As I watched the Tony Awards earlier this month, I kept thinking one thing:
If only Noel Airman had won a Tony for Princess Jones!
I know, I know. That’s crazy talk. Princess Jones was a flop—and Noel Airman and his musical are both fictional, only existing on the pages of Herman Wouk’s Marjorie Morningstar.
But still. If only he could have won a Tony for Princess Jones!
It’s okay, though, because there’s something this literary hunk has won and will never, ever lose: My heart.
(Womp womp. I went there.)
Marjorie Morningstar is one of my favorite novels of all time, and Marjorie’s on-again-off-again love interest has a lot to do with that. There’s just so much to love about him. For starters, he’s really tall and super lanky, and he’s always wearing a black turtleneck sweater, which might be pretentious on anyone else, but on Noel, it just fits. He’s got that blonde hair that’s always curling and those deep set eyes and that jaw that’s just a little too long. He’s the man every girl wants to be with and every guy wants to be. He speaks seven languages! He sings full operas by heart—in Italian! He can talk about philosophy like no one’s business, he can play chess like a pro, and he’s the best dancer anyone has seen, pretty much ever. He can write hit songs in his sleep, songs with names like “It’s Raining Kisses” and “Barefoot in Heaven.” (Could you just swoon?) Even his name is a melody—Noel Airman. Sure, that’s because he made it up, but that just means that no one else can take credit for it, right?
And okay. Noel might be a little bit of a toxic bachelor. He’s the kind of guy a girl shouldn’t fall in love with, with all of his warnings that he’s anti-commitment and his constant speeches to Marjorie about how she’s just another “Shirley”—sewing her not-so-wild oats before settling down and marrying a nice doctor like her parents want her to. He’s always talking about how of course he loves her more than anyone he’s ever met, but they’re not actually going to go anywhere with it, so can’t they just appreciate the beauty in that? Any girl with a good head on her shoulders should take a cue and RUN! But we’re talking about Noel Airman here, people. Gorgeous, brilliant, tortured-by-his-own-genius Noel. The pride of South Wind. He’s not an easy one to shake.
Every time I read Marjorie Morningstar, I think I’m going to grow a thick skin and become immune to Noel. Every time, I turn into a puddle, just like Marge. As a strong-minded woman of today, does that make me ashamed? A little, but those gooey summer crushes are always a bit unreasonable. So yes, I’ll keep on loving Noel. Yes, I’ll still keep mooning over him and his long jaw and his black sweater.
The man wrote a song called “It’s Raining Kisses.”
Looking for a bookish summer fling? Check out all of our Literary Hunks of the Month—they’re dreamy all the year through!