I just got the way fun issue of Scrapbook Play. One of the prompts is to do a page about one of your obsessions. Great idea! But which one? Over the years, there have been the celebrity obsessions (Shaun Cassidy, Adrian Paul), the food obsessions (Oregon Chai Cider, Nutella, Cadbury Dairy Milk -- why haven't I got an exercise obsession to go with this?), the tv show obsessions (Highlander, Dark Knight, Days of our Lives), the book/author obsessions (Margaret George, Maeve Binchy, Diana Gabaldon), the hobby obsession (cross stitch, crazy quilting, scrapbooking), the shoe obsession, and so on and so forth. But I think I have to go with the big one, the one that started it all:
When I was 11 or 12 I had a huge crush on the Bay City Rollers. They were five guys from Scotland doing remakes of "Bye Bye Baby" and "Saturday Night" (though I didn't know they were remakes at the time). I loved to hear them talk even though I only understood about one word in ten. I subscribed to Tiger Beat magazine to read all about them. I bought all their albums, including the special order European releases. I hung posters (from Tiger Beat) on every square inch of my half of the bedroom even though my sister said that she couldn’t get dressed in there because of all the eyes looking down at her (love ya, D!). I knew all the words to the “B” side songs. My friends and I would stay up 'til 1:00 a.m. to see them on the music show that came on after Saturday Night Live (what was the name of that show?) And most embarrassing of all, I convinced Mom to sew me an outfit like theirs. It consisted of white denim capris (before capris existed, when they were called "highwaters" or "flood pants") hemmed in red plaid with a jacket to match. Completing this lovely ensemble were striped socks, high-top sneakers and a scarf in a contrasting green plaid. I actually walked around town like that. I’m surprised I didn’t cause car accidents.
Alan Longmuir was my favorite Roller. He was the oldest in the band, 26. Besides being very cute, he had that older man allure and as I said, there was the accent thing. I remember thinking that when we were older no one would even mention the 14 years age difference. As if. This crush/obsession lasted much longer for me than it did for my classmates. I think I finally realized they were uncool in ninth grade. By then I was into Shaun Cassidy and fighting my brother for the tv on Sunday nights to watch Hardy Boys. (Are you starting to see a pattern here?) I remember overhearing my grandmother ask Mom when I was going to grow out of all this and thinking “Grow out of it? I will feel this way FOREVER.” Well, thank god that particular forever was short-lived.
So now on the far far far end of that obsession, I wonder how it must have felt for them? Was it hard to walk around in those bizarre clothes, belting out songs to screaming 12 year olds? As men in their mid-20's I have to think (hope!) it was just a little too creepifying. Or were they just riding the gravy train as long as possible so they had enough money to do what they *really* wanted to do? My beloved Alan would be about 58 now and I was right: no one would comment on the age difference at all. I wonder if he still has all his hair?