Do you remember being 10 years old, reading or watching “Anne of Green Gables” for the first time, and trying to figure out of the boys in your class was destined to be your Gilbert Blythe? And then experiencing your first taste of romantic disappointment upon realizing that the Teva-wearing, Rocko’s Modern Life-watching squirts who surrounded you were not then, and not ever, going to compare to Gilbert?
Yesterday it was announced that Anne of Green Gables is returning to TV, which means, more importantly, Gilbert Blythe is returning to TV. Unfortunately, having this handsome, pragmatic, handsome, affable, and handsome character return to the small screen will just serve as a reminder that no non-fiction boyfriend will ever live up to him. Because Gilbert Blythe has no faults. Oh, if only real-life men were as charmingly two-dimensional!
“Gilbert, I’m afraid I’m scandalously in love with you.” We all are, Anne. We all are.
1. He is cocky and confident. It annoys Anne at the beginning, especially when he teasingly calls her “Carrots”. She obviously doesn’t know that confidence is hot.
2. He’s persistent. Throughout the entire first book, he continuously shows his regard for Anne, even as she coldly rebuffs him. (Why, Anne?!)
3. He’s heroic. He rescues Anne from a pond (when she was re-enacting some Tennyson poem — so embarrassing, Anne!).
4. He’s not only very smart, but he also respects Anne’s intelligence. The two compete for scholarships, (good-naturedly, on his part).
5. He’s selfless. When Anne’s father-figure, Matthew, dies, Gilbert gives up his teaching position in Avonlea so that Anne can work close to home. (And Anne finally forgives him for calling her Carrots, like, a billion years ago, way to not sweat the small stuff, Anne.)
6. He’s patient, even when during college when Anne is being soooooo lame and refusing to recognize the fact that she is in love with him, because she’s still waiting around for a broody, sexy, romantic hero, and failing to recognize true love in the affable boy-next-door.
7. He is ardent. When Anne refuses his proposal, he says, (get ready): “Your friendship can’t satisfy me, Anne. I want your love.” (Take that, Mr. Darcy!)
8. He is hard-working. After Anne rejects him, instead of throwing himself into a rebound relationship (and he is soooo handsome, you know he could have!), he instead concentrates on work and wins a scholarship to attend medical school. Doesn’t even have wild oats to sow!
9. He is a good communicator. Anne and Gilbert spend a few years apart after (finally) getting engaged, and he writes her long letters. (You know he would be prompt at responding to her texts, if they lived in 2012.)
10. He grows up to be an excellent doctor and everyone in the community admires and respects him (in part, no doubt, because he is sooooo handsome).
11. He is an amazing father: kind and patient and attentive to all of his (charming, adorable) children.
12. He is affectionate throughout his entire marriage to Anne, calling her “Anne-girl” (guess he learned from the “Carrots” disaster), buying her flowers, and “twinkling” his eyes when she comes into the room. (I don’t know what that means, exactly, but it always sounded romantic.)
Here’s to finding a kindred spirit out there who is even half as wonderful as Gil!