So, What’s Your Type

For as long as I can remember, people have always had strong opinions about what type of guy is my Mr. Right.

The summer I graduated from high school, my South African godfather came to visit. At the same time, a boy I knew from out of town was staying in our guest room. It was a house full of foreigners.

“He’s a nice young fellow,” Hilton said of my 17-year old guest, “but he’s far too young for you. You need to be seeing someone who is at least 21, maybe even 22.”

I assured him that the young fellow sleeping in the room next to mine was in no way a romantic interest. I was flattered that my worldly godfather should think I deserved a boyfriend who wasn’t a boy, but a grown-up man. It felt good to be a teenager who seemed mature beyond her years.

Dan decided I need a "No Reservations" style Aaron Eckhart to my Catherine Zeta Jones

My godfather was typical of those in my life — everyone I met had ardent beliefs about what type man was my match. They may not have all agreed on age difference, profession, and nationality, but all were quick to offer an opinion.

My roommate in college decided the only person I could have children with was Charley. “You’re sporty and strict. He’s awkward and friendly. You’d be the disciplinarian. He’d be the one that takes them for ice cream. Together, you’d read them The Odyssey at bedtime.”

I didn’t necessarily mind her pick, but I wasn’t sure how I felt about her assessment of my potential parenting persona. I do like ice cream, after all.

“You can’t marry a guy who makes you cook for him,” Dan said as he watched me drop homemade butternut squash ravioli into a pot of boiling water. “He has to be someone who will cook with you.”

I’d gotten so accustomed to people telling me who I should be looking for that I never designed my own version of  Mr. Right. Then one day, I was blindsided by a question no one had ever asked…

Could I say Gerard Butler is my "type?" Or is Gerard Butler just a look?

“So, what’s the deal — what type of guy are you looking for?”

I was at a loss. Smart, funny, athletic, and good-looking is non-specific– it’s the standard-issue type for the indecisive. When I thought about it, every guy I ever knew or dated was, in some form or another, smart, funny, athletic, and good-looking.

I racked my brain. Could I name an actor? Would Gerard Butler suffice, or is Gerard Butler a look (and an apartment)? Someone interesting enough that our wedding will win the “Vows” column in the Sunday Times? Likewise, non-specific.

Finally, it hit me:

“I want a guy who makes me smile the way my puppy does. He should be the kind of guy who would propose while we’re hiking up a mountain but want to hold the reception in the atrium at MoMA.”

“I don’t know anyone like that,” the person replied. “But I can set you up with a guy who has season tickets at Yankee stadium.”

I shrugged and wondered why he bothered asking. It looked like for now, a man with Yankees season tickets was just my type.

I’ve Always Had a Thing for a Guy with an Oscar

My Dear Readers, a few weeks ago, when I wrote about Richard Armitage, “Spooks,” William Blake tattoos, and my un-concealable nerdiness, I told you that I don’t have celebrity crushes, that “I can’t be bothered wasting my time fantasizing about the perfectly formed pectorals of some actor I’m never going to meet.”

Well, after some consideration and reflection on my younger years, I realized I lied to you all.

It’s true that Matt Damon’s marriage to Luciana Barroso ended my daydreams about wooing and wedding one of Hollywood’s leading men — I’ve come to accept that not everyone is a Katie Holmes (thankfully?). But such was not always the case…

J.T.T. my 12-year old crush

I’m waving the white flag. I surrender. I confess. I wrote a love letter to Jonathan Taylor Thomas.

and to Jordan McKnight… even though I couldn’t even  hum a single New Kids on the Block Song.

Once I moved out of my tween years, I went starry-eyed for Hugh Dancy and Hugh Grant while Russel Crow gave me palpitations (I always had a thing for fellas with an accent).

In early college, a friend and I would burn up study sessions planning how we would meet Ryan Gosling (hers) and Matt Damon (mine), win their affection, secure ourselves as Oscar dates, earn many-carat engagement rings, and live happily ever after. (Don’t judge too harshly… they were advanced calculus study sessions…we deserved the distraction.)

And then came December 9, 2005. Matt Damon got a Mrs. and I got a reality check. Now, rather than embodying the objects of my affections, hunky actors only typify my real-world “type.”

So if you know any “Richard Armitages” or “Gerard Butlers,” please, please send them my way.