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Attraction is such a funny thing, isn’t it? When it hits you, you know it…even though you might not always be able to qualify it. Which is why I was so happy to stumble upon this helpful illustration from The by way of Transgender Student Life. Like most of us, I was aware of the more common types of attraction, until I got to “squishes.” The brain works fast, so before I could even start reading the short description, I asked myself, what is a squish? But once I’d read the description, “An aromantic crush, a desire for a strong platonic friendship with someone,” it all became crystal clear. I could relate. I’ve had plenty of squishes in my life. I had a squish on this girl in middle school, who seemed so mysterious and self assured, I just wanted to get to know her. In high school I had a squish on this boy who sat at my lunch table. (Things took a turn for the worse when he interpreted my squish to be romantic, which it wasn’t.) And currently my celebrity squish is David Tutera. Something about his spirit just seems so warm and welcoming and I dig the fact he digs black women. Whether the person is male, female, gay, straight or a fictional cartoon character (i.e. Max from A Goofy Movie), I’m always “squishing” on somebody. And now my heart sings at the fact that there is a word to describe such attractions.

I met my most recent squish last week at a friend’s birthday celebration. He is my friend’s cousin, a comedian. *Swoon* I don’t know what it is about comedians but they really do something to me. They’re such complex, intriguing people. Not only are they funny, they’re so observant and the best of them are pretty intelligent. And my friend’s cousin, my squish, was no exception. He talked about everything from African economies to education,  ethnically sensitive jokes to gas-inducing Mexican restaurants. The man was absolutely fascinating. So fascinating in fact, that I caught myself leaning toward him, chin on fists, trying to absorb every word he said. I was smitten. But in a completely non-sexual way. Which made it all the more special. When we hugged each other goodbye, I was in such a special place. Not only was my squish touching me, he smelled delightful. I even closed my eyes, so I could completely savor the embrace. It was that good.

When my friend and I left the bar, I breathlessly told her, “I love him!” Judging by the fact that I was literally drawn to him for the past couple of hours, she wasn’t surprised: “I could tell,” she said, a bit warily. “He’s cute,” my friend continued. My brow furrowed, I could see where she was going with this. “No, no. I don’t love him like that. I just love him!” I did not want to ruin the magic by thinking of him as anything but a potential associate and dare I say it…friend. I went home on a high. There’s nothing like good conversation with intelligent, new people. And my squish provided that. The next day, I was still so excited about him, I shared the news of our encounter with my parents. I tried to express the connection by recounting the stories that he’d shared. But my memory failed me and seeing as though, I didn’t know the word “squish” yet, my words failed me too. Since I couldn’t communicate the bond we [hopefully?]  shared, my parents couldn’t share in my excitement and dismissed my story with an “Oh, okay. That’s nice.”

But that’s ok. If no one understands the connection, I share with my squish, I do. And I’ll have the memory of that night to give me warm fuzzies, until I meet someone else who captures my attention.

Have you ever had a squish? Do, share the story. 

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