Why I Love Nicole Kidman: Part One

Since this column is rather lengthy, I have opted to divide it into two parts. Tune in on Monday for the thrilling conclusion.

I had to do some calculations the other day, wondering if I was going through a mid-life crisis. I am only 28 years old, but all of the classic symptoms are there. I am fattening up, balding, and feeling like I need to change the direction of my life. I also made a rash and entirely unnecessary purchase in an attempt to quell these feelings. That large purchase turned out to be a new shirt and some socks. Those socks, however, are just comfy enough to change my life perspective. Realizing of course that I am going through my own mid-life crisis at 28, and that in turn means that I will suffer a pre-mature death at 56, only makes me more depressed and heightens the symptoms I am suffering from. It is a vicious circle.

One thing that usually accompanies a diagnosed mid-life crisis is a return to a lifestyle and activities that were enjoyed more in one’s younger years. For many, this can be reckless drinking as when one was in college or buying a new car as one might after college, or futilely trying to find a career as one might have done immediately after buying a new car after college. For me though, college was only a few years ago. I have found myself returning to my pre-teen and early-teen years and getting into many of the habits I enjoyed then.

Of course, as a teen, I actually enjoyed very little. I was, as I still am to some degree, socially awkward. I somehow managed to avoid both being excessively picked on by the bullies and being unilaterally accepted by the popular kids. I was a nerd, but one who kept to themselves. I wrote poetry as lovelorn nerds are prone to do. I let my budding creativity bloom on the thin metal wall of my locker which I usually shared with some other socially inept dweeb. In general, the object of my poetry and my visual creations focused around one person. That person’s name is one Miss Nicole Kidman.

It is hard to describe the level of infatuation that I had with the actress Nicole Kidman. It is obviously different than the freaky stuff that a stalker would do. I didn’t have the courage to sit outside her house on cold winter nights, though it sounded like a wonderful idea. No, mine was an affection that was both pure and unadulterated. And though it makes me sound like a severely disturbed youth, I don’t regret a thing.

I think it all started when I watched the epic movie Far and Away. It may have been the first time that I saw her. I curled up on the couch in my parents’ unusually cold basement and watched as her beauty unfolded before my eyes on the choppy VHS. In later years and after several revisits to the film, I have found Nicole Kidman’s character to be entirely un-relatable and undesirable. She is a mean-spirited brat who never really corrects that character flaw. I sincerely believe that while I was watching Shannon Christie play horrifyingly “modern” piano music or nurse a wooden-bowl donning vigilante, or pluck chickens, or change dresses at such a unique angle as to just avoid seeing any nipplage, I wasn’t falling in love with the character. I was falling for the actress.

I soon did everything I could to learn everything about her. I know that though she lived most of her life in Melbourne, she was actually born in Hawaii. I know that she is 5 feet 10 and a half inches tall, which makes her a good inch and a half taller than me and three and a half inches taller than Tom Cruise, about the size of two Vienna sausages. I know that she is left-handed. I know that she is scared of butterflies. I sat at my family’s computer for hours as I slowly downloaded, bar by bar, images of the actress. I then printed these off and wallpapered my room with Nicole’s pixilated image. I convinced people to give me money for lunch at school and then I saved that money to go to the Movie Buffs up the street and rent any Nicole movies that were available. I watched everything from BMX Bandits to To Die For (Yes, Movie Buffs would let me, a fifteen year-old kid, rent several R-Rated films). Every time I cracked open the clear cover for these videos and popped it into the VCR, I knew that my heart would be held captive for at least another 90 minutes.

I began collecting magazines with Nicole on the cover. It took a lot of courage for me to go through the cashier at Ream’s to buy an issue of Cosmopolitan, but since the cashier was usually a few grades younger than myself, he was too nervous to say anything. I soon had a stack of female interest magazines in my room that would make any parent or religious leader concerned. There was usually only a six-page story regarding the actress, but I poured over every word. The featured photos generally featured Nicole in a slimming single-color dress against a fantastical backdrop either leaning against an oddly placed column or staring upside down at the camera while lying prostrate over a field of poppies. I memorized the words to the columns and each fine detail of the pictures.

The stories in these magazines usually focused on Nicole as an “up-and-coming” actress who was desperately trying to break-free from the bonds of being known as “Mrs. Tom Cruise”. As bizzare as that sounds today, with the couple being estranged and re-wed with an unshaven singer/crocodile-enthusiast and the chick from Muppets in Space, respectively, the Cruise-Kidman Dilemma was very real and very controversial. I had a contempt for Tom Cruise that is rivaled only by my hatred for the avocado and my genuine animosity towards the term “guesstimate”. I plotted ways that I could convince Nicole that I, a fifteen-year-old boy, was better for her than Tom could ever be.

My resolve was to write a book. In said book, which I would appropriately entitle “Why I Love Nicole Kidman” I would proffer my reasons to the reading public which were sure to get the attention of the actress herself. Instead of just creating a list of reasons, I started to write a semi-fictional story about a little boy’s obsession for the starlet of his dreams. I still remember incorporating into this a dream sequence that I had. It had always been my dream to kiss a girl under the Eiffel tower. In my little adolescent mind, there would be nothing so sickeningly romantic than something like that.

Since I was naturally in love with Nicole Kidman at this time, I substituted her into my dream. I took my first trip to Paris in the summer of 1995. Though I would be traveling to Europe when one of the most anticipated movie events of all time, Batman Forever, would be coming to theaters (starring Nicole Kidman as a super-sexy damsel in distress Dr. Chase Meridian), I knew it would be worth it. In my mind I had created an elaborate scenario, which would go straight into the pages of my book once realized. I left for France in the middle of June. Nicole Kidman’s 28th birthday was on June 20th. What better gift could an over-compensating husband like Tom Cruise give his wife than a whirlwind trip to the City of Lights. As I flew to Paris, this was all that I could think about. I kept looking over my shoulder for a 5 foot 10 ½ inch tall Aussie in Charles de Gaulle Airport. As I visited the Opera House, the Arc de Trimophe, and Sacre Coeur, I looked for her red hair poking over the top of the crowd of Japanese tourists. At famed museums, I marveled at the countless paintings and chiseled sculptures adorning the aisles and saw the ancient and timeless beauty in each piece that mirrored what I saw in Nicole. We ended our tour with a night-time visit to the Eiffel Tower. The date was June 20th.

Nicole by Oscar Casares


Amy H. (bird geek) said...

Oh, Cameron, I felt the same way about David Letterman. Really. Great post.