My First “Dorky” Crush is a Famous Medium Writer

On my unlikely pre-teen dreamboat

Steffany Ritchie


Action figures of Star Trek characters Spock and Captain Kirk
There are alas no free Wesley Crusher pics online. Photo by Stefan Cosma on Unsplash

Hi, Wil Wheaton. I know, you likely don’t actually read anything here. But it’s fun that you write here, and I always enjoy seeing your name in my feed when you do.

I hope you don’t take offense at my title if you do happen to be reading, Wil, but unlike you I need all the clicks I can get!

When I described you as “dorky”, please know it’s not and was never my own opinion of your appeal.

You were my first introduction into what it’s like to have a non-cool crush (back before dorky* crushes were made hip by Gen Z/the internet — we pre-date all of that stuff, don’t we Wil?).

I adored Stand By Me. I was just the right age for it, and I must have seen it dozens of times growing up. Stand By Me was my Goonies. It seems like everyone forgets about what a great coming of age kids film Stand By Me was.

It made me, a kid from an often tumultuous home, who played outside a lot with my friends, feel seen. And it gave me a lifelong terror of leeches, so thanks for that!

I loved the bond of friendship as it was portrayed in the film. The painfully accurate portrayal of clinging to childhood when we know it’s vanishing, how hard it is to grow up, and how bittersweet and inevitable it is.

I wonder if kids today have time to ponder this stuff. As if they would have time for searching for dead bodies in the woods (like the boys in Stand By Me, which seemed like a totally normal thing to do as a Gen X kid, am I right?!) while creating their latest Tik Tok.

Look, I’m not going to b.s. you Wil Wheaton, you were not my primary crush in Stand By Me. I thought you were cute and all, but I was very into River Phoenix at that moment in time. River was wonderful, and gone tragically young. Any girl growing up in the 80s probably felt the same.

But then one day a new show came on tv. It was called Star Trek: The Next Generation. I was not a sci-fan previously, but something caught my eye one day while flicking through the handful of channels we had back then.

It was a strangely familiar face, in a necessary for space travel form fitting outfit. Woo boy, did I…



Steffany Ritchie

Hi, I write memoir, humor, music, and pop culture. American in Scotland.