I Loved the Other Wham! Guy: First Celebrity Crush

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They say that you always remember your first … celebrity crush, that is. In 1986, Andrew Ridgeley was the only man for me. 

Who is Andrew Ridgeley, you ask? Why, he’s the other guy from Wham! You know, the guy who’s not George Michael. Why develop a crush on a lead singer when crushes on the virtually unknown supporting members of a band are so much more satisfyingly unrequited? Oh sure, it would have been easier to crush on George Michael, since he was the one who got all the press and acclaim, but I preferred to think of myself as someone who appreciated the merits of a true artiste. I chose Andrew Ridgeley because of his soul and his talent, not because his face was on the cover of Bop. (It wasn’t). Also, even at the tender age of six, I think I understood that George Michael would never have reciprocated my affections, if you catch my drift. 

I used to take my Fisher-Price cassette player out into the yard, where I’d lip-sync to “Careless Whisper” and “Everything She Wants,” all the while pretending that Mr. Ridgeley would somehow saunter into my suburban Ohio backyard and spirit me away for a life of jetsetting, day-glo pants, and never having to clean my room again. Although my love was all-consuming, I was subject to a fair amount of ridicule from my cousins and friends who Just Didn’t Understand. They were in love with the Ralph Macchios, the Ricky Schroders, and the other good-looking pretty boys in the teen mags. I pooh-poohed their choices, until I learned that Wham! had broken up, and I quickly turned my attentions toward Kirk Cameron. Six-year-olds are fickle, I guess.    

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