Candy Rant

"I killed a rat with a stick once."

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Perplexing Cubbyholes of the Teenage Heart

It seems that my friend Tony from the Bronx, has, in the previous comments section, dared to show disdain over my deep attraction for Marvin Hamlisch.

There is good news and bad news about my romantic ponderings over this underrated, darker, more mysterious version of Burt Bacharach.

The good news: My feelings for him were way back in junior high school.

The bad news: Marvin Hamlisch was only the tip of the iceberg.

My best friend Mary and I, in 8th grade, shared numerous sultry crushes. I was intensely jealous when, for Christmas, her mother got her a door-sized poster of Mark Spitz, in his Speedo trunks, the red, white and blue ones, his 7 shiny gold medals resting on his tan, shiny, manly chest. I was ready to rip down that taunting poster with my teeth and have my way with it. Our lengthy conversations about how "neat" Mark Spitz was, led to other tittering discussions, which led to our decision to very seriously sit down and make a list called "Guys We Would Do It With."

Perhaps the most disturbing fact about our list is that it included 78 guys. That's a lot of guys to do it with. Especially when we were 14-year-old virginal farm girls and at least 5 years away from letting our freak flags fly.

On the list, among others:

Chad Everett, star of Medical Center. (The 1970s version of Dr. McDreamy.)

David Brenner, comedian with the biggest nose known to man, and who more than slightly resembles a vulture.

Robert Klein, another comedian. (Even then we went for the guys who made us laugh.)

All of the male Not Ready For Prime Time Players: Dan Ackroyd, Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, and Garrett Morris.

Steve Martin.

Robert Redford. (Mary and I both cried when he was brutally gunned down while floating in his swimming pool during The Great Gatsby.)

James Caan. (We suffered through our loud, brokenhearted sobbing to each other over the phone after he so poignantly died in "Brian's Song.")

Clint Eastwood. (Just his scowl could make you pack your bags and leave your momma's house.)

Michael Jackson. (Insert your own joke here.)

Mel Brooks.

Bob Barker. (Yes, I said Bob Barker. Shut up.)

Fred Astaire.

Bobby Sherman.

Johnny Carson.

Doc Severinsen.

Dick Cavett.

Tom Snyder.

Rich Little.

Fran Tarkenton.

All the members of Three Dog Night.

All the members of the Doobie Brothers except the guy who had a walrus moustache.

Richard Chamberlain.

Our biology teacher, Mr. Price.

Robby Benson.

Barry Manilow. I cannot tell you how we loved Barry Manilow. We went to his concert back when they let you bring in tape recorders, and taped his concert on a chintzy blue plastic recorder. Everything on the tape turned out to be indecipherably distorted except for Mary's lengthy monologue (during "It's a Miracle") on the topic of her boyfriend Dave's addiction to Dristan Nasal Spray. I have never forgiven her.

Our first realization of how cruel love could be came when we basked in the great passion we felt for our separate crushes. They were the only men we could not agree on. Indy 500 race car drivers, both of them. But so, so different. I loved Mark Donahue, a baby faced, grinning hunk of a man who looked positively dreamy in his white racing jumpsuit. Mary was betrothed, in her mind, to Peter Revson, heir to the Revlon fortune. A dark, dangerous looking guy who didn't even need to race because his family was so rich already with the swelling profits from lipsticks and blemish creams.

I comforted Mary after Peter Revson crashed and burned in 1974. Little did I know that my own beloved Mark would meet the same dramatic fate in 1975. They had never even met us.

What else could we do but set our sights lower? Our lives were lived among endless cornfields with endless lackluster characters all around. Mary dated Dave and his Dristan bottle until junior year when he threw her over for a boring, squinty eyed dullard of a girl with a face like a cat squeezing through a fence. My first high school boyfriend was Dale, whose dream it was to be a mortician. He was a year older than me, and when he left for college a day before my birthday, he gave me a new blow dryer and told me "I'm gonna marry you someday." That did not come to pass. And neither did his dream of being a funeral director. He flunked out of mortician school. Mary and I escaped our town and never went back.


  • At 11:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    So, what did you have against Jeff "Skunk" Baxter?

    Goo goo ga joob.

  • At 1:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You forgot John Belushi.

    How could you?

  • At 1:25 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Scott, I could make the excuse that his moustache was overwhelming to a couple of 14 year olds. But I know you wouldn't believe it. Because we were so sophisticated.

    Chubby...That is just plain EERIE. Maybe I knew even back then that JB was going to kak early.

  • At 2:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You forgot Glenn Campbell! I dunno, I was the product of weed.

  • At 4:46 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Pixie and EB, I'm so embarrassed for both of you and your pitiful taste in men. How could you admit to such a thing on a public forum?!

    My choices were all totally understandable.

  • At 4:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    To this very day, I still haven't quite gotten over Annette Funicello.

    There. I said it.

  • At 4:57 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Oh JWebb. Thank God. This entire post was an effort to get you to emerge from your Funicellian closet. At last, you have come into the light. Let the healing begin!

  • At 5:49 PM, Blogger Ana Martin said…

    Bob Barker. The information won't stay in my head. It keeps falling out of my right ear and scrambling around on my desk screaming like a squirrel that was only partially hit by a car. Kind of spinning around because half of it can still move and half of it isn't ever going to move again. And screaming. Did I mention that?

  • At 5:52 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    UNbelievable, Ana. You have just perfectly described the way my little heart felt when I would see Bob Barker come out onto the Price is Right stage. Ahhh.

  • At 8:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    clicking of tongue and shaking of head . . .you crazy heteros . . .

    of course, i was too scared to crush on anyone until i was like 25, and then it was Allison Janney of the west wing . . . so maybe i'm just jealous of your rip roaring teenage libido . . .

  • At 8:35 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    C, Rip roaring teenage libidos were all we HAD in our little town. Which is why most of our pals had kids at 18 or 19.

    Now, let me just have your home address. I must send one F. Phelps to your house for an intervention!!!

    Hetero or not, I crushed on Alison Janney too.

  • At 11:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hell JW, I think Annette is (was) HOT! I will heal with you.


  • At 5:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I must be a ltttle older than you kids--my first crush was on Lillian Gish. Go ahead...laugh--did you ever see her in "Judith of Bethulia"? Bet not.
    Tony from the Bronx

  • At 6:02 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Tony, you may be older, but you're just as fiery. And crazed by passion.
    And now I need to see that movie.

  • At 6:08 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Tony...I just checked Amazon. They ain't got that movie. But they DO offer many other Lillian Gish movies. Among them: A VHS of a movie entitled "Hambone and Hillie" which also stars the ever underrated actor, O.J. Simpson.

  • At 10:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Don't forget David Cassidy. I had a beach towel with his picture on it. "I Think I Love You". I also loved Bobby Sherman. Does anyone remember the neat records you cut off of the back of cereal boxes? I had a Bobby Sherman one. I can't believe we cut off the back of a cereal box and played it on a record player. I love the 70's!

  • At 1:56 AM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Oh WOW, Belle. I had totally forgotten about those records cut from cereal boxes!!! So chintzy. I miss them.
    And how could I have forgotten David Cassidy??? He was dripping with groovy.

  • At 9:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I also think you forgot about groovy Davy Jones or maybe I didn't read carefully!

  • At 12:10 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Belle, I think I did forget Davy Jones. Who was exceptionally groovy. And pint sized. It just wounds me that I don't still have the actual list. It's probably best.


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