Technically speaking, I was a late bloomer. I didn’t go out on a date until I was in college and I didn’t have my first real boyfriend until I was 23. But from the time I was, oh, eight years old, my fictional romantic life flourished. In my mind, I cultivated rich, deep and emotionally complex relationships with a small handful of celebrities I thought to be my soul mates. Let’s take a walk down memory lane to meet the men I’ve never actually met who have been my Valentines over the years.
Tony Gwynn, San Diego Padres Right Fielder
My/His Age At The Time We Fell In Love: 9/28
Length Of Our Relationship: 2 years
Why I Loved Him: One of the most consistent batters in baseball, his average was over .300 for the majority of his long career. Sure, he was slow — and became even slower as his weight crept over 300 lbs. — but he knew what he was good at and wasn’t a show-off. Also, just look at that mustache. All man, baby.
How Far I Went For Love: Waited for two hours outside the players’ exit at the Padres stadium to get my ball signed. Bought loaf after loaf of Oro Wheat Bread looking for the Tony Gwynn rookie card hidden inside one of them.
Level Of Intimacy: His eyes — in the life-size posted that adorned my wall — would follow me around my bedroom. I got dressed in a corner outside of his eyeshot so he couldn’t see because I wasn’t ready to go there yet.
Wil Wheaton, Actor On “Star Trek: The Next Generation”
My/His Age At The Time We Fell In Love: 11/18
Length Of Our Relationship: 3 years
Why I Loved Him: For his convincing portrayal of what appears to be the only teenage boy on the Starship Enterprise; his attractive, slim-cut stature; his boyish good looks; his righteous, unapologetic nerdiness at a time when boy bands ruled; his ability to pull off a truly heinous sweater; his catalog of underrated direct-to-DVD filmography, including “December” and “Toy Soldiers.”
How Far I Went For Love: In addition to enduring the cruel taunts of my fellow tweens, who said Wil had a pencil neck, I wrote a 250-page “Star Trek” fan-fiction novel in which I, as a fictional character, got to fall in love with his character Wesley.
Level Of Intimacy: Our characters exchanged “I love yous” in the aforementioned fanfic. In real life, I wrote him a fan letter telling him I loved him and received an autographed photo of Wil wearing a shit ton of “Batman” schwag in return.
Eddie Vedder, Lead Singer In Pearl Jam
My/His Age At The Time We Fell In Love: 13/28
Length Of Our Relationship: 1 year
Why I Loved Him: For his awesome voice, heartwrenching lyrics, and anti-establishment vibe; because he was shy just like me; for his hair that was more gorgeous than mine; because his girlfriend was a feminist so he probably didn’t think girls needed to be conventionally pretty.
How Far I Went For Love: Knowing he had lived in San Diego for at least a period of time, I went through the phone book looking for people with his last name, found one nearby and created a backstory that I convinced myself was true that involved him living in that house at one point, and would make my mom and/or dad drive past that house every time I was in the car with them. Sometimes I would duck just incase a relative of his was still in the house because I didn’t want it to get back to him and have him think I was crazy or something.
Level Of Intimacy: He had a very serious girlfriend and eventually wife at the time, who I respected because she was punk rock and a feminist, so not much. Eddie’s lack of real availability is what caused my eyes to wander on over to…
Stone Gossard, Guitarist In Pearl Jam
My/His Age At The Time We Fell In Love: 14/27
Length Of Our Relationship: 6 years
Why I Loved Him: For his funky guitar rhythms, which are the backbone of some of Pearl Jam’s most incredible songs; because of his facial expressions, which gave me all the information I needed in order to imagine how he would look when we would have sex someday; because we owned the same pair of Tabasco red Converse One-Stars, which meant our love was fated by the universe; for his ability to pull off the incredibly girly half-up/half-down hairstyle; because his wide taste in music opened my eyes to bands and hip-hop groups I might never have listened to.
How Far I Went For Love: Fully intended and planned on attending Cornish School of the Arts for college, simply because it was located in Seattle, so I could be closer to my love. This plan was thwarted by my parents pesky financial situation and the fact that I was not actually talented at art. Also, I was a loyal consumer of every other project Stone was involved in, from his early bands Green River and Mother Love Bone, to his solo project, to the bands he produced on his own label. And, when attending Pearl Jam shows, I still, to this day, get tickets on the right side of the stage, or as I call it, “Stone’s Side.”
Level Of Intimacy: I cast Stone in every one of my romantic and/or masturbatory fantasies — usually conducted nightly before bed, in hopes of extending it into my dreams — for most of those six years. Our life together in Seattle was so lush!
Ryan Gosling, Actor In “The Notebook,” “Drive” & “Blue Valentine”
My/His Age At The Time We Fell In Love: 28/27
Length Of Our Relationship: 4.5 years and counting!
Why I Love Him: Oh, I don’t know, here are 31 reasons…
How Far I Went For Love: 12 blocks. Literally. I ran 12 blocks, from Tomkins Square Dog Park on 9th Street between Ave A and B, to the Whole Foods on Bowery and Houston St. because my friend texted me that Ryan was there grocery shopping. She followed him around the store and texted updates on his shopping status — “He’s in the cheese department now, he’ll be checking out soon, hurry!” — while Lucca and I hoofed it. I also put myself through the emotionally traumatizing “Goservention” last year, in hopes of giving myself the strength to break up with him. I am also currently noodling a rom-com screenplay based on our relationship.
Level Of Intimacy: We stood next to each other in front of Whole Foods for approximately two minutes. The sexual tension was palpable.
Original by Ami Angelowicz