All this week, join us for a delightfully unwell celebration of our Internet Boyfriends. They’re sweet, beautiful men we’ve never met, and we can’t wait to share the fully formed relationships we have with each of them.
Have you ever asked your mom who her crush is?
Does she harbor a secret desire to run away with Tom Selleck? Even after raising terrible children, is she still turned on by a “bad boy”? And when it comes to the celebrity crushes that have turned into full-blown parasocial relationships, how has the internet played a role in her (Boomer?) fantasies?
There’s a small irony that your mom’s sex life is the reason you’re alive, and yet, we rarely consider what gets our moms going. But the truth is, moms are just as thirsty as the rest of us — sometimes even thirstier. And so, I asked moms from different generations about their crushes, and the results were somehow both more and less wholesome than I’d expected.
Sharon: I don’t have any internet crushes. I’m old school. My main celebrity crush is Van Morrison. This is problematic especially since he’s morphed into a conspiracy theorist curmudgeon. I just continue to embrace the poet years, like loving a family member suffering from dementia who spits verbal assaults when you visit.
Van Morrison isn’t handsome (and never really was), but his music transports me to a place of love. It’s much like a law professor I had who physically looked like a cross between Kissinger and Mr. Toad. But he was brilliant, and there wasn’t a woman in the class who wouldn’t have lifted her skirt for him. (Luckily, he was the consummate gentleman.)
Claudia: Martin Sheen because he was a “bad boy” who cleaned up, and he truly lives his faith, is a loving and forgiving father and a very good actor — and he has always been good looking and gets better with age! And unlike Tom Selleck [Claudia’s other crush], he’s a Democrat, activist and non-gun guy.
The Gen Xers
Meghan: My “crushes” are more intellectual and about who they are: politically, as a dad, as a partner, as family role models, etc. I’m not someone who sexualizes people in general. I appreciate beauty of all kinds, but I’ve found my appreciation is asexual. It’s like appreciating a specimen in a museum, if that makes sense. I need to have a tangible connection and real-life interaction to feel anything. And now things are even more extreme to the point where I don’t even think of anyone that way.
Theresa: I love Stanley Tucci because he loves to cook beautiful food and drink good cocktails. It seems like everything he does — traveling, shopping and writing — all revolves around food and drink, and the food and drink all revolve around making people happy. Tell me you don’t want to please this man.
I also have very big feelings about Nicolas Cage. I recently rewatched Valley Girl and realized how much his character in that informed my taste in men forever. Then, of course, there’s Moonstruck, National Treasure, Peggy Sue Got Married, Adaptation and Face/Off, like, pick a decade and Nicolas Cage was doing something weird and magnificent.
Liz: Tough to narrow it down, but I’m gonna say Keanu Reeves. He seems like a genuinely decent person who isn’t afraid to make fun of himself. That’s hot.
Erin: Okay here’s the short list of my celeb crushes, in no particular order:
Keanu Reeves. He seems like a nice guy to take a walk with. I’m guessing he has some good stories and life lessons. I also bet he’d be nice to my kids, and that’s a must. He seems like he has a good heart and a great sense of humor as well.
Larry David. Okay, look, he’s probably too old for me and not super hot, but he sure seems fun — a funny, nice guy to take a road trip with, or have him read to me and make me laugh lots. He would fit in at the family Thanksgiving table nicely. I can imagine him and my dad together.
Post Malone. He’s too young for me, but hey, that’s what crushes are for! He’s fun and likes to party and reminds me of the old crunk days of yore. He has late 1990s vibes. Posty will sing me covers of old country songs, and we can sample his line of rosé and maybe get some tattoos together. I want to touch his face and play with his hair.
Snoop Dogg. He’s the most chill of my crushes. Obviously, he comes with the chronic, so we can smoke and drink and laugh and watch movies and maybe drive around in weird cars listening to old West Coast hip hop, which is my fave. Snoop seems hella fun, and we probably have a lot in common. Also, he can braid my hair.
Last but not least… Alf. Look, don’t ask. I just love him. Always have, always will. He has good jokes. He loves cats. He probably likes to cuddle. He can babysit my kids and teach us about space travel.