Every year, a new male sex symbol comes into the limelight. And every year, millions of people have collective wet dreams over the newest Hollywood dreamboat.
This story is not about that sex symbol.
I’ve always crushed on celebrities. Getting hugged by John Stamos in Full House is still one of my greatest fantasies (I’m not very adventurous in my fantasies). John Travolta in Grease could absolutely come over and bang me on his car. The John Travolta of today probably wouldn’t be too interested in that, though.
My point is, there are a lot of celebrities that garner crushes from people of all generations. And then there’s my celebrity crush.
You should know that this love goes beyond any regular celebrity crush. I work in comedy, which means I have (or, rather, had) a real chance to make something work with the man I loved from afar. No need for me to pine away at the bedroom posters that don’t exist of him. I could easily meet him in real life and have the real thing. He would love me.
And then I met him and my fantasy of marrying Ben Schwartz went to shit.
Ben Schwartz is amazing. He’s as funny as he is resilient. It’s taken him years to culminate a career of fantastic roles and writing credits. It’s likely that it also took him years to grow into that hair and those Nike sneakers that he’s always wearing.
I can’t remember when I fell for Ben (we are absolutely not on a first-name basis). It could have been during one of his performances with comedy duo Jake and Amir. It could have been while reading his website, Rejected Jokes. Most likely, it happened while watching him as the awful yet somehow sexy (to me) Jean-Ralphio Saperstein in Parks and Recreation. Whatever it was, it happened.
One night while I was living in LA, a friend and I went to Ben’s mega popular show at an improv theater. We managed to snag seats front and center, which made my heart palpitate at dangerous speeds. I thought about grabbing his ass when he stood onstage right in front of us but refrained because I don’t condone sexual harassment.
At the end of the show, we decided to wait to meet the cast. I’ve never done something like this before but due to my career, I’ve met a lot of celebrities. I figured this wouldn’t be any different.
And then Ben exited and I started crying.
That is not an exaggeration. Literal tears fell from my eyeballs, or wherever tears come from.
A fellow admirer asked me to take a photo of her with Ben and the adorable but sadly engaged Thomas Middleditch. I obliged but couldn’t hold the camera still. That photo is proably one of the worst ever taken. Never ask a sobbing fangirl to take your picture. Especially when she’s as emotionally unstable as she is physically unstable.
Ever the gentleman, Ben noticed how abnormal I was being and reached his hand out.
“Hey, I’m Ben,” he said.
“I know,” I answered. “I…love you?”
And then he asked if I wanted a picture. I told him I didn’t want to come off as a fan because I want to work with (read: marry) him someday. He obviously knew I secretly wanted a photo, though he probably didn’t know that I’d perform voodoo on it to make us end up together. My friend took one. I’m still learning voodoo.
After the photo was taken, I essentially blacked out and apparently said a bunch of unintelligible things about how much I admire his work and his butt. And then my roommate grabbed my arm and took me to her car and proceeded to swaddle me in blanket so I’d calm down.
That night, an ambulance was wailing outside my window. I could have sworn it was coming for me because I truly thought I was having a heart attack over the whole thing. This must be what those One Direction fans feel like at meet and greets. I get it now!
After tweeting the photo of us to Ben and proceeding to (unsuccessfully) ask for his phone number, I continued to be shaken for days. I finally went back to normal once I realized he wasn’t going to respond to my crazy ass.
You’d think this is the end of our one-sided love story, but you’d be wrong.
For the holidays, I decided to take my family to Ben’s show in New York. My brother is a fan and wanted to meet him once we exited the theater. I told him that there was no way I would subject myself to that humiliation again. Plus, I didn’t think my heart could take it. I might actually die this time around. But because this was Christmas, otherwise known as the time of giving (or at least, that’s what I’m told since I’m a Jew), I said I’d walk him over but that I wouldn’t interact with Ben.
That didn’t work out so well when Ben looked up and locked eyes with a very manic me. I’m pretty sure his eyes widened with fear but that might have been in my imagination.
“Didn’t I meet you in LA? What are you doing in New York?”
“Oh, uh, um…I’m from here?” (not accurate information).
The dude remembered me. At first I was excited, and then I realized he probably only remembered me because I was probably the only person to ever essentially foam at the mouth upon meeting him.
He asked us for a selfie. I inched as close to him as possible. Totally uncomfortable, he told my brother to squeeze in too. Joke’s on him though because I still got to touch his coat.
I’m still waiting to be hit with a restraining order.
While Ben remains my number one celebrity crush, I now know why it’s better to leave those crushes to fantasy. I still want to work with him one day (every day). I admire his comedy prowess so much and use it as a guide for my own comedy career. But it’s become clear that I really shouldn’t mix work and love.
But Ben, if you see this and decide you want to work with me and do me while wearing your Jean-Ralphio wig, I will absolutely make an exception. I’d say don’t forget me, but please forget me and then re-meet me and get to know the non-crazed me and then impregnate that non-crazed me with the future of the Jewish people.
Together, we can make things happen, Ben. I’ll even try not to cry this time.