Nearly 30 years ago, I spent many idle hours lounging on my canopy bed, flipping through magazines, thinking about marrying Andy Gibb. I knew he was probably too short for me, and a bit too blond, but somehow that never mattered. Some of the more positive key points were that he would be the perfect age for me once I reached a suitable marrying age, he had a really great accent, and, well, what else was there, really, from the view at thirteen?
A few years later, my friend Charlotte and I spent a class period or two coming up with our list of key characteristics for the "composite male." Frankly, other than the cool accent, Andy really didn't fit the profile well. He was slim, of course, but our list was long and detailed and right from the start excluded anyone under 5' 10". We also demanded dark or possibly salt and pepper hair. I'd moved on by then, anyway. My fantasy crushes were tall, suave movie actors of the 40s-60s, baseball players, and a few book characters, all of whom seemed to possess the same crucial "je ne sais quois."
Andy Gibb died about five or six years after that, just at the time when I'd previously imagined going out to hunt him down so we could get to know each other and then get married. Even though I really hadn't thought much about him in a long time, his death affected me, almost profoundly. I'm not going to say actually profoundly, because people seem to say that an awful lot of the time. The word is cheap. But it hit me hard, deep inside where no one could see.
I couldn't stop thinking about it, about him, and how his seemingly gifted life had just gone crashing down without much of a look back. Now and then he comes to mind, and I just don't know why he mattered so much then, and somehow still does a little bit. I had more pictures of Shaun Cassidy on my walls but I never thought about marrying him. When I got to the stage of imagining what it would be like to kiss someone, it was always someone older and sturdier, like Jim Garner or Tom Selleck. Incidentally, my passion for Garner has never waned, whereas I haven't given Selleck a second thought since well before he kissed Kevin Kline in that movie.
Yet this inner longing for Andy Gibb still remains, buried way underneath years of life and loves, both real and fictional. I'm not the only one; over the past couple of years, I've encountered a few other women who share very similar feelings, and who still carry him around in a special little box marked "13."
Last week I was noting "On This Day" events for a friend, and discovered that she shares her birthday anniversary with Andy Gibb. If he was still alive, he'd be 49 years old now. I'm certain I would not find him the least bit attractive, because he in no way would resemble Hugh Laurie, Craig Ferguson, or anyone else I now girlishly moon over in idle moments. Yet I think I'd still want to meet him, or maybe just exchange glances from across a room. He had a very charming smile.