When I was about nine, I had a crush on Michelangelo. Not the artist, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. Words like “rad” and “cowabunga” rolled off his tongue. He carried nunchucks, arguably the best weapon. And he could ollie on a skateboard even with that cumbersome turtle shell. Total bad boy.
But love is fickle. And judging by his lack of response to my frequent letters, ours remained unrequited. Faster than the time it takes to say, Cowabunga! I moved on to fellas who were more loquacious, less green. Rider Strong. Devon Sawa. Mr. T.
In my preteen years, all it took was a deep middle-part or a Mohawk to make my heart flutter.
After a few years putting myself out there only to be crushed by zero responses to my proclamations of deep, unfaltering love, I had given up on celebrity crushes. That is, until I fell for Travelocity’s Roaming Gnome.
And he travelled right into my heart
I loved the Travelocity Gnome before he started doing commercials, when he was just a small town garden gnome, hanging out with Amelie’s Dad. Of course he’s been around a lot longer than that. A little Wikipedia work tells me that the roaming gnome prank started in the 1980’s in Australia.
He’s adorable. Sure, he’s probably at least 100 years older than me. But there’s a worldly twinkle in his wide-set eyes. And then there’s the remarkable achievement, the staggering genius* of his beard.
He broods. He’s really quiet, which leads me to believe he’s pontificating on life, love, the pursuit of happiness. When he speaks, his voice has a charming, indistinguishable accent, a subtle lilt reminiscent of the English countryside. Where are you from, Gnome?! My guess is that his accent is a delightful melange of countries from years spent travelling.
He’s a romantic. When it comes to romantic gestures, Vine videos are the new mix tape. I tweeted to Roaming Gnome responding to their #iWannaGo promotion on Twitter, asking for the Gnome to take me to Argentina. And he responded with a Vine he made just for me.
A man who knows his Argentinian wine. Be still my beating heart.
He’s going places. When it comes to daring travelers, the Roaming Gnome is right up there with Magellan, Ernest Shackleton, Amelia Earhart. Who wouldn’t want to be whisked away at a moment’s notice?
He’s the perfect plus one. It can be hard to get a guy to attend midnight poetry readings, French plays, or tulip festivals. Not the gnome. If he doesn’t want to go, you just pick him up and carry him away.
Who’s your unusual crush? Ring in below!
*I loved Dave Egger’s memoir, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. I also love that in the fourth seasons of Dawson’s Creek, there’s a subtle nod to Mr. Eggers, when Dawson calls some Film Noir a “heartbreaking work of staggering genius.”
Ps. While I greatly appreciate the roaming gnome and their clever social media work, this post is in no way sponsored by Travelocity.