Don’t worry, I’m not losing the plot, it happens all the time. You see, despite being resolutely single, I’m constantly speculating on my ideal man and that ideal changes on a weekly basis. And what’s more, watching Mr Favreau expertly wielding his chef knife is not the first time I've fantasised about being the significant other of a master in the kitchen. The fact is I’m useless in that particular domain myself. Any attempt at cooking up a storm on my part invariably leads to lots of mess, ill tempers and barely edible results. What could be better then, than browsing through a magazine pointing out all those mouth-watering pictures and knowing that your other half could whip it up in the time it takes you to finish the magazine.
My ideal man fantasies, however, aren’t very consistent and my Mr Right last week couldn’t have been more different from Mr Favreau. To put not too fine a point on it, Mr F is a bit chubby. Clearly food is his passion and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I’m not exactly a supermodel myself and there lies the rub. Only last week at the gym, I was fantasising about a very different Mr Right, one of those no nonsense gym types who would whip me into shape in no time at all. I quite enjoy the kind of man who is not afraid to call me a lazy lard arse when I’m skiving rather than striving or whatever it is those glossy gym posters like to proclaim. I find it motivating and what would be better than having your very own Mr Motivator right there on hand just when you’re about to eat your bodyweight in chocolate and wash it down with a bottle of Prosecco? The only potential drawback I can see is, if he caught me on the wrong day, I could accidentally club him to death with the Prosecco bottle.
A recurring fantasy I enjoy is one in which I have a doctor boyfriend. Obviously, once George Clooney appeared in ER as Dr Ross my fantasy soared to a whole new stratosphere but I have always quite liked the idea even pre-ER. I do have a touch of the hypochondriac about me and the only thing that keeps me from being a regular at the doctor’s surgery is not wanting to look like a needy, ridiculous freak. Imagine then having a doctor on call 24/7 – what more could a girl want? Every twinge, blemish and neurosis could be gloriously indulged. Of course this might not be as attractive as it sounds. I do have friends in the medical profession and the only time I have vaguely brought up symptoms in that sort of roundabout way, they have put the fear of God into me. One nurse friend, convinced me I had a brain tumour when, in fact, I just needed reading glasses. Then there are the hospital stories medical people choose to share after a few drinks. Hilarious anecdotes about blunders and near misses that we non-medical types really don’t need to hear. Too much information, more often than not, is not a good thing.
Another of my Mr Rights is a highflying businessman, who makes so much money he can’t begin to spend it all. And that’s where I come in, ever the selfless, devoted, caring type I’d just have to help him out. I could give up work and be a woman of leisure, never having to consider the price tag on anything ever again. Tellingly, it would be a bit like the scene in Pretty Woman when Richard Gere gives Julia Roberts his credit card. And the best bit about fantasies is I can ignore the fact that a middle-aged freeloader is probably not going to hold much appeal for a stinking rich businessman – not when there so many leggy, blonde twenty five year-olds who are equally good at spending money.
All this fantasising then, whilst not summoning up my dream man, is actually quite revelatory. I’m looking for someone to compensate for my own areas of inadequacy and to fix all my problematic personality traits. My sister, who errs towards cynicism in much the same way I err in the direction of hypochondria, would no doubt say that this is what coupledom is all about. And maybe she’s not too far off the mark. After all, how many times do those self-help gurus warn us against entering into a relationship in order to fix our lives?
Having said that, I can kind of see the appeal. I have a friend who claims she married her husband purely because he is so confident and it meant she would never again have to be traumatised by the prospect of confrontation. Her husband does anything that demands haggling, complaining or generally asserting yourself. That may sound a bit of a cold union but they’ve been married for over twenty years and it’s a system that works for them.
The only time I’m ever tempted to look for a significant other is every time something goes wrong with my house. How I’d love to have someone on hand with a spanner or hammer or whatever else the DIY crisis might require. Years ago, I suppose that was the deal, the husband took care of the practical stuff and the wife kept everything running smoothly in the cooking, cleaning and child rearing department. The problem is neither of those roles appeal to me. I’d quite like a husband and a wife to address all of my household needs.
So where does that leave me with my Mr Right? I’m thinking maybe I should embrace Mormonism. That way I could have several husbands - one for every occasion.