I have fancied everyone from cartoon foxes to wrestlers. Do I have to say goodbye to all that?
Unlike Jimmy Carter, the former US president, I have not committed adultery in my heart many times. But only because I have never been married. Over the course of my life, I have had more crushes than a Florida orange. As a child, I fancied everyone from a medieval cartoon fox to a noodle-haired wrestler to a student physics teacher. I was lusty before I even realised what lust was. And I know I’m not the only one.
The brilliant podcast Crushed by Margaret Cabourn-Smith has delighted me for three months with stories of hapless supermarket flirtations, hopeless workplace infatuations and helpless attempts to make various band members notice you. Listening to an episode featuring Shaparak Khorsandi, I remembered with a flash of shame hiding in a woodshed with a family friend as part of a game of hide and seek, and being so desperate to touch him that I pretended to stroke a woodlouse off his back just to feel his skin. I was six years old. It was on Crushed that I also learned, somewhat encouragingly, that Gary Numan is married to a member of the Gary Numan fan club, while Sara Pascoe’s parents met because her mother camped outside her musician dad’s house with a gaggle of other teenage fans. If it worked for them, you reason, there is hope for us all.
Nell Frizzell is the author of The Panic Years and Square One, which will be published on 7 July