Holy frackin’ crop, Russ. I guess I should have expected that the hate crush issue would set you off, but geez! So, um, can I just state for the record? That the opinions expressed by Russ? Are, you know, not necessarily those of Dave?
I do agree with you that those Jezebel girls fracked up the concept of the crush and its beautiful antithesis. But I think that they got close, which is why it’s all so maddening.
Take the crush. The “seeing my best self reflected in your eyes” experience is a real romantic phenomenon, but doesn’t that come later? Crushes exist completely independent from any relationship that you might have with the other person. Because he/she has to know you exist before he/she can make you feel sparkling and witty and Peter O’Toole-ish. Unless you’re totally crazy.
The hate crush, though — maybe a little trickier? I think you’re right that it’s about what you fear others may see in you, but can you really draw a clear distinction between that and what you genuinely dislike or need to suppress in yourself? How is your loathing of the beret-wearing Bizarro Russ really different from hating something in yourself that could sprout into beret wearing if you weren’t careful? I don’t think it really is.
But that, imho, gets at what they’ve got wrong about the hate crush. How is it a bad thing to use your vision of someone — however cartoonish and ungenerous — to try and figure out what you don’t want to be like? I would argue that it can be really, really great to realize — with or without the dry heaving — that you don’t want to be the kind of girl who’d fall for that kind of guy, or the kind of guy who’d be into that kind of book, or the kind of guy who’d make that kind of art, or the kind of girl who’d post that kind of picture?