Digital Detox Sunday as a fixture is not currently going well.
On the day my article in YOU was published, about dipping an Essie nail-polished toe in the murky waters of internet dating, I kept my phone on silent. I was worried about the fallout from the ‘men’ (and I use that word lightly; ‘nutters’ would be more apt) I’d had the misfortune to meet up with for a ‘date’ (again, lightly, if ‘date’ means being bored out of your skull by labourers whose only concern is how many miles they might have to drive in a white van with a sticky gearbox in order to have sex with anything with a pulse). I feared they would read my article and feel used as rather large, mean-with-money, balding guinea pigs. My only hope was that the photographs accompanying the feature had been so heavily airbrushed I was unrecognisable.
The occasional peek at my phone revealed all was well. Phew. Until, that is, I got home to see two emails from He Who Shall No Longer Be Named (aka my ex David). Oh dear. TWO emails. And he will have used one forefinger, had to find his glasses, and squinted. It must have taken hours. I assume there was no Formula 1 rehearsal on that day.
I didn’t open them for a week. They sat, an unexploded bomb of negative energy, lurking in my inbox (he so wishes).
OK. Here we go. I open them.
‘I just wanted to wish you well in your quest to find a new partner. I hope you find someone who can make you happy; no one deserves it more. I’m sorry it wasn’t me. I would like to offer some advice.
‘When someone has spent months in a foreign country and spent thousands of pounds to rescue two sheep on your behalf or look after your cats when they require daily treatment so you cannot leave your home for more than 12 hours at a time, don’t say they never do anything for you [he helped save the sheep from halal slaughter in France and looked after my cats when I moved into a pet-free flat]. When you know that your partner is upset, try asking them what’s wrong and if you have done anything to upset them. Don’t ignore them for weeks then let them read how much you despise them, when they have no right to reply. Try to be more tolerant and kind to people, even if you think they are wrong. You will be surprised how much nicer people are to you.
‘Finally, don’t criticise their sexual prowess until you examine your own. I hope you find this helpful.
PS: try going on an anger management course.’
He’s obviously jealous. Despite ‘dating’ a professional writer (or ‘typist’, as he liked to call me) for years, he still has no idea that the internet dating piece was a job. I’ve never written that I despise him. He simply disappointed me.
And what does he mean, ‘Don’t criticise their sexual prowess until you examine your own’? Who does he aspire to date, a pole dancer?
I draft a reply.
‘You were the one who stopped communication (I sent you a Christmas gift; you didn’t even bother to say thanks) and banned me from visiting my cats; I would have noticed far sooner one was about to die and the other had two weeks to live.
‘I am nice to people, and generous. I don’t need an anger management course: you would try the patience of a saint (swearing at drivers, tailgating them, being rude to waitresses, losing my keys which cost me £400 I don’t have). You ruined my niece’s wedding in Edinburgh with your constant moaning.
‘Second, nowhere in your email do you take responsibility for your behaviour. Here’s some advice: if you want a lovely girlfriend, look after your health so you can at least go for a walk with her when on a minibreak in Paris. Don’t make a fuss putting up a Bill Amberg headboard (crooked, I might add). You clearly react to every word I write, so why didn’t you send me a Sainsbury’s shop when you read I had no food? Clean your home. Read a book. Have a meaningful conversation. Send your future pole-dancing concubine some dog food if she ever loses her home, her car and her sanity.
‘Finally, put your petty gripes aside and allow her to visit her cats in the brief time they are in your care, so she can spend time with the animals she has loved for 18 years before they die.’
Put that in your roll-up and smoke it.