Crushes and How to Avoid Doing Them Like The Phantom of the Opera

Recommended Sanderwich: Eat with a salt beef sandwich, the sandwich of salty crush tears and pent up lust.

 I’m a person who is prone to having a crush. Over the years my crushes have been many and varied, blind to gender and the concept of ‘too old for you’. I’ve crushed on people I know, people I don’t, famous people, and fictional characters. Some have been so intense I’ve woken up and gone to sleep thinking about the person, and some have been more for sport – having a crush makes things a bit more interesting. They last from a matter of moments to a number of years. If you are very clever, pretty odd, strong-willed, curly-haired, sturdily built, and foreign, then I’ve definitely had a crush on you. If you are four of those things or above, your chances are pretty high. Sorry about that. I really do love a foreigner. Contrary to most people, I enjoy having no shared references to childhood television programmes. Yes, I remember Rainbow, yes I’ve seen that video clip on YouTube that’s the puppets making all those double entendres, can we please move on now? And since we’re sharing so much embarrassing information with each other, I’m also going to confess that I went to see Phantom of the Opera this week. Moments of the musical made me full on LOL because it is so over-the-top ridiculous. This is particularly true of the part of the Phantom. So here are some rules – nine easy steps to follow to make sure that you don’t crush like the Phantom.

1)      Avoid subjugating your crush. The audience first meets the Phantom when Christine, the leading lady says “enter, master”. Not cool! I know that sometimes you can feel so strongly for someone, so under their thrall that you feel subjugated by them. This is false though, they probably are completely unaware you even fancy them so don’t start trying to boss your crush to make yourself feel better.

2)     Avoid abusing your position of power to seduce your crush. The Phantom is Christine’s singing teacher. In their first song together he calls her ‘child’. There is a lot throughout about how he guides her – clearly he is trying to guide her right into his pants. In the titular song Phantom of the Opera he sings “My power over you grows stronger yet” and in his seduction song Music of the Night he sings “And let music set you free,
only then can you belong to me”. This is ten out of ten for creepy behaviour. I have never used a position of power to seduce a crush, partly because I have never held a position of power. But I’ve had it done to me, and it really isn’t very nice.

3)      Don’t put a wedding dress on a mannequin that looks like your crush. I mean, that’s really pushing it, isn’t it? How do you get a mannequin made to look like a certain person? (Asking for a friend). And did the Phantom go out in his mask and buy the dress? Did he get a second-hand one? Or did he go to one of those fancy bridal shops by himself and spend thousands of francs on a dress? Did he take measurements of the mannequin’s vital statistics? The mind boggles. The weirdest thing I’ve ever done crush-wise is steal a t-shirt of the person’s to sniff.

4)       Don’t have a messy room or a crazy weird lair. Particularly don’t leave ephemera relating to the object of your obsession lying around, because you never know, they might one day come home with you. Of course you don’t have a mannequin in a wedding dress lying around, but if you’ve been on their Facebook page seventeen times that day, clear your internet history. Put away the tear-stained photos. Tidy up. Also, don’t have a music box with a dead monkey playing the cymbals on it, don’t have an organ, and, well don’t live in a subterranean cave! No wonder you never pull, Phantom.

5      If you are going to a party where your crush will be, don’t dress up as disease personified. The Phantom turns up at the masquerade ball as Red Death, with a kind of grinning skull mask and a garish, sequinned red suit. It’s an uncomfortable mixture of sinister and comical. I imagine this was his thought process: “Oh, Christine doesn’t love me even after I showed her my special mannequin, but after she sees me in this number, something’s just going to click in her head sexy-wise. WOW, she’ll say. Oh, there she is, I’m doing my special swanky walk to impress her. I’m waving, I’m waving. Oh, she’s crying. Have I done it wrong again? I’m always getting it wrong.” I did once dress up as Special Agent Dale Cooper from Twin Peaks to impress a crush, but what’s a bit of gender-bending in comparison to embodying pestilence?

6)       Don’t write poetry/prose/a play/a film/a musical/an opera about your crush, and if you do don’t show it to them. Don’t, like the Phantom, write a wish-fulfilment opera entitled Don Juan Triumphant where you get the girl when really you are the type of creepy freak that has a mannequin girlfriend in your lair. Also don’t, as I did when I was sixteen, write a poem about a teacher you have a crush on, and read it aloud at an evening where said teacher is, thinking they won’t know it’s about them. Because they will, and they will tell you, and you will wish you were dead. Yep, I’m pretty cool guys, pretty cool. I bet you’re all developing crushes on me right now.

7)       Don’t shoot fiery missiles at your crush’s partner. You can secretly think your crush’s partner isn’t good enough for them. You can secretly hate your crush’s partner. You can secretly give your crush’s partner a nickname like ‘the ginger smurf’, for example. But if you meet your crush’s partner smile, be polite, and don’t do anything that will get you arrested.

8)       Don’t do any murders. This is generally a good life rule, not just for when you have a crush. Even if you only murder that guy we only saw for about two minutes, who was miming a hanging to the ballerinas, we’ll still know you’ve done a murder. Please don’t murder someone acting in your own wish-fulfilment opera Don Juan Triumphant so you can take over the lead role with the object of your obsession playing the leading lady where you sing a song together called ‘The Point of No Return’. That’s really rapey. Now I’ll admit, there have been times when I’ve wanted to do a murder. Well, one time. I wanted to murder an ex-crush who was a very bad person, a serial cheater and compulsive liar. But as I once heard Peter Andre say on Saturday night television, hating someone is like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die.

9)       After your litany of bad behaviour, don’t tell your crush that he or she doesn’t love you because you’re ugly. It’s because you’ve ignored rules 1 through 8 (and maybe other reasons on top). In The Phantom of the Opera, after the Phantom sings “That fate which condemns me to wallow in blood/has also denied me the joys of the flesh/this face – the infection which poisons our love”, Christine performs the most successful reverse compliment sandwich (neg-compliment-neg) of all time. She tells the Phantom that his face isn’t the problem, but that it’s his soul that’s deformed, then she pashes him, that’s right SHE KISSES HIM, then he’s so shocked she manages to rescue her hot boyfriend (who he’s threatening to kill) and escape from the Phantom forever. As everyone else is on the hunt for Phantom, he hides under his cloak using the ‘if I can’t see them, they can’t see me’ principle. What a guy. The proper, dignified way to deal with your crush rejecting you is this: go home, sob into a pillow, watch When Harry Met Sally, eat a whole family sized packet of Doritos, and repeat over and over to yourself that nobody will ever love you again. After this process is complete, put your crush to bed (oh, the irony) and start all over again.

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