With everything awash in red and pink during this most hallowed/dreaded of Valentine’s weeks, my thoughts turn to soulmates of the fictional variety, those people you just know you’re meant to be with… if only they were, you know, real. See: Say Anything’s Lloyd Dobler, High Fidelity’s Rob Gordon (so maybe I have a thing for the not-so-fictional John Cusack?), Gilmore Girls’ Jess Mariano (not quite John Cusack, but underachieving, angsty and literary, nonetheless). But one guy stands alone as my one true fictional soulmate: Seth Cohen.

Yeah, yeah, every girl had a crush on Seth circa 2003, but none of those other chicks really got him. He read Chuck Klosterman, listened to Bright Eyes, was self-deprecating and sensitive and still totally attractive — yes, Seth Cohen was my high school self’s dream man. Sure, he did dumb things like try to sail to Tahiti on the dinky (although sweetly sentimental) Summer Breeze and dated dumb girls like Alex, who was emancipated from her parents and had a thing for Marissa Cooper. But he was also a talented artist with impeccable pop culture taste who was really, really cute.

Alas, Seth and I never worked out. He was in Orange County, while I was in St. Louis County, and he decided to go to RISD, while I ended up at Penn. Plus that whole he was/is/will always be fictional thing. Regardless, I’d like to think that had circumstances been different, he would have taken me to check out some Philly jazz (see our feature, pg. 10) when he would visit during our inevitable long-distance phase. And he definitely would want to stay in and watch Eternal Sunshine on a rainy afternoon (pg. 13). I also have a sneaking suspicion that a Hacktory DIY audio card (pg. 4) would be his Valentine’s Day gift of choice.

For now I’ll just have to settle for SoapNet reruns and new episodes of The OC Takes Manhattan, er, Gossip Girl. But let’s be honest, Dan Humphrey is just the poor man’s Seth Cohen.

JR + SC 4EVA, Julia