Local View Column: 'I think I love you!'


I was searching through my 91-year-old mother’s closets for a book she wanted me to find when I came upon a crate of my childhood books. I set the crate on the guest bed and laughed in the quiet when I found my paperback, “Meet David Cassidy.” Directly beneath it was the book, “The Partridge Family #5: Terror by Night.” The two books, with yellowed pages, would probably look like something the youth today would identify as antique. And yet, for me, buying those books doesn’t seem that long ago.

I was surrounded by the bed, the wall closet, the bins stacked four high, and lopsided boxes that were covered in dust. I circled once, and with nowhere to go, sat on the floor with the two books in my hand.

I stared at the covers, chuckling as I remembered my first puppy-love crush. David Cassidy was the man of my dreams. That first love was all-consuming of my time and energy. With my posters, records, books, and claimed television time for the “The Partridge Family,” I wondered how annoying I really was to my parents, three older brothers, and two younger sisters. Lucky for them, I was learning to play guitar, too.

The Partridge Family’s song I memorized first was, “I Think I Love You.” I still remember fragments of the lyrics. Something about David Cassidy waking up in the middle of a good dream. There was the part about a love there was no cure for. And, of course, my favorite line of the song was when I would envision my true love, David Cassidy, jumping out of bed and screaming out the words he dread, “I think I love you!”

It’s not possible for me to look back at that childhood crush and not feel a little embarrassed. The thing about that first experience was that my desire to dream of the romantic possibility took over my intellectual ability to reason.


Then I got to thinking, does grown-up love really look much different?

My husband can still make me smile like a teenager when he leaves me a handwritten note of him as a stickman, saying, “Love You!!” Although he can manage to make me angrier than any human being in this world, on most days he makes me feel like the most important woman alive.

When comparing my puppy-love days to my mature marriage, I’d have to say there are still times I feel smitten. Although Mr. Cassidy made me dream about what love may look like, it is my husband who showed me — and still knows how to make my heart smile.

Doris Rauschenbach is a writer in Ashland and a regular contributor to the News Tribune Opinion page. Her website is, and she can be contacted at or at P.O. Box 1024, Ashland, WI 54806. You can also follow her on Facebook at

Doris Rauschenbach.jpg
Doris Rauschenbach

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