Interpretation is a funny thing. I learned this yesterday after a discussion with Girl regarding my talk about having "crushes" on certain people... whether it be random men on the bus or my former-PNB or countless numbers of astronomers at the observatory I used to work at, or the vet etc... We debated on what exactly a "crush" entails and I learned, that it can mean different things to different people.
For me, a crush is a small little thing, a passing infatuation if you will, that I have no intention of ever acting upon. Am I going to jump Dr. Doolittle's bones when I see him next? No. If I knew for sure sure what his marital status was (and if he wasn't like 50), would I try and take things to them next level? Again, no. For me, a crush is a way of admiring someone from a far. It usually goes away quite quickly, an "out of sight, out of mind" kind of thing.
However, that is not to say that a crush can never turn into a serious "liking". If the "crush" seemingly becomes mutual and depending on the nature of the crush and both parties are open to more, then a crush can definitely turn into something bigger.
There are also varying degrees of "crushing". Back in university (if Wee is reading this, she can attest), I had HUGE crushes on a few different boys. I would assign them nicknames based on the various clothing they wore. I will never forget "hat guy" or "vest guy" (I was somewhat less creative back then than I am now)... I admired them from afar and I admired them often. These crushes usually ended when I met said "*insert random clothing here* guys". "Vest guy" I remember in particular because we ended up being quite friendly with each other after I finally did get the nerve to talk to him (I'm sure I was in a bar... ah, liquid courage, my old friend). But my "crush" turned from butterflies when I would catch a glimpse of him to "meh" after we did meet. The crush was much, much more exciting.
So, I can admire my random men on the bus every day. I can get excited about hanging with the former-PNB. I can look forward to taking my cat to the vet. I can have all these crushes (and more to be sure) without them being any more than a passing, informal fancy. Can a crush turn into something more substantial? Yes, it can, but then it would no longer be a crush. It would then be a "liking that was until fairly recently a crush" which, with any luck, might turn into "a crush that has long since been a liking, and is on the way to becoming a love interest" etc etc...
You get the picture.
Hello, my name is Beatrice Petty and I am a crushaholic.