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    Tuesday
    Aug232011

    Grandma's secret crush

    The term "man crush" is often used to describe when a male becomes enamored with another male. For genuinely platonic reasons. Out of admiration and a desire to get to know the other as a friend, a buddy, a bro.

    Well, please keep this a secret, but I have a sort of man crush of my own. Only it's more of a grandma crush. And it's not just one; it's two.

    Funny thing is, both objects of my admiration are named Connie.

    The first Connie I'm grandma-crushing on is Connie Schultz. Do you know her? Have you read her? She's a grandma, a syndicated columnist, and a Pulitzer Prize winner for commentary in 2005. More recently, she's become a "Views" essayist for PARADE, the little magazine that comes with the Sunday newspaper—which is how I came to know her. And love her.

    Connie Schultz writes on my level. She doesn't use grandiose words and continually write on grandiose ideas, profundities so live and large that reading her on a daily basis might make my head and heart explode. No, she writes just large enough to make my mind ponder, my heart pitter patter in beat with the things that matter most to me. Small things that loom large—and make large my life.

    Connie Schultz says all the things I think and feel, only she says them much better than I ever would, or could, or do. For example, look at THIS she wrote about the names grandparents choose for themselves. And THIS ONE on forever photographing the moments and people that make up her family. And, of course, there's my whole worrywart thing, which she covers with aplomb RIGHT HERE.

    Did I mention I love the woman?

    Years ago I would have wanted to be Connie Schultz. Now I'm older and wiser and too darn tired to be someone I'm not, so I simply want to be Connie's friend. Have coffee with her. Talk about our grandkids. Swap recipes. And admire her way with words...which I'll continue to do, friends or not.

    My second grandma crush isn't actually on a grandmother. She doesn't even play one on TV. She does, though, play the most incredibly believable, reasonable, and realistically flawed mother on TV. Which is ironic because in reality, she's not actually a mother either.

    I'm talking about Connie Britton. The Connie who plays all-around-most-awesome-mom-wife-regular-woman Tami Taylor on Friday Night Lights.

    I'm a late comer to the series, am just now into the second season via Netflix streaming. How did I not get into this before? How did Connie Britton escape my radar? The woman she plays loves hard and loyal. She fights for her family. She fights with her family. She does and is all the things I wish I had been with my daughters when they were young. And my husband, long ago and now. (Seriously...have you seen the incredible albeit fictional marriage she and Eric Taylor, played by Kyle Chandler, have going on?)

    Connie Britton as Tami Taylor handles motherhood, marriage, work—life!—with grace and grit not often seen on the screen...or in real life. Yes, I realize she's playing a character, but you can't tell me there's not a smidgen of the real Connie in that character.

    My admiration for Connie Britton goes beyond the character she plays, though. What I find most real and admirable is that although she's not a classic beauty, she's one of the most beautiful and real women on television and in movies. She has wrinkles, she looks and acts her age, she doesn't try to mold herself to fit our society's misconstrued definition of beauty. Her character may not be real, but she is real.

    Which is why I love her.

    And why I have a crush on her.

    Just as I do Connie Schultz.

    Two Connies. Two grandma crushes revealed.

    Please keep it a secret.

    Graphic: stock.xchng/sugarangel

    Today's question:

    Who have you been crushing on lately—whether male, female, fictional, real, grandma or not?

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    Reader Comments (7)

    Thanks for the intro to Connie Schultz and Connie Britton. How did I miss these women!?

    Hmm...male crushes...Tom Hanks...just seems like a nice guy.

    Female crushes...my Mom. It may sound corny, but it's true. She'll still counting her blessings.

    Fictional crushes...Sally Fields in the now defunct Brothers & Sisters because she wasn't so perfect. I like that in a woman!

    Current 'real' crush...a young man who I watched stand up again prejudice 6 weeks ago.

    Grandma/author crush...you!!

    August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNonnie Kelly

    Thank you for introducing me to Connie Schultz I think I could have a crush on her as well I love the "Grandma Names" story My husband and I were so excited to be Grandparents we wanted to be Granny and Pappy well Rena couldnt say Pappy so my husband became Happy and has been for 15 years now and we think she picked the best name for him ;)

    August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRhonda Wilkinson

    Thanks for 'introducing' me to Connie Shultz. I may have to fit that crush in with my others!
    I have a crush on Woopie Goldberg. She's funny and earthy and brilliant and strong. And she manages it all while still being sexy at 50ish. I've always admired the funny women such as Woopie, Ellen, Bette Midler, Lily Tomlin, Tina Fey...etc,etc. And the guys, too...Robin Willians, Jay Leno, Adam Sandler. Too many to crush on them all. Just lovin the funny!

    August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTerri

    I'm already a fan of Connie Britton and "Friday Night Lights." I'm so sad that the series has ended. Thanks for the intro to Connie Schultz. I'm going back to reading Parade now that I know about her.

    I must admit that since watching "The Voice" this summer, I have a little crush on Adam Levine of Maroon 5. He's hot and sexy!

    August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGrams

    Connie Schultz and Connie Britton are both new to me! I enjoyed reading the pieces you linked to written by Connie Shultz..she is both succinct and humorous!

    Hmmmmm....I really can't think of any crushes besides my long term crush of my husband. He constantly amazes me!

    I'm still in need of more news and pictures of new great-grandson Baby Mac and excited to see grandsons on Sunday for the first time in twenty years; not enough room in my head to add any new crushes.

    August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnn

    Sorry Lisa never heard of the two Connie's. Difficult to say who I have a crush on but there are so many people that admire both living & dead. I admire you so much for what you do and for the person that you are, we may live distances apart but your warmth and love come through whether it’s by email or through your wonderful blog. My friend Wendy I adore, she is always there for me through thick and thin and never lets me down when I need a shoulder to cry on. Oh yes, there is one woman I do have a crush on, her name is Jan, she lives in Christchurch and will listen to me when I get overwhelmed, I love her dearly, she is more like a sister-in-law than my cousin. She works with young Down syndrome babies at The Champion Centre in Christchurch where she teaches them to suckle. My Mum I admire for all that she went through during her life time and against all odds died at the age of 85. There is not a day goes by that I don't miss this vibrate beautiful woman.

    August 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSally Kabak
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