the smell of my desperation has become a stench

When networking goes horribly wrong

I didn’t think this time would ever come, but in the last couple of months I have had to reassess my list for a reason other than “this one hates dogs” or “that one has toe hair.”

You’re like, this had better not be her grocery list.

The list list. The five people you would most like to have sex with outside of your marriage, and if one of them called you up and was all, hey girl, your significant other would have to give you a pass. Except, the people on your list have to be so out of reach that such a phone call would not ever happen. So out of reach that you cannot know someone who knows someone who knows someone who knows their dentist.

Enter: Christy Turlington. Those who are familiar with my list asked me if I brought this up with her during our trip to Bangladesh, and I was like, RIGHT. How on earth was that conversation supposed to go?

“I really want to have sex with your friend’s husband.”

And then she’d be like, great. Nice to meet you, too!

A few weeks before our trip I read a profile of Gwyneth Paltrow in Bon Appetit talking about her cookbook. She mentioned throwing a party for a whole bunch of her friends, and Christy is quoted in the article. SHE WAS AT THAT PARTY. Guess who happened to be there, too? Gwyneth’s husband. Chris Martin. Occupier of the top spot on my list.

He couldn’t be fifth, COULD HE. NO. He had to be at the top. So I awkwardly approached my husband and asked if there might be an exception to the rules, like, maybe instead of taking someone off of your list you just move them down a few notches. I didn’t tell him why I was asking, only that a friend wanted to know.

“Christy Turlington knows Gwyneth Paltrow, doesn’t she?” he said more than asked.


Turns out, yes, they know each other well. Very well, so Chris had to be erased completely from the list. So I wrote his name on a piece of embossed stationery, folded it in half and buried it in the back yard, the silence broken only as my tears bounced off the fresh dirt. SEE WHAT YOU’RE MISSING OUT ON, CHRIS.

What a sorry state my list was in! No number one, and two whole spots occupied by Michael Phelps? HEATHER. Pull yourself together. What if some hunky famous person calls in the next couple of weeks for some action and he’s not listed? The rules say you’d have to turn him down. My marriage vows do, too, BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT.

I’ve had to come up with a revised list, and this is not easy work! There are only five spots and yet very many famous people getting in shape for their next role!

And I don’t remember what it was, oh, wait. Yes I do. It was this clip of Ryan Gosling feeding an apple to his dog when I remembered how I used to really dislike Ryan Gosling, not for any particular reason, only that people (little girls) kept raving about “The Notebook” and I most certainly was not going to see “The Notebook” until I finally gave in and saw “The Notebook” and HOLY SHIT, I LOOOOOOOVE RYAN GOSLING.

That kissing scene in the rain. You cannot finish watching that movie with your virginity intact. Not possible.

And then here he is breaking up a street fight. Behold his arms:

Almost all of the work he has done since “The Notebook” has deepened that love. He’s hot, pure sex even, but he’s also… strange. Sometimes he looks like his great grandfather from Hoboken dressed him, but he doesn’t care. And it’s that not caring that takes him from no where near my list to the top spot.

So here’s what it looks like now:

1. Ryan Gosling
2. Ed O’Brien
3. Brad Pitt
4. Clive Owen
5. Damon Albarn

What is the state of your list?

  • Blissme

    2011/08/23 at 1:43 pm

    1. Jude Law
    2. Benicio del Toro
    3. Bradley Cooper
    4. Empty
    5. Christian Slater.

    Yeah, Yeah, I know…..but old habits die hard.

  • REBottoni

    2011/08/23 at 1:44 pm

    Please forgive me but
    you write a lEtter with a pEn on stationEry.

  • dooce

    2011/08/23 at 1:48 pm

    @REBottoni notEd.

  • shuggilippo

    2011/08/23 at 1:51 pm

    1. Bruce Willis
    2. Charlie Hunnam
    3. Luke Wilson (before he ate another Luke Wilson)
    4. Bradley Cooper
    5. Zach Braff

    Yes, I can time travel with my list it’s THAT out of reach.

  • Heather_O

    2011/08/23 at 1:53 pm

    My list changes all the time.
    1. Hugh Jackman
    2. Matthew McConaughey
    3. Justin Timberlake
    4. Mark Wahlburg
    5. Johnny Depp (but only after a shower)

    By the time there are 25 more comments, I will have changed my mind and stolen off others’ lists. I’m list slutty.

  • Mini Purl

    2011/08/23 at 1:54 pm

    1. Sean Bean
    2. Ewan McGregor
    3. Eric Ripert
    4. Marcus Mumford
    5. Kit Harrington

  • billysSillyCoconut

    2011/08/23 at 1:57 pm

    Heather! Gwyneth Paltrow is Brad Pitt’s ex-girlfriend!

  • dooce

    2011/08/23 at 1:58 pm

    @billysSillyCoconut YES! Which means they ain’t never speakin’ again!

  • Daddy Scratches

    2011/08/23 at 1:59 pm

    1. Salma Hayek
    2. Björk
    3. Salma Hayek
    4. Björk
    5. Hugh Jackman

    Oops, Freudian slip. Better make sure I delete that last one before I hit “Submit” or people will—

  • Antonia

    2011/08/23 at 2:08 pm

    1. Oliver Reed

    I can come up with others for the sake of filling a list (Donald Sutherland; Jean Reno; some others), but they look like they’d talk. Oliver Reed looks like he’d come in, bend you over a barrel of rum and just give you the shafting of your life without saying a word. Then he’d drink all the rum and headbutt a horse.

    Plus, he’s dead. No change in my social circles could ever bring us any closer than we are.

  • Essembee

    2011/08/23 at 2:00 pm

    1. Orlando Bloom (with apologies to his lovely wife)
    2. Shemar Moore (OMGAHHH!)
    3. Johnny Depp (@heather_o showered or not!)
    4. Jim Caviezel (although he looks a lot like my boyfriend so I don’t know if he counts)

    I’ve had to discount Sean Bean and Cary Elwes because I would have had to specify a time period in which they were at their hottest, and if it ain’t current it ain’t happening.

  • swilliams38

    2011/08/23 at 2:01 pm

    1. Angelina Jolie
    2. Johnny Depp
    3. Ethan Hawke
    4. Benicio Del Toro
    5. Tilda Swinton

    I am straight. I just think the two women on the list are awesome and weird in just the right way.

    p.s. who the hell is Damon Albarn?

  • santa barbara

    2011/08/23 at 2:01 pm

    Ryan Gosling makes my list, even without seeing The Notebook. In no particular order, I welcome “the call” from Ryan, Ed Norton, Daniel Rossen, Robert Pattinson and Elijah Wood. Given my age those last three are gross. The list has no shame.

  • Essembee

    2011/08/23 at 2:02 pm

    Oh GOD I forgot Ewan McGregor! Ok, as Jim Caviezel looks like my darling boyfriend (lucky me), I’m replacing him with Ewan.

  • Daddy Scratches

    2011/08/23 at 2:02 pm

    Did I say “Hugh Jackman” back there? I meant “Angelina Jolie.”

  • BellyGirl

    2011/08/23 at 2:02 pm

    1. Ryan Reynolds
    2. Ryan Reynolds
    3. Ryan Reynolds
    4. Ryan Reynolds
    5. James Blake

  • picklesalt

    2011/08/23 at 2:04 pm

    Sweet baby Jesus, I want to smear ryan gosling’s entire body with Nutella and have my way with him.

    Also I’d like Tim Tebow, but I’d make him hush.

  • jon

    2011/08/23 at 2:04 pm

    Dangerous. Gotta update.

  • billysSillyCoconut

    2011/08/23 at 2:05 pm

    Hahahaha – can’t you just picture good ol’ Gwynnie teaching Angelina how to cook?

    Oh man – I’ve been staring at budget reports for too long today.

  • picklesalt

    2011/08/23 at 2:07 pm


  • Lindsey

    2011/08/23 at 2:15 pm

    Daniel Day-Lewis
    Paul Rudd
    Michael Vartan
    John Krasinski
    Timothy Olyphant

    I cannot pick an order, though number 1 always stays put.

    I mean, good God:

  • pillworm

    2011/08/23 at 2:06 pm

    1. Johnny Depp
    2. Ryan Reynolds
    3. Ryan Gosling
    4. Jeff from Big Brother (ridiculous I know, but sooo yummy)
    5. Dave Grohl

  • santa barbara

    2011/08/23 at 2:09 pm

    Oh Jesus. Even Ryan Gosling was born in the 80s. I need to re-evaluate my…something. Not sure what.

  • nurse.brodie

    2011/08/23 at 2:10 pm

    Damon Albarn was the lead singer of Blur. He may have done some other stuff.

    1. Jude Law
    2. Clive Owen
    3. Ewan McGregor
    4. Colin Firth
    5. Phil Keoghan

  • Juliejules

    2011/08/23 at 2:11 pm

    Heather O, I can’t believe you’d make Johnny Depp take a shower! All of that Depp Smunge would be a lasting souvenir.

    Paul Rudd
    Adrien Brody
    The non pussy Alexander Skarsgård/Eric
    Jason Bateman
    Romany Malco

  • sweetpotatopie

    2011/08/23 at 2:11 pm

    Ed Burns is definitely on my top 5. So it’s a good thing Christy and I aren’t friends.

    So I’d say:

    5. Ira Glass
    4. Jon Stewart
    3. Ed Burns
    2. Eddy Vedder
    1. Javier Bardem

  • lonek8

    2011/08/23 at 2:12 pm

    honestly, my husband and I have abandoned the list concept. basically, i told him there was no need to limit ourselves to only 5, since the odds of anyone within that stratosphere of fame wanting to get with one of us is so slim that if the chance should arise we are almost required to go for it and then buy a lottery ticket too. But definitely top tier on my non-list:

    Bradley Cooper
    Ryan Reynolds
    Gabriel Macht

    …oh, I could go on all day.

  • Mrs.Mommy02

    2011/08/23 at 2:13 pm

    You have sold me Heather. Did you see him lift Al Roker?

    1. Ryan Gosling
    2. Shia Labeouf
    3. Ryan Reynolds
    4. Rob Pattinson(I swear I’m not 16, and have seen his other very good movies)
    5. Matt Dallas

    P.S. I’m under 30 so I don’t know who most of these men are. Forgive me!

  • dooce

    2011/08/23 at 2:13 pm

    @Antonia that is one of the best comments ever left on this website.

    @swilliams38 Damon Albarn is the lead singer of Blur (British Band from the Nineties and part of the band Gorillaz).

  • Just Julie

    2011/08/23 at 2:14 pm

    1. Craig Ferguson (humor=HOT!)
    2. Ewan McGregor (what is it about those Scottish men?)
    3. Johnny Depp
    4. Dave Gahan (Depeche Mode)
    5. Michael Hutchence. He’d be my #1, but he’s uh, not very close to earth. I’d go wherever he is, if I got the call,though

  • Heather_O

    2011/08/23 at 2:14 pm

    @juliejules Mmmmmm, Depp Smunge

  • lucesco

    2011/08/23 at 2:16 pm

    1. Brad Pitt
    2. Angelina Jolie
    3. Zenadine Zidane
    4. Jim Morrison
    5. Rhett Miller

    I am also straight woman, but c’mon Angelina is unreal.
    Jim is gone, but at one time he was enfuego!

  • Becca

    2011/08/23 at 2:18 pm

    Mark Wahlberg
    Timothy Oliphant
    Javier Bardem
    Benicio Del Toro
    Colin Firth

    all at the same time, please

  • Mrs.Mommy02

    2011/08/23 at 2:19 pm

    Oh man. I forgot to add Ian Somerhalder. That man is using his celebrity to save the environment. He must be added. As long as he wears the fangs.

  • SonjaElizabeth

    2011/08/23 at 2:19 pm

    1. Ryan Gosling
    2. Javier Bardem
    3. Jeff Bridges
    4. Idris Elba
    5. John Stewart

  • sweetpotatopie

    2011/08/23 at 2:22 pm

    Let’s see Jon’s list!

  • Just Julie

    2011/08/23 at 2:24 pm

    when I clicked on the youtube of ryan gosling that you included in your post, it said “sorry this is private” what’s up with that?

  • dooce

    2011/08/23 at 2:26 pm

    Jon is working on his list as we speak. He’s taking suggestions.

  • SweetAdeline

    2011/08/23 at 2:27 pm

    How did Clive Warren make your list? What will Rebecca De Mornay think?

  • Tobie

    2011/08/23 at 2:29 pm

    Please tell me you’ve seen this site: . (That particular link is a story about the meme). Ha!

    Also LOL @DaddyScratches!!!

  • Gemmyner

    2011/08/23 at 2:30 pm

    1. Ryan Reynolds
    2. Jeffrey Dean Morgan
    3. Justin Timberlake
    4. Johnny Depp
    5. Colin Farrell

  • trec_lit

    2011/08/23 at 2:32 pm

    1. Clive Owen
    2. Ryan Gosling
    3. Joshua Jackson
    4. Idris Elba
    5. Mike Rowe

    Half of it for me is the voice and Clive, Idris, and Mike have voices that make me quiver.

  • shood

    2011/08/23 at 2:34 pm

    But wait Heather. Didn’t you meet and hug Gwyneth Paltrow once before? Wouldn’t you have had to take Chris off your list back then, just by virtue of the fact that you were, like, spiritually connected to her by that moment?

    I can’t publish my list because every time my husband hears my girlfriends and me having this conversation, he has to tear apart the guys I pick and it pisses me off. So, just in case he reads this site…

  • zan

    2011/08/23 at 2:35 pm

    Most of my list — Todd Rundgren circa 1980, David Gilmour circa 1970 — would require physics we haven’t yet grasped. And now I’m questioning Antonia’s intent in photoshopping Oliver Reed’s head onto my husband’s body last year… suspicious.

    But Ryan Gosling? I have yet to meet a single person who disagrees with that choice. I’m blushing just thinking of him. I moved to Cincinnati simply because he’s touched the animals in the zoo here.

    Have you seen the him being affectionate with an okapi, Heather? Have you? *SWOON*

  • DTDorrin

    2011/08/23 at 2:36 pm

    I was *this close* to getting some work done, then you linked to a video of Ryan Gosling feeding his dog an apple and I ended up getting lost in a rabbit hole of Ryan Gosling Google searches.

    1. Anderson Cooper
    2. Sufjan Stevens
    3. Ryan Gosling
    4. James McAvoy
    5. Andrew Bird

  • mmillberry

    2011/08/23 at 2:37 pm

    We totally just had that conversation recently after a professional development program. There we were. After talking social media all afternoon, this group of PR pros starts the discussion of their “list.” And it was awesome. And then one of speakers from the event, joined us at the Press Club table. Did we change the subject to pressing issues regarding social media and pr? No. We continued to discuss these lists. And the speaker joined us. And by the way, Clive Owen was on several of the lists around the table…including one of the guys!

  • Ruffian

    2011/08/23 at 2:40 pm


    I actually flew from Florida to Washington D.C. to see him in his band Dead Man’s Bones two years ago. I was a couple feet away from him for over an hour. He is beyond lovely.

    I swoon over Ryan Gosling.

    Watch the video on youtube where he sings with Jimmy Kimmel.
    Watch Lars and the Real Girl.
    Listen to Dead Man’s Bones.

    He’s got so many layers. Yum.

  • miss_tiffgolo

    2011/08/23 at 2:41 pm

    How in the world is the great Jon Hamm not on anyones list yet?

    1. Jon Hamm
    2. Daniel Day Lewis
    3. Ryan Gosling
    4. Marcus Mumford
    5. Javier Bardem

  • The K Spot

    2011/08/23 at 2:42 pm

    1. Colin Firth
    2. Dave Gahan (Depeche Mode)
    3. Liam Neeson
    4. Vince Vaughn (before he became all bloated) – I obviously need to replace him soon.
    5. Ving Rhames

  • jjford

    2011/08/23 at 2:44 pm

    ryan gosling
    mark wahlberg
    bradly cooper
    ryan reynolds
    andy whitfield

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Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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