Love, Britishly

                                                                                                                                        1:34 a.m.    12/30/31/04

Welsh castleI have come upon a dichotomy within that I truly cannot explain. It’s been a slow realization, but now I must acknowledge it. I love Brits. Why is this a dichotomy? Because I hate their country. Now, that’s probably not fair of me because it was twelve and a half years ago that they were reluctant to let me into the damn country, but I remember it as clearly as if it were yesterday. I’m not over it yet, and I don’t think I’ll ever be. Then again, I get searched almost every time I travel in the United States as well, but nothing like the grilling customs gave to me when I tried to break into the motherland.

So, with my great antipathy for this country, why is it that I’m totally gone on her products? Take a look at my list of celebrity crushes, and you’ll notice that a disproportionate number of them come from the Greater U.K. Alan Rickman, Kate Winslet, Jason Isaacs, Ewan McGregor, David Thewlis, Hugh Laurie, Anthony Stewart Head, and Jamie Oliver. Good lord. I really do have a hard-on for the Brits. Why, oh why? Well, for starters, I love accents. I have no idea why, but I just love them. Seems I like Greater U.K. accents the best, though I have no idea why. It sounds so elegant, and all the swear words don’t sound like real swear words.

Add to that-they’re fucking hot. I think it’s because first of all, they all look like real people. None are movie-star gorgeous-which isn’t my type at all. These are people you could run into while frequenting your local bookstore or supermarket. Well, not them, of course, but people who look like them. Except Kate Winslet who is breathtakingly beautiful. The rest are guys who I would actually think I had a chance with if they weren’t stars. At the very least, I could shag them, which sounds better than fuck, anyway.

There is something about the elegance, too, which is inherent in the British style. Now I’m referring specifically to Brits. I guess it’s another form of stereotyping, but I don’t find all Brits elegant. I don’t consider Jamie Oliver all that elegant, nor Jason Isaacs, really. Alan Rickman, however, falls into this category. So does Anthony Head Stewart. That might have more to do with him playing Giles, however, than with him as a person. I think it’s also that I like foreign movies more than American ones in general. When I watch a British movie, I feel more at home than watching an American one. I like the more psychological aspects of Brit films as well as the curious absence of blood and car chases. They seem more real to me, and I suppose that is the whole underlying premise of my attraction to Brits. They seem more real than Americans-at least the stars do.

Then, there’s my passion for older men. In real life, I tend to like older people as opposed to younger ones. My last partner notwithstanding, I don’t think I’ve ever seriously dated someone younger. Thus, it makes sense that many of my celeb crushes are on older people. There is something sexy about confidence, and older people have it in spades. The best example is Susan Sarandon who is simply a joy. I saw her hosting a late night talk show once with her partner, Tim Robbins, as her sidekick, and she was terrific. There is a woman in her late fifties and not reticent to act like it. As far as I can tell, she’s had no cosmetic surgery-nor does she need any.

Back to the Brits. I would have to say that Alan Rickman is probably the oldest on my list of crushes. Hang on a tick while I check it out. Still checking…Huh, James Marsters is older than Jason Isaacs. Who would have thought? Hm. Susan Sarandon is only months younger than Alan, but somehow doesn’t seem as wrong. I think because I have a hang up on the father/daughter dynamic which isn’t present with Susan. Ok. The oldest then, by months, is Alan Rickman at 58. The youngest is Amber Benson at twenty-seven-though she’ll be twenty-eight in a week or so. I have no idea how old Jacqueline Kim is because doesn’t list her birth date, but I seriously doubt she’s younger than thirty or over forty.

So, what does this all mean? I haven’t the faintest. All I know is that my love of all things British-well, all people British-is mystifying, not to mention perturbing. What is it about the UK that just turns me into a pile of mush?

7 Responses to Love, Britishly

  1. 1) I do believe that Kate Winslet is Australian, if I am not mistaken.

    2) I love British comedies and the way that they can be so politically incorrect and make fun of themselves as well, exposing and exaggerating their cultural propensities like drinking and promiscuity. And they are fabulous at making films that give food for thought and are subtle rather than brash like American films (think gore, giant fireballs and gratuitous sex).

    3) My husband, the Frenchman, hates the British with a passion (though he does love their comedies and their films in general) because they invented, leisure,tourism, competitive sports and hobbies – all, according to him, an utter waste of time.

  2. Brits are sorely lacking in interpersonal communication skills. It’s a personal badge of honor to be hateful to non-Brits, particularly Americans.

    Once when my mother visited us in Scotland the customs lady totally ruined the first several days of her trip with us by being utterly hateful. She was grilling this gray-haired old(ish) lady with a passport full of stamps (my folks have been to dozens of countries), including stamps in & out of Scotland, like she was a terrorist. My mother bitched about it several times a day for nearly a week, and stewed about it for the first few days. She was completely enraged, swore she’d never return (well, she did, that’s the power of grandchildren).

    It’s not racial profiling, it’s Brit uppitiness combined with lack of interpersonal communication skills.

  3. Kate Winslet is British. Cate Blanchett, who is also quite lovely, is Australian.

    Jamie, of course your hubby hates the British–he’s French!

    SMR, yeah, I agree. I can comfortably lust over the Brits from my side of the pond–it’s a far enough distance!

  4. Having lived in England for many years, I cannot agree with your views. Most average English people are ill educated, ignorant, and racist. In addition, they can be extremely cold and unwelcoming. Trying to get an English person to open up about themselves is pretty tough. First you have to have a conversation about the weather. Can I add that the majority of them have bad teeth as well? The reason why the people you list above are hot is because they are hot and consequently in the public media. It was an amazing feat, I thought, to have made actual English friends who I am still in contact with. Unfortunately, most of the female friends that I made as well are so insecure it was like a disease. Sorry Minna. Have to disagree with you about this one…Although, I am rather fond of Hugh Laurie’s looks. x Sarah

  5. Sarah, oh, I know. It’s easy for me to idealize because I’ve never lived there. However, the few times I’ve visited, I’ve found a few comely souls–mostly artists. I just find it highly amusing that I have a thing for British actors/actresses, especially Alan Rickman, Hugh Laurie, Jason Isaacs, and Helen Mirren.

  6. Yes, Hugh Laurie….yummmmmmmm!!!!! I agree. I know that you didn’t like Maybe Baby but seeing Hugh Laurie nearly naked/”having sex” was pretty awesome! xx s

  7. Yes. If it had been all (nearly) naked Hugh Laurie all the time, then maybe, baby, I would have actually watched the whole movie!