I still remember the first time I saw him.
He was wearing a leather jacket and riding a motorcycle.
His hair was gelled to perfection.
I could tell that underneath his tough exterior, he was actually a big softie.
In that moment I knew only two things were certain – he was the man for me and I would absolutely die if we didn’t end up together.
The only problem was – he was a 17-year-old fictional TV character named Dylan McKay.
And I was an awkward preteen with three day old ice cream stains on the front of her Target pajamas.
While he was getting into fights and falling for cheerleaders named Kelly in Beverly Hills, I was having sleepovers and completing assignments on turtles in Dubbo.
But at that moment, none of that mattered. Every barrier to our love could be daydreamed away. I just knew, deep down within myself, that given the choice this
boy man would look past all the Hollywood actresses and supermodels, and choose me – the awkward girl from Dubbo.
Of course, we didn’t end up together and I didn’t die a tragic preteen death.
My obsession with Dylan McKay soon moved on. There was Pacey from Dawson’s Creek. All three members of Silverchair. Joseph Gordon-Levitt in 3rd Rock From The Sun. Ryan Phillippe in Cruel Intentions and Andrew Keegan in 10 Things I Hate About You.
But I’ll never forget how Dylan McKay made me feel.
For me, and many women in their 30s and 40s, Dylan McKay represented more than a TV character.
He was a symbol of the high school experience. Of going through puberty, getting your first crush, and falling in love for the first time.
Of experiencing your first heartbreak.
Of trying to save the bad boy. Of wanting a life that was so much more exciting and much riskier than the safe life you were living in your small country town or leafy suburb.
If you’re younger, your Dylan McKay may have been Ryan Atwood in The OC, or Jughead in Riverdale.
Or perhaps it was one of the Upper East Side boys from Gossip Girl. Or Dieter Brummer on Home and Away.
Whoever he is – and no matter how old you become – you never forget how that first crush made you feel.
Like anything was possible and everything was impossible all at the same time.
Who was your first celebrity crush? Tell us about them in a comment below.