote?"
The silence at the table was profound. "Yeah," said my date, who'd just decided to marry me. "You've READ it?"
"Yes," I said, breezily.
In the ladies room, S. was shrieking, "You've read whatever you were talking about? How did you know?"
I shrugged. My previous boyfriend had given me the monograph to read, thinking I'd find it interesting.
That's what girls talk about in the ladies' room. Science.
Let's face it: crushes, and the management thereof, are a science. A few nights ago, the daughter was talking about (but not ranking) her various crushes, and hiding her face in her pillow at appropriate moments in extreme embarrassment.
"Look," I said fondly, "crushes are perfectly normal and sweet and nothing to be embarrassed about. They make you feel nice and it's happy and good, so enjoy it and don't worry if your brother teases you about them, because we've got more than enough ammo to take care of him."
She emerged from the bed clothes long enough to ask, "Do you have any crushes, Mommy?"
"Uh," I said.
"You have a crush on Dad, right?"
"Well, no. We're well past the crush stage. I love him."
She digested this.
"So, who do you have a crush on?"
I laughed. "Even if I did have a crush, do you think I'm going to tell you?"
She was indignant. "I told you. It's not like I'm going to tell Dad, or anything."
"Oh yeah, I can just see it. I say, 'George Clooney,' and you yell, 'Daaaaaaaaaad, Mom has a crush on George Clooooooooooooooooooooney!' Right?"
"You have a crush on George Clooney? Ocean's Eleven? Yeah, he's pretty cute. DAAAAAAAAD..."
"I do not have a crush on George Clooney. Yes, he's very cute, but sorry, no crush."
Not, of course, that there is anything wrong with George Clooney. He is quite easy on the eyes, has a great voice, and frequently plays the perfect rogue.
But I have a very attractive spouse. Smart, too. I recently pointed out to him that George Clooney has nothing on him.
Who needs a crush?
Go listen to some good music: "Sunshine of Your Love" from the album Disraeli Gears by Cream.