John Taylor & Paul Reiser (Nice Guys, Redux)


I missed the memo about John Taylor & Paul Reiser.

(The devastatingly handsome John Taylor, whom I wanted to marry when I was 11; and the utterly adorable Paul Reiser, whom I wanted to marry once I wised up a bit.)

My dear childhood friend, Krista, and I were recently plotting to attend an upcoming Duran Duran concert.  Our friendship had been forged in our shared fanaticism for Duran Duran, which dates back to the early 80s.   She loved Simon LeBon with an unfathomable ardour, whereas John Taylor, with his highlighted hair, soulful brown eyes, and pouty lips…he was more my type. 

When we figured out that our schedules weren’t going to jive to attend a show together, I sent Krista this text message:   “Don’t stress…after JT, Paul Reiser was my next true love and his new show also premiers that night.  Stay home with you bebes; we’ll hit it next time!”   Apparently, this message was a bit confusing, as a few days later, Krista sent me this reply: “It has taken me several days to wrap my head around your Paul Reiser thing.  So now I must ask, how does one go from John Taylor to Paul Reiser?!?” 

I presume Krista meant no disrespect to Paul Reiser, but perhaps an explanation is in order.  I talked a bit before about how I had gotten a memo about nice guys from Alanis Morissette.  I apparently got another from Cosmo.  They once ran an article (described to great effect here) which identified that there are two kinds of husbands:  There’s the “boyfriend husband” and the “husband husband.”   These are fairly intuitive categories; the “boyfriend husband” is more of a bad boy, he doesn’t settle easily into domestic life, he keeps you guessing.   The “boyfriend husband” can be pretty exciting, but he can drive you crazy.  Whereas the “husband husband” is more fully committed, a bit more predictable, totally loveable and doesn’t make you nuts.  

When Paul Reiser’s hit show “Mad About You” premiered back in 1992, I remember watching him and Helen Hunt and thinking…”That…that’s what I want…I want a nice guy who loves me and makes me laugh a lot.”  Paul Reiser, as the character of Paul Buchman, was definitely a  “husband husband.”  I’m guessing that John Taylor, who is now a married man these days, is a perfectly good husband.  But I’m also guessing he’s a “boyfriend husband”—a globe-trotting pop star, recovered cocaine addict…yeah, definitely a  “boyfriend husband”.  

So instead of John Taylor, I married Paul Reiser, albeit in a slightly taller, slightly blonder, slightly more gentile incarnation.   He slays me with his silliness and I revel in his goodness. 

(My husband, whom I will not forsake, not even for John Taylor or Paul Reiser)

My “husband husband”  does indeed make me laugh a whole lot, and sorry JT, I love him more than I think I ever could have loved you.   Memo received. 

© 2011 Jamie Walker Ball

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