The Toast Looks Back: The Best of If X Were Your Y -The Toast

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WHERE IT ALL BEGAN: “If Channing Tatum were your boyfriend, he would get you the worst birthday gifts, but he would look at you with such love that you would never care. Then he would dance for you.”

If Stanley Tucci were your boyfriend, your dad would refer to him genially as ‘The Tooch.’ ‘Come to the house this weekend, and bring The Tooch with you.'”

If John Cho were your boyfriend, he would love that you fancy yourself an amateur astronomer. On your birthday he would upgrade your old cheap telescope to a fancy new model with all the bells and whistles, and the two of you would spend many a clear night spying on our celestial neighbors and marveling at the exhilarating beauty of the universe. You would agree that while space presents limitless possibilities for exploration, all the private Mars missions currently in the works seem completely terrifying, not to mention rather fiscally irresponsible, and you’d prefer to stay together here on Earth. ‘It’s one thing to fly a starship in the movies,’ John Cho would say, ‘but I couldn’t enjoy it if you weren’t there with me.'”

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 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 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 Chris Evans were your boyfriend, the two of you would eventually end up owning seven dogs in total, who may or may not be named after the Avengers. You’d always wake up to someone jumping on the bed with a bark of excitement, nuzzling your ear. Sometimes it would be the dogs. Mostly it would be Chris Evans.”

If Gwyneth Paltrow were your girlfriend, you’d get to share her wardrobe – multiple wardrobes, actually, three different walk-in closets in one house. There would be another closet that was always locked and that you’d never seen into; a closet that you occasionally heard scratching noises from, or the soft scuffling of thousands of tiny legs, but you wouldn’t think about it that much.”

If Tom Hardy were your boyfriend, when he read your writing projects, he would text you saying ‘my heart’s just so full right now. such a talent'”

If Cobie Smulders were your ostensibly platonic gym buddy for whom you have conflicted feelings, she would always have one stubborn lock of hair that escaped her ponytail. ‘Let me get that for you,’ you would say, and then you would use your calloused hands to slip it back under the elastic, with a curiously delicate touch. ‘Thanks, man,’ Cobie would say. ‘One of these days I’ll get it right.'”

If Mary-Louise Parker were your girlfriend, people would start referring to casual, relaxed, possibly ostentatious movements as You-ing, instead of swanning.”

If Oscar Isaac were your boyfriend, sometimes he’d jokingly call you his ‘problematic fave.'”

If Nigella Lawson were your girlfriend, your sweat would smell like vanilla extract.”

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.”

If Stephen Colbert were your dad, he wouldn’t be able to help you with your French homework, but on your birthday he would sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to you over the phone in perfect Sindarin.”

If Serena Williams were your girlfriend, you would have a mutual agreement to never play against each other in board or video games, because it would not end well. You would instead form a formidable team and leave tears and pwnage in your wake. Your friends would be cool with this, because, I mean, she’s Serena Williams.”

If Prince Harry were your boyfriend, he would, in secret, change his listing in your phone all the time. You’d have added him in simply as ‘H,’ but one day you’d get a text from someone called ‘Henry IX.’ And then a whole chain of them: ‘H. Balls,’ ‘Jack the Zipper,’ ‘Codpiece von Rodgerer,’ and most awkwardly of all, ‘Prince Andrew.'”

If Justin Bieber were my son, I would always have half of a re-wrapped burrito from Chipotle in my purse, just in case someone needed it. I would be prepared for any emergency. Nothing would catch me off-guard. My center of gravity would be spread over my entire body, and the devil himself could not knock me over.”

If Tilda Swinton were your girlfriend, she’d be pleased to loan you anything from her closet, even though nothing ever looks quite right on you and is always several inches too long. You’d try not to act like it was a big deal when Tilda showed you her old christening gown, which was woven before the Norman Conquest.”

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 LeVar Burton and Yo-Yo Ma were your dads, when you were a kid, every time you had a question about anything (‘How do you spell “loquacious”?’ ‘Do sharks sleep with their eyes closed?’), LeVar Burton would tell you to take a look, it’s in a book. And when you complained about how annoying Dad was being, Yo-Yo Ma would play a slow, sad song on the cello, and they’d laugh at you (never unkindly) as you stomped away.”

If Julian of Norwich were your professor, you would ask her what would be on the final, and she would reply, ‘All manner of things shall be on the exam.'”

If Hayley Atwell were your girlfriend, you would love holding hands with her. She has soft hands, but a good grip, the kind that would quell the worries in your chest. Sure, the worries would still be there. But they’d be quieter, background static to the beautiful music that is your life with Hayley Atwell.”

If Prince were your boyfriend, you could borrow his eyeliner, though his shoes would be too small for you.”

If Barack Obama were your dad, he would make you go camping with him every summer. Even though he has no idea how to put up a tent, he would dive in to putting it up with gusto. ‘Come on, girls!’ he’d say, ‘this tent isn’t going to put itself up!'”

If Shakespeare’s Richard III were your coworker, he’d say things like, ‘Thanks for flagging that!’ and ‘Good catch!’ and ‘Just let me know if you need anything else from me on that front,’ and you’d know in your bones that he was imagining throwing your lifeless body down the elevator shaft.”

If the velociraptor from Jurassic Park were your girlfriend, you would start taking trips outside the visitors’ center with her. You stepped out ahead of her, but the tip of her tail wound around your waist and you knew what she meant. Behind me.”

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