Did you ever go out with another couple, share a good bottle of wine (or two), and the conversation turns to “So who is on YOUR List?”
‘The List’ is code for two very different items: List #1. How many people you slept with before getting married. List #2. Who would be your top Five Fantasy Flings, IF your marriage was in a “freeze-frame” or you were given a “Hall Pass”?
The Second List is usually done jokingly, and usually it includes celebrities. (If it includes “real people” then it is no longer a “List’ — it’s called a “Fight.” ) These are among Guys’ Top Picks: Scarlett Johansson, Kate Beckensale, Megan Fox, and Jennifer Aniston, and perhaps new to ‘The List’ is the one-hit wonder Kate Upton of the VERY-wet-T-shirt-look fame. My list, for the record, may include Daniel Craig and Clive Owen (I’m just saying) and Richard Gere (I know, he’s getting old, but his sex appeal is still yummy and oh, that thick, wavy will-never-go-bald hair). And if I’m feeling a bit cougar-ish — throw in Zac Efron (shame on me, I know).
The List is non-threatening because it’s just never going to happen. It’s not real. It’s purely dinner & wine convo fantasizing. In reality, no list in the world — no celeb — would I ever trade for my husband. That revelation comes with maturity, and learning from all the “grocery store rags” that celebs are just like you and me – They Shop! They Eat! They Pump Gas! They wear sweats coming out of Target!
Interestingly, with all of our intimacy and best friendship over the past decade — my husband and I have never discussed ‘List #1.’ He doesn’t want to know, and I don’t want to know. It’s almost as if everything BEFORE US … never existed. So why dredge it up?
The fact is, We are a Land of List Lovers – Letterman’s Top Ten. The To-Do List. The Fashion “A” List. Forbes “World’s Richest People”. PEOPLE’s “Most Beautiful People” — and of course, the “Sexiest Man Alive” issue, which goes on to list all the other “I’m way Sexy And You Know It” … inside.
I had to laugh recently, when actress Meryl Streep, who is long-time happily married with children, was asked in a live interview while promoting her movie Hope Springs, who she would list (as in fellow celebs) to “Marry, Shag or Kill.”
“I’d Marry Redford, I’d Shag Nicholson, and I’d Kill Hoffman (as in Robert, Jack and Dustin) — Streep responded in the interview.
I sat there thinking, I TOTALLY agree. Redford is definitely The Thinking Man — handsome husband material. Jack, even with his big tummy and comb-over, would no doubt be a blast in the bedroom — lotsa laughs — but I bet he’d be a terrible husband with that philandering ever-present glint in his eye. And Dustin Hoffman could easily be husband material but seems too neurotic — which could drive anyone crazy — hence, winning the “kill” prize.
I then thought about You and Me — Who would YOU Marry, Shag or Kill — given the choice?
I believe that every day our spouse falls into one of these categories — those Perfect Days when you would marry him/her all over again. Those Sexy Days when the kids are away, and you find each other — enjoying the comforts and warmth of each other’s body that you know so well. And those Kill Bill days — when your husband is toast in your book.
I used to think that marriage was an unnatural institution — how do we know at such a young age, or at any age for that matter — if this one person can fulfill our needs? How do we ‘shag’ one person for the rest of our lives — and keep that passion alive? How do we not end up “killing” each other with frustration, irritation, and annoyance of the sameness day in, day out?
The answer lies within this tiny list: Marry. Shag. Kill. It defines Marriage in three words. Marriage without shagging is blank. Shagging without “Killing” is passionless. Marriage without Killing each other on those certain days — is well … called Single.
In the movie, Life as We Know It … the “jilted cute doctor boyfriend” witnesses his girlfriend (aka: actress Katherine Heigl) fighting passionately with her ex and says: If my wife and I fought like that … we would still be together. In this case, Kill = Communication.
Who would I Marry, Shag or Kill? Clive or Daniel? Hell no. It would have to be that guy lying next to me every night. The guy I wake up with, and brush my teeth next to. The Same Guy who has broken four cell phones over me during our famously passionate fights.
Saying I Do back when … whether it is 5, 10, 15, 20, or 21-plus years ago — is really about Accepting The List:
Yes. I’d marry him again. Yes, I’d shag him again. Yes, I would kill him again (and again). And guess what — he feels exactly the same way about me.
It ain’t Kansas, it’s Marriage, Baby.