Welcome back to Lady Things, the column where we bask in the loving energy of the feminine spirit. This week, we help you find your perfect imaginary boyfriend for spring!
It is only recently that the verb "to fangirl" has entered the lexicon. The first time I heard it, a tween cousin of mine was talking about how she was fangirling over One Direction. Now, that cousin is driving and Zayn is out of the band and even adults say they are fangirling over this author or that artist. There's a Rainbow Rowell novel called Fangirl. It is, truly, a thing.
It's possible to make the argument that "to fangirl" has sexist undertones. It evokes the image of the overwrought teen girl, crying while she mobs the Beatles' limo. But, to be honest, after getting into a whole thing last week about why it might not be great to refer to some places frequented by women over 30 as "MILF bars," I've reached my monthly quota of policing sexist language and I am going to own this one.
The capacity for women to create fantasy relationships with people they'll never meet is vast. Maybe men do this too—in fact, I am sure men do this—but as a non-man, I can only speak from my experience. That, and I once read this essay by Modern Love editor Daniel Jones called "How We Write About Love." He writes that men and women create different narratives about love. "A lot of men's stories seem tinged by regret and nostalgia," he writes. "They wish previous relationships hadn't ended or romantic opportunities hadn't slipped away."
Women, he says "want to figure love out."
"Many keep mental lists of their expectations, detailing the characteristics of their hoped-for partner with alarming specificity and then evaluating how a new romantic interest does or doesn't match that type."
Men's romantic ideal lives in the past, in a more one-that-got-away type scenario, whereas, he writes: "A woman is more likely to believe her romantic ideal awaits somewhere in the future, where her long-held fantasy becomes a flesh-and-blood reality."
Basically, what he's saying is that it is in women's nature to spend a lot of time making up relationships. Another day, when we are less tired, we'll probably talk about what nature is and how gender is a social construct. But today, we're just going to fangirl. It's sunny outside and love is in the air. And, let's be honest, it's who we are.
Here, we present, the five best imaginary boyfriends of the moment.
1. W. Kamau Bell
W. Kamau Bell is a comedian who you should get to know, like, yesterday. He's an adorable dad. He's handsome and funny. And his new show, United Shades of America, looks amazing. Basically, Bell goes around sampling racism in America and actually talking to people who most of us would like to pretend don't exist. Here's a clip, in which he goes to a Klan cross burning!
2. Justin Trudeau
He's the Prime Minister of Canada and, sorry to objectify him, but holy shit Trudeau is a stone cold fox. Oh, did I mention he's a feminist? And that he has the most diverse cabinet maybe in the whole world? And that he's so, so, sososo hot? Oh and his brain is pretty good, too.
3. Hannibal Buress
Yeah, it's bullshit that it took a man to finally make the world aware of the fact that Bill Cosby is a rapist, even though women have been saying it for years. But hey, at least they listened to somebody. And that somebody was the lovely, cute, hilarious and boneable Hannibal Buress.
4. Rachel Bloom
Not every imaginary boyfriend has to be a boy. Take Rachel Bloom, the star and creator of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the best show on TV. She gets me. Her struggle is my struggle, set to song. I would be in a committed long-term relationship with Bloom if my actual boyfriend went out for a pack of smokes and never came back and she would have me. That reminds me: Why aren't you watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend? Stop what you are doing. This show is so much more important than whatever that is.
5. Damian Lillard
This one is obvious. Damian Lillard is a glorious basketball god who could shoot three-pointers into my heart all day long.
If any of these people want to contact me, or if you want to send me more imaginary boyfriend suggestions, sign up for my new newsletter!