Hey, Mr. Love, Mr. Big Love, Big Love

My lifelong friend Andrea sent me a fantastic quote a while back: “It goes Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and Valentine’s Day. Is that fair to anyone who’s alone? If you didn’t get around to killing yourself on Christmas or New Year’s, boom, there’s Valentine’s Day for you. There should be a holiday after Valentine’s Day called ‘Are you still here?’” (from comedian Laura Kightlinger)

Fortunately, I can laugh at that because I don’t typically suffer from the single-at-the-holidays blues. (With the obvious exception of the endless suffering from family members who know of no other question to ask than some crass variation of “Do you have a boyfriend yet?”)

Since the answer is still no (and PLEASE stop asking me), I thought that I’d pay homage to the fictitious men in my life, who have all the hotness with none of the hassle.

Coming in at numero uno (and to the surprise of no one) is the great Nathan Scott.

Faithful husband, loving father, B-E-A-utiful, and has one heck of a jump shot. What more could you ask for?

Many thanks to James Lafferty for bringing this wonderful character to life (and supplying the mad basketball skills).

And, look here… score 1 for Amanda!

Number two is a more recent addition to my list, courtesy of Friday Night Lights. I’ve already got my upstanding basketball player, so naturally, I have to follow that with my football player of questionable repute: Tim Riggins.

Sure, he’s the town drunk, a habitual criminal, and a player both on and off the field, but he means well in his tender heart of gold, and his overwhelming hotness covers over a multitude of sins. Plus, he’s got that “Awww, shucks” Texas charm going for him and his truck makes a lot of noise. And when he runs the ball, he tackles the other team members ON HIS WAY to the endzone.

The man behind the legend is Taylor Kitsch, and if you listen really closely here and there, you can catch his true Canadian accent seeping into Riggins’ southern drawl. I’ve never seen him up close and personal, but if I ever do, and he lays that Texas accent on me, using words like “gal” and “ma’am,” I’ll be a goner.

Speaking of Texans… number 3 goes to White Collar’s Neal Caffrey. Technically, I don’t know where Neal is from, but his portrayer, Matt Bomer, is from Texas. And many years before his starring role on USA, I loved Matt Bomer for another role: Ben Reade. Here he is back then:

Alas, Ben Reade went from being a nice boy to a serial killer who eventually offed himself. It was sad. So, with the demise of Ben Reade, I followed Matt Bomer through Jay Burchell, Bryce Larkin, and eventually on to his star-making role as Neal Caffrey.

There seems to be a bit of a theme developing here, as Neal Caffrey is also a career criminal, BUT he tries his best to walk the straight and narrow to help his FBI buddy, Peter Burke, solve all his white collar cases. (Peter could rank pretty high on the list of fictional characters I love, too, come to think of it.)

My number four is ALSO from White Collar, though he only had a guest role in one episode. I’m cheating a little bit with this one, because in this case, my love is more for the actor than any character he has portrayed. But, I became acquainted with Murray Bartlett through his stint as Cyrus Foley (yes, another criminal) on Guiding Light. I’m not really sure what it says about me that the boys I like tend to spend quite a bit of time on the wrong side of the law. Here’s a photo of Cyrus in action (shout out to Mandy Bruno, who I also adore):

Aaaaaaand, here’s Murray:

I have met a lot of actors, many of whom I found incredibly attractive, and it was no big deal. But no matter how many times I’ve seen Murray, I have to fight the impulse to giggle like a schoolgirl. Obviously, he’s quite extraordinary-looking, and the Australian accent doesn’t hurt anything, but Murray’s best qualities are his kind heart, sweet disposition, and welcoming smile. I don’t know if or when our paths may cross again, but if they do, I’ll give him a big hug… and probably melt a little bit, as usual.

I think there is some unwritten rule that no list can stop at four, so I’m compelled to include a fifth here. The top five in my head is not relegated to fictional characters, so it usually includes Ryan Adams. But, he’s a musician, not an actor, so I can’t even slide him into this list on a technicality.

So, while there are quite a few fictional fellas I could name here, I am going to have to disappoint Mr. Darcy and go with another of my slightly-dark, tragic heroes: Severus Snape. (If you don’t know who that is, then you need to get off the computer and go open a book, for goodness’ sake.)

I guess I shouldn’t wax philosophical about Snape’s lot in life, given that some unfortunate souls didn’t read the books and are still waiting for the outcome of the movies. Suffice it to say that I loved Snape throughout the books in spite of everything, and despite the descriptions of his physical appearance that were supposed to make me see him as unattractive, I still came out of Harry Potter with a big ol’ crush on the greasy professor.

There are not many actors who could have brought Snape to life in a way that I could accept, but Alan Rickman pulled it off beautifully. Now, if only Snape were more prominently featured in the films…

So, who are your favorite fictional Valentines?