To All the Men I’ve Crushed

Now. English is a complex language and I need to spend a few minutes clarifying what is meant by this title before some of you think this space has taken a bizarre turn to erotic literature. I am not referring to the men I have slept with which may be the way some of you interpreted this if reading from the US. The title also doesn’t refer to me crushing dudes under my body weight (although this is possible – hey most of normal people struggled in this 2020 bastard pandemic quarantine…. lost myself there for a minute). BUT I wanted to pay tribute to the guys I had crushes on (I can now visualise my friends who have been on the crush journeys with me hold their breath and think, NOT THIS AGAIN!)

ta tump, ta tump, ta tump

Dry my (not normally sweaty) palms.

There he is.

A crush can be an addictive feeling – not in a bunny boiler, stereotypical women are the cause of all that is wrong with the world – but in there is a euphoria in dreaming about the potential of a relationship, seeing the best in a man, his passions, his vulnerability, his vision. I don’t know about some of you gals but when I have a crush on someone (and yes women who are 40 cough, cough + have crushes on people), I let my mind wonder…….

What will his family think of me? What is his eggplant saying? What religion is he? When last did he go to church? If my dad starts yelling about Liverpool F.C. and his dentures fall out at the dinner table, how will react? Does he like Soca music? Can I take him to my company’s holiday party? Will he survive my NY cousins’ barbecue (because shit those debates and arguments can be brutal)?

Whilst riding on my bicycle last night, I thought about some of my crushes (I guess I am a bit of a serial crusher. Wait, is the person who has a crush on someone else a crusher?). I couldn’t help but laugh. To protect them and their pride because they let a real one go (that real one being me by the way). Now real can be real eccentric, real annoying, real talkative (I can talk the hind legs off a donkey), real smart, real tired but for the purposes of this exercises real will refer to real beautiful, intelligent, unique woman who could have bore you some amazing children who would go on to rule the free world.

There was the shy one. I’ve never met a challenge I’ve backed down from. He was so cute and really intelligent. Our shared ethnicity and the heat of Barbados definitely helped warm this crush up. My friends thought he was quite the opposite to me, a person who sometimes takes my outwards appearance quite seriously. BUT there was something about him – his passion for political and contemporary issues. I was intrigued. My fiery temperament and aura can scorch the earth around it and anything I touch but alas my fire was extinguished and barely smoke or fume left as evidence of my fleeting crush.

There was the was the friend. We were friends for yearssssss. Hours on the phone making fun of our mutual friends, exchanges of music, cheeky jokes. I could never look him the eye or speak a cohesive sentence in front of him. My heart would beat in my throat when we saw each other and there was that dance we shared at the sweatiest, scariest Soca party on earth. 1997 in a Brooklyn rooftop party. The floors were bouncing (I thought it would drop beneath us). Xtatik was on the stage and although the vibe was merriment, I was lost in his strong arms comforting me. It was as if time stood still. My friends were annoyed because I abandoned them for my imagined new husband. This is obviously a sultry memory filed in my hardly visited memories cabinet.

Then there was The Jamaican. Proving that some crushes are better left unrequited.

As a girl, Disney movies and modern classics like House Party, Poetic Justice, and 10 Things I Hate About You influenced my view of (young) adult life and romance. As I wisened I realised there’s a reason why films end with the first kiss or the start of the romance.

Crushes are fun and something to temporarily lift the serotonin. They’re even better if they turn into fruitful relationships that tickle your toes with delight. More times than not, crushes can often be projections of what we want someone to be, the visions of the future we want and not the reality of the asshole standing in front of you.


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