Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Does your boyfriend’s celebrity crush matter?

To this day, I am not a Ricky Martin fan. (Okay, yeah. Who is?) But there was a time when he was big. He was everywhere. And I wanted nothing more than for him to go away.

If you recall, our little Ricky exploded to international fame—aka American awareness—when he performed at the 1999 Grammys. Sure, he’d been a member of Menudo. Sure, he’d had success in umpteen countries with Spanish-language hits. But he was a total unknown when given a prime performance slot on that awards night.

Someone must have known something. I never experienced the hoopla over the Elvis Pelvis, but Ricky Martin shook it better than Shakira. Or Charo. His perfect hair, his sexy smile, his form fitting, ribbed Lycra top and his bell-bottomed leather pants invited the world to drool. This guy was the total package, an instant It-man.

I took my eyes off the television long enough to see that my Spanish-speaking boyfriend was taken. I put a hand on his knee to remind him he was indeed taken. To his credit, he didn’t bat it away. Still, I lost a part of him that night. In the months to come, I can’t tell you how many times I walked in our condo to hear “Livin’ la Vida Loca” or, worse, to see yet another recorded performance of that song on our VCR.

Dammit, he was no one-hit American wonder. More hits, more media coverage, including seemingly daily reports of Ricky sightings on “Entertainment Tonight”, a show my boyfriend never watched prior to the arrival of Mr. Shake Your Bon-Bon.

Suddenly, my boyfriend had purchased all of Martin’s Spanish CDs. (I couldn’t prove it, but I suspected there was a Menudo memento stashed somewhere in the closet.)

A celebrity crush, a fixation on someone completely unattainable: Does it really matter? Uh, yeah. I liken it to a straight guy lusting over Pamela Anderson when his girlfriend shops in the training bra section.

There’s an insensitivity. Admittedly, I was jealous. My boyfriend made no effort to suppress his crush. I became critical of Mr. Martin, even disliking “She Bangs” before William Hung butchered it. Rationally, I knew that Ricky would not spot my boyfriend on the streets of Vancouver and take him back to L.A. or Puerto Rico. But still, it bothered me. What should have been an innocent infatuation only made me question what in the world my exotically handsome partner saw in a muscle-free, ghostly white guy like me who had all the dance moves of Rick Astley, not Rick(y) Martin.

Had I been single at the time of Ricky’s glorious debut, I might have developed my own crush. I could have ogled alongside my boyfriend, just as we did during increasingly rare TV appearance of Antonio Sabàto, Jr.  I suppose it was just bad timing. We witnessed the Big Moment together, sitting on the same sofa and yet my boyfriend had never felt so far away. A number of years later, I would know that feeling many times, not due to some stud du jour but because things had run their course. But our love was still so new on that Grammy night and I wasn’t ready to share my guy with anyone, not in person and not in my boyfriend’s wandering mind.

The hoopla over Ricky Martin was so huge, there was no way it could last. On a smaller scale, the same could be said for my relationship.

So what about you, dear reader? Has there ever been friction between you and a boyfriend on account of a famous stud? Whose crush was it and how did you work through it?

No comments: