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nostalgia television addict

It’s Time to Ugly Cry, Jonathan Crombie Passed Away

When I learned about it a few days ago I was sobbing uncontrollably. It was an ugly, painful, and soul-crushing cry.

My husband wanted to console me over the loss of my first real-person crush as opposed to my previous crushes. Think Alvin from Alvin and the Chipmunks (the 80s version) or Michelangelo from TMNT.

He kept trying to hug me and be sweet, when I just wanted to be sad and cry and feel the pain of losing one of my longest loved actors and literary characters.

Because in a way, they are both lost now.

Wanting to type this out of my heart, I thought I had numbed the pain.

I thought I was over it, but I’m clearly not.

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The ugly cry has returned.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, here’s a brief synopsis. My first experience with binge-watching TV happened when PBS had their seasonal pledge drive. Anne of Green Gables would play back to back interrupted every so often via pleas for money.

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The Anne series was based on the also famous book series by Lucy Maud Montgomery. TBH I didn’t read the books until a few years ago. My Anne/Gilbert love was completely Kevin Sullivan/PBS-based.

sunburstAs a child I clung to fictional characters and their world as a means of escape. Anne’s world was one of my favorites. I would troll our seven channels every weekend over winter and summer break just hoping for it to be on. At some point I discovered I could rent the VHS tapes from my library.

I discovered my bad eyesight while watching Anne

I remember it distinctly. I was sitting in the recliner feet up and blanket on. I’m pretty sure I was sick with a head cold and Anne was playing at the other end of the room. I was seeing Anne and the living room how I always had. It seemed normal for me. But then I saw my Dad had left his glasses on the side table before he went outside in the rain. I thought it would be funny if I put them on and so I did.

HOLY SHIT.

Is this how things look? Is this how people see? WHAT?

Everything was so crisp and vibrant. Imagine editing a photo and sliding contrast/sharpness/saturation all the way up. That’s what those few seconds felt like.

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Hello Gilbert. I mean I liked you before, but now that I can see you. My heart.

I kind of forgot about Gilbert—I mean only a little—when high school came along. Anne of Green Gables was still one of those things I happened to watch once or twice a year.

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Then in my mid-twenties I realized I could ‘stalk’ old crushes on the internet and see what they were up to. Meghan Follows still acted did Jonathan?

Thanks to a little googling circa 2006ish I found Jon was in a Broadway production of The Drowsy Chaperone. And it was playing in Chicago later that year.

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And I WENT. I dragged invited my fiancé and two friends. It was great! I mean it was amazing to see Jon on stage doing what he loved. I don’t remember how much I actually loved the story or singing, it was more about seeing part of my childhood irl as an adult.

My sympathies and heartfelt sorrow to everyone who lost a little bit of their heart the other day. Internet hugs for you. xx

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