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When you watch your crush melt in front of your face
I get ridiculously-sized crushes on people all the time, and since I much prefer to live in my own happy little head than actually pursue authentic “human” “interaction,” I spend a lot of time with these shimmery things floating around my dazzled inner world. Sometimes they spill over into real life, though, and I'm invariably shocked to be reminded that my crush is... real. Ew.
Cyn reminded me a few months ago that crushes are not real by giving me a metaphor to help keep my fantasy version of the person separate from the real person: "A crush is like a golem."
What's a golem? I hear you ask! (Well, those of you who aren't into Jewish folklore are asking, anyways.)
In Judaic mysticism, a golem is a creature that's made entirely of mud or clay, and it's intended to be a helper or companion. (In the most well-known versions, the golem is a hero and a rescuer of Jewish communities, so I’m really taking a leap from that, but I wanted to make sure I mentioned that part of the lore.) The thing is, the creator puts all of their hopes and wishes and needs into the golem, but the golem can never be a whole, complex human. Golems also have reputations for evolving independent streaks which conflict with the needs of their maker, and they eventually have to be destroyed by invoking a series of ancient commands. Like ya do!
Now, think about when you have a crush on someone: You've suddenly got this super-idealized version of that person you've created in your head. Chances are, you don't actually know-them know-them, you don't have enough interpersonal experience with them to see what they're really like. Mostly, you're tootin' along, rainbows and butterflies and unicorns prancing around this person's visage, and they can do no wrong. Until they do. They say or do something that invokes the magic commands for them to melt before your very eyes.
I had a giant crush on a really handsome, unbelievably compassionate and funny veterinarian once. Every time I went in with my dog, who was just a trembling mess of shyness and fear, he would immediately put us both at ease with his deep voice and steady presence. He would joke around and was really insightful about giving good dog care, and I would often just sit there like a starry-eyed dope and smile endlessly. (This is what really ropes 'em in, y'all. Stick around for flirting tips.)
One day our conversation veered into the meaning of life, as it does at the vet's office, and we debated a couple of interesting points about the nature of the universe. I was getting more sparkly in my crush-heart as we chatted, and then he said, "I think L. Ron Hubbard was really misunderstood."
*screeeeeeeeeeech crash* WHAT.
And as if the ancient words had been spoken right there, suddenly I started watching him melt in front of me. He kept talking, only I could no longer follow what he was saying, and everything just sort of slid down in my field of vision, like goopy slime being poured over a wet painting. The sparkles evaporated, and I held onto my dog for dear life. Finally I shook the vision I was having off, and tuned back into the conversation—just as he was telling me about a psychic medium on the internet who has reinterpreted the Bible, “It's pretty cool,” he said as he brought it up on his computer to show me.
“Cool, cool,” I said. “I'll check it out.” (There was no way I was checking it out.) I gathered up my dog and my stuff and left, realizing that my golem had a mind of his own. I released him back into the wild.
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