Single Girl Diaries: Eurotrip: Love like whoa

(Wistful) Columnist Ellise Verheyen on distant dreamboats and Build-A-Boys.

Have you ever fallen in love with a stranger? Maybe it was a stunning brunette on public transport, or the charming blond boy in class. Of course, you’d never do anything about it. (At least I wouldn’t.)

To give you a little insight into my life here in London, I work for a fashion photographer and his studio. He has a list of clients my friends would drool over, so it’s no surprise that modeling agencies send some of their finest over to our studios for castings.

Part of my job as an intern is to photograph these models. I take basic headshots, let them act moody, vogue and then let them leave, never to see their pretty faces again. However, as a journalism student, I of course love to ask questions.

While some of you may have a few preconceptions that models are dull and lack personalities, I’ve discovered quite the opposite. For the most part, they are pursuing an education, love adventure and have a sense of humor.

Now to address my earlier query about falling in love with a stranger, I need you all to put yourself into my shoes. Imagine being told you have to spend 10 minutes with some of the most beautiful people in London and act like a functioning member of society. It’s not that easy.

Recently, I was sitting in the office when my boss gave me the nod to take photos of a model that had just walked in. I’d done this several times by now, but I was unprepared. This man. This man. If there were Build-A-Boy store, he’d be the one I’d choose.

He introduced himself with the most charming Essex accent and beautiful blue-green eyes. I was a goner. He had luscious brown hair, a chiseled jawline, just enough scruff and a flannel around his waist. My mind started playing “I Want You To Want Me” from the credits of “10 Things I Hate About You.”

Things got even worse as his personality proved to be just as charming as his accent. He was polite, funny, intelligent and down-to-Earth. He was also the first model to acknowledge and act upon my “Zoolander” reference when I told him to give me his best Blue Steel. He did it better than Ben Stiller. (Sorry, Ben.)

But all too soon it ended, and I watched my dream man walk away.

And then.

About a month later, the photographer I work for was doing a shoot for a suit company and had chosen my Build-A-Boy as one of the models. When I found out, I was ecstatic. I would get to spend 10 hours on a set with him. In suits. And bowties. I guess I could endure that.

And then.

They changed the date of the shoot to a day on which I had class. I was distraught. This average Joe of a model would be in my studio without me. To make matters worse, my class that day was a field trip. To a graveyard. A freaking graveyard. (Granted, I saw Karl Marx and Malcolm McLaren’s graves, but still.)

I spent the entire day after sorting through photos and videos from the shoot. Needless to say, it was rough. To add to my pain, my co-worker told me that the model asked about me. Me. He mentioned that I was cool and was (apparently) concerned that I wasn’t there that day.

I missed my chance at happiness. (Okay, woah. That’s a little much. He could’ve asked for my number if I’d been there, but skipping class would’ve gotten me kicked out of England.)

So I did what any rational person would do in my situation: I emailed his agent so I could get his last name then followed him on social media.

This is the closest I’ve come to a successful interaction with any man since my arrival in Europe. While I expected to expand my horizons, I’m sad to report that my love life hasn’t taken flight. (Something I’m sure my father is thrilled about.) However, it’s for the best. A transcontinental relationship sounds way too hard. I’ll get back to you once I manage a same-city relationship.

P.S. He followed me back.

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