Camparigirl and I were wondering what it would take to bring our libidos out of retirement.
It had been a long, fragmented and exhausting week and I was telling her how thrilled I was that no-one was going to expect me to have sex with them that evening. As is our way – we amused ourselves debating who we would ‘get it up for’ should they come knocking. We both voted Bruce Springsteen a ‘must-have’ list candidate, (for me, especially if he would sing “I’m on Fire” before we got behind the wheel) and Claudia mentioned a couple of English actors she thinks are the business … before wondering aloud why those particular guys have always appealed to her.
“Maybe because of the romance novels you read” I said … “you want to be saved – like that Anna K, the Bronte Girls and Emma.”
“It’s possible” she said pithily, “but at least I don’t crush on nasty homophobic rappers.” A fair point. And one that reminded us that we have never fancied the same man – except for Bruce. We have an honour system with him – should the opportunity present itself, it would be a sin to let it slide by unappreciated. And the quid pro quo would be a blow by blow
All this got us to making lists, as we do – and then comparing the boys we had fancied as girls, and the men we fancy as women. So we thought we would share them. As the ad once said: we’ve come a long way, baby!
I was a child of the sixties – so my crushes came towards the end of that decade and the beginning of the seventies. They were all musicians, I used to listen to the Top Twenty Countdown every Sunday on my little transistor radio. And pull the posters out of my Jackie Magazine. Plastering them on my walls.
We moved city every 18 months or so – and my guys came with me. Watching over the awkward, blunt girl when she braved new schools. My first love was Donnie Osmond – “And they called it …. puppy loovvveeeee ..”. He was replaced by David Cassidy, who thought he loved me. Dave handed the baton to The Sweet and “Ballroom Blitz” – which I choreographed into a funky diso dance, moves I still use today.
The Bay City Rollers ended my pop phase with their cover of “Bye Bye Baby”. Because, by then, I was in love with the Thin White Duke. Bowie changed everything for me – I got “Space Oddity”, I lived it. I worshiped Ziggy -spiders and all. And then I heard Roxy Music and Mr Bryan Ferry and I was in love. Oh – my jealous, jealous guy.
My choices for now are interesting because they are very specific: Dominic West (as he is in The Wire) and Matt Damon (as Jason Bourne – not as the guy who bought the Zoo). My wild card is Fifty Cent: who I met once and who was chaaaaarrrrmmmming .. and sexy. And yes, Claudia you are right about the nasty lyrics – I gave him a hard time about that, he just smiled and kissed my hand. And Mr Sam Shepard (in jeans and T, Bruce Weber cowboy style) – who I sat next to in Tribeca Grill once, and who smiled at me. Well played, Sam.
Camparigirl: My very first crush unsettled my life at age 8: his name was Leandro, a Neapolitan boy a couple of years older than me with blue eyes and golden locks. Despite the vivid memory of how he looked and how my heart skipped a number of beats every time I saw him, my attraction for blond men died shortly after, with Bjorn Borg, at age 13. I was virtually obsessed. I subscribed to a tennis magazine so I could cut out photos of my idol and plaster them on the wall over my desk, a morbid altar to my (not so) secret love. I even enrolled in tennis classes, using both my hands for the backhand shot, the way Borg did it. The only thing I was good for on a tennis court was looking cute in my short skirt, and I admitted defeat after a miserable year trying to master a sport clearly beyond my abilities.
Then, music took the place of everything else and, those being the 80s, pretty boys like Adam Ant, Simon LeBon and George Michael took turns piquing my fantasy. None of them, lookwise, are men I would find vaguely interesting today. George was even my neighbour when I lived in Kensington but I never caught a glimpse of him (at the time still refusing to believe he was gay, despite sofagirl’s inside scoop). The one I caught a glimpse of, or, I had a very good look at, was Jeremy Irons who appeared on my doorstep one afternoon, looking for my eccentric and bedridden landlady. He might have started me on the brooding, tortured type I still fancy today.
When compiling this “for a laugh” list with sofagirl, all my picks turned out to be either English or Irish – with the exception of Springsteen. She might be right – my imagination is steeped in English literature. Last night I finished “Bringing Up the Bodies” by Hilary Mantel and I feel slightly adrift, missing Thomas Cromwell in my life.
From pop to historical figures dead 500 years – have I gotten old!