On the men we would if we could

Ah, the List.  The lucky few that you totally would, if you weren’t spoken for.  We’ve all got them, right?
It will not have escaped the more eagle-eyed amongst you that Clare and I had an…intriguing conversation on Skype recently regarding a certain principled, masculine renegade (I was going to write “TV Character” but he’s real, damnit Chloe).   Jack Bauer is a key player on our respective “lists” – the men we’d leave our husbands for.  I don’t mean literally – I am not convinced that I could actually cope with the stress of being Jack Bauer’s chosen one and frequently having to be rescued and seduced in helicopters and captured by Eastern Europeans and having to speak Russian and be tracked and having to go undercover to the Muscovite underworld.  Call me boring, but watching telly on the sofa with Mr K and deciding at the last minute to order takeaway is about as thrilling as my weeknight evenings get. 
Worryingly, Clare and I also share another key male on our respective Lists.  (This means, if the List ever comes to fruition, we can no longer be friends.  It’s going to be Jack or the blog).  Who is this paragon of man, I hear you ask?  Gordon Ramsey.  Upon learning of our proclivity for the aged chef, Aisling went into paroxysms of disgust and told us he looked like one of those wrinkly dogs (I think she meant a pug).  My thing about Gordon is when he looks so commanding next to those stainless steel kitchen counters.  Clare likes the intro the F-Word, when he rips off his chef’s whites.
ANYWAY.  Back to the point. 
The rest of my List is as follows: a B-list Scottish actor (Dougray Scott, preferably as Prince Charming), a homosexual director (Kevin Spacey) and an anthropologist (Bruce Parry).  I feel like my list covers all bases; from the intellectual to the adventurer, from the morally corrupt to the principled.      
 My wedding day sucked, because Mr K didn’t dress like this. 
I am not going to apologise for this.  Aisling’s list comprises such embodiments of the male form as Prince Harry and Phil Spencer.  Much as I wept with mirth when I heard this, remember, readers, it is not for us to judge other people’s Lists.  They are a carefully composed list of attributes that we find rampantly attractive.  But that we would NOT MARRY.      
 Control yourself, A.
Is it wrong, when you’re married, to have the List?  I hope not, otherwise I am a very Bad Wife.  The List to me is harmless fun.  The list is pure escapism.  When you marry someone, you marry someone made up of qualities and values you love, and you make the decision that yes, you can, you will stay with this person forever because they are right for you, because they bring out the best in you, because you are opposite and equal. 
And crucially, because you can live together.  Because you fit.  Because you can slot in around each other through day to day life in a way that doesn’t jar, or grate.
However in order to find someone with that fit, you have to throw a lot of other qualities out of the window.  In Mr K, I’ve found someone who’ll stay with me forever, who will always support me, who will look after me every day.  But he’s not a risk-taker.  He’s never going to spontaneously whisk me to Indonesia just because.  He’ll never write a song about me.  If we got held up at gun point, he’d talk to the guy reasonably rather than get him in a Secret Service arm lock and slam him to the ground.  If our house was on fire he’d use the fire extinguisher correctly as per the instructions rather than fireman’s-lift me through the flames.  
This is okay.  This is what I’ve chosen.  For the long haul, I’d rather the guy who quietly loves me rather than makes bold and romantic gestures, who keeps me safe rather than takes stupid risks.
Because that’s what the List is for.  I’m never going to have a long-term relationship with Gordon.  His swearing and impatience and insistence would annoy the hell out of me.  Bruce’s penchant for wearing grass skirts in West Africa and eating tree bark as part of shamanic ceremonies would just get frustrating, on nights when all I’d want would be a roast dinner and a glass of red.  
Bruce, Bruce…I just want pasta tonight. 
Tell me now.  Who’s on your List, readers?  Who would you, if you could (but obviously wouldn’t?) 
Categories: Frippery, Marriage, Written By Anna
27 interesting thoughts on this


  1. Meryl
    Posted August 29, 2011 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    I think after many conversations with the girls about that friends episode of the 'laminated list' mine goes like this,in no particular order:
    David Beckham
    Michael Owen
    Jake Gyllenhal
    Henry Cavill
    Rick Malambri
    Google them if you wish and drool!My friend also threw this one into conversation;who would make your girl crush list?!

  2. Posted August 29, 2011 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    David Tennant, Eric Bana and maybe a wee bit Russell Brand, although he's a bit filthy. Not at the same time obviously. I do have some restraint!

  3. Posted August 29, 2011 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Oh hurrah we DO all have these lists! So glad its not just me being gratuitously pervy. Googling your Lists is making for a marvellous Bank Holiday morning…!

  4. Posted August 29, 2011 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Still torn between Keanu and Swayze characters in Point Break….hero or bad boy, hero or bad boy….

    Jack Bauer OBV

    But number one is John Cusack circa Grosse Point Blank….I love me a sexy, droll hitman. Dangerous!


  5. Posted August 29, 2011 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    ….and I'm totally with Aisling on the Ramsay thing. Shar-pei!


  6. Becca Redknapp
    Posted August 29, 2011 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Meryl? My Meryl?

    Henry Cavill.

    Obviously yes. Remember he was mine first.

    My others would be Phil Spencer, Prince Harry, Fletch from Dream Team and Jamie Redknapp.

    Jamie til I die.

    Claire. Anna K. Tell me it's for the food and not the face?

  7. Posted August 29, 2011 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Henry Cavill – but only really as Brandon on the Tudors…. grr-arrrr.

    Antonio Banderas – I have ALWAYS loved him, and I always will.

    Sean Bean – but only really as Sharpe or as the Gardener in Lady Chatterley's lover (pheww… its getting a bit hot in here.. someone open a window please.)

    Paul Newman – an oldie but goodie.

    Girl crush wise – I will always love Angelina. But Beyonce and JLO are my current ones x

  8. Posted August 29, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Rob Lowe, but only, and I mean, only, as Sam Seabourne on the West Wing. John Cusack, Penny yes! Handbags at dawn! And Ryan Adams… Oh Anna, we definitely do all have them, and boys do too. My husband likes Kelly Brooke, Billy Piper and Danni Minogue. I take comfort from the fact that at least they're all curvy… well, curvyish…

  9. Posted August 29, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    I forgot Jason Segel! That's a bit of a weird one but I LOVE him. Gemma I will fight you for Ryan Adams as well! Hubba hubba …..

    Px (will probably return later with more additions to the list…could talk about sexy men alllll day….)

  10. Posted August 29, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    oooh – I forgot Ryan Reynolds!! so not usually my type but he makes me go weak at the knees!!
    boyf seems to like french actresses: audrey tautou, marion cotillard, eva green… I hasten to add that I look NOTHING like them whatsoever!! x

  11. Posted August 29, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Erm….Alan Davies? It's the hair and the lisp…sends me all a-quiver.

    Back in the land of good taste, Adam Levine, Gerard Butler, and Jimmy Smitts (Matt Santos in the West Wing….hubba) wouldn't get kicked out of my bed.

  12. Posted August 29, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and Gemma, I agree with you on Rob Lowe…only hot as Sam Seabourne!

  13. Posted August 29, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    The one and only Gary Barlow. There I said it. Though he wouldn't be able to talk to me without elocution lessons obv.

    Hmm who else? James Martin, Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing, Daniel Craig in Casino Royale and Liam Neeson in Taken.

    And Phil Spencer. Yes.

  14. Posted August 29, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Oooh meant to say this in my earlier comment. My friend works on Location, Location, Location and got a peck on the cheek from Phil recently which she was pretty chuffed about!

  15. Anonymous
    Posted August 29, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Oh, Sam Seaborn… I love a hot idealist in glasses.

    But my list is:
    Hugh Jackman (Pure hotness)

    David Tennant (Brilliant mind, Scottish accent, and those eyes!)

    Nathan Fillion (Effortlessly handsome & funny)

    Patrick Wilson (Worth googling, I promise)

    Matt Damon (boyish charm)

  16. Posted August 29, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    I'm probably older than you lot so please bear that in mind.
    Not in any order really,
    Robert Downey Jnr (in Ally Mcbeal only!)
    George Clooney( mainly in ER but also in that film with J-Lo)
    Julian McMahon ( but only in Charmed, & Profiler)
    Damien Lewis ( in Life)
    Dylan McDermott (the wedding date )
    But top of my list is Joshua Jackson (currently in Fringe, but I was attracted to him when he was in Dawsons creek ) and I probably old enough to be his mother!
    Oh & I also would consider Ryan Renalds!

  17. Posted August 29, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Oh I should have written this post months ago. You lot have given me so much joy!

    Re Gordon, its the pure manliness of him. And the way he could whip up a souffle right after…you know.

  18. Posted August 29, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Sharon, yes yes yes to Damian Lewis, both in Life and BoB. His face is so lovely and rubbery x

  19. Posted August 29, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Sharon, yes yes yes to Damian Lewis, both in Life and BoB. His face is so lovely and rubbery x

  20. Posted August 29, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    I have just two men on my list… Scottish Rugby Stud Chris Paterson and the unwavering sexiest man on the planet, Dave Grohl! If you pushed me for a third it would have to be Mel Gibson – those eyes!!! (I'm 27 and not in the slightest bit bothered by the fact that he could be my dad!) xx

  21. Posted August 29, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    This is the absolute perfect post to come back from holiday to – thank you Anna and the rest of you for making my day, and introducing me to so many lovely men.

    I'm a little bit disappointed though Anna that you didn't include House. Not Hugh Laurie because that is just plain wrong, but House HAS to be on the list, no?

    Jack B and Gordon need no explaining – pure and utter masculinity.

    And on my really shouldn't but would list – Kevin McCloud from Grand Designs (as a form of self defence from all of the ribbing I am now going to get, I would like to say that Aisling agrees) – seriously, just listening to him talking in French could get me into all sorts of trouble!

  22. Posted August 30, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Eugh, Gordon Ramsay. Can't stand the man.

    My list in order:

    Jason Mamoa (so damn sexy)
    Ryan Gosling (Notebook fan)
    Gerard Butler (so manly and intelligent too)

    Err, that's it. All very yummy men.

    My husbands list is:

    Katherine Jenkins
    Sophie Raworth
    Natasha Kaplinsky
    Zoe Wanamaker
    Sue Holderness

    It starts off so well, and then he gets to Marlene Boyce….. The shame.

  23. Posted August 30, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    mine would have to be
    -johnny depp
    -jarvis cocker
    -eddie izzard
    -vic reeves

    i dont care how embarrassing it is1

  24. Posted August 30, 2011 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    MARLENE BOYCE? Katie I just snorted coffee through my nose to avoid spitting it out all over the laptop.

    Bahahaha! Love it.

  25. Posted August 30, 2011 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    I have 2 people on my list and i've told the boy that if it comes down to it i'm not sure how hes going to fare :p the first one is the stunningly beautiful Johnny Depp. The other i get shouted at for ALL THE TIME but its Pete Doherty. He is soooooo fine!

  26. g
    Posted August 31, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Just one…

    Jon Stewart. That is all.

  27. Posted September 1, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    Alec Baldwin as Jack Donaghy
    David Boreanez as Seeley Booth


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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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