I keep refreshing my inbox. Refresh, refresh, refresh.
Nothing, nothing, nothing. Nothing from the Hunk, responding to the email I wrote last week, in which I asked after him and said I would love to meet up once lockdown is over and we can fly again. Oh, and that I happen to be in love with him. I almost forgot that bit. I think I must have had one glass of I Heart Champagne too many!
That was quite the most forward missive to a man I’ve ever written. But I don’t think being forward as a woman, even in this MeToo age, ever really works. I’ve tried it before, either been convoluted and devious, or come straight out with it, to disastrous results, viz…
- In the summer of 1983, I hosted a party just so I could invite David, who lived next door. I made Pimm’s and had croissants and fruit salad on offer for the early hours. I bought the new Malcolm McLaren 12-inch. David turned up all right, but swiftly left with my friend Wilma. She was wearing a vintage tea dress and no make-up.
- I joined a gym in Highbury Fields, at great expense, as I fancied the personal trainer: he looked like a young Stan Collymore (I did chat to the real Stan Collymore in a bar once when I was the editor of Marie Claire; another story). The personal trainer soon left, and I was unable to cancel my membership for a year.
- I fancied the man in the health food store on Old Street roundabout. I accumulated a crunchy peanut butter mountain before eventually plucking up the courage to call the shop and ask him to the cinema. His first response was promising, as he said, ‘When?’ I gave him my number, but he never called me.
- I took a shine to a chef at a restaurant, which meant I dragged my friend Robina to his establishment most lunch hours. I managed to invite him to a party in Shoreditch. He came along but didn’t speak to me.
- I hired a man I’d met at a record launch party as the music critic on my magazine. This ruse worked, and we actually went on a date to the cinema to see The Blair Witch Project. As I was then already deaf and blind – I’ve since had laser eye surgery and bought high-tech hearing aids – I had no clue what was happening in the frankly blurry, whispered narrative, so wasn’t scared at all. We went for dinner in the Organic Pub afterwards, I gave him a lift home, and he didn’t invite me in. When I later asked why not, he said, ‘You must be made of steel if that didn’t frighten the life out of you.’ We did go on to have sex on our second date but, unfortunately, I was forced to sack him as music critic for being too highbrow, which put the dampeners on our relationship slightly.
- While features editor of a daily tabloid, I hired my future husband to be ‘technology writer’, even though he couldn’t change a plug and indeed did not even own a screwdriver. Later, when we were married and I found out he was cheating, I made him do a feature whereby he had to fly from various airports across Europe to see how many times he was thrown in a cell because he’s Asian and had a beard. You see, I can give, but I can also take away.
- Now I have just sent that totally out-there email. And I have to confess here that, having been assigned Him, the Hunk, as my photographer for a story in Bali, I then totally requested Him for another story in Bolivia. An assignment he accepted, even though it was a huge distance from Sydney, the airline lost his camera equipment, and then he was placed in isolation with suspected yellow fever! This must mean something, surely? I’m feeling a bit annoyed, to be honest, as I had Botox and filler back in February, and if this lockdown goes on much longer it will all go to waste and my forehead will start to concertina. Botox only lasts a few months. I will have gone off, again.
To contact Liz tweet #lizjonesgoddess or visit lizjonesgoddess.com