Artwork By Lorraine Sorlet.
I can’t even really tell you how many years it’s been since I started fantasizing about being George Stroumboloulopoulos’ girlfriend.
If I had to wager a guess I would say my crush started at some point in the year 2000- the soul patch, the earrings, the bold inward lean as he interviewed all my favourite pop stars on Much Music.
Do you remember when he interviewed Britney Spears in 2001 and confused the hell out of her with his in depth questioning about her transition from a girl to a woman?
Holy Toledo. It was love at first sight.
As the years went on and his facial hair evolved, my fantasies about him evolved too.
I’ve always had a thing for semi pretentious men who know where to get the best small plates and cocktails in town.
For a man who can get away with wearing a denim jacket to any event.
For a man who doesn’t believe an outfit is complete without a hat.
For an older man.
It’s quite possible he’s my ideal man... at least the version of him that’s in my mind.
I have one fantasy in particular where I find myself on a date with him in a dimly lit wine bar.
It always starts with him asking me what sort of wine I like.
I’d say something like, “I typically like a more full bodied Californian wine.” and he’d smile and say “Me too… now this may sound sort of crazy but have you ever had Greek wine? It’s different from anything you’ve ever had, it’s earthy and has a lot of tannin, and I promise you’ll like” I’d smile and say “Well, if you promise, let’s do it.” in an enthusiastic yet still very cool way. “Fantastic.” he’d say as he’d flag over the waitress and order the wine.
We’d quickly feel comfortable around each other. Though I’m sure he’s one of those guys who can make anyone feel at ease… I mean, he did build a career around it.
He’d start questioning me with the same passion I’ve seen him interview Carol Burnett and Gord Downie with. I’d clock this and say “Woah, slow down Cowboy- Why don’t you tell me a bit about yourself. Tell me about George.”
This would catch him off guard. He’d find it endearing and he’d sheepishly back pedal. “Sorry” he would say “a bad habit, I guess”
I’d get him talking about himself and his favourite spots to go in Toronto, and how he loves visiting the Californian desert any chance he gets- we’d have this in common and trade stories back and forth about our experiences in Joshua Tree. He’d tell me he loves to ride through on his motorcycle and I’d tell him I went out there to write this spring. He’d ask me about what I was writing with genuine interest, not the fake interest regular men ask me with, but with that signature Strombo interest.
I’d ask him to show me pictures of his motorcycle and as I looked at the pictures on his phone he’d be watching me. He’d say “Maybe one day you’ll let me take you for a ride.” I’d look up at him and say “I’ve never been on a motorcycle before- I’d love that.”
By this point we’d be polishing off that bottle of wine- he was right. So earthy. So much tannin.
He’d say “Hey Robin- do you like bourbon?”
I’d say “George… don’t you know I love bourbon?!”
He’d laugh and invite me over to his place for a night cap.
He has the coolest loft apartment my imagination can come up with. There’d be a lot of original hardwood, a lot of exposed brick, a massive record collection and the dopest sound system possible. It’d be open concept with a large concrete kitchen island and a king size bed both being the main focal points as soon as you walk in. We’d likely take a freight elevator directly up to the loft. There’d be great lighting. Very sexy. Probably lots of good rugs too.
In my minds eye he has a lot of black and white pictures framed on the wall of him with some of the most influential people on the planet. Him with Prince, Oprah, Wayne Gretzky… Britney.
I would make a snide comment flirtatiously wondering when he was going to bring the soul patch back. He’d laugh as he poured the bourbon, completely enamoured by my sharp wit and clever charm.
He’d come over to me as I continued to take in the loft and he’d hand me the glass of bourbon.
“Thanks” I’d say.
I’d make the sort of eye contact that said, ‘it’s not going to happen right now, but in about 15 minutes I’m going to pounce. Get ready.’
He’d receive this message and through his eye contact he’d say “Baby, I’m ready.” but all he’d say out loud was “You’re welcome.”
I’d say, “I’m dying to know...what is Strombo’s favourite album right now?”
I’d be shocked at how well I was doing at not seeming completely intimidated by him. Here I am in a room alone with an actual Canadian icon. In another 30 years there will for sure be a heritage moment about him.
He’d put on some vibe-y, sexy record from some dope artist I’ve never heard of but who he knows personally. He’d start talking about who produced the record- they would be on a first name basis.
This is the point where I make my move on George Stroumboulopoulous.
I won’t go into detail here- but let’s just say I rock Strombo’s world a few times that night.
He’d ask me to stay the night. I would initially hesitate- that’s really not my style. He’d remind me how late it was and that we were all the way downtown. He’d finally sway me by promising coffee and breakfast in the morning.
He’d have really nice sheets and I’d sleep well that night. He definitely has an Endy mattress.
This is a very common fantasy I have whenever I come across him online- whether it’s on instagram or if I’m watching some old interviews he did- this is always where my mind goes and has gone for years. My phone notifies me every time he goes live on Insta, which is pretty much every damn day.
Earlier today I was out on a date with myself. It was the first time in a long time I had nothing to do so I decided to treat myself with a nice dinner. As I was walking to the restaurant I made eye contact with a handsome man--I did a double take and so did he.
I knew right away.
George Fucking Stroumboulopoulous.
Just sitting outside the Jimmy’s coffee on Portland and King like he was one of us.
I powered walked away.
I felt my face get hot.
Holy shit, Strombo just smiled at me.
I was convinced in that single glance he could tell I’d been having fantasies about him since I was child. As if in that instant he could tell he was the only person I ever forgave for having a soul patch.
That had to be why he smiled.
My mind raced. I mean, of course I knew he lived here, but it never occurred to me that he like… really lived here.
He was just as fine in real life as I always knew he’d be.
I sat at the bar and ordered a big glass of full bodied Californian wine.
That was a close call.
You should never meet your heroes.