70’s Flashbacks: First Flirtations

Digging ever further into the piles of old family photos this summer, there he was: Robert Spiegel, my first childhood crush! Our mothers were good friends, we lived in the same village, and so we saw quite a lot of each other when we were kids.

Here we are on a visit to Munich zoo:

Robert and I

See how hard I'm working it...?!

See how hard I’m working it…?!

I also found this photo, taken at a kindergarten carnival party:

I'm either a princess or a fairy... how original...

I’m either a princess or a fairy… how original…

The boy in the picture, Siegfried Terpoorten (‘Sigi’), was my second crush, after it had dawned on me that Robert, although quite sweet, wasn’t… well… the sharpest tool in the box.

Sigi was sharp witted and charismatic, even at that age. He oozed confidence, without being (overly) cocky, and enjoyed universal popularity. I’m not sure I had paid him all that much heed at the time the above picture was taken. We must have been around 6 years old in that shot. Three years later, though, he did something that left a lasting impression.

It happened during carnival season. The Village used to lay on a children’s costume party every year, held in the local community centre. The fest was in full swing, when Sigi swished through the doors, in a bright green chiffon dress, a wig with strawberry blonde pleats and painted-on freckles splattered across his nose.

The crowd, composed of 50% princesses and 50% cowboys/Indians (this was before the age of the superheroes), let out a communal gasp. Everyone took the piss, of course, but he didn’t seem to care in the least. In fact, he wore the same outfit again a couple of days later for our primary school’s carnival do.

I don’t remember which kid showed off with his or her first Gameboy, but I do remember this; in fact, it’s my first conscious memory of being seriously impressed by someone. That Sigi had balls, and not even a big girl’s blouse could dent his street cred.

With hindsight, I’d say it was his first public demonstration that he wasn’t going to comply with other people’s expectations, and that he had the perseverance to see things through. Sigi was meant to become an electrician, like his father, and take over the small family business. He played along for a time, and so, despite being clearly very bright, he ended up stuck at a school that catered for the lower strata of academic ability, affording him the minimum educational standard required for entering an electrician’s apprenticeship, which he did complete.


Sigi grown up

His real passion, though, had always been acting, and he was the shining star of local community and school theatre performances. Fiddling with wiring wasn’t going to do it for him in the long run, that much was obvious. So he went back to school, and even managed to get a scholarship to a prestigious acting school. Today, he’s a successful German TV, film and theatre actor, and lives, as far as I know, in Switzerland with his wife and children.

So then, any juicy stories about your first crushes…? Spill, people, spill!

59 thoughts on “70’s Flashbacks: First Flirtations

  1. northern_star

    Oh look at him now! You were right to have a crush on him. Why did you ever let him go?! Why?! Good man, in his dress. Gotta be impressed by that.


  2. ottominuti

    W-o-w!!! Sigi is really interesting today:-)
    None of my early crushes ended up being famous and for what I know, there isn’t a single crush I regret not pursuing longer. From time to time I have a look at their Facebook profiles…no, no, no regrets!!:-)


  3. Anna

    Holy Hunk! You see, THIS is why I am moving to Munich. Sigi is gorgeous! Is that a real grown-up photo? How am I supposed to concentrate on work? >…<

    Also, you know that topic you suggested for me yesterday? I realized that no way could I wrote/post it, because at least 3 of my exes read my blog on the regular, and two of them would be essential to the story.


      1. Anna

        A month out to 32 πŸ˜€ !!! And when I am 35, indecent will be 17+ years younger. Because it will also be illegal. That’s my standard for decency.


      2. ladyofthecakes Post author

        Well, I wasn’t too far out πŸ˜‰ You don’t look a day over 21!
        Age of consent varies across Europe, as I’m sure you know, so can go even lower, depending on where you are. 14 in Spain!


      3. Anna

        Um…yeah, I think I will stick with the internationally-accepted age of majority, 18…

        So, getting back to youth crushes. My first 5 were fictional characters. In fact, I would be nearly into my teens before I got my first RL crush.


  4. Expat Eye

    Mmm, Sigi is a hotti πŸ˜‰ A bit Matthew McConaughy but I hate him, so Sigi is better! Can’t help feeling a little sorry for Robert ‘lights are on but nobody’s home’ Spiegel though πŸ˜‰


  5. gkm2011

    Great story. I always had crushes on the tall guys, being significantly taller than most kids until the end of high school when the boys caught up, that meant my crush potential was severely limited!


  6. TBM

    Well I think your story tops mine. I’m not sure I remember my first crush. I had a “date” when I was five. We flew kites together. I’m pretty sure the dude is in prison now. Even at five I knew he was heading that route. A year after our first and last date we had were in the same class. He cut the tip of his finger off and I’m pretty sure he did it on purpose. I know how to pick them.


  7. happycat13

    Awesome story!! Sigi is HOT!! My crushes changed often. Definitely there would have to be brains with hotness. My first crush was four years older than me and the son of my mother’s friend. He was good-looking, had impeccable manners and sharp. Unfortunately, his life has not turned out very well. This makes me sad. But hundreds of crushes later (well, maybe not that many), I have found a dude who has it all. I don’t know what happened with the others and just hope they are doing well.



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