For the sake of my own ongoing domestic harmony, I should clarify that this blog question is a) hypothetical; b) not my invention; and c) briefly answered by the statement “No, because bigamy’s illegal.” It’s a bit like asking me if I’d ever adopt the kids who live up the street. No, I’m very happy with the ones I’ve already got, thank you.
It’s not that I have anything against American men, you understand. Lots of my friends are married to them. But here’s the thing — these friends are all American themselves.
A “Special Relationship”
For the purpose of researching whether other British women might consider marrying American men, I googled — you’ve got it — “British women married to American men.” Hoping the search would come up with Hollywood examples other than Emily Blunt and John Krasinski or Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas (the only celebrity Anglo-American couples I could immediately think of where the woman makes up the Anglo half, and even then, CZJ is Welsh) I was perturbed when this first result appeared — a 2006 headline from The Guardian:
Why American women are sexier than British girls — by a man who knows.
This helped neither my research nor my confidence, so I moved quickly on.
Further down the page, things improved as Toby Young at The Telegraph informed me that Friends star David Schwimmer has decided to marry his English girlfriend rather than “a mercenary American husband-hunter.” (This news, by the way, is three years old. On a Google search, that’s the last time an American celeb married a British girl.) The writer of the article, an Englishman himself, was of the opinion that no man in his right mind would choose an American girl over an English woman, based on his own unsatisfactory experience:
American women tend to judge men according to what desirable attributes they possess rather than what they’re really like underneath.
Then again, he admitted judging these women according to the severity of their bikini waxes, so it’s possible they viewed him in a similar light.
The rest of Page 1 of the search was taken up by immigration and visa questions from young Anglo-American couples, and I didn’t even bother to check Page 2.
Given the up-to-date-ness of Page 1, I suspected it would contain only references to WWII GI brides.
Men are from England, Women are from America
This post’s title question, I was beginning to understand, should not be “Would I ever marry an American man?” but “Could I ever marry an American man?”
Anglo-American marriages seem to be more common when the Anglo is male and the American is female. Think Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin, Kate Hudson and Matt Bellamy, Paul McCartney and Linda Eastman, Guy Ritchie and Madonna. (Until they got divorced, anyway.)
This type of alliance has a rich history. In the late 1800s, quite a few impoverished members of the British aristocracy married rich American heiresses so they could use their fortunes to stop the ancestral mansions from crumbling away. Sir Winston Churchill himself was the offspring of Lord Randolph Churchill (son of 7th Duke of Marlborough) and Jeanette Jerome, an American socialite.
You might wonder what advantage this arrangement offered the socialites: if Lady Randolph’s reputation was anything to go by, perhaps it was the chance to chalk up an impressive number of extra-curricular royal conquests.
British guys: Not just for celebs!
And it doesn’t end there with rock stars, actresses and bankrupt dukes. Today, any American woman with a fetish for Estuary English and glottal stops can find a suitable husband. DateBritishGuys.com promises to
“provide the romantic and love hungry American Female public with British Men.”
although as a 2009 survey voted Englishmen as the second-worst lovers in the world (“too lazy”), these love hungry American females might be better off registering with DateSpanishOrItalianGuys.com and insisting that their Latin lovers learn to speak like Colin Firth.
My answer to the post’s question, “Would this Brit ever marry an American man?” is still “No”.
It would be pointless because, to all intents and purposes, I already am. My English husband knows more about American football than most American guys do, drives a Chevy pickup, and plows the drive in winter. But he’s still got that accent that American women love.
You could say I’ve got the best of both worlds. 🙂
STAY TUNED for tomorrow’s post!
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