If Tom Hiddleston were your boyfriend, the two of you would start an informal collection of pictures of cats named after him. After a while the collection would take on a momentum of its own, and your closest friends would begin to contribute pictures. Then you would develop a complicated and ultimately unplayable drinking game in which the high score went to the person who was the first to find a new picture of two cats named ‘Benedict’ and ‘Hiddles.’
If Tom Hiddleston were your boyfriend, he would fully support your contention that people should not speak to each other in the mornings. As a result, mornings would become one of your favorite times together. You would move around the kitchen in silence, making coffee and passing each other marmalade, and occasionally leaning over his shoulder to take his pen and fill out a crossword clue for him. You would get some of your best ideas for stories in these quiet mornings together.
If Tom Hiddleston were your boyfriend, when he talked in his sleep he would say things like, “The clockwork! The clockwork!” and “I’m not just a creature of your imagination!” He would never recall any of these statements when he woke up.
If Tom Hiddleston were your boyfriend, your life would be full of moments where you’d just be standing in your yoga pants with your hair sticking up, waiting for the kettle to boil, when suddenly he’d pop up next to you and exclaim, “Dance break!” and you’d find yourself jitterbugging or tangoing or doing some other dance that you didn’t actually know you knew how to do, while the kettle whistled. This would also come to be your second favorite way of resolving a fight.
If Tom Hiddleston were your boyfriend, when you and your mother fought, he’d lean against the wall and listen, arms crossed and face neutral but sympathetic, until finally he’d mouth, “Let me speak to her” and reach out for the phone. You’d listen as he talked calmly and sweetly to her until the two of them were laughing and swapping stories about you. Then he’d say, “Oh, I’m afraid she can’t come to the phone right now, she’s popped off to have a bath. Of course I’ll tell her. You too, Marie,” and then he’d ring off and grin at you.
If Tom Hiddleston were your boyfriend, he would never break the spines on your books when he borrowed them, because he knows that drives you bananas.
If Tom Hiddleston were your boyfriend, the first time the two of you got high together, you’d get uncontrollable giggles and finally blurt, “We’re Hiddlestoned.” Then you’d have a terrible moment in which he stared blankly at you and you thought you’d ruined everything before he burst out laughing and said, “I adore you.”
If Tom Hiddleston were your boyfriend, you would come to appreciate digestive biscuits and he would come to love Oreos.
If Tom Hiddleston were your boyfriend, he would really, really like your dog. He would sit on the sofa with your dog – where your dog is not allowed to sit – and call out to you, “Have you ever noticed how shiny he is?”
If Tom Hiddleston were your boyfriend, he would always want to take naps with you. These naps would stretch on from Saturday afternoon well into the evening, and when you woke up with your legs tangled together, he would rub his chin against your shoulder and say, “Can we please cancel our dinner plans and stay in?” You would obligingly say yes, even though both of you know that you always want to stay in because you never know what to say at parties.
If Tom Hiddleston were your boyfriend, he would bother his agent until he got himself cast in “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries” because he knows how much you love the show. When Phryne inevitably seduces him you won’t mind as much as you usually do when he has love scenes. Shortly after he’s revealed as the murderer, you’d receive a package wrapped in brown paper. You’d open it and discover your favorite of Miss Fisher’s actual coats, the black one with the embroidery. “Happy birthday,” he’d say. “It’s not my birthday,” you’d point out. “I know,” he’d say.
If Tom Hiddleston were your boyfriend, he would let you reorganize the closet with the system you learned from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. He would tell people at parties how amazing your closet-organizing system is and usher them into the bedroom to display the closet. He would get so excited about your system that he’d keep your guests in the bedroom for way too long making them look at your extraordinarily tidy closets and drawers and explaining to them just how to fold a shirt, and eventually you’d have to go in and rescue them, but you’d linger to kiss him as you both gaze at the closet. “I could just stay here all night,” he’d say. “Want to? They won’t miss us.”
If Tom Hiddleston were your boyfriend, you’d come to feel about men in suits the way you had previously felt about men in t-shirts and jeans.
If Tom Hiddleston were your boyfriend, you would never, ever mention James Bond unless you had a free hour and a half to listen to him spin out. Secretly you would think he was more of a villain than a Bond, but because you love him, you would be supportive about his Bond aspirations.
If Tom Hiddleston were your boyfriend, one night when you’d stayed up talking late, late, late into the evening, he’d look at you and say, “There’s something I want to tell you, something I’ve never told anyone.” And your heart would sink and leap all at the same time, but you’d simply take his hand and nod and say, “You can tell me anything. I love you.” A single tear would run down his face as he said, “I hope you’ll still love me afterwards.” Then he’d stand up and turn his back to you, and from that perfect back would emerge two immense wings. You’d never be able to decide, afterwards, if the feathers were black or white.
If Tom Hiddleston were your boyfriend, the next several months would be taken up trying to find an apartment with rooms big enough for you, him, your dog and his wings.
If Tom Hiddleston were your boyfriend, when you walked past dark spaces – closed doors, alleyways, bodies of water at night – you would sometimes hear a low voice hissing, “Faaaalllllennnn.” You would never pay any attention.
If Tom Hiddleston were your boyfriend, he would understand that there are times when you need to retreat to your bed with a stack of mystery novels and some Smartfood and a mysterious sense of despair. He would not bother you during these times, or try to tell you that everything was really fine, or ask when your period was going to be over. Instead, while you were lying in bed staring at the ceiling, full of remorse for having eaten an entire bag of Smartfood while ignoring all your work, he would sneak into the room and begin to put on a puppet show for you with antique hand puppets that he inherited from his Grandmother. You would try very hard not to be charmed by this, but you would not succeed.
If Tom Hiddleston were your boyfriend, not even your neti pot would gross him out.
If Tom Hiddleston were your boyfriend, he would send you flowers frequently and without occasion. He would favor poppies and sweet peas, or sprays of delphiniums, or giant tubs of gladiolas. “Never roses,” he’d say once, and you’d nod yes emphatically before realizing you had no idea why never roses.