If Daniel Henney Were Your Boyfriend -The Toast

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If Daniel Henney were your boyfriend, the two of you would have two yellow Labrador retrievers. One would grow up big and strong, and the other would magically remain an adorable little puppy. They would both live forever.

If Daniel Henney were your boyfriend, you’d never have to worry about the weather report, because he’d be waiting right outside your office building after work with an umbrella every time it rained.

If Daniel Henney were your boyfriend, you would stock your car with your favorite snacks and actually do that thing where you buy a paper road map and close your eyes and point randomly to a spot and then make that your destination, letting the open road carry you off on a breathless whirlwind adventure together – one you would always remember forever, even if the two of you just ended up in Peoria.

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If Daniel Henney were your boyfriend, you’d play “Spot the Asian!” when you watched TV together, and Daniel Henney would know a lot of the actors and offer juicy tidbits like “she probably should have gotten that nomination, but she knows she’s playing a long game” or “he really agonized over whether or not taking this role meant playing into a stereotype, but everyone has to work.” If anyone else ever asked him if he knew a particular Asian actor, however, Daniel Henney would sigh a little and you would bristle: “They don’t all hang out at the Asian Actor Club, you know!!!”

If Daniel Henney were your boyfriend, you’d really enjoy your visits to the Asian Actor Club, though.

If Daniel Henney were your boyfriend, whenever you wanted to gently tease him about how far he’s come you’d put on My Lovely Sam Soon, and he’d be a good sport about it even when he found it a little embarrassing.

If Daniel Henney were your boyfriend, he would notice the fact that you always seem to prepare yourself a cup of tea or coffee right before you become busy with writing and forget all about it, and so he’d very thoughtfully bring your hot beverage into the room where you were typing away, set it down next to you with an angelic smile, and remind you (in a non-nagging way) to enjoy it before it got cold. Daniel Henney would never tell you “I have a great idea for a story you should write!” or “one day I’m going to write a book!” He would appreciate that you’re into different things.

If Daniel Henney were your boyfriend, you’d be willing to take him “beyond the borders.” Yep. PRETTY MUCH ALL OF THEM.

If Daniel Henney were your boyfriend, there would suddenly appear a Democratic candidate for President you could love and campaign for with no reservations whatsoever, and you would finally be able to stop wistfully humming teach ’em how to say goodbye every time you saw a picture of Barack Obama.

If Daniel Henney were your boyfriend, he’d be able to make you the perfect garlic fried rice in the rice cooker with just a single touch of his index finger.

Screen Shot 2015-12-03 at 10.29.16 AMIf Daniel Henney were your boyfriend, you’d enjoy watching all those people who once told you that you were “pretty tall for an Asian” having to crane their necks a bit to look up at him (six. foot. two). Of course, most of them would then have to look away, because staring at Daniel Henney’s face is a bit like staring at bright sunlight flickering on the surface of the water – mesmerizing, but you can only do it for so long before your vision starts to swim.

If Daniel Henney were your boyfriend, you wouldn’t just talk about taking ballroom dancing lessons together; you’d actually sign up. Daniel Henney would be so excellent at every dance that soon, even with your two left feet, people would start telling you how much you reminded them of “an Asian Ginger Rogers.” Your dance instructor would praise your connection, the key to your success on the dance floor, but wouldn’t quite understand why sometimes the two of you switched positions so you could lead.

If Daniel Henney were your boyfriend, your sister – who is ordinarily chock-full of Questions and Opinions about your significant others – would be so completely flummoxed by his blindingly handsome face and winning personality she wouldn’t even think to ask you “where this is going.” She’d just see the way Daniel Henney smiled at you both when he refreshed your half-full cups of coffee, and as soon as he left you to have your sister bonding time she would grip your hand tightly in hers, look earnestly into your face, and remind you that nothing in this world is ever certain and it’s enough just to be alive right now.

If Daniel Henney were your boyfriend, he’d let you adopt a baby hedgehog if you really wanted to.

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If Daniel Henney were your boyfriend, you would never again feel embarrassed by your poor command of your mother tongue, because he would be eager to take language classes with you and study together. Sometimes he would try to translate funny lines from Big Hero 6 just to make you laugh.

If Daniel Henney were your boyfriend, the first time you got sick he’d call your mother and ask her for her chicken soup recipe. In your feverish state you’d be dimly aware of some sort of commotion happening in the kitchen, and then later, at some dark, nameless hour, he’d bring you a cup of the soup, watching as you tried the first spoonful. And even though you wouldn’t be able to taste anything with your flu-ravaged taste budsyou’d tell him it tasted like home.

If Daniel Henney were your boyfriend, one day you would go to one of those things where everyone drinks beer and tries to paint the same picture. You two would get in trouble with the person leading the workshop for goofing off and trying to paint on each others’ canvases, but you wouldn’t care. Daniel Henney would lie beautifully (because he does all things beautifully) and tell you that your blobby brownish rendition of “Starry Night” was, no, seriously, it was really good and original! You’d then feel honor-bound to confess that you never got “the big deal” about that painting, and he’d just smile and tell you he never got it, either.

If Daniel Henney were your boyfriend, your karaoke duets would be the stuff of legend.

If Daniel Henney were your boyfriend, you’d finally take that ceramics class you’ve been thinking about for years, and all of your pots would come out perfectly symmetrical. On your first try.

If Daniel Henney were your boyfriend, every house you ever considered buying or renting together would already have a window seat and a really classy turret. When the two of you finally settled in your dream home, he’d build you that crazy library you’ve always wanted – you know, the one from Beauty and the Beast, complete with a ladder on a track that you can swing around on when you’re in there “reading.”

If Daniel Henney were your boyfriend, once in a while he’d ask you, “babe, which shirt do you think I should wear to the set today?” and you’d purse your lips and frown a little and ask him to model shirt after shirt – say a good round dozen – before asking, “look, is it really so crucial that you wear a shirt at all?” And then he’d be late for his call time, because such things happen.

If Daniel Henney were your boyfriend, you’d never have to pack for a trip ever again. Daniel Henney would just stare at things and they would magically find their ways into boxes or suitcases. That’s what he’d tell you, anyway – you’d suspect he was actually hard at work making lists and packing while you were napping/procrastinating/insisting you had errands to run because you loathe packing so much. And if you ever took a trip without him, he would never do curbside dropoff; he’d pay for parking, help you get all your luggage in and checked, and stay at your side right up to the creepy privacy-violating security scanners, even if you were only going to be gone for forty-eight hours.

If Daniel Henney were your boyfriend, the two of you would be able to have entire silent conversations across a crowded room (“oh my god can you believe this guy??” “oh my god I KNOW RIGHT”) thanks in large part to his highly expressive eyebrows.


If Daniel Henney were your boyfriend, he wouldn’t make fun of you for staying in bed on cold, snowy winter nights, wearing flannel PJs and burrowed under three blankets and a down comforter. He would bring you popcorn and cookies and hot chocolate so you wouldn’t have to get out of bed and reset your toes to Frozen Zero, and the two of you would binge-watch all of your favorite, most stress-reducing shows. Sometimes you’d think he wasn’t quite giving Scandal or Jane the Virgin his full attention, but then later he’d make a casual remark about how Fitz was an especially gigantic asshole on the last episode, or how Rogelio’s telenovela made him think of his Kdrama days, and you’d realize he had somehow been paying attention all along.

If Daniel Henney were your boyfriend, sometimes, no matter how hard you tried not to be, you’d feel a little insecure – because he’s this handsome model and actor who gets fawned over, and you’re a nobody. Sometimes you’d look in the mirror and see only the imperfections, like your flabby stomach or the little lines forming where you frown too much (something he insists is cute, because you do it the most when you’re engrossed in a book), and you’d wonder why he was with you when he could be with anyone. You’d never tell Daniel Henney this, but somehow, still, that would be the night when he’d have dinner prepared when you got home and a movie you’d been wanting to see loaded On Demand – or, even better, the night when, for no reason at all, when you’re in the middle of answering an email or washing the dishes, he’d reach out and touch the small of your back and tell you how lucky he felt right at that moment to be with you.


If Daniel Henney were your boyfriend, the tough little scrapper of a cat you guys got from the no-kill shelter would follow Daniel Henney around, come running when he called, even eat out of his hand — just like a dog. The cat would have very little use for you, but you wouldn’t mind because you’d already have the aforementioned hedgehog and two Labradors.

If Daniel Henney were your boyfriend, it would be impossible to go to sleep angry, even if you wanted to. The last thing he’d say – every time you said goodbye, every time you guys got off the phone, every night before you went to bed – would always be kind. Even when you guys had been fighting, even when you were cranky as shit, even when he had a stressful day. And if you woke up from a nightmare in the middle of the night he’d wake up too, and listen while you rambled on about your terrible dream and all the things you secretly fear but are always too embarrassed to admit – and he’d never laugh at you, even though some of your nightmares involve six-foot green killer bunnies and missing every single Calculus class except for the final exam and trying to scrub water stains off a coffee table that never seems to get clean. Daniel Henney would hold you close and tell you it was okay, and if you still couldn’t fall asleep, he’d bring you a tall glass of water and tell you about his best dreams – crazy, hilarious ones – until you fell asleep to the sound of his voice.

Nicole Chung is the Managing Editor of The Toast.

Karissa Chen is the author of Of Birds and Lovers, a chapbook of short fiction. She is the fiction & poetry editor at Hyphen magazine, and her work has appeared in Guernica, PEN America, PANK, VIDA, and other publications. She is a currently a Fulbright Scholar in Taiwan and is at work on a novel.

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