Previously in this series: If Michelle Obama Were Your Girlfriend.
If Idris Elba were your boyfriend, your guilty pleasure Mumford and Sons air-banjo jam sessions would no longer be furtive or suspect.
If Idris Elba were your boyfriend, he would accompany you to the comic book store every Wednesday to pick up your new issues. Your Comic Book Guy would know you both by name, but you’d be delighted when he occasionally slipped up and called you “Misty and Luke.”
If Idris Elba were your boyfriend, the game of golf would never be watched, mentioned, or played by either of you. There would be no discussion of this; it would simply be a mutual understanding.
If Idris Elba were your boyfriend, he would accept that your definition of “working out” is watching him work out and then posting pictures of his deadlifts on Instagram while eating jellybeans by the handful.
If Idris Elba were your boyfriend, it would not be unusual for you to read aloud to each other. “Keep going, babe,” he’d say after you finished a page of whatever supernaturally themed YA novel you were reading that week.
If Idris Elba were your boyfriend, you would not become a complete sneakerhead, but you would begin to appreciate the occasional designer Nike.
If Idris Elba were your boyfriend, you would most certainly become a slouchy knitted woollen hat sort of person. They would not make you look like an angsty teen, nor would they matt down your hair.
If Idris Elba were your boyfriend, he would never present you with a pink or baby blue tee or jersey from that baseball team you love and then expect you to be excited about it. Idris Elba would never try to force upon you any of the sexist, patronising merchandise the MLB churns out. The only argument you would ever have about any jersey is whether or not it is part of a “kit.”
If Idris Elba were your boyfriend, you would die knowing you’d done well by your thirteen-year-old self. “This is way better than Orlando Bloom,” you’d murmur, going through old middle school yearbooks.
If Idris Elba were your boyfriend, he would graciously offer to drink for you during your fourth losing round of beer pong, but your honour would be at stake so he wouldn’t be pushy about it.
If Idris Elba were your boyfriend, he’d bring you to all his DJing gigs, even though you would staunchly refuse to refer to him as “DJ Big Driss.”
If Idris Elba were your boyfriend, there’s a good chance he would accidentally sext your best friend a few times, because Idris Elba has your best friend’s number programmed on speed dial next to yours for emergencies (such as: “I was thinking of recording a selection of sonnets for her birthday, and I want your opinion…wait, you think she’d want Shel Silverstein? Thanks, love” or “I’m surprising her after work tonight — which Lush bath bombs would she prefer?”). He’d make it up to the both of you with cookies from that bakery in SoHo you love so much.
If Idris Elba were your boyfriend, your grandmother would finally stop flying in Good Black Men™ for you to meet at the Jack & Jill events she hosts in her suburban Atlanta retirement village.
If Idris Elba were your boyfriend he would deliver his “Tonight, we cancel the apocolypse” speech from Pacfic Rim to your girl scout troop after a disappointing first week of cookie sales. Inspiration sets in and your troop would conquer the city.
If Idris Elba were your boyfriend, he would very calmly and patiently guide you through the steps of parallel parking on a city street and wouldn’t complain or make you drop him off in front of the apartment first, even after that one time it took ten tries and the better part of an hour to get into a space big enough for two Hummers. (He would never bring that up.)
If Idris Elba were your boyfriend, there would be a point early on in your relationship when you would casually say, “I hate when people give me flowers. Like, why would you say ‘thank you’ by giving me something I have to be responsible for until it dies?” The Sunday after your third anniversary, you and some of your friends would be sitting at the breakfast nook in your Harlem brownstone while Idris Elba cooks brunch on the stove, and one friend – who is kind of a pot stirrer – would look around the room and joke, “No flowers for your anniversary?” Idris Elba would finish flipping a crepe before he glanced over at you, and his face would be utterly serious as he said, “I would never do that to you, babe.”
If Idris Elba were your boyfriend, he would not complain when you abuse Kirby’s down + B move in Super Smash Brothers.
If Idris Elba were your boyfriend, he would start slowly replacing your Tetly and Bigelow tea bags with organic and local loose-leaf teas and cute tea strainers. Neither one of you would really mention it or get pretentious about it, but you’d be thankful every lazy autumn morning.
Idris Elba would never ask you “When are you going to watch The Wire?” like all your white guy friends.
Idris Elba would ask you things like, “Should I grab a case of red or white from that vineyard I was telling you about? Never mind, I’ll get both,” before catching his flight back from filming the new Bond film outside Bordeaux. He wouldn’t make you get off the couch to go get him from the airport (even though you offered), he’d just join you in front of the television when he got home. You’d kiss him hello, pour two glasses of wine, and snuggle in next to him for a marathon Netflix session. Because Idris Elba would always understand that sometimes, a girl just needs to rewatch The West Wing straight through for the ninth time, okay?
Kendra James is a race and pop culture blogger from New York City by way of Oberlin, Ohio. She spends her days in prep schools, her weekends at Racialicious, and her nights complaining @KendraJames_.