The first time I fell in love with a man from the north was when I was about 9 or 10 years old, I think. My step-father was studying for his Masters in Piano at the San Francisco Conservatory, and he was practicing for a recital with a handsome Norwegian violinist with beautiful golden hair, named Steffan.
I played violin, too, at that time - if you can call sawing mercilessly on the poor thing "playing." As I was fond of hauling out my instrument to proudly display my musical ineptitude whenever he came over, I can only hope I was cute, because I know my skill with the instrument was less than compelling.
My strongest memory of him was of going to a party at his apartment in the city after their performance, and watching him talk to his friends in Norwegian, thinking "why is my face so hot?"
Picture hijacked from the web, and no doubt (c) someone
to whom I send my apologies for borrowing...
Next: Danish handsome prince of the New York City Ballet, Peter Martins. Was it the hair? Maybe. Like Steffan, Martins had an impressive mane of golden hair, and exemplary bone structure; but also, uh, he was a Principal Dancer at the NYC Ballet, Duh! Needless to say, I had pictures of him all kitted up to dance the part of the prince in Swan Lake glued into my diary.
I was crestfallen when he retired from active duty as a dancer to take George Balanchine's place as the Ballet Master in Chief of the NYC Ballet when I was 13. I can still recall, with crystal clarity, a picture of him in the newspaper from his last performance: Martins was taking his final curtain call, all beautiful, upright posture, ballet tights and golden mane, his chin tilted up in all of it's epic glory, and with all the flowers thrown up on the stage to honor his princeliness strewn around his feet.
When you're a hopelessly romantic 13-year-old girl, it doesn't get better than that, folks.
When I was 15 or 16, Norwegian pop star Morten Harket from the band A-ha was the Scandinavian treat of the hour.
I think what really caused it was the utterly charming video for their song "Take on me," in which Harket, and his exemplary bone structure, are trapped in a motorcycle racing comic book until an 80's style Euro-moppet in floppy clothing falls into the pages and in love with him (like any girl in her right mind would), causing him to bust out into her world Altered States-style. My sister was positively besotted with him, and so was I.
My internet trawling for pictures to include with this post reveals that today, at 45-years-old, Harket is an avid photographer, cultivates orchids, has a spelt bread baking enterprise, a degree in theology, three children, and that he has not aged a day in nearly 20 years.