The Ideal Husband List

I know I’m not alone when I say that, as a single woman, I dread opening the mailbox. For one reason alone – wedding invitations.

Not that I don’t love a good wedding because I so do. It combines most of my favorite things: love, dresses and cake. But a girl can only go to so many parties not focused on her before she begins to get the itch. Imagine years of big elaborate birthday parties for all of your friends and family but none for you. And I LOVE presents, y’all. This situation just doesn’t work for me. And being the terrible person I am, I’m at the point that I think I only want a husband for the sake of a wedding rather than a marriage. Yes, I am all that is wrong with America.

But it isn’t like fantasizing about my future husband is a new development. I am no different from the majority of girls on this planet. Imagining your hubs is as common as hating that girl in the third grade for having the same Lisa Frank binder as you. And every girl knows that a crucial part of husband-hunting is the “Ideal Husband List.”

When a girl is young, her “ideal husband list” (or IHL, for our purposes) is pretty simple. She chooses her favorite Disney prince, and that’s about the extent of it (I loved Eric from “The Little Mermaid” despite my lifelong fear of anything ocean-related). When she becomes a teenager, she lists all of the qualities that will piss her parents off royally plus a few angst-filled ones (sparkly vampire). When she graduates from high school, she either chooses ones aligned with a future lawyer or a frat boy based on her chosen social life. As college graduation draws near, things get tricky. Her IHL is no longer a game that can shift with her current flavor of the month. The thought of marriage is beginning to knock at her door, and no one wants to end up with a guido, mmmkay?

The hope in a young 20-year-old’s eyes should be indication enough about how long her list will be. She’s not a teenager anymore! Surely, marriage is just on the horizon, or at least a stable live-in boyfriend like Jennifer Aniston and Ben Affleck in “He’s Just Not That In To You.” Her list is loooooooooooooooong. And strangely specific.

Her list will include the gamut of possibilities. He should be smart, but not too smart. More street smart, but still very well read, ya know? He should be athletic, but not a meathead. Funny, but still soulful. Makes a butt-ton of money, but not materialistic.

You get the picture?

Essentially, her 20-year-old mind has created a superhuman man. Her mind has created an IHL with only one candidate – Ryan Gosling. And let’s face it – we can’t all be Eva Mendes. Eva says the same thing about me, by the way. She’s deeply jealous of my life.

As she progresses farther into her early 20s with no obvious suitors, it becomes imperative to triage her list. How important is it for him to run marathons? Eh – scratch it. Do I really need him to be able to craft a splint from materials he can find in the Antarctic? I never liked the cold anyway. What if he has a receding hairline? Bald is hot; look at Bruce Willis. Must love “The Notebook?” No way, not budging on that one.

Essentially, where I’m going with this is to tell you that eventually her list will consist of three things:

  • Breathing
  • Male
  • Job (willing to negotiate)

When she reaches this point will be entirely up to her. I know girls that hit that point around 21 and some that are close to 30 and happy as a clam with their singleness.

My list isn’t much longer, but it does contain “Celebrity”, and that adds a significant level of difficulty. In my defense, I’m not demanding an A-list Academy Award nominee; a good old-fashioned reality star will work.

The point is that girls have a lot of expectations for their future prince. Those expectations will dwindle with time (and desperation), but your standards never should. People will mock you when you say your standard is “Celebrity”, but you don’t lose those Tinseltown dreams, girl. Unless Ryan Gosling or John Krasinski or Adam Brody is your dream, and then you need to back the hell up.

Don’t triage too much of your list too quickly. It’s great to look for certain qualities in a mate, but perhaps requiring him to be able to list every John Hughes movie in order by theatrical release is a tad nuts. Wait, no, that’s perfectly acceptable. Carry on.

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