I don’t know what is making me more nervous: the prospect of unveiling my Maria Schneider bush to the beauty therapist – at least she won’t be able to say the perennial, ‘Hmm. Well. The hairs are a little bit short’ – or my lunch with P. He texted the night before my spa day that ‘I just want to say I haven’t looked forward to anything, or seeing a woman, as much as this for a very long time. If only you saw yourself as I see you. I like everything about you. It’s fascinating how even people who seem to have it all can have issues*. Any man would be lucky to be in your company. x’
He also apologised for a few rather forward texts over the weekend. Shall I keep them private? No, why break the habit of a lifetime? Here they are: ‘I will examine your nether regions at close quarters’ and ‘Let me be the judge of the cauliflower couscous’ (I had talked about what I currently look like naked on my podcast). I mean, seriously! I’m from Chelmsford! I kept my T-shirt on and was known to unscrew lightbulbs whenever my husband looked like he wanted sex!
He then told me he was having dinner with a friend in Doncaster but couldn’t stop thinking about me. And that ‘I’ve bought you something. It’s not a bag – that would be like trying to buy a dress for a woman, too risky. Maybe we can go to my Bond Street store and choose something together.’ I hope it’s not a keyring. Oh dear. I discover I am a common prostitute, after all.
I’m in the hairdresser’s chair. It’s like coming home. I’m in a mask so look even more like Michael Jackson; I should seriously learn to moonwalk. The lovely young hairdresser tells me she has been on furlough, but they didn’t factor in tips, and she has a two-year-old.
Next, I am waxed. Thank the Lord. The hair is so long, it should really be baled. Isn’t it telling my maternal grandmother was a chambermaid, and two generations later here I am, having my actual chamber tended to by a woman in a visor. But it is so nice to be back in a spa, my natural habitat. I wonder how women with live-in boyfriends or husbands have coped. Did they have sex while hairy, with feet like hooves? Ooh, a foot massage. It is so lovely just to be touched.
I text my friend in Belfast. She’s a cancer survivor, and a few weeks ago was sacked via email after being in the job for five years. ‘Hi! I’m in a spa!’ Crass? Moi? But she’s thrilled. ‘Hurrah! Do you have a hair left on your body?Does it feel strange?’ (It does. I can actually feel the Gulf Stream through my tracky bottoms.)
I tell her my date is tomorrow. All of the above is not because I am going to have sex. I just like the reassurance that comes with knowing my nostrils have been waxed.
To be honest, I don’t think I can face breaking in a new man. All the directions, graphs, pie charts. The fact he gets to see you without make-up. This new one sounds, on text anyway, like a real ladies’ man. He’s never been married; probably too busy trying to dock his yacht. He sent me a photo of him by some beach, an arm slung around his ex, a leggy blonde in a bikini. If he thinks he’s ever going to see me in a bikini, he’s going to be disappointed. What’s wrong with a nice cardigan? I might be beach body ready, but that is for me, not him.
But my Belfast friend, despite everything, is ever the optimist, which is what I love about her. ‘Woohoo! I hope he appreciates the effort. You should marry this one.’
*Um. Er. He really hasn’t been following this column, has he? Channelling Chandler from Friends, could he BE any more wrong?