The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper


2 min read

By Kelsey Clark

I’m sure you’ve all had your fill of Heath Ledger mourning at this point.
Even if you haven’t been binge drinking or weeping into a tub of ice cream while repeatedly watching “10 Things I Hate about You,” you can’t pretend that Heath’s untimely death has had no effect on you.
Heath belongs to a group of men that holds special significance to the ladies of our generation—a group not renowned for their intellect, philanthropy, or even superb acting skills. As far as I can figure, these men are held in our high esteem solely for their hunky good looks and their key roles in pop culture during our formative years. Preteen sex symbols.
In case you’ve forgotten the obsessions of your youth, I’ll refresh your memories: in addition to Heath Ledger, there’s a good chance that Josh Hartnett (aka Josh “Hot-nett”), Ben Affleck, Ryan Merriman (of Disney channel fame. Don’t act like you weren’t into “Luck of the Irish”), and Lance Bass all graced the doors of your middle school lockers.
And Trapper Keepers.
And bedroom walls.
And anything else you could stick a picture to.
Looking back, it’s vaguely embarrassing to think that, in our pubescent, adolescent minds, romantic love revolved around complete strangers who were approximately ten years our seniors.
Granted, most things about puberty and adolescence are vaguely embarrassing. Most things about my life now are vaguely embarrassing. But there’s something particularly cringe-worthy about the memory of falling asleep clutching a pillow and pretending it was whatever celebrity I was crushing on at the time.
At least now when I fall asleep, I pretend my pillows are people I actually know.  
So for those of you who balked at the shrieks and tears in the Nest as word of Heath’s death spread, think back to your angsty middle school years and have a little compassion. We may not have known him personally, but he certainly made a personal impact.
Plus he was like, totally hot.

Sexclamations will feature a Q&A column occasionally during this semester. If you’re looking for info or advice, submit your queries via email to or in writing to UMW box 1396.