Adolescence: Heart-throbs and Heartache


I awoke Wednesday morning to the news of David Cassidy’s death. Strange feelings and emotions swirled inside me. Women of a certain age, like me, remember David Cassidy this way: David Cassidy was our FIRST CRUSH! How many of us have vivid memories of David Cassidy in that crushed velvet jumpsuit? The lunchboxes? The bus? And how it felt that he was just singing to you? The song “I think I love you” danced in my head replacing my current soundtrack of Maroon 5, and Sara Bareilles.

The news also conjured up a darker time and place for me. Adolescence. During adolescence BOYS commanded my attention. Unfortunately, because I was trapped in this “bargain-basement body” I did not command the same attention from them. But with David, I was on equal footing with every other girl my age; the chance of any of us getting to touch and kiss David were the same: ZERO. I realized my life was going to be about surgeries, physical therapy and visits to the men in white coats who were nowhere near as crush- worthy and handsome as David Cassidy. It made me think: Sylvia Plath and Virginia Woolf made death look glamorous and fascinating. Of course, I had to hang around and run Leslie, Inc.

But not on FRIDAY! On Friday night.  I forgot all of my troubles and hummed “C’mon, get happy,” and parked myself right in front of the TV set, so I could practically kiss David while he sang to me. As sad as I was Monday through Thursday, Friday, made it ALL worthwhile! I smiled, I laughed, I swooned, and sang off key. No matter David and I were in perfect harmony. Saturday was just as happy because the new additions of TIGER BEAT came out. I would take my allowance and go to the City Pharmacy, buy a fountain lemonade and purchase TWO copies of the same magazine (extra credit here for those who know why). One copy was to cut pictures of David Cassidy out so I could put them on poster board in my room and the other copy set alongside my bedside table untouched so I could flip through the pages while I was propped up in the “land of counterpane” after surgeries.

To this day I can tell you that David Cassidy’s favorite performer was BB King and that he named his own guitar “Lucille” after Mr. King. I can also tell you that David Cassidy had no chest hair whatsoever because I stared at his bare chest so often it’s committed to my memory. Even now. In recalling these details with my friends Katie and Mary Scott we all decided if I could just spill all these useless facts about David Cassidy out of my little brain I might have been able to do something truly worthwhile with my life like cure cancer. But instead I’m still able to sing so many of his songs by heart.

Today I am in really pretty good shape. Knock on wood. And then the news breaks about David Cassidy. It seems strange to me that I am still here since quite possibly he had a hand in helping me survive the angst of adolescence.

I hope he is on some ecclesiastical cloud singing to his adoring heavenly fan base. Because the point is, some of us are “TRAPPED” by something. Mine just happens to be my body. The trick is finding  JOY even if it’s in the form of a heartthrob once a week. We all have a Friday in our life. Tomorrow will come. And a tomorrow WILL be better. In my mind the song that he would sing the loudest is also the wish I make for all of you; Count your blessings, enjoy your life,  and sing it with me: C’MON GET HAPPY.


Leslie XO

2 thoughts on “Adolescence: Heart-throbs and Heartache

  1. I LOVE this, Leslie! You are so gifted in your writing. You make me want to laugh and cry and then laugh again! I can’t wait to share this with my sisters. Thanks for brightening my day! ❤️


  2. That was a perfect tribute to him. It brought tears to my eyes thinking one day to I would see him in person. Also, knowing he brought joy to many lives by making us forget our problems and troubles is something he probably never knew. He will live forever in our hearts as Patrick Swayze does in many lives. The people that you never knew but swept you off your feet.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: