I’m a married guy, but you know.
I mean, I’ll be honest here and tell you straight up that my wife is still the coolest, sexiest woman I have ever known and if you don’t buy it, that’s your problem because I have know some seriously incredible women in my time and yet anyone who actually knows me will tell you that I am junkie for just one girl. Her name is Monica and she’s fiery and chiseled and hungry for knowledge and uber-fit and ultra-intelligent and a fabulous mother to our two (soon to be three) kids.
Plus, she’s a teeny tiny bit of a whack job, exactly like me.
Love isn’t even the right word, as far as my feelings go. But words are just words and they all leave you high and dry when you’re talking about love and the soul and the heart. She’d probably snarf at me if she heard me say any of this, but her beat-up Vans, and this one old white tank top she still has, and the way she smiles an exhausted smile at me when one of my kids says something brilliantly funny at the end of the day, and the way I sneak peeks at her face, so focused and far away, when she is watching TV right down the couch from me … it all adds up to me understanding that she possesses a very complex combination of just about everything that first kick-started my young heart many moons ago. Things that continue to make me feel like that husky high school kid secretly wishing I could coolly lean in and, just this once, kiss the pretty girl.
And ha! Sometimes I actually DO still try and do that! But usually it just makes her mad since I have very little game even all these years later.
Still, it’s worth noting that, despite all that I feel for Monica, the one and only person I’ve been battling and conquering life with all these years, I’m still only human.
And so is she.
We all are, for better or worse.
In my humble unscientific opinion, one of the things that keeps us alive and vital throughout the course of a lifetime is the simple fact that we all continue to be attracted to other people, in a million different ways, until the day we die. Be it purely physical or strictly cerebral or even some inexplicable collision of things, there isn’t a single person who has ever lived who can honestly say that, despite the relationship they are committed to (or not), they have never felt electric butterflies here and there when someone else unleashed a couple of wild butterflies down in the basement of their guts.
Look, as far as I’m concerned, if you have half a brain in your head and maybe just a sliver of brain in your jeans, living a life filled with little crushes can actually be a really good and healthy thing. Continuing to feel moved and made effervescent by the mere sight or sound, or even the whiff of other human beings, helps to fuel the kind of fires inside us that can illuminate a lot of our deepest thoughts and feelings, revealing much about our inner-workings in the process.
Simple everyday crushes can help us gain intense insight into the things we love about our serious relationship, and maybe some things we aren’t too happy about as well. It’s up to us, though. In the end, we need to understand that they are indeed fire. And that if you get a little crazy with fire, well, you will burn stuff down.
What I guess I am getting at here is that no one should ever feel too guilty about having fleeting, harmless crushes on the everyday people in our world. It happens, it’s normal. We just need to recognize that there is one hell of a line in the sand between the little things that make you quietly dig another person and the point of no return.
I like holding that balance in check. I like the feeling I get holding the reigns of power in my hands, and then dropping them down, day after day, just so I can return to that one person whose long line of allures I never could resist.
Here are 20 harmless things that make me crush hard.
Beat Up Vans 1 of 18
When a woman appears on my radar screen wearing beat up old Vans, I immediately lose my mind and more than likely drop my cup of coffee or something. Old worn-out Vans tell a story, I think. They say,"I am active/hip/and unpretentious." They also say, "Marry me, fool!" Lucky for me, I already married a girl whose been wearing them since she was a kid.
Image: S. Bielanko
Top Earrings 2 of 18
Like a lot of the things that trigger my mad crushes, reasoning and explanations are both fleeting and moot. But the bottom line is that I find girls with one or two earrings up high impossibly irresistible. Especially tiny silver hoops. Oh dear God, the tiny silver hoops. Oh, sweet respectable desire. (Interesting side note: my wife ignores my incessant hinting about these things. Just isn't interested. And that makes me remarkably sad.)
Cute Moms 3 of 18
What is it about cute moms that launches lightning bolts into my system? I hope I don't sound skeevie or weird here, (ugh, I do, don't I?), because that's not the deal at all. But still, I know for a fact that I am not alone when it comes to guys who find certain women pushing a kid in a stroller or playing catch with a toddler in the park pretty hot. In a lot of ways, this might just be my purest form of crush; the kind that is rooted in total respect and the ancient ways. Or maybe not. Either way, it is what it is.
Big Dogs 4 of 18
Straight up: ten years ago, on the evening I first met my wife, she told me a lot about herself that had me falling harder by the minute for her, in ways I had never ever experienced before. But when she finally got around to telling me that she lived with her big black labrador retriever named, Max, I fell in love. End of story. See, as far as I'm concerned, girls who really love dogs are all sweet, but girls who love big dogs are sexy as hell. And no, I'm not the creepy dude behind the tree at the dog park. (PS: a decade later, Max is still with us and is a HUGE part of our world.)
Image: S. Bielanko
Fishing 5 of 18
As a rabid fly fisherman, whenever I cross paths with a cool, cute girl who really digs angling I want to
take a second wifetip my old fishing hat to her and the lucky guy/gal she's given her heart to. A woman with a love of fishing signifies that she has a deep appreciation for the outdoors and for solitude, and for patience and excitement. And that all adds up to one heck of a catch, if you ask me. (Poor pun intended).
A Stranger’s Smile 6 of 18
People often overlook the basic stuff when it comes to the kind of enlightenment and power that random momentary connections can instill in each of us. In my case, whenever a woman smiles at me on the subway or at a traffic light or as we pass each other at the gym, I am immediately lifted by some sort of tidal wave of excitement/pride/super cool curiosity. Which, when you think about it, those are three of the best feelings we can ever have in this world. So, use your smile on someone you find interesting and then just walk away. Connection made.
Blue Jean Jackets 7 of 18
In my world, blue jean jackets or denim jackets or whatever you want to call them, they curate an image of someone casual but edgy, someone stylish but street. And girls that wear them usually cause my caffeinated heart to moonwalk into my spine. Enough said.
Image: S. Bielanko
Novels 8 of 18
I love novels, big fat novels. I eat them for lunch. So, when I see a woman out in public, down in the subway or sitting in a coffee shop, all caught up in reading some novel in her hands, I want to walk over to her, slyly slide a chair back, sit down oozing some kind of magnificent sexy confidence and, just as our eyes meet, say, "Bond ... James Bond." Yeah sure, she'd probably pepper-spray me, but still. That's how much I crush on girls and their fiction.
Crow’s Feet 9 of 18
Some guys don't dig signs of natural maturity in a woman. For what its worth, they are not my brothers in any of this. For me, there is nothing quite as alluring as when I see an intriguing woman with little crow's feet at the corners of her eyes. I just think crow's feet on certain feminine faces are magnificent; when a girl smiles and they subtly appear like teeny angels knocking on the windowpanes of her eyeballs: grrrrrrr. Plastic surgery is the enemy, people. Remember that.
Wild Streaks 10 of 18
My wife, Monica, (stop staring at her picture!) is the sexiest, most gorgeous woman I have ever known. And I have known a few, trust me. But one day, years ago, when she came home from her salon with a couple of hot pink highlight streaks in her blond hair, I had to go out in the car and drive around for a while and smoke like ten cigarettes just to keep my breath from falling out of my face. The pink highlights had taken things to a new level, to another hotter galaxy than ever before. Girls with a colorful streak or two up top seem to be saying,"Yeah, I'm a little reckless and fearless and I don't give a $%!#." That makes me magically light-headed.
Image: S. Bielanko
Wisdom 11 of 18
Wisdom is a massive turn-on. And wise girls turn me on. By wisdom, I mean a kind of intelligence and savvy that doesn't really come along with a college degree or anything, either. Wisdom to me is a level of confident beliefs and life philosophies that can only come from a lifetime of experience and traveling and educating one's self in the the things that really inspire and move you.
Progressive women who stand up for what they believe in because they have actually lived through a million experiences, as opposed to just believing exactly what they've been told to believe since they were a little girl, they are the ones that make me all jittery inside.
Image: S. Bielanko
Accents 12 of 18
Ahhh, but who doesn't love it when a person opens their mouth and the words fall out dappled in some unexpected accent? English, French, Italian, Jamaican, Alabama-ian, the list is endless, really. Even girls from Utah have a distinct way of saying a lot of things that makes me want cuddle them so damn hard. Trust me.
City Life 13 of 18
In my humble opinion, women who have spent at least a part of their life living in a big city carry a certain sort of open-mindedness and worldly confidence that I find super sexy. They've navigated a million difficult streets and seen and been through the sorts of things that you simply won't really ever experience by spending all of your days in a suburb or living in the country. Those are qualities I find hard to resist and very crush-worthy.
Image: S. Bielanko
Au Naturale 14 of 18
Look, we all know that make-up can work wonders in the beauty department, and I will be the first to admit that I am often in total awe of just how hot I think my wife is when she wears it. But, be that as it may, I still find natural beauty hits me even harder. When I look at my wife, or any woman for that matter, and notice that her face is completely beautiful in all of its untouched-up glory, I find that I lose my breath quicker and longer. Make-up has its place, no doubt about it, but I tell no tales when I say that a natural pretty face gets me every single time.
Image: S. Bielanko
Writers 15 of 18
Books, blogs, poems, letters, even stylishly thought-out emails, it doesn't really matter what it is, but when a woman loves to write, and does it well, I am immediately drawn in. Maybe it's because I love writing so much myself, or maybe its just because I think writers posses a unique way of looking at the world; I'm not even sure I can put a finger on it, but when girls collide with the written word, I am more than likely to have a little crush on them at some point.
Trucks 16 of 18
If a woman drives a UPS truck or a mail truck or a pick-up truck or even an SUV, I always want to sit there in the passenger seat beside her and control the radio. Simple as that. A team of brilliant scientists could scan my brain for years and probably never come up with the reason why, but the cold hard fact is that girls with trucks drive me nuts in the best possible way.
Airports 17 of 18
Having spent huge chunks of my life in airports all over the world, I have to admit that something about the sight of a woman traveling alone, a knapsack on her shoulder, moving down the corridors or the concourse all cool, calm, and collected just gets me.
Something about an airport loans itself to limitless possibility and adventure and fearlessness, and when it comes to the ladies, I rank those qualities very high, indeed. A lone woman sipping a glass of wine in an airport bar while the chaos of a busy terminal unfolds around her? Ooh-la-la.
Beer 18 of 18
I always think of women who enjoy a beer here and there as smart, earthy, funny, unpretentious, sexy, real, wise, introspective, creative, worldly, experienced, edgy, casual, adventurous, curious, empathetic, well-read, street savvy, inspired, and tasteful. Of course, that may seem like I'm reading way way too much into such a common, innocuous occurrence, but at the end of the day, hey, it's my little crush we're talking about here, and I'm sticking to it. Thanks for reading!
Image: S. Bielanko
You can also find Serge on his personal blog, Thunder Pie.
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