I realize 50 is not “old,” in a general sense. But I really wanted to include Anderson Cooper on this list, and he’s 46, so I begrudgingly abstained. It was painful. Cut me some slack.
1. Liam Neeson, 61
Dear Liam, I know who you are. I know what you want. If you’re looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money, but what I do have is a very particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a dream for refined, charming, action heroes like you. If you come to New York and marry me now, that will be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you. And I will force you into a whirlwind courtship, followed by a long engagement, a tasteful countryside wedding, and years living together in an eclectic West Village loft with two small corgis that we will purchase together and name Dobby and Stitch. Call me?
2. Morgan Freeman, 76
Morgan Freeman is just the best. I honestly would listen to him narrate the menu at Shake Shack, and promptly award him the EGOT. Plus, those freckles. Sigh.
3. Alan Rickman, 68
Turn. To. Page. Three-Hundred-and-Ninety Four. Snape, baby, I’ll do whatever you say. Is it weird I almost find Alan Rickman HOTTER as Snape? If it’s so wrong to love a guy who vowed to love Lily Potter for always even after she chose James Potter, who let’s be real, would’ve probably grown up to work in the stock market & wear Sperrys if he was a Muggle, then I don’t want to be right. I get filled with insurmountable rage in Love Actually when that ratchet secretary makes her moves on Alan. Don’t even try, you faux turtleneck-wearing hussy.
4. Gary Oldman, 56
Gary Oldman is so effing talented, and talent is just plain sexy. In addition to being a hugely successful film star & a celebrated stage actor, over the span of his giant career, he has managed to cultivate a massive cult following for the wicked villains he is known for portraying. I guess everyone loves a bad boy. He’s also a wildly prolific musician who once taught Daniel Radcliffe how to play the bass guitar between takes on the set of Harry Potter. I mean, I can’t even.
5. Sir Ian McKellen, 74
This picture is all you need.
6. Antonio Banderas, 53
One of my favorite movies to hate-watch is Take The Lead, that movie starring Rufio, Ya-Ya from ANTM, Paige from Degrassi, and the girl from Step Up. If you haven’t seen it, I encourage you to do so based on that cast list alone. Antonio Banderas is in it, playing a saintly teacher who reforms delinquent kids based on the power of ballroom dance. It really is a cinematic treasure. In it, there’s a scene where Antonio wants to show the tough guys that ballroom dancing isn’t a “girly” activity, so he sexy-tangos all over the detention room with a hot girl and OOF. True story #2: I usually rewind that scene about three times.
7. Mandy Patinkin, 61
Nobody understands my deep love for Mandy Pats, and I really don’t get why, but it’s fine because I can keep him all to myself. Is it the beard? Is it the stern but dignified air? Is it his charming, boyish smile? Possibly all of the above. I once took a cab in the middle of rush hour to the Upper West Side from Astoria because my friend said he saw Mandy P. working out at Equinox. I’m not proud, but I’m also not sorry. Your name is Inigo Montoya, you stole my heart, prepare to SWOON.
8. Bruce Springsteen, 63
There is a subset of people who claim to “not really get” Bruce. They run down a list of music legends they do like — Elton John, Billy Joel, Eric Clapton — but they somehow “don’t get” Bruce. To those people, I say: DO YOU ALSO NOT ENJOY PUPPIES? MAC AND CHEESE? SUMMERTIME? Because that’s the equivalent of not enjoying Bruce Springsteen. Bruce singing “Thunder Road,” dressed in artfully frayed denim, arm muscles bulging as he clutches a guitar, with a bandana holding back his luscious dark locks is basically what America is all about. God bless.
9. Colin Firth, 53
Show me a girl who hasn’t pretended she is Lizzie Bennett to Colin Firth’s Mr. Darcy, and I will show you a girl who is a liar. It counts if you’ve also pretended you’re Bridget Jones.
10. Woody Harrelson, 52
Did you know his real name is Woodrow Tracy Harrelson? That just makes him hotter. Woody once got arrested in Columbus, OH in 1982 for DANCING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET, then running from the cops that approached him. The man basically got arrested because he looked at the police and said, “turn down for what?!” Be still my heart. The exact moment I fell in love with Woody Harrelson was his amazing Bill Murray scene in Zombieland. He is SO good.
11. John Slattery, 51
Don Draper who? I have always had a soft spot for Roger, SCDP’s resident silver fox. In recent seasons, he’s become more of a punchline, but early Roger Sterling was enough to bag Joan Holloway, the baddest bitch in advertising. John Slattery often plays bigwigs in TV and film, and I get it — he just has that “I’m going to totally screw you over, but you’ll let me because I’m gorgeous” thing going for him. Let’s just collectively ignore that one episode of Sex and the City, k?
12. Daniel Day-Lewis, 56
I will always remember the day we watched the movie adaptation of The Crucible in high school, and I mentally cursed out Winona Ryder for getting DDL burnt at the stake. I am so in love with DDL, I even thought he was gorg when he was method-acting as Lincoln and eating scones at Starbucks in a top hat, prosthetic nose, and fake beard.
Date a man who loves you more. Meet him young, at a time when you’re not old enough to realize how precious he is. Fall in love carelessly. Start to think he must be the one, begin building a life with him. Become entangled with his family and him with yours, believe he will be the father of your children in later years. Date a man who loves you more because he will love everything you hate about yourself. The man who loves you more will rub your feet when you’re tired and take your cousins out for ice cream because he is simply that kind of man. He will abandon his plans to come rub your back when you’re sick without you ever having to ask. The man who loves you more will allow you to grow as a person without taking space. He will be patient, kind; he will know when to apologize and when to be quiet. He will never yell. He will laugh at your jokes and find you beautiful, even at your worst. The man who loves you more will love you entirely, unconditionally; he will follow you anywhere and do anything for you.
As you grow with the man who loves you more, ignore the creeping sense of boredom. Ignore it because it is selfish, it is unbecoming, and you know you should be satisfied with this perfect man. Ignore it because you watch the women around you, your friends, your sisters, your co-workers, and you know they all long for the man you have. Ignore the melancholia and the longing you feel every time you watch a couple fight with passion, with anger, with fire. Count on your fingers the number of fights you’ve had over the years, and consider yourself lucky without really believing it. Ignore the nostalgia you feel for moments that have never existed. Ignore it because you know passion is fleeting, passion is mercurial; passion is not something you build a life on. Passion will not raise your kids, it will not pay your mortgage. When passion fades, you tell yourself, you are left with nothing but regret. Ignore the slow leak of emptiness filling your gut when you kiss him, because it does not belong in your life. It does not belong with this perfect man who loves you more. He is dependable and with him, you know you will lead a lifetime of contentment. You will travel with him, you will push him towards his goals. You will have wonderful memories and photo albums. You will celebrate milestones with pride, you will grow old holding his hand and raise balanced children with him. When your children fall in love, you will smile and hope they find someone who loves them more, because it will guarantee them the satisfied life you have led.
Do not date the other man because the other man will never give you the stability you know you need. Stay away from the other man because with him, you are unreliable. The other man will never be there for you with the same dependability you have come to expect. He will challenge you and push you to question everything you think you know about yourself. The other man will love you, he will love you in ways that make you abandon every certainty you have ever had, but he will not help you keep your balance. Just when you think you have figured that man out, he will disorient you, you will be winded, you will not be able to breathe. Date the man who loves you more because the other man will never need you. He will miss you when you’re gone, he will secretly be broken, but he will go on without you because he does not depend on anyone. This man is treacherous, you cannot trust yourself with him.
When things are good with this man, you will be euphoric. You will be the best version of yourself. You will look in the mirror and find you are beautiful. You will be the luckiest woman in the world, and you will believe it. You will tell him you love him and the words will explode out of your heart because it will be the first time you have ever encountered such irrevocable truth. He will say it back and mean it, and you will feel like you can never be close enough to him. You will lose yourself in him, and he will lose himself in you. Stay away from this man because your happiness will be fleeting. When things are bad with him, he will fight back. He will not be patient, he will not soothe you. The other man will be infuriating. He will be selfish, careless with his words and at times even cruel. He will try to inflict as much pain on you as he himself is feeling. He will not apologize and he will push you to your limits. With this man, you can expect the dizzying agony of passion, the blurred oblivion of apathy, the delicious comfort of despair, the addictive misery of loneliness. You will tell yourself that it is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all, but in that moment of utter hopelessness, you will not believe it with absolute conviction.
Date a man who loves you more because while he can never be quite enough, the other man will always be too much. The other man will leave you thirsty for more, parched for him, panicked like a drunk who has finished his last bottle. Date that man who loves you more, fall for him in a slow and steady way, build a foundation with him and consider, truly consider, how lucky you are to have found him. Do all this, because with the other man, you will never know anything but a frenzied hunger and all-encompassing madness. With that man you will burn bright and fast, and you will be invincible until you are not. Find the man who loves you more and keep him because the worth of happiness cannot be measured in days and months and years, and those fleeting few memories of pure, unadulterated bliss will never measure up to the lifetime of contentment you will have with the man who loves you more. Tell yourself this over and over, let it become your mantra, and condition yourself to believe it. Forget the other man, or at least try to, ignore the smells, the sounds and the things that remind you of him, ignore the way he made you feel, because you are better off apart. Together you make the world explode, but you cannot survive in it after. Date the man who loves you more, choose him and never let him go, because you are wise enough to know that stories of true love never have a happy ending, and with this man at least you will die knowing someone loved you more.
I take my seat at the restaurant
Table for one
An empty chair across from me
I sit there looking at the menu
I wonder what I would have said
To make you crack a smile
To hear you laugh
The waiter asks for my drink order
I’ll take a beer—a Hoegaarden, please
What would you have ordered?
Or would you have just sipped off of mine?
I drink my beer in silence
It was never this silent
When you were sitting across from me
I make no snarky comments about the
Lady across from us who is too fat
Or that big-breasted chick on the right
Or how you should just order your own damn beer
I place my order
Something filling and hearty
You would have ordered
Something with shrimp in it
Running low on my first glass
I would have ordered two
Just to stop you
From sipping off of my beer
I look at the empty chair
My hand would have been on your thigh
I would be kissing you
We would forget our troubles
My heavy drinking and lewdness
My anger and aggression
The food is here
After I took my first few bites
I would have taken some of yours
You would have taken some of mine
The check is here
It would have been my turn to pay
I’d let you handle the tip
And we’d be on our way
I leave alone
Our good times are over
I wonder who will take your place
In that empty chair
Parents have been through more than we have, so they like to give us advice. Some are just ridiculous and others can be life-changing. Check out this Reddit thread
for more. Call your parents to let them know how much you appreciate them.
“Don’t get her pregnant” – Every time I’d leave the house for ANYTHING.
My grandfather used to say “Why put your money in a bank and get only 6% when you can put it into whiskey and get 40%.”
Yes, I know. Interest rates were nuts back then.
My dad is a very straight laced guy. When I was younger, I was dating some really cute blond idiot. I won a massive scholarship to study overseas, full ride, multiple plane fairs, living stipend, full book/tuition, etc. He sat me down just after I won, and he told me “wear a condom with that one. You’re all she has, and if she goes off the pill, she’ll do it to fuck you and keep you here.” Only sex talk I ever got from my dad. Very terse. Ten seconds.
Kicker? I found out years later that she went off the pill a week after I won the big money, and if it wasn’t for him I would have a teenager.
My college girlfriend and I had just graduated and were getting ready to move to Japan to teach English in the JET Program. In preparation, my father and I went to go get a meal with a business colleague of his who spent a lot of time in Japan for work, and whose wife is Japanese. When he heard I was going with my girlfriend, he said he did the same thing. He then followed up with: “Going to Japan with a girlfriend is like showing up to a party with your own sandwich.”
Dad: “Take the one with the ass. Fake tits are getting better every year, but you can’t fake a great ass.”
My dad’s one talk about sex to me was as follows:
“Son, if you’re ever going to finger a girl, clean your nails and clip them first. You wouldn’t want to give her an infection.”
All in all, sound advice, but it came completely out of the blue.
“Grandpa, what do you think about premarital sex?”
“Well, its not premarital sex if you never get married”
Single greatest moment of my life.
“Tell her you have three testicles, She’ll be more inclined to give a BJ so she can see’em for herself.” – My 93-year-old Great Grandpa
My dad on fighting: “People don’t like dealing with crazies. So scream like you’re crazy and go for the eyes.”
My father once told me “Son, it does not matter where you get your appetite as long as you eat at home.”
This one has stuck with me through the years.
My dad’s two-step guide to preparing me for college was having me watch “Animal House,” followed by this bit of advice:
“Son, you’re bigger than most kids, so you’ll have a higher alcohol tolerance than them.”
My Father always said “The girls on the ads for Strip Joints, are never the girls IN the Strip Joints”
After college, my uncle says to me “never marry a good-looking girl.” OK. A year later he says to me “never marry a good-looking girl.” OK, got it. A year later he says it again, “never marry a good-looking girl.” I finally say, why not? He says, if you marry a good-looking girl, she’ll leave you and you’ll be heartbroken. But if you marry an ugly girl, and she leaves you, oh well.
My grandfather always told me to marry a fat girl because she will provide you shade in the summer and warmth in the winter. Good ole grandpa.
“They all feel the same in the dark.”
Tie between the following statements made by friends’ dads.
Scene: Breakfast at my friend’s house. Giant plate of bacon on the table.
Dad: Bacon – the second greatest tasting thing on earth.
Me: What’s first?
Dad: I’ll tell you when you’re older.
Scene: Water balloon fight at friend’s house. His sister just hit me with a few big water balloons. I was trying to fill up some new ammo.
Dad: Don’t retaliate – escalate. starts filling up a pitcher of water
My step-dad walked in to my room one day and just said “you know – not all gay men have anal sex” then walked away.
You can date or do anything you want with a girl with one exception, I don’t want to see you at my work (My mom works in Labor and Delivery).
My dad’s a teacher at an alternate school. We were talking about some of his more aggressive students, when he gave me this gem:
“Whenever I hear a kid bickering, I go into the kitchen and make them a grilled cheese sandwich.”
“Because how the hell are you going to be mad at the guy who just made you a grilled cheese?”
“If a girl ever asks you to help her put a necklace on, you are morally bound to kiss her on the neck.”
“Don’t fuck a fat chick, because you will become the guy who only fucks fat chicks.”- My father
I told my dad, “IM SO FAT, DAD.”
His response? “Well honey, hang out with more fat friends and you’ll feel better.”
“You gotta trim the bushes. It makes the tree look taller.” – My mom
Dad’s advice on saving money in uni: Small cars, Small apartments, Small girlfriends
“If the river runs red, take the dirt road instead.”
When asking my mum recently whether it was too soon to go on a date after my break up she said the following:
“The only way to get over a man is to get under another.”
Coming from my Irish Catholic mother, who has only ever been with my father? Totally inappropriate but brilliant.
And yeah. I followed it.
The day before I married my Latin wife my dad said to me, “Make sure you use protection because you can’t hug a Latina without getting her pregnant.”
When I first began dating girls in high school, my dad told me some advice that was so simple yet so true, time and time again.
He said something along the lines of “Look, you don’t need to be intimidated by her dad, when you finally meet him. You don’t need to impress him at all. He’s a guy, just like you. He likes the same things you like – action movies, burgers, fishing, hunting, NASCAR, titties – all those manly things all other men like. The person you really need to impress is the girl’s mother. She’s the one who keeps the family happy and healthy. She’s the one the girl will turn to for womanly advice. Compliment her on the dinner, on her home-decor, etc, etc. If she likes you, the dad will have to like you. And he already will, because you’re a burger-eating, action-movie-watchin’, titty-lovin’ sonovabitch like he is.”
Years later, and after some downright crazy ex’s, every set of parents I ever met still consider me a pretty nice guy.
My Dad before my first school dance after I turned 16 – “If you can’t be good, be good at it.”
Words of wisdom from the old man:
“A girl in a red bikini is looking for attention.”
“There are girls you marry and there are girls you.. don’t marry.”
My family and I were watching a horror movie with my sick grandpa once. In the movie, a rape was somehow involved and as it happened, he looked right at me and said, “If someone is trying to rape you, just yell ‘I HAVE HIV!’ No one wants to contract that shit. Unless they have it. Then at least you would know.”