Back when I was like 11 years old, I was friends with this group of girls who looooved teen magazines. Bop. Big Bopper. Tiger Beat. All the usual teenybopper suspects. Their covers would draw us in with their glossiness and insanely loud fonts and, because we were 11 and easily attracted to bright and shiny things, we would use our meager allowances to buy them.
And the boys. Oh, the boys. I grew up in the early ’90s so, unfortunately for me, that meant the things that made you appealing for a teen magazine were kind of awful. For example, you were popular if:
1) You had 1950s greaser hair (See: Jason Priestley, Luke Perry).
2) You had 3 names (See: Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Brian Austin Green).
3) You were on a family oriented tv show (See: Joey Lawrence, Jonathan Brandis).
4) You played nonthreatening castrato music (See: Jamie Walters, Any of the New Kids on the Block).
5) You wore copious amounts of plaid (See: Everyone in the early ’90s).
All of these things creeped me out*. The greaser guys were way too old. The three namers were way too smug. The family oriented dudes seemed to always have obscenely large nostils (do not ask me why, they just did). And, because my dad was a musician, the castrato music was altogether banded from the house.
But if I was going to fit in, I had to find someone so, while flipping through a magazine one day, I settled on Elijah Wood. He was kind of cute with his gigantic eyes and floppy hair. He was the appropriate age. And the fact that he was from Cedar Rapids, Iowa generally assured me that he wouldn’t try any funny business were we to go out on some sort of fantasy date.
Subbing Mac for me in this picture would have made me one very happy 6th grader.
So for like a year, it was all about Elijah Wood. I watched his movies, I hung a poster of him on my sliding closet door** and I memorized hundreds of random little Elijah Woodian facts to drive my family crazy with. “Did you know he likes the colour blue? Did you know his middle name is Jordan? Did you know his parents call him monkey?”
And now, 15 years later, because of that year long obsession I had with him as a preteen, when I woke up this morning one of the first things that popped into my head was “Hey it’s Elijah Wood’s 28th birthday today.”
So, wherever you are Elijah, I’m sorry I eventually threw you over for Brad Renfro (or possibly that dude from The Sandlot), but I hope you’re having a good one. Oh, and major props to you for kicking Macauley’s ass in The Good Son. That was harsh.
* Except for the plaid thing. We didn’t know enough to know better back then.
**I eventually had to take it down because his never-blinking gaze disturbed me, but for a while it was good times.