Sunday, June 07, 2009

Help, My Celebrity Crush is Dating Someone

My regular readers have had the *cough* privilege of observing, since its inception, my celebrity crush on Neil Gaiman. Although I've settled down quite a bit on that subject, Neil is still a person of no small significance in my world. (There's the fact that I dedicated Soulful Sex: The Darker Side to him earlier this year, and the fact that my last vacation was built around a pilgrimage to drop a copy off at one of his Minneapolis hangouts. Okay, yeah, no small significance.)

So I thought it only right to share with you the latest classic stage that I went through in this little saga.

Let us begin with one fact that I fully and totally embrace, and constantly tell others: When you have a celebrity crush, the person you are smitten with seldom bears much true resemblance to the real celebrity. Oh they look alike, to be sure. They have the same voice. They are in the same line of work, probably. But beyond that, it's a lot of embellishment by the psyche.

Knowing this, and wanting to take my own advice, I have many times referred to my celebrity crush as "my imaginary Neil Gaiman." Meanwhile, for a very long time I avoided all the places on the internet where many details of his day-to-day life are right there for one to monitor. Because, I reasoned, the real Neil Gaiman (although very cool and worthy of tremendous admiration and respect) is not the guy for whom I'm carrying a torch. Not really.

Well, the temptation was just too great. And as often is the case, in following Neil's blog and Twitter account I found out so much about him that it really largely killed the crush. He just wasn't the same as the way my imagination had worked him out to be. Which, duh, Diana, is how it always is, remember?

Is any of this ringing true to you guys? Like you had this vivid picture of this half-Edward-Cullen, half-Robert-Pattinson person with whom you were totally infatuated? Only to find out too much about the real guy and feel all weird and freaked out by it?

Okay. But on to today's point. So, I only very recently learned that, as I suspected, Neil was divorced. And then, yesterday, he went public about his dating musician Amanda Palmer, with whom he has been friends for some time. And you know what just cracks me up? I actually felt a pang of jealousy/sadness/grief about this! As if it had any relevance to me at all!

That just goes to show you how confused your psyche is about these things. From the beginning of my Neil Gaiman Infatuation I fully recognized I was head over heels for not Mr. Gaiman the Real Person, but my dear and wonderful Imaginary Version of Same. And seeing as it is the former, not the latter, who is dating, you'd think I couldn't care less. And STILL, with full understanding of all this, and in my infinite wisdom as Web Person Who Explains All About Sex and Romance, I still felt a five-minute-long pang!

It's just crazy.

But that's how "projection" works. It's very hard to separate your internalized view of your celebrity crush from the actual person, even if you know better.

Well, I took a deep breath. Then I reflected upon the fact that Mr. Gaiman's choice of being with Ms. Palmer over me was really not any indication of my personal inferiority. Then I laughed at myself for a very long time. Ah the human soul! It's just so nuts.

I'm not sure what the moral of the story is. Maybe I'm just saying, if you've ever gone through some "it kills me to think Robert Pattinson may be dating Kristen Stewart" moment, and then felt like an idiot for that emotion, please don't. It may be weird, but it is SO normal.


Rebecca said...

I can totally relate to all of this. :) I was secretly pleased when one of my celebrity crushes got divorced and then secretly jealous when he found a new girlfriend. We are silly geese indeed. :)

Diana Laurence said...

I have a feeling this is pretty common. I know, I was always hoping to find out Neil was divorced...and now I wish he had been married and was just stuck in a ho-hum, 20-year relationship rather than an exciting new one! It's so stupid!!! LOL At least I maintain the sanity that on a rational level I really am happy for the guy. :-)

CC said...

I, too, will admit to this kind of silliness. You can't control how you feel; you can just control what you do in response. (Or so says my inner Vulcan). It's not really a problem for us (because we're so enlightened, heh), but sometimes I worry about the girls who don't understand that their crush isn't on the real person. I think everyone should be required to read Looking on Darkness to understand how to form a better relationship with their animus/anima. :-)

Diana Laurence said...

Aw, thanks for that mention, CC! The book does really touch on this subject all right. The Vulcan philosophy is also on point. :-)

Penny Lane said...

I've definitely had these moments, most of them, ok ... 99.9% of them with Mr. Christensen. It used to hit me harder, this is true, but it still stings a bit when I see him hand in hand with Rachel Bilson. I'm happy for him, but at the same time I look at her, and see everything I'm not, and take it personally, like the huge dweeb that I am. I try not to read too much about him anymore, because you're right, it kills the fantasy, and the crush. Seeing him on the street looking less than perfect (which is how my mind views him) doesn't do good things for my fantasy. Best to avoid it.

Long story short, I totally relate to everything you've said here, but you knew that ;)

Nameit said...

Ok, Diana, now a confession: I am that spanish woman who discovered Neil Gaiman by chance while reading your blog. I am not different from the rest of the humanity: I do believe he's wonderful. I am now reading the book you wrote for him. Slowly, because of the language. (Do I guess your Nathan is your imaginary Neil?). One of the deepest images of MY Neil that I keep in my heart is the moment where Nathan bites his lips looking at you. I am not jealous of Palmer, well just a little bit. But I am really jealous of you, who can be so hundred per cent honest about your infatuation. Your relationship with Gaiman makes me far more jealous than his with Palmer. Please do not leave us all alone now. I live Gaiman through you.

Diana Laurence said...

First, a reply to "Penny"--Isn't it funny how we immediately compare ourselves to the "rival"? And determine at once that we come up short? It's so hard to remember that celebrities are just regular humans whom a lot of people have heard of...and there's no reason to think we are not attractive, wonderful, amazing people just like they are. (Anyway I know you well enough to know YOU are!)

And meanwhile, ironically, it's so true that it ALWAYS happens you find out there is some way the Celebrity Crush Guy falls short! Really, he's not good enough for us!

Such a funny phenomonon, sometimes you just have to laugh at it all.

Diana Laurence said...

And now, to reply to NameIt...

I just have to say, your comment really, really touched me! What I love most about being an author is moments like these, when I learn that my stories have moved another person so much. And you expressed your feelings about this so beautifully and poetically!

There is definitely a bit of my imaginary Neil in Nate of "Nate and Erica Write a Sex Scene." Very interesting that your imaginary Neil was in there too. There is a bit of him in many of the characters in this book...but that is because the guy I most recently think of as Neil has been haunting my stories forever.

If you read my upcoming "How to Catch and Keep a Vampire," you will find him in the vampire named Conner. Just a little tip from me to a new friend. ;-)