Kate: Archie Andrews forever! Checkered hair and all! My first—but not my last!—ginger love. He was just so darn pure and sweet in that bumbling, goofy, totally over the top way of his, and I was always rooting for Betty, aka the most quintessential girl next door, because she gave me hope that true love wasn’t all about the flash. The right love is comfortable and easy, like coming home to your found family.
Danny: I was a big fan of Rogue back in the day. It was my first introduction to a fraught love story. She also kind of reminded me of a member of The Bangles. (Definite plus!) Her superpower, absorbing other peoples’ energy, could potentially harm or kill any suitor just by having any physical contact. Her relationship with Gambit was a constant push and pull of why they could/couldn’t be together. They smooched once, though, and she absorbed all his memories… and then more turmoil to come for them both, of course. I was so emotionally invested, I couldn’t avoid crushing!
Kate: This will have to very squarely be a two-way tie between Prince Harry—my second, but still not last! (of course!!!)—ginger love, and Devon Sawa, exclusively as Casper, because MY GOD there is not a more titillating moment in 90s cinema than “Can I keep you?” That line! I still dream about it! So yep, a prince and a dead boy. Both living rent free in my heart forever.
Danny: I must be serious here for a minute. I’ve had a lot of celebrity crushes over the years. Many famous actresses have run laps around my brain. Lots of smooching, montages of our lives together. All the bells and whistles. But only one person’s poster made it to the ceiling above my bed: Shannen Doherty from 90210. That crush spanned a few grades, in fact. Moved from 5th grade through 7th with her phenomenal work as Rene in Mallrats. A woman who wouldn’t take shit from a true Gen X slacker. At first, I was aspiring to be said slacker but—upon further review—I decided that, to get the girl, you have to un-slack. It made me realize at a young age that if you want to keep a significant other, you have to put the effort in. So yeah, I spent a lot of time dreaming about being the perfect boyfriend to Shannen. Kate continues to reap the benefits of my (very one-sided, completely in my head) relationship with Shannen Doherty.
Kate: You know what’s funny? I read books growing up all the time, every day—books were my world, my identity, my oxygen—and for some reason I cannot for the life of me remember??? Presumably someone from a Meg Cabot or Sarah Dessen book, because I was a late 90s/early aughts teen, and those were the rules. Maybe I just fell in love with book characters so easily and so often, it’s impossible to pinpoint any one singular crush. I had many, many great literary loves.
Danny: I would have to say for me it was Ramona Quimby’s older sister Beatrice—but really everyone knows her as Beezus. Neighbor friend to Henry Huggins, fellow ginger. She was smart and sensible. Speaking of smart, totally had a thing for Nancy Drew, too. It was the smart girls for me!
Kate: John Mayer owned my soul during my high school years. I made a bet with my mom once that if I ever met him, he’d fall in love with me and we’d get married, and she’d owe me $100. (Why would I need $100 if I married HIM, I do not know??? Just to sweeten the stakes even more???) If I met him and he didn’t swoon, etc. I’d owe her the money. We never met, so. (That’s okay, I still won the lottery of love, Danny!)
Danny: Learning how to play bass at eleven years old gave me a lot of crushes—because in alternative music, there were a lot of women on the bass. That collided with puberty and birthed a slew of first bassist crushes. D’arcy Wretzky, from Smashing Pumpkins, Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth, Melissa Auf Der Maur from Hole, just to name a few. There was one though, that really hit my soul as a bassist and that was Kim Deal from The Pixies. She made me fall in love with her basslines. I wanted to be as powerful and unique as her phrasing.
Kate: A little boy named Andrew from my daycare; for some reason (or maybe no reason at all, except fashion?) he wore a sailor costume one day, and it was just SO UNBELIEVABLY JAUNTY. I will never forget that sailor suit, not for as long as I live.
Danny: Sarah, from preschool all the way until I moved in 4th grade. She was my best audience member for all the antics I usually pulled. Predictably, I was a class clown on occasion. Sarah also enjoyed outside jungle gyms after school, so we immediately bonded over how fast the rickety, steep, clearly unsafe slide was, especially if you had on sweatpants. I may have brought back a signed photo of Emilio Estevez (post shooting Mighty Ducks) in my quest to make her smitten. Didn’t work. Forever friend zoned.