I've Got A (Girl) Crush On You

Love, Family

Our eyes met across the room. Right away, I felt it. That click. That connection. That instant recognition of spirit and humor and taste. In the cab ride home, I wondered how long I should wait before I called.

It may sound like a typical Friday night: chance meeting, instant infatuation, uncertain aftermath. But this encounter was different than most. This time, the object of my affection preferred brunch to baseball, manicures to motorcycles, and gossip to, well, anything else. Call it … a girl crush.

Lately, it seems like everyone has one. Hardly a tabloid goes by without announcing Lindsay Lohan's new best friend or Britney Spears's latest source of emotional support. What's more, you don't have to attend boarding school or emulate Cynthia Nixon to play this game. A girl crush is strictly platonic, an admission that a head over-heels tumble can just as easily be set off by a budding friendship as by an office flirtation—no strings (or kissing) attached. Best of all, girl crushes need never stop. Whether you're single or taken, a girl crush is a way to satisfy your craving for infatuation and remind yourself of your best qualities. Unless you have some seriously possessive women in your life, there's always room for a few more friends.

My first girl crush was Stacey. She lived next door and was older and cooler than I ever thought I could be. For starters, she had a boyfriend. She also had a hair wrap. And leg warmers. And double-pierced ears. Stacey showed me how to make a faux belly shirt by pulling the bottom of a T-shirt through its neck. She taught me how to apply three shades of eye shadow in a tiny, vertical rainbow. And she introduced me to tortellini, the epitome of exotic cuisine in the Midwest, circa 1986. When I left her poster-papered room to return to my painted one, I'd crimp my hair, snap my bracelets, and lip-synch to Jem and the Holograms. I would become Stacey. Why Everyone Should Have A Crush

Eventually—and perhaps inevitably—Stacey lost interest in the neighborhood girl who pantomimed her every action. But by the time she did, I'd moved on. There was a singer in the church choir who looked just like She-Ra, Princess of Power. My babysitter, Abby, was blonde, played soccer, and had a car. Juliette, my camp counselor, had an English accent and a silver thumb-ring shaped like a butterfly. Mrs. Carr, my social studies teacher, had traveled everywhere, even Russia.

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