My week. Tuesday: extreme wax, hair dye, pedicure. Wednesday: lunch with the mysterious P. Thursday: dinner with the mysterious P. Friday: boyfriend-binning barney.
There. Nice! Must be the shortest relationship in history! Shall I expand?
As you may recall from last week’s missive, at our lunch P gave me a wallet, a silk scarf and two other items I was unable to reveal, as you would all be able to guess his brand. Even as I drove away, he was texting to invite me for champagne at his hotel in Darlington that evening, or on a dog walk the next day. Reader, I chose champagne, but at a more neutral hotel near me, ie, one that didn’t house his pants upstairs. Dinner was promising, with no awkward gaps. I regaled him with stories from my award-winning career: Bosnia, a refugee camp in Somalia, an earthquake in Pakistan, dinner with Donatella Versace. ‘Oh,’ he said. ‘I thought you just wrote about fashion.’ He paid, unfurling a wad of notes. He walked me to my car and got a mouthful of hair for assuming I’m lightweight. Even when a fashion editor I took it to the next level, exposing the fact Philip Green asked for his Topshop Unique trench back when I gave him a bad review.
And then, on Friday afternoon, moments after my weekly podcast went live, I got this: ‘Noooo! Liz!! If you talk about a tiny coin purse how does that make me look? You could have mentioned it was a gift set. xx’
‘I have no idea what you mean.’
‘My hearing hasn’t gone. It looks like that was all I got you. I am honestly not mean.’
I’m afraid I lost it. ‘If a man gave me a cross-body bag on our first lunch, that is over the top. We said on the podcast the wallet is lovely. I can’t have this complaining about what I write or talk about: it’s just too stressful. In my column I say it’s a wallet and a scarf, and that if I were to mention anything else people would clock it’s you. But if you are going to be sensitive and not treat my work for what it is, which is a job, we should end this now. Sorry if you are upset but get over yourself. Who cares?’
‘You’re right. A strange reaction from me; you’ve been nothing but nice to and about me. My judgment is usually better than that, I promise. And I don’t care what people think. Sorry, Liz. I’m bound to make mistakes, but I won’t make that one again. Xx’
Me: ‘I can’t have another stressful, clingy man in my life who thinks it is all about him.’
‘I only listened to the podcast as I wanted to hear your voice.’
How old is he? Twelve?
Why are men so arrogant? Why is there no vulnerability, humility, humour? No wonder great male novelists and columnists are as endangered as the white rhino. This new one, like David, has already told me he’s a member of Mensa, sent me photos of leggy blondes he’s dated, and told me he went out with a pop star’s mum for three months. Whereas I’m not ashamed to say my bookshelf is exclusively I Had Three Ponies, A Pony for Sale and Riders From Afar, that I have a Captain Haddock beard, scars from a breast reduction, a face that has been rebuilt and zero money.
He then accused my reaction of being extreme! Mine!
It’s a shame, as we’d been planning to meet at a hotel in London to have sex. He then kept writing that he misses me, that he’s never met anyone like me.
Well, actually, no, you haven’t. And probably never will again.
I text Nic: ‘Oh well. I got three columns out of him.’
Oh dear God, no. I realise I’ve just texted P by mistake…