The story anointing Paul Rudd as Sexiest Man Alive begins, more or less, with this:

“I do have an awareness, enough to know that when people hear that I’d be picked for this, they would say, ‘What?’ ” the actor tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story. “This is not false humility. There are so many people that should get this before me.”

This is in direct opposition to what I’ve seen, which is that folks are letting out a sigh and saying, “Ohhhh, yes, this feels right.” Like putting on your slippers after a long day in heels. Of course Paul Rudd is our 2021 Sexiest Man Alive. We have been through it, y’all. And the tunnel ahead of us might have some light in it, but it also has about ten forks. So we needed this. Paul Rudd, repping his species as Sexiest Man Alive, is comforting. He exudes Guy Who Will Sit Down and Quietly Take Your Feet Into His Lap and Rub Them While Listening to You energy. He’s the warm mug of soup at the end of a cold day. He will help you with the groceries without you having to ask. He will wake up at 7 and haul the garbage cans up the steep driveway on trash day, even if he got home really late the night before, even if it’s rainy, even if it’s still dark and there might be bears, and will always tell you no when you offer to do it instead. He spends time with the kids on his day off because he wants to, and because maybe you need a break, because women still do so much unsung family labor. He’s also super good-looking, obviously, and a wise choice because a huge chunk of People’s core demographic has loved him since Clueless. But he’s also all of those other things: a human trust fall, here to catch us; the hot cocoa in our favorite holiday mug that’s finally out of storage again. So no, Paul Rudd, we do not greet this news with skepticism. We greet it with APPLAUSE.

People, by the way, also did a funny flow chart connecting all of the sexiest men alive. They really ought to throw a cocktail party, although… maybe disinvite a couple of them. Perhaps SNL can do a sketch like Five Timers Club, but with only the GOOD Sexiest Men Alive.

[Cover photo by Alexei Hay, courtesy of People; look for the Sexiest Man Alive issue on newsstands]