My husband and I had friends over for dinner on Saturday. One of the topics that came up was TWILIGHT the movie which segued into TWILIGHT the book which segued into teenage love and "love" which reminded me of the devotion I used to have for Christian Slater.
I don't know how it started exactly. His role as Will Scarlet in ROBIN HOOD: PRINCE OF THIEVES, I think. All I know is that when I was thirteen, I decided I was in love with him. Every entry in my journal during that time mentioned him. I wrote about how I was going to marry him someday. How excited I was that he was on the cover of SEVENTEEN magazine. How we had some of the same nervous habits. How our astrological signs were compatible. And on and on and on.
I had never had a boyfriend. I'd wanted one just about forever, but the only boys who ever wanted to go out with me (as we called it) were the ones who I, you know, hung out with all the time. They were my geeky friend-boys with whom I'd go skiing and discuss my addictions to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Super Mario Bros. I didn't think those boys weren't even close to dreamy enough to be boyfriend material. And the boys I did have crushes on thought I was too weird/uncool/ugly/I don't know I'm just guessing this part to like me like that.
Just before turning fourteen, I started ninth grade at (yet another) new school. A girl named Leslie became my best friend a few days into the school year because she passed me a note in Biology saying I was so cute, she loved my outfit, and that she wanted to hang out with me at lunch. At some point early in our friendship, I confessed my love for Christian Slater to her. (Eventually, it became common knowledge. There was no good reason to keep my love a secret, right? Seriously.) I told her about how, yeah, my Christian was cute and all, but the real reason I loved him was because I respected him so much as an actor. I wanted to act, too. I was going to star in all kinds of movies and then one day my Christian and I would be cast in a movie together and he would immediately love me as much as I loved him. Oh, yes.
To her credit, Leslie didn't give me a bunch of crap over it. She had crushes on boys we actually knew and went to school with, but she always would write notes and draw pictures in her PeeChees that said: Leslie [heart] Brian/Shawn/whomever. Mindi [heart] Christian. As if she felt the love I had for my guy was totally legitimate, too. (In hindsight, I suspect that she probably liked my crush being so unattainable; we were never in competition for boys.)
January 23, 1992, everything started to change--even though I had no idea at the time. I wrote in my journal that day: Leslie told me that Chris told her that he likes me. I really don't know about that. Even if he does, I can assure you that it won't last long.
Over the next several months, the content of my journal entries shifted. Instead of lots about Christian Slater and casual mentions of this Chris kid (who was a "Christopher" not a "Christian"), it got to the point where I would sometimes forget to mention Christian Slater at all! Leslie pointed out that I never talked about my future husband anymore and I said, "I guess I can't like two guys at the same time. I think I like Chris now."
And then I proved it: when I dissected a frog in Biology, I gave Chris the frog's eyes. He was so in awe of my cool gift that he carried those eyes around with him in a little plastic baggie. He said he'd keep them forever. Around that time, Leslie went behind my back and told Chris the huge news that I totally liked him back and that I was giving up Christian Slater for him! Chris didn't think I was crazy at all for having once loved an actor I'd never met who was eight years older than me. Instead, he said he felt special to be The One.
Chris broke up with me one month after we officially became a couple, and decided three months after that that he'd made a mistake. We spent the next four years off and on--even after I'd graduated--trying to decide whether to get back together. It never happened.
And you know what else never happened? My love affair with Christian Slater! After having had a real boyfriend, he never had the same appeal again.
(Although, I have to say, if he ever joined a band and played in the Seattle area, I would go see him. Not for me, but for the fourteen-year-old me who would have loved to have had that chance.)