Happy Valentine’s Day! In the spirit of the holiday, I’d like to take a moment to pay tribute to two things I love (besides the Green Bay Packers): books and attractive men. Inspired by a recent post on a literary blog I follow I read entitled, “Bangable Dudes in Literature” and my love of making wacky lists, here is a list of 5 literary characters I’d like to make my Valentine:
Hamlet is full of angst, emotionally conflicted, and depressed. Yes, these might be bad qualities for a long-term relationship, but they are excellent qualities for a passionate love affair. I always admired Hamlet’s drive to determine who murdered his father and I love the creative way he exposed his uncle. The play’s the thing. He loses points with me for the way he treated his lover, Ophelia, which is why I would never want more than one or two rendezvous with this lost soul. What he lacks in serious relationships, he gains back in his beautiful soliloquies. What a piece of work is man, indeed.
4) Nick Carraway
I’ve always been partial to Midwestern boys and Nick is just that–a Minnesotan boy out to explore the charms of New York City. I love his reflective nature and overall storytelling abilities in The Great Gatsby. Although he does not talk much about his love life, he did get a little fresh with Daisy Buchanan’s friend. It didn’t work out, however, which was fine because I think he was searching for something deeper. I can respect that.
3) Atticus Finch
A widower raising two children all by his lonesome! Makes me melt a little. Atticus, a hard-working lawyer, stands up for what is right and true even when it makes him the most unpopular man in town. Very admirable. He seeks to break down racial barriers in his small Alabama town while at the same time teaching his children good morals. Not an easy task for just one man. I admire a man who can take a stand and has strong convictions and at the same time can be a caring father. All that is missing from Atticus’s life is a woman to keep him warm at night. I can help with that.
2) Theodore “Laurie” Laurence III
I always had the inkling that Laurie was good-looking because the March girls were instantly drawn to him when he became their next door neighbor. Laurie becomes the brother the March girls never had and becomes particularly good friends with Jo, the tomboy. Laurie mistakes this friendship for love (who wouldn’t?) and eventually proposes to Jo. Jo, like an idiot, refuses this proposal and Laurie seeks solace in Europe. Who wouldn’t want to marry their lifelong friend, attractive, and did I mention wealthy next door neighbor? In Europe, Laurie crosses paths with Amy March and he consoles her while she mourns the death of her sister, Beth. Laurie eventually woos Amy which is understandable because he offers her a strong shoulder to cry on. Amy and Laurie marry because they love each other and Laurie wants to be a March for once and for all! I love Laurie’s determination and love of the March family. Nothing beats a true family man.
1) Gilbert Blythe
All Gilbert wants to do is love Anne of Green Gables, but she won’t have any of it! That does not stop Gilbert from making Anne spelled-with-an-e realize that she does, in fact, love Gilbert deep down. Persistence. I like that in a man. Gilbert will not take no for an answer. Fight for your woman! However, I don’t suggest trying to woo your woman by calling her “Carrots,” a nickname she despises. Anne is sensitive about her red hair and Gilbert calls attention to that on her very first day of school in a new town. I suppose I can let that one slide because after all, Anne and Gil were only about fourteen. Teenage boys don’t exactly have the smoothest moves.
Another great thing about Gilbert is that he loved Anne for her brains. She was the smartest girl in the school and the two of them often duked it out for the highest honors in the class. There were plenty of other pretty and popular girls in Avonlea that liked him, but Gilbert only had eyes for Anne. I appreciate a man who likes a woman for her intellect.
I always admired Gilbert’s undying devotion to Anne. He did not let their silly quarrels ruin their relationship. One of my favorite moments is when he and Anne both become school teachers. She has been assigned to a school in a town far from her home in Green Gables, while Gilbert has been assigned to the local school. Matthew recently died, leaving Marilla to be the only one to look after Green Gables and the farm land. Gilbert learns that Marilla might have to sell the land because she has no one to help her so he trades places with Anne so she can be close to home and help Marilla. The ultimate sacrifice for the woman he loves. Brings tears to my eyes.
All this talk of these attractive literary characters has made me late for my Valentine’s Day pub crawl! Happy Valentine’s Day, people. Whatever you decide to do today to celebrate your love of [insert object of affection], just remember: don’t write on your lover’s Facebook wall. Save your words of affection for your chocolate fondue date. Your friends thank you in advance.