Meet My Non-Human Quarantine Crushes
The creatures that stole my heart — and possibly, my sanity?
Growing up, I was what you’d call boy-crazy. There seemed to be no limit to the number of crushes I could simultaneously manage; logistical issues of geography, age, availability, and physical existence mattered little, if at all. I had crushes on cartoon characters (Dale of Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers; Alvin of the Chipmunks). I had crushes on every Aquarius in my middle school, crushes on old photographs of my dad, crushes on boys who crushed on other boys. If you could sing or wear a sweater well, you know I had a crush on you. I had crushes on my brother’s friends, and crushes on my friends’ brothers. I also had AOL crushes, neighborhood crushes, and vacation crushes. I never left a Model Congress convention, Key Club meeting, or the mall without two new fantasy boyfriends in tow — at minimum.
I haven’t crushed so indiscriminately in… let’s call it a decade. A decade ago, I went through Some Stuff that made me realize I should probably understand a person’s character before spraying my hopes and dreams all over them. But then 2020 reared its head — what I like to call the Great Regression — and my younger self promptly remerged to take the wheel. For me, this manifested in eating an obnoxious array of cereals, getting pummeled (remotely) by my little sister in Mario Kart, and even :millennial shudder: a return to calling people on the phone.
What I haven’t managed to do is form a crush — at least, not on another human being. I just don’t have the mental or emotional bandwidth for that particular expenditure. Maybe someday… like when we have a vaccine, or when my jeans fit again. In the meantime, I’m content with quarantine crushes of the non-human persuasion. (Is a crush just whatever one pays affectionate and disproportionate attention to? Discuss. )
Meet Beau, a villager on my Animal Crossing island.
We met-cute on an abandoned island, where I convinced him to move to Quarantine. (Quarantine is the name of my island. I thought it was funny when I bought the game in March, but I guess every joke has its shelf-life.)
Upon his island arrival, Beau was intriguingly evasive — a core quality of any…