Previously in this series: If Taraji P. Henson Were Your Girlfriend.
If Gillian Anderson were your girlfriend, you wouldn’t refer to her as your girlfriend. You would call her your partner, your lover, your better half – something more all-encompassing and worthy and deserving of her. You might not even call her any name at all other than yours, and it would fill you with an overwhelming sense of happiness and all things good.
If Gillian Anderson were your girlfriend, you’d love the way her accent occasionally shifts on certain words – chocolate, trousers, spartan. You’d lay in bed together at the end of a long day, and even though it makes no sense for you to be the little spoon, she’d curl around you, her arms fitting around your middle. You’d drift off to the melodious sound of her voice, and even if she realized you weren’t listening anymore, she’d just tuck you in under the covers a little more and turn out the light.
If Gillian Anderson were your girlfriend, you’d spend a long Sunday afternoon solely devoted to the pursuit of acquiring new art for your apartment, and she wouldn’t even tease you when you accidentally confused Monet and Manet – much.
If Gillian Anderson were your girlfriend, you’d have to learn to be okay with relocating to England – or at the very least, racking up some serious frequent flyer miles. You wouldn’t complain much because the two of you are at your most productive on a transatlantic flight. You’d bury yourself in your own writing while she jots down a rough outline for the sequel to her book. She’d refuse to show you a sneak preview no matter how hard you begged to proofread, but a month later you would find the dedication to you in the first few pages.
If Gillian Anderson were your girlfriend, there would inevitably be a conversation about getting a dog – low-maintenance and low-energy. It’d be lazy enough to tolerate two young boys tugging at its floppy ears but loving enough to curl up at your feet and drool on your toes while you read the paper in the morning, wordlessly passing each other the jam across the breakfast nook.
If Gillian Anderson were your girlfriend, she’d fully support you taking a year off work to finish that novel you’ve been saying you’ll start but never quite get around to. She’d track down a vintage typewriter for you from an old antique store and then make herself scarce for hours just to let you work in private, but always remind you to take breaks when you need them. “I do love your reading glasses,” Gillian Anderson would say, as she massaged your temples, “but you don’t want to strain your eyes, do you?”
If Gillian Anderson were your girlfriend, you’d frequently embrace her from behind for the sole purpose of resting your chin on the top of her head. You’d adore her in high heels but prefer her in bare feet, and the way the two of you naturally fit together.
If Gillian Anderson were your girlfriend, you would somehow find yourself owning more silk in general. You wouldn’t be able to pinpoint the exact moment when it happened, exactly, but your life would be a little bit more luxurious as a result. You’d change into your silk PJs and slide in between silk sheets and refuse to be productive in any way for the whole weekend.
If Gillian Anderson were your girlfriend, she would be okay with the fact that sometimes you just want to stay in and watch old James Bond movies. The two of you would spend hours debating over whose Bond is best, and you’d be firmly in Sean Connery’s corner in spite of how long she spent trying to get you to switch your vote to Timothy Dalton.
If Gillian Anderson were your girlfriend, you’d become someone who drinks tea instead of coffee. At Christmas, she would buy you an infuser.
If Gillian Anderson were your girlfriend, you’d find her long-term memory lapses endearing. You’d leave little Post-It note reminders all over the flat on your anniversary, but then she’d surprise you by getting you a gift on a completely random day for no reason at all. “I just wanted to see you smile,” she’d say, and leave you with a lingering peck on the lips.
If Gillian Anderson were your girlfriend, the two of you would get tattoos together – the permanent kind, the kind she wanted to get when she was in the middle of filming The X-Files but the kind that would have been too tricky and too expensive to keep covered up on a regular basis. You’d waver and waffle and then pretend to be brave and volunteer to go first, but she’d rescue you from yourself and sit down in the chair before you could stop her. “I don’t know why I let you talk me into this,” she’d say, and follow it up with a wink when no one else is looking. Later, she’d help you peel away the bandage and gently trace her fingertips over the design that’s based around an inside joke between the two of you, and the sensation of soreness would be beautiful.
If Gillian Anderson were your girlfriend, she’d have a relationship with David Duchovny that only the both of them understand – long, complicated and too entangled for anyone to put into words. The three of you would drink together, and he’d let you call him Double D. After you called quits and made the meandering trip up the stairs to your bed, the two of them would still be reminiscing long into the night – or even sitting together in comfortable silence, the quiet only broken by the occasional clinking of ice against a glass.
If Gillian Anderson were your girlfriend, every day would feel as though you were standing in the sun with your face tilted up towards its warmth, even in the midst of the coldest, harshest winter. You’d wonder if it was even possible to be happier than you are in that moment with Gillian Anderson – and then tomorrow would eclipse that happiness, and the next day, and the day after that for the rest of your lives together.
Carly Lane is a writer based in New York City, specializing in obscure pop culture references and miscellaneous geekery. Her work has been featured on HelloGiggles, Obvi We're The Ladies, Femsplain and more. You can find her on Twitter at @equivocarly.