I’ve got a crush on you, Sweetie Pie.

George and Ira Gershwin

A few years ago, I compiled a list of people that my older friends found sexy. This time, I asked people to tell me who they had a “crush” on, defining a crush as someone of either sex who attracts and holds your attention, who you’d go out of your way to read about in the paper, watch on TV or generally “be in their corner.”

First, my own. Since she just died, I have to lead with Lauren Bacall. Those cheekbones, that voice, that waistline. Forget about your Kims, your Britney/Brittanys and your Tiffanys. Bacall was the real deal.

I have a crush on Pope Francis. He also seems like the real deal, putting the people ahead of the institution and consistently saying things I thought I’d never hear from Rome. Several other people also mentioned the Pope.

Since I could watch In Bruges once a week, I follow any movie that has Brendan Gleeson or the divine Colin Farrell.

George Clooney got some mentions, not only for his you-know-whatness, but also for his humanitarian work. I’m thinking the new wife is going to be a star, too. And while I’m at it, isn’t our ambassador to the U.N., Samantha Power, gorgeous as well as brilliant? (Please, please don’t do a People interview!)

My college roommate, now in Oregon, weighed in with Maggie Smith, adding “I’ve been searching for years for a speech therapist who could teach me to talk like Maggie.” Another old friend who lives in Seattle crushes on a guy in her neighborhood who has “a Chicago-style sense of humor.”

Speaking of Chicago, I’m a Rahm girl, but I also follow Sheriff Tom Dart, who is really cute and isn’t afraid to talk about overcrowding and mental illness at the jail.

A couple of people mentioned Charlie Rose and Jon Stewart. (How come no one mentioned Stephen Colbert?) I rely on Stewart and Colbert after a day of horrible news, which is the norm lately). On a completely different note, one of the Charlie Rose crushees also mentioned Joakim Noah and I heartily agree. Another Charlie Rose fan, in lovely outside-the-box crushing, talked about the paintings of Andrew Wyeth.

I have a friend who is nuts for John Heileman, a regular on Morning Joe, where that interrupting blowhard Joe Scarborough keeps belittling the pristine Mika Brzezinski.

Another blast from the past came from someone who remembers Johnny Mathis “since high school, wearing a beautiful cream suit with matching shirt.”

A retired minister listed Sanjay Gupta (yes), Yo Yo Ma (absolutely), Morgan Freeman, Julie Christie and Catherine Deneuve. More on Catherine Deneuve when I write about my favorite movie, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, shown recently at the Lake Theatre’s First Tuesday Film Club.

Finally, I’m glad someone else said she had a crush on her grandchildren. Let me quote: “Of course my biggest senior crush has to be for my grandchildren. They are adorable, so much fun to be with and so full of hope and life. They brighten my world with their smiles.” 


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Mary Kay O'Grady

Mary Kay O'Grady is a former high school English teacher and later owned her own public relations business, The O'Grady Group. She has lived in Oak Park for almost fifteen years. She is currently the chairperson...