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Home: The Toast

Previously in this series: If Idris Elba Were Your Boyfriend.

If Natalie Dormer were your girlfriend, you’d meet-cute at an academic lecture (open to the public), when she approached you afterwards to compliment you on the question you raised in the post-lecture Q&A. At first you’d be surprised to see her there, but upon further reflection, you wouldn’t be surprised at all. ‘I completely agree that we need to emphasise feminist and postcolonial perspectives on the toxic cultural legacy of the British Empire’, she’d say. ‘Would you care to discuss it further over drinks tonight? I know the perfect place.’

If Natalie Dormer were your girlfriend, she would take you on dates to the V&A, during which you’d visit just a select handful of rooms at a time (‘So that we can really savour it’). You would go for tea in the museum café—the old one, not the dull, silly modern one—and the glorious Victorian tilework would pale at the sight of her face as she exclaimed animatedly over her favourite parts. At opportune moments throughout, she’d push you up against marble plinths and kiss you breathless.

If Natalie Dormer were your girlfriend, the two of you would spend sunny summer days stretched out on the grass in Hyde Park with a picnic basket full of fruit and the makings of a hearty ploughman’s lunch. You’d happily get odd tan lines on your wrists from where your hands lay entwined.

If Natalie Dormer were your girlfriend, she would schedule regular Skype conversations with you whenever she went on an extended location shoot, no matter what time zone she was in. She would always be interested to hear how your day went. She’d steal little props from set—coins, maps, and so on—to send to you. ‘Won’t they miss these?’ you’d ask her via Skype the day after you receive a box containing a matching pair of etched silver goblets. ‘So long as you think of my mouth on yours when you use them, I really don’t care,’ she’d reply with a wicked smile.

If Natalie Dormer were your girlfriend, the two of you would have dinner down the pub at least once a week. She’d ask for her usual—a double order of chips plus whatever else she felt like eating that night—and she wouldn’t mind in the least when you ate more chips than was strictly your fair share.

If Natalie Dormer were your girlfriend, she would use some of her Game of Thrones money to fly the two of you to Hamburg, Germany, specifically so that you could see Caspar David Friedrich’s ‘Wanderer above the Sea of Fog’ in person. She would hold your hand as you, overwhelmed, wept silently at the sight of the Romantic sublime.

If Natalie Dormer were your girlfriend, the two of you would frequently go to the theatre together. You’d both get ice creams during the interval and giggle while messily trading tastes. After the play was over, you’d find the nearest late-night caff to sit in and enthuse about the production over terrible cheap coffees in chipped cups.

If Natalie Dormer were your girlfriend, you would live together in a beautiful house in Islington. When you went to Borough Market at the weekend, the crowds of tourists would part silently before you as you shopped for locally grown gooseberries and homemade ginger fudge. The man selling duck confit sandwiches at Le Marché du Quartier would slip a free tin of cassoulet into your bag when you weren’t looking as a gift for two of his favourite customers.

If Natalie Dormer were your girlfriend, she would make the two of you a lush fry-up on Sunday mornings. Afterwards, she’d insist on cleaning up the grease from the streaky bacon herself because she’d know how much you hate the smell of it.

If Natalie Dormer were your girlfriend, she would cheerfully and pointedly introduce you as her girlfriend on both the red carpet and your (now shared) local, her hand set firmly at the small of your back. If any interviewers attempted to describe you as just her ‘friend’, she would need only to arch one of her perfect eyebrows and the interviewers would hasten to correct themselves.

If Natalie Dormer were your girlfriend, the two of you would curl up together to watch period films and television and take turns shouting at the screen about any historical inaccuracies. ‘They didn’t have Topshop in the twelfth century, last I checked’, she’d grouse against the underside of your jaw.

If Natalie Dormer were your girlfriend, she would take you shopping at all her favourite secret boutiques (the kind that only twelve other people know about). ‘Darling, that outfit is doing truly marvellous things for your arse,’ she’d say, lazing on a chaise, sipping a Hendricks and tonic as her tailor took your measurements. ‘Not that your arse isn’t already marvellous, of course.’

If Natalie Dormer were your girlfriend, she would cheer you up when you were feeling down by buying you beautiful leatherbound books and also a wombat stuffie, which you’d name ‘Rossetti’. She wouldn’t need to ask to know why.

If Natalie Dormer were your girlfriend, the two of you would ace the weekly pub quiz (nearly) every time. Your team name would be With Your Shield Or On It, and Natalie Dormer would never make you feel bad if you didn’t know how to solve a question related to current pop culture. ‘It’s all right, darling,’ she’d say with a reassuring pat, discreetly writing down the correct answer. ‘I know that your specialty is the nineteenth century and previous.’

If Natalie Dormer were your girlfriend, you would sit at her feet in front of the fireplace on evenings when the two of you stayed in, dressed down in comfy clothes and nursing a pot of tea. She’d stroke your hair while you quietly read different books, occasionally reading aloud choice passages to each other or mocking anything that was clearly biased scholarship.

If Natalie Dormer were your girlfriend, she would perch on a clear bit of the kitchen counter while she ‘helped’ you cook dinner, distracting you with gentle bites to the back of your neck when she felt that you were taking too long about it. ‘Damn the risotto,’ she’d say, and then, ‘I take that back; I bloody love it when you cook for me. But hurry up already! I want to reenact that scene from Fanny Hill tonight.’ Damn the risotto indeed.

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Andrea Lam works in book publicity. She lives in New York City. You can find her on Twitter at @AndreaNLam.

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