C'mon. Get happy and admit it, y'all.
Childhood crushes. Hearts and flowers and names written in girlish hand intertwined on notebook covers or on paper inside our Trapper Keepers. Innocent yet oh-so-serious.
Ah, the objects of our innocent affections. Slightly older boys who we saw on TV or heard on the radio. Boys who we stared at dreamily on an album cover or on the pages of a magazine. Boys who we "kissed" in the hidden safety of our bedrooms, smushing our lips, garnished with some Dr. Pepper Bonne Bell Lip Smacker, into our pillows which served as surrogates for our personal teen idols.
(whose 45 single I procured from the back of a box of cereal. Super Sugar Crisp, baby.)
Donny Osmond. Oh, how I loved Donny. You do know he sang "Puppy Love" just for me, don't you?
Those boys were safe. Non-threatening. Cuddly, even.
And then, one fine day, our tastes changed. We grew up. My, did we grow up.
Personally speaking, I went from this...
...in the blink of an eye.
What was the changing point that sent me from youthful affection to adolescent yearning?
I discovered chest hair. Men's chest hair. So masculine. So strong. So... heh.
Loved it. Still love it today -- even more now than I did then, if that's possible.
It all started with Andy Gibb. I was so entranced by the chest hair that it took me a while to even acknowledge anything going on below the torso (and there obviously was a lot going on there...) I hold this video (which I remember staying up to watch on the Midnight Special at a slumber party) totally responsible for hurling me into puberty.
But then there was Harrison Ford.
Who, in addition to the requisite chest stuff, sported some mighty tight pants. Mark Hamill who? I never ever gave that Luke Skywalker a second look after Han Solo swaggered onto the screen in the first Star Wars/Number IV/whatever the hell number was released in 1977. I was 13.
With apologies to Marvin Hamlisch -- Hello 12, Hello 13, Hello lust!
After Harrison, I discovered my two most enduring objects of burgeoning woman lust -- the ones that would carry me through high school and into college.
I give y'all Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame pitcher and Jockey Underwear model Jim Palmer:
Didn't get enough? Here's another view:
The large poster is an exact duplicate of one that hung over my desk in my high school yearbook office. For all four years I was on staff. Still not sure how I got away with that -- the fact that the yearbook advisors were both women might have had something to do with it.
Jim Palmer was my total idea of The Sex as a teenager. Because of that hairy chest. Masculine. Alpha male. Sexy. I liked baseball before I discovered him. After him, well, I was hooked for life.
Lest you think though that I was a one-lust-object kinda girl, let me allay your fears... I also had hormonal yearnings well into my college years for this...
Yeah. I know. Is that a chest or what? Seriously.
Damn. Damn. Hot damn.
Now I had friends who were more appreciative of this look. The Soloflex Man.
That's one hell of an inverted triangle. And six pack. Dude's totally ready for action.
And look at old Mitch Gaylord over there. Nice six pack. But it was all I could do, though, not to drop this photo into my editing software to draw in some chest hair on his torso -- just to see what it might look like.
These days, the desired look for ze male species is more Soloflex Guy than Magnum PI. A clean, smooth torso. Pffffffffff. Reminds me of a hairless dog. To quote Mammy in Gone with the Wind, it ain't fittin'. It just ain't fittin'. It ain't fittin'. Hmmmm. Hmmm. Hmmmm.
Manscaping, to my great disapproval, is currently in vogue, with men and their partners all about the deforestation of the chest. In the 40-Year-Old-Virgin, Steve Carrell's pals viewed his copious chest hair as a reason why he'd never made it big with the ladies. Poppycock! It's wrong, I tell you, just wrong. (Although we do draw the line at back hair. You should view the Male Body Hair Principle it as a reverse mullet: party in the front, all business in the back.) When it comes right down to it, gents, we love you just the way you are. Screw the media. Leave that torso alone! Plus, chest hair is timeless. I give you Exhibit A:
Yep, that's Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain. The Shirtless 19th Century Wonder. With a very Macho Man Moustache to boot. I may never read The Adventures of Huck Finn the same way again.
Much like with good wine, good sex and Krispy Kreme doughnuts, when it comes to chest hair, the more the better. (Although Robin Williams may push that boundary just a bit. Almost too much of a good thing there.) A girl wants something she can lay her head upon when snuggling. Something she can caress. Y'all, it's not called the happy trail for nothing. Ahem.
So there you are. Chest hair. My Achilles' Heel, so to speak. Feel free to share yours, if you're so inclined. There's lots of room down here in the shallow end of the pool. BYOB, though. Unless you want to drink Prosecco with me.
And by the way -- the more things change with time and experience, the more they stay the same. Mmmmhmmm.