10 Things I Hate About Hugh

10 Things I Hate About Hugh

1) I’m going to describe a movie, and you guess whether it stars Hugh Grant, Ashton Kutcher, or Matthew McConaughey. A man with an interesting profession meets a woman who’s initially unattracted to him and spurns his advances. After a series of coincidences, they become moderately fond of each other. They kiss, one of them reveals something shocking that upsets the bond they finally forged, they separate for a period of time, and they both realize at about the same time how unhappy they are. He races to catch her before she does something drastic, and they fall in love and live happily ever after. What? You can’t guess who the lead actor is? It’s ALL of them? In fact, I just described every romantic comedy ever and there’s no reason to watch another one again because you’ll know how it ends? Dammit, Hugh Grant. You’ve ruined 45% of the movies that are coming out this year for me.

2) I’m attracted to people who are disproportionately better-looking than me, and it never works out for me the way it works for Hugh. In “Notting Hill”, an ostensibly plain travel bookstore owner’s wife leaves him for a man who looks exactly like Harrison Ford, but he ends up with a woman who is movie star-gorgeous, probably because she’s a movie star. Does this work in real life? No it does not. I think I’m a solid six (in the right light) on the scale of attractiveness and no matter how charming I am or how much I bat my eyes, I very rarely attract anyone higher than a seven, and when I do, I immediately start to develop conspiracy theories.

3) I tend to fall for people who are my polar opposite. This happens in pretty much every Hugh Grant movie, but it’s never worked out for me. I consistently date goofy people so I can be the uptight, fun-hating straight woman. I’ve even dated athletes just because I wear glasses and like science. Secretly, I think some part of me falls for these guys because it’s imagining the endearing shenanigans we could have together. That never happens. Mostly they say things like, “I’m gonna go play football”, and I respond with things like, “Is that the one with the helmets?”

4) Girls are always looking for the one insurmountable obstacle in their relationships that will prove their significant other truly loves them, and they’ll make one up if they can’t find it. Hugh’s characters usually find the perfect person within minutes of a movie’s start, but then something pulls them apart  (Alec Baldwin, an ocean, the U.S. president, Wyoming, etc.), and the two of them must work through a series of hilarious yet heartbreaking misunderstandings to come together after one of them makes a sweeping romantic gesture. Girls are suckers for that kind of thing, and most guys would never think to do it. If the U.S. President created a schism between a guy and the girl with whom he’s flirting, most of them would let that one go.

5) On the flip side of that, if I find a giant, insurmountable obstacle (Alec Baldwin, an ocean, the President, or Wyoming), I don’t get frustrated and quit pursuing someone. Rather than interpreting it as a sign from on high that things are not meant to be, I instead decide that it’s just the goofy hurdle we’ll overcome on the way to quirky love. When a guy I’m interested in says, “I have a girlfriend”, I hear, “I have a challenge for you and I think you should fight it by stalking me and/or making stupid girly faces in my general direction.”

6) Here’s a confession: I’m a klutz. I can blame it on my inner ear as much as possible, but there’s really no avoiding the fact. Because I’m less-than-graceful, I spend a lot of time running into walls, doors, and people. Every time I run into someone moderately attractive, I spend the next five minutes or so fantasizing about our future together (usually in a montage of them handing me large amounts of delicious food.) This behavior is CRAZY. Not fun, quirky crazy, either. CRAZY PERSON CRAZY. They could be awful, terrible people who beat their family members up and spit on dogs and hate The Princess Bride. It’s entirely possible that the people I’m blushing over are the scum of the earth, but Hugh Grant has given me false hope that maybe they aren’t and that our chance encounter is the beginning of a beautiful more-than-friendship.

7) I get mad when the arguments I have with my boyfriends aren’t clever enough. I want them to be sarcastic and witty and full of barbs that will eventually leave me dead inside, but are pretty funny and only half serious in the short term. I will try to rescue arguments from their boring fates by inserting phrases that I think someone in a movie would say. Since I’m saying fake things anyway, I start acting the way someone in a Hugh Grant movie would act when saying those things. Then suddenly I’m so focused on what to say next and how much fake drama to inject it with that I’ve totally removed myself from the argument and I’m pretty much only talking to appease the other person long enough that they’ll shut up. Ugh. The more I talk about this, the more I sound like I have weird dissociative issues. THANKS, HUGH GRANT.

8 ) Even if I did manage to have a semi-normal relationship, how could I compare it to anyone’s? Every girl I know does this fake romantic comedy thing, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the guys do, too. My parents appear to like each other, my grandparents at least tolerate each other, and my best friends’ parents used to gross us out with their smooching. A smart person would use one of these successful relationships as a model. Instead, I picked Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock in “Two Weeks Notice” because they charmed me for an hour and a half. We’re all doing this, though. I’m Holden Caulfield, and we’re all a bunch of phonies.

9) I’ve never met anyone who can fill a sweater like Hugh Grant, and it’s unlikely that I ever will. I resent him for his floppy hair and blue eyes and stupid accent. I hate him because I don’t hate him even a little when he’s trying to win back Drew Barrymore, or Andie MacDowell, or Julia Roberts. He’s supposed to be a cynical bastard in real life, which actually makes me like him more, but I’m sick of crushing on fake Hugh Grant. In fact, there’s a word for his fake self. I looked it up on Urban Dictionary, which is both the scariest and funniest website in the world. The word is manicorn. And the definition is this:

A mythical male creature who is successful (read: pursuing his passion and can pay his electric bills/rent), funny, chivalrous, masculine (read: not chauvinistic), adventurous, artistic (read: not suicidal).

10) I’ve told several people that my life is like a really slowed down version of a romantic comedy, and I’m inclined to believe that it is. Right now, I’m in the montage of awful dates with Mr. Wrong. Look! There I am accidentally throwing chopsticks at a waiter! There’s me trying to discreetly pull a pile of wet noodles out of my purse! Here I am telling a guy how much I like office supplies! In short, my romantic adventures have been nothing short of train wrecks, and yet thanks to stupid Hugh Grant, I still believe that there is a Mr. Right, or at least a Mr. I-Can-Settle out there. Some part of me hopes that he has floppy hair, blue eyes, and a stupid accent.

** I stole my card trick in the video from “Love Actually”. If cute things don’t make you want to vomit, you can see the real clip here.


  1. trendyfriend002

    In response to #2. I don’t think you’re a 6, I think you are much much more, Stephanie :)

    Also, I have a theory about boys always aiming higher than they actually deserve. So let’s say he’s a 5. He’d then, only shoot for 7.5s or 8s because he’s always in search of a challenge. You see, and girls aren’t usually the pursuers of these things (thanks, again to romantic comedies and the sort) so that’s how we always get stuck with someone wayyy below our level.

    and you see, we can’t actually go out and pursue someone about OUR level because then we wouldn’t be a challenge at all, now would we? It then becomes a vicious cycle that is never ending leaving us with weirdos…

  2. Addie

    Ok, I’m pretty sure I officially have a girl crush on you. Such a well-written and awesomeness-filled blog is rare. Yay you!

    • Stephanie

      Ha. I’ve never been the object of a girl-crush before. This is quite an honor. I’d like to thank my parents, and Addie, without whom, this would not have been possible. Yay YOU!

  3. glengair23

    I’m British and would like to clear up the rumor that Hugh Grant represents the common British male… he doesn’t. It doesn’t take the rest of us 5 minutes to say, “Would you like a drink?” We very rarely say blimey, crikey or heavens above (unless we’re actually trying to imitate him). And none of us are attracted to Julia Roberts, never worked out why. Oh and it’s good to know there’s someone that likes floppy hair, blue eyes, and a stupid accent.

    • Stephanie

      Ha. I didn’t even think of that frustration I have with Hugh. Why is the blinking and the stuttering necessary? I’m very happy to hear that Britain is not full of that kind of thing, because no one would ever get anything done. And yes, sadly, I’m a big fan of hair floppiness, blue eyes, and stupid accents.

      • glengair23

        Splendid… I… I think his, blimey, his um… blinking and…um.., streuth (no wait that’s Australian), stuttering is just taking the stereotype too far. So what bugs you about our (British) perception on you guys (American/ Canadian, actually that could be one)?

      • Stephanie

        You know, I thought about this for a couple days and I honestly can’t think of one perception I’ve heard of. This is probably because I have hermit-like tendencies and therefore lack a certain worldliness, but I can’t think of any. If you list some, I’ll tell you which ones I’m offended by. Ha.

      • glengair23

        Ha ha, you’re on! I’ll try and be as kind as possible.

        1. If you see a person wearing a fanny-pack then you know instantly that that person’s an American. (Unless they’re carrying an apple, then they’ll be German)

        2. You’re very patriotic (complete opposite to us).

        3. LOUD!!

        4. Wholesome.

        5. Chubby.

        6. You guys seem to have a love affair with the baseball cap.

        7. Arrogant.

        8. Fun.

        9. Jocks, Freaks and Geeks.

        10. Amazing teeth.

        11. Lack Sophistication.

        12. Dreamers and ultimately winners.

        13. Religion is everything and everywhere.

        14. Not the brightest.

        15. Terrible at geography.

        16. Not scared to use hair dye (more for the ageing male population that one).

        17.Obsessed with camps.

        That’s all I can think of. What do you think? Personally I’ve always had bit of a crush on America (especially the accent). Hopefully in an ideal world I’ll be living in the States or Canada after I complete my degree.

      • Stephanie

        Ha. These are excellent, and I shared them with everyone I know. Now a bunch of Americans are mad at you. (Just kidding.) You have to let me argue my case, though.
        1. I don’t think I’ve worn a fanny pack since 1994, and in my defense, it was a great place to store my Barbie doll. Also, I have never met an apple-carrying German, but the produce section of my grocery store just became a much more confusing place for me.
        2. We do love us some America. I personally go for the root beer floats and the fireworks that come along with the fourth of July, but the other stuff is also good.
        3. This one is funny because I’m pretty quiet, but maybe only compared to other Americans.
        4. Ha. I like this one a lot. I don’t feel wholesome, but I suppose it’s not a bad thing.
        5. I should have known the obesity thing would be in here. I used to think that was a crazy statistic, but it turns out I live in the slimmest state and as soon as you hit the border, everyone gains at least 10 pounds.
        6. I can’t argue against the baseball cap thing. I’m wearing three right now.
        7. We’re only arrogant because we’re the best. (That was a joke. Please don’t hit me.)
        8. I hate fun. HATE it.
        9. I don’t know what this means. We are all either jocks, freaks, or geeks? Or we are jocks who watch the show “freaks and geeks”? Or none of those things?
        10. I wish I had perfect American teeth…
        11. I do lack sophistication. I can’t speak for all Americans, but I wouldn’t recognize a dessert spoon if it bit me. Wait, is a dessert spoon even a thing?
        12. This is very ambiguous, but… yay! Winning!
        13. Parts of the country are extremely religious, and they get a lot of media coverage because of it. However I imagine it’s like most places. Some wackos, some devotees, and some of us who don’t give a damn.
        14. I’ve met some very smart Americans. I’ve also met some idiots. I have no defense for this.
        15. This comic is, I think, the perfect answer to that number: http://xkcd.com/850/
        16. Oh, men who dye their hair. I don’t know if it’s that common here, and it definitely gets noticed, but yes. We hate mortality and its accompanying signs.
        17. Obsessed with camps? Like, summer camps? This one made me laugh really hard. I would have never, ever, ever named that as a stereotype I thought the British had. I do like camp!

        It’s crazy to think you have a crush on American accents, when all you hear over here is how fantastic British accents are. And, on behalf of the US (not Canada, though. I’ve never been there, I don’t know what they like), we’d love to have you after you finish your degree. What are you studying?

      • Mr What's His Name

        Nice, awesome replying skills. Okay so…. The jocks, freaks and geeks thing is just how we perceive your society, especially School and University (thank American Pie and Clueless for that one). Also, I think Freaks and Geeks the TV show was brilliant. Geography map equals funny.

        I’ll tell you what, how about I hit you on twitter? Saves having a drawn out conversation on here. I’m under the name MrWhatsHisName, and my name’s Glen by the way.

  4. skeptasexual

    How self-absorbed!

    And I mean that strictly as a compliment. Funny stuff. Ever read Chuck Klosterman? He has a pretty famous essay on how romantic comedies have ruined people’s love lives and why When Harry Met Sally is fallacious and misleading.

    • Stephanie

      Hey, if being self-absorbed is good, I’m a rock star. I haven’t read any of Klosterman’s stuff, but people keep recommending it to me and your comment officially put him on my TO-READ list.

    • Stephanie

      Ha. Did the obsessive listing clue you in? It makes the movie about five minutes longer than it needed to be, but the posters weren’t stacking right. Ugh! Also, they were flimsy paper, so if I dropped them, it made a loud, awful noise.

  5. Hope

    Darling, you are well over “a six,” and frankly I hate that we all mentally place ourselves on that damned 1-10 scale. I do it, too, and I bet it’s yet another symptom of the romantic comedy syndrome you detail so hilariously (and accurately) here. Well done you! This blog made my day/month/life. Here’s to manicorns!

  6. Pingback: My Title Is A Cliché , And You Should Be Yourself « s|s
  7. Pingback: Life inside a Slapstick Routine | Listful Thinking

Leave a Reply to Stephanie Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s