this post appeared on nycmomsblog on June 23, 2008
When I got the news that Tim Russert died I was crushed. I was in the car with my 9 year old son and I noticed that it was the 'top of the hour' as they say in the news world. I had some strange hunch that there might be some new news so I turned on 1010Wins just in time to hear Tim Brokaw say "...moderator of Meet the Press, Washington Bureau Chief..." and my heart sank. I knew what was going to follow, and I was right. Omigod Omigod I said, turning the dial up to hear. As the story unfolded my son said 'oh you loved that guy, right?'
We came home and told my husband. 'Oh your boyfriend!' he said. 'I'm so sorry.'
What a loss. Everyone's been agreeing all over 24-hour news land and I won't even go into the particulars about how wonderful he seemed to be. But suffice it to say it was Tim Russert, not even Jon Stewart, who got me through this whole Democratic Primary season. I'd learned how to catch him in the minutes past 7am on the Today Show, then switch to MSNBC just in time to see Tim walk on the set, be greeted with kisses and hugs, and then settle in to explain everything with a twinkle in his eye.
I've loved him from a distance for over a decade (and once, up kinda close, when I saw him at a Bob Dylan/Van Morrison concert at the Paramount Theater--the night before the Monica Lewinsky story broke). I love other people too. That's normal, right? Doesn't every married couple with three young children have lists of acceptable 'affairs'--like, if I came home one day and announced that I'd hooked up with Tim Russert, my husband would have had to say 'well, good for you...so proud honey, I know you've always really liked him.' And that would be that.
My list has two categories. I can be a sucker for the latest smokey Hollywood hunk--Robert Downey Jr, in Ironman, anyone? After Black Hawk Down Josh Hartnett was high on my list, now he's no where near it. Jake Gyllenhaal was on it until I discovered Peter Saarsgaard.....and there was the time I left the movie Serendipity with such a crush on Jon Cusack it occurred to me that the TRUE serendipitous event was that I'd gone to see the movie and realized that I was meant to spend the rest of my life with him. I fall hard and fast and then I move on.
And then there's the brainy clever-man part of my list. Tim Russert, Jon Stewart, Bill Maher (when he isn't bashing breastfeeding), David Sedaris. That list doesn't change too much--if any of these men ever found me fascinating it would be more flattering than anything else I could imagine, given how sharply observant they are.
My husband is much steadier in the celebrity crush department. If he were to confess to making out with Isabella Rossellini in an elevator somewhere, or if he decided to leave me for Jody Foster--I've already agreed to smile and be happy for him. Those have been his two faves ever since I've known him. In fact, those choices helped him win the 'best husband ever 'award at playgroup a few years ago (a fact I've never shared with him). The subject of who our husbands had crushes on came up (perhaps I'm the one who brought it up?) and I totally won. Seems everyone hears those two women's names and thinks 'oh, classy guy, good taste.' Sally's husband lusts after Pam Anderson? Gross! Marissa's guy digs Cindy Crawford? Bo-ring!
I'm so sorry to have lost Tim Russert; I was really looking forward to going through the elections with his enthusiasm and grace and generosity and curiosity. But he was on my clever-guy list, and that's proven to be a pretty permanent list. So in a way, I suppose, he'll be with me forever.
7 years ago