You know that feeling when you're watching one of your favorite critically-acclaimed TV shows and all of a sudden, the guy you were obsessed with in high school wanders onscreen to make eyes at Peggy Olson?
No? Well, let me tell you, you haven't lived.
The one in the above screen shot (without the poof) is Charlie, who grew up in my neighborhood. He was always an actor. He was in the movie version of Lassie in 1994, which at the time made him super badass even though he played one of the hick villains and his voice hadn't changed yet. I remember watching in the darkened theater as his name appeared in the opening credits, quietly swooning over my popcorn.
Our younger sisters were best friends, which meant our families had dinner occasionally, and sometimes he stopped by to pick up Ruth from our house. I used to sequester myself in my room until what I felt was the right moment, selecting the perfect Troll doll earrings and oversize sweatshirt to wear when I made my dramatic descent down the staircase, looking, I'm sure, like a demented cross between Norma Desmond and Blossom Russo.
I took to my diary to pen the kind of romantic yet chaste odes a blue-balled Jane Austen character might have written. "I don't know if I can bear it. I'm in love." and "He saw my Beatles tape. He said he loved the Beatles. I could have kissed him." (My virginity might have been taken care of had he said he loved Melrose Place.)
I did kiss him eventually. It was pretty much the only exciting thing to happen to me until I went to college and discovered vodka, Lauryn Hill, and the combination thereof.
In all seriousness, though, I'm glad Charlie is doing so well. And if he is reading this, I want him to know that we must never speak of this again.