Over the weekend, women from my generation mourned the passing of Jonathan Crombie, a childhood crush we really never got over thanks to a role he played. For those who are not aware, Crombie played one of the best fictitious leading men. He was perfectly cast and and brought the beloved character alive to us (much like Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy). He even knew how to rock a waistcoat. That character, of course, was Gilbert Blythe. I highly recommend you read 12 Reasons No Man Will Ever Live Up To Gilbert Blythe From “Anne Of Green Gables” - because that really summarizes everything that we love about Gilbert Blythe.
Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables (1908) was a comfort to me. I've actually been meaning to re-read them and this might just be the summer for a reconnection with these old friends. Who did not want to be friends with Anne Shirley, the strong-willed, imaginative ginger orphan? Of course, when it came to Gilbert Blythe, we wanted to be in Anne's shoes. Gilbert, the classic case of boy attempting to get a girl's attention, but going about it the wrong way. Girls do not like their hair to be pulled and Anne in general does not like to be called "Carrots."
Gilbert, the boy who is persistent in forming a friendship with Anne no matter how long it takes and how many times he has to apologize for his youthful mistakes. Gilbert, a boy who chooses friends and love over career and opportunity. Gilbert, the one with patience who waits. A George Bailey, Captain Wentworth, Logan Echolls all in one (and more!).
Gilbert Blythe has always held a special place in our hearts. From the first time we read the books or watched the 1985 miniseries we realized Gilbert Blythe was one of the best literary characters created. We held him tightly to our chest and discussed him with fellow fans. It is trendy for women to say that they are looking for their Mr. Darcy, but in reality, we all knew, we wanted our own Gilbert Blythe.
So, thank you Jonathan Crombie for being part of that story. Thank you for portraying Gilbert as Montgomery intended. A generation and more of women thank you. You may be gone, but you will never be forgotten.