Have you ever played The List game with your partner? I’ve also seen it called The Celebrity Safe List. It’s the game where you choose a selection of famous people–up to ten, usually, but sometimes only one or only three, depending on the generosity of your sweetheart–that you are allowed to sleep with, no strings attached, if you are ever granted the magical opportunity and also a broom closet in which to do it.
It lets you play with fire, just the tiniest little bit, doesn’t it? I mean, what if you really actually totally had a magical chance to go down on squinty-but-oh-so-beautiful Tyson Beckford? You could, so free and so clear, and he would squint sexily down at you and you know what he’s squinting is oh baby, if only you weren’t so totally in love with your partner, I would carry you away to Paris and impregnate you with my beautiful model babies. And isn’t that so nice to think about? It’s also an opportunity to compile a list of so pretty people you like to think about, and then open season to think about having a lot of sex with each and every one of them.
And isn’t it interesting to get a glimpse into what your partner likes?
A rare and elusive snapshot of the most private parts of their psyche?
You didn’t know they were into brunettes, or volleyball players with
big quads or clog dancers or girls with gaps in their teeth, except
you’re a short, curvy blonde with perfect choppers, and now you’re
absolutely miserable because you are nothing that they want, in bed,
and they’ve been lying to you all along and there’s no way they’re
really attracted to you because you look nothing like Penelope Cruz and
you never will and you’ve been thinking about having sex with her and
not me and I hate you and I hate my fat thighs and I hate everything
and I hate this stupid game and you forget that your sweetheart doesn’t
look anything like Tyson Beckford and really, it’s ugly all around.
have seen it happen to friends, and it’s happened to me more than I’d
like to admit, no matter how often I think I am going to be rational
about this game that gets too serious way too quickly. It’s funny, how
things can disintegrate so quickly, how sexual jealousy is so closely
linked to self-esteem, how touchy we can be about our sexual
attractiveness, how irrational we can become when the possibility that
we are not every single last solitary thing our partner finds
attractive in a mate. We’re aware, maybe for example, that we cannot be
both large-breasted and waif-like at the same time, and yet we are
enraged that our partner might find both body types attractive, heaven
forefend. And yet, it touches a nerve, and yet, it still sucks.
swore off playing the list game a very long time ago, because I am not
good at it. I get too wrapped up, too emotional, too jealous of
imaginary, next to impossible liaisons with far-away celebrities, and
that is no way to live. But friends of mine play it, and they play it
the right way. On our way to dinner, she says, “You know who’s on your
list?” and he cringes. “Who?” he says. “Tammy Faye Baker,” she says,
and he sobs quietly into a handkerchief. It seems cruel, but it’s
slightly less cruel than telling your sweetheart that you think about
being double teamed by John Krasinski and Vin Diesel. I mean, go ahead
and think about it. Maybe just don’t tell them, and happily, they won’t