I am, it has to be said, a very happily married woman. I have been hopelessly devoted to my husband for over twenty years. But this doesn’t stop me from having little crushes. Literary crushes. Boys in books type of crushes. Do you know what I mean? One of those little frisson of attraction. Harmless little flickers of the eye and flutters of the heart brought on by a thoroughly imaginary male. Sigh!
My longest-standing fictional flirtation is with an animated man. Spiderman. The web connecting me to Spidey goes back way before the current chic of Marvel comics and definitely pre-dates the perfect portrayal of Peter Parker by the delectable Tobey Maguire. Lush! This is a long-standing crush. What is it then, that attracts a perfectly sensible Primary English Consultant to an arachnid? Well, there are the obvious heroic qualities of bravery, good overcoming evil and chivalry. Swoon! He also possesses a certain modicum of physical prowess – just think of his agility and fearlessness as he swings through the metropolis of New York, battling to save the world. Blush!
But there is more to this superhero; he has something that the others seem to lack – fragility. Through his relationship with Aunt May he reveals devotion and sensitivity your average metrosexual male would die for. Flutter! Peter Parker oozes vulnerability and self-doubt which, combined with his super-hero masculinity, makes him a thoroughly enjoyable literary crush. What a dreamboat!
Rachel Clarke, Coventry Primary English Consultant and fan of Spiderman.