Liz Jones: ‘In which I get a rude awakening’

Why are men able to interrupt your sleep when: A) You have only met him for lunch, once. B) He texted a week or so later, while you were waiting for him at a table in Soho House, to say we are both too busy and live too far apart for us to even have a one-night stand. This resulted in the waiter removing a set of knives and forks, and two glasses, with a great deal of clatter.

Abbey Lossing at handsomefrank.com

This morning I was woken at 05.18 by the man I had met for lunch, who had pursued me before looking up my address on his satnav and deciding it was too far on the cusp of our second date. He was FaceTiming me.

Who FaceTimes anyone at five in the morning? Especially me, who resembles a dead tortoise at that hour. Even though I am propped up on four pillows like a Victorian consumptive to avoid eyebags, and I do after all have brand new eyebrows.*

It’s odd, because earlier in the week he had sent me a map of New York, showing the location of Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment and the message, ‘I wonder if she’s in? My mates don’t even know who she is!’

At first I was puzzled. Then I realised he must be on a mini-break with male friends (a woman, any woman knows who Carrie Bradshaw is) but, frankly, who cares? You are nothing to me! Then, later this morning, I got a text, saying: ‘Your beauty is not your hair or looks. Your beauty is you.’ Oh, bugger off!

I need to stop undervaluing myself. I remember, just before the pandemic, I went to dinner with a friend. She asked about Nigel the photographer who lives in Australia and told me I needed to just get on a plane to Sydney. ‘He will never find someone as funny and interesting as you!’ she said.

She was right. But now it’s too late: he has a partner and has just taken delivery of a puppy**. We often know what we need to do but lack courage. Are riddled with self-doubt. What if he had rejected me when I landed, puffy-eyed and dehydrated? After all, he knows I exist. He could have pursued me. These are the things we tell ourselves when we are not brave enough to go after what we want.*** I’ve just been to lunch with a friend. Outside, and not even under canvas as she thinks canvas will give her Covid. She has already started stockpiling due to the war in Ukraine and, given we live near the biggest military base in Europe, keeps sending me links to properties in the Highlands. ‘I can’t leave my horses,’ I keep telling her. The house next door has a cellar, so I’m thinking we will hide there. I can’t carry four collies.

Mini was so excited to see my girlfriend, she started bouncing and jumping up. I was wearing leggings, which meant she pulled them to my knees, revealing my very saggy M&S pants (I only wear Myla if there’s a prospect of a man taking them off). My friend laughed. A man would have been embarrassed, or made an inappropriate remark.

I haven’t replied to this man who gave me such a rude awakening, who is probably bored and regretful despite being on holiday in New York. They’re always regretful. Chippy at the time, when you take them to the French Embassy in Kensington for a fashion show, or to Marrakech with Blur, or to meet Dave Gilmour before a film screening. Thinking you are too much hard work, they date a normal woman and end up spending every weekend in Sainsbury’s.

On FaceTime, the only view this man got was of Gracie’s bottom, next to me on her nappy pad. Furry and incontinent. I suspect he thought it was me.

*You can read about this process in all its gory detail at dailymail.co.uk/femail

**Never underestimate a woman’s ability to stalk you online

***I do this in my career, too

Read more of Liz’s diaries here