Bippity boppity build-your-own-boo
A fun thought experiment while the world around me is burning
When I was looking through my old Wordpress blog, I came across an interesting piece in the Drafts folder. In lieu of a reflective session of how far I’ve come in the Prince Charming section, I decided to come up with a more practical thought experiment.
If I had to build my own ideal boyfriend — which characters would I pick to base him on?
Unfortunately, it’s not quite as far from the teenage-fantasy-territory as I’d like it to be. But this could be fun, do it with me. I invoke the spirit of Gloria Steinam who once said “Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.” as I begin writing today. The trick is to not spend more than 3 minutes thinking about this. The characters which have made the biggest impact on you should easily jump out at you. Thinking about what qualities you’d prefer in your significant other has a lot of scope for whitelisting candidates or cliched definitions if you haven’t met enough interesting people. Instead you get more realistic answers if you think of who you’ve actually been attracted to.
If you’re going to fantasize there’s no point dipping your toe in, you might as well go ahead and dive. You can take your pick from real and fictional characters, age and gender don’t matter — duh. Although to prevent myself from drowning, I tried to restrict myself to 5 people. A tiny sliver of reality if you can call blending 5 men into one person reality.
A few years ago, my list would have just contained Dr.Gregory House. His extraordinary wit, biting sarcasm and his misanthropic world-views were huge turn-ons for me. His salt-and-pepper hair and permanent stubble didn’t hurt either. I was in love with the whole package and the show appealed to me on a very personal level. I thought social relationships were performative if they didn’t practise brutal honesty because if you can’t take it, you’re weak and you’re deluding yourself. I was in my getting-attracted-to-dysfucntional-guys phase and I was head over heels for House.
..until I met emotionally unavailable men in real life and realized I didn’t want to deal with their shit. But somehow he still finds a place in this list 👀
I pondered a bit about having two authors in my list but when you understand that you need Tharoor to write love notes and Harari for late night sessions of anthropology and wine — it becomes clear that they each serve a distinct purpose. Tharoor can make even grocery lists eloquent and Harari would be a hit at party/debates. I’m working myself into a fervor by just imagining these two formidable people and their brains moulded into one super-person. Being surrounded by that kind of intellectual energy would give me a permanent high. Can you make crack metaphors if you haven’t been addicted? Ryan would be disappointed with me.
People close to me know that I have an insane crush on T.M. Krishna. After taking classes as a kid, I was meandering on the periphery of Carnatic music when TMK pulled me back and slammed me into the wall while staring into my eyes. Did I get carried away with that metaphor? My bad.
T.M. Krishna’s music is evocative like nobody’s business. It can be downright heart-wrenching, awe-inspiring and make you use words like heart-wrenching and awe-inspiring while you flounder trying to convert emotions into words. It makes your heart smile.
A prominent Carnatic musician acknowledging the gatekeeping of Carnatic music and publicly expressing political views while making me go “Pch” and smh with his ragas? UM yes please! TMK gained my respect with simple acts like changing the stage seating so that all musicians share an equal space or his funky shirts and bold choices like collaborating with transgender artists to make music or singing Carnatic activist songs. Or maybe I just fell for the smiles he exchanges with the violinist as they navigate a raga. Oh that smile. To sweeten the deal, the man CAN WRITE. *drops the mic and opens youtube*
Finally, Fred Weasley is to balance out my yummy cocktail of men. As I write this, I wonder why my brain jumped to Fred and not Chandler and I’m 60% sure it’s because of the recency effect. Before you peg me for a basic bitch who’s looking to have a few laughs, let me invite you to see what extra perks Fred Weasley brings to the table — his accent, access to the wizarding world, co-ownership of Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes, and the option to play out a twin fantasy (if one were to exist).
By now, if you’re one of those “grounded” people who are rolling their eyes and saying that there are a lot of qualities one can forego in a partner and that most of the times the person you end up with can surprise you or some other relationship gyaan- I would mildly remind you of that our experiment is purposefully preposterous and ask to cool your hollow indignation. And also roll my eyes at you.
If you did try to come up with your list, and if you have a partner or an ex, you can compare notes. Hehe. Or not! I can’t tell you how to live your life *shrugs innocence*
Characters that almost made it to my list are — John Keating (from Dead Poets Society), Arundhati Roy, Phil Dunphy (from Modern Family), Hades (from Hercules), and Max Black (from 2BrokeGirls).
While I’m wrestling with the idea that this reveals more about me than I’d like someone to know, I’m also reminded that there are probably other characters I had been attracted to who didn’t pop up on my radar instantly. But that’s the delightful part. Before you think that people are going to judge you for your choices, remember that you’re not that important, nobody cares about you and that is merely a fantasy to distract us from the agony around us.
That being said, I’d love to hear some of your answers :)