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?