I’m unapologetically single, but sometimes, it would be nice to have a boyfriend. However, I think my standards are way too high–because I read. Here are a few of the literary men I wish were real.
1. Razumihin from Crime and Punishment–this is the man you want taking care of you when you’re sick. Not only will he find you some soup and tea, he’ll go out and buy you new clothes. Plus, if he likes you, he’ll actually take some time trying to look nice: “You are like a summer rose. And if only you knew how it suits you; a Romeo over six foot high! And how you’ve washed to-day–you cleaned your nails, I declare. Eh? That’s something unheard of! Why, I do believe you’ve got pomatum on your hair!”
2. Obierika from Things Fall Apart–Loyal to a fault, and a total feminist. When Okonkwo is away, he brings him the money from the yam harvest. And, at the end, he stands up to the District Commissioner, angry at the treatment of his best friend: “That man was one of the greatest men in Umuofia.”
3. Byron Bunch from Light in August–This man would follow you to the ends of the earth, even after you had another man’s child. And, he knows that no means no. He’s also got a great work ethic and spends Saturdays working overtime rather than going out gallivanting with the drinking crowd. Plus, he’s nothing if not predictable, as the furniture salesman at the end notes: “I just stopped the truck and him already running back to go around to the door where she was sitting. And he come around the back of it and he stood there, and her not even surprised.”
4. Lord Henry from The Picture of Dorian Gray–He’s the guy I want to take me out to dinner and regale me with philosophy and conversation and brilliance. His outlook on life is perfect: “one’s own soul and the passions of one’s friends—those were the fascinating things in life.”
5. Lipsha Morrissey from Love Medicine–Mostly because he’s such a romantic, and I fell a little in love with him when I read this in high school. Albertine describes him: “Sometimes he used words I had to ask him the meaning of, and other times he didn’t make even the simplest sense. I loved him for being both ways.” I have to say, I do tend to be smitten with mercurial guys…
Honestly though, even if they were real, I would probably be terrible at dating these guys anyway–after all, it is pretty well known you should not date a girl who teaches.