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I'd decided to write a post about my top 10 fictional men. After all, how hard could it be? I sighed over Mr Darcy, I alternated between swooning over Howl (he of the moving castle) and wanting to punch him in the face – it seemed like it was going to be the easier post ever.
Sitting down to write the post, I quickly typed out my first entry.
1. Mr Darcy.
But after I'd written his name, I seemed to hit a wall. And no, it wasn't a wall created by a manly man's chest, but rather some sort of mental block. I couldn't think of any other men! Heck, I couldn't even think of one reason to love Darcy that didn't involve a long essay on how awesome Elizabeth Bennett is.
I even youtubed period drama men to see if I could find any inspiration, but all I did was waste a couple of hours looking at things like this:
But even sharp-dressed men didn't help me. I did the only thing I could do in this situation – I phoned a friend.
'Jess', I panted somewhat desperately and unattractively into the phone, 'What literary men do I love?'
'Uhhhhhhh. I don't know. Mr Darcy?'
'NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. I need other men! But I can't think of any that I like outside of relationships with other people. In fact, I think I have crushes on literary men because of the way they fit/treat/laugh with literary women!'
Now, Jess is pretty smart. So she said, 'Well, Lauren. Maybe you read books for the awesome girls?'
This had not occurred to me in years. As a wee lass I had preferred to read books about smashing women (smashing being an adjective, not a verb). And apparently, I really haven't moved on from that. But what would Britney say:
Right, forget about that. Let's not listen to Britney.
What would Kate Bush say?
Well, Kate, if it came down to choosing between Heathcliff and no man at all, I choose a nunnery!
Okay, obviously youtube isn't going to help me.
Maybe loving literary men for the way they treat their womenfolk isn't such a bad thing? Hos before bros, and all that? I heart Cricket Bell not just because of his long stems, crazy creative scientific brain and epic sweetness, but because of how much he loves Lola, and respects her, and laughs with her, and encourages her.
And I love Cal from Jenny Crusie's Bet Me 'cause he embraces Min's snark and sass and all-round awesomeness. And I want to hug Christopher from the Moorehawke trilogy because of the way he looks out for Wynter, while knowing that she can damn well take care of herself.
You know what? Loving men for those reasons seem pretty damn legitimate.
Watch this space for a new and REVISED list of my top 10 literary couples. Now that's a list we can all get behind.