I took David’s wretched, left-behind iPad to the Post Office.
‘What’s inside?’ asked the lady.
She looked at the name on the envelope, and an eyebrow shot up.
‘Do you want him to sign for it?’
‘I don’t care if it never arrives,’ I said, and she laughed.
But, looking back on David’s three-and-a-half-hour visit before he stormed off – more speed date than mini break – I wonder if I slightly orchestrated the argument about the dog leads. If it had been Nige (The Hunk), and he’d sloped back to the cottage before me bearing two of my leads, I’d have probably returned, breathless, saying, ‘It’s fine! Grace and Mini ran off but I kept up since I’m training for the half marathon in the spring. Would you like to see my abs?’
You see, the only reason women put up with men is if we fancy them. I was so dismayed by David’s face and demeanour when he arrived, the whole evening was spent moving away from his sticky embrace – I’d dissolve, and slide like a shapeshifter straight out of Terminator 2 – when he was desperate to touch me.
As he gathered (most) of his things, I told him he brings ‘nothing to the table’. Ouch!
He’d been implying all week – in between discussing who would provide the gluten-free bread – that he uses thoughts of me to, well, get excited.
I don’t use thoughts of him.
I do wonder, despite our protestations, whether women like sex as much as men. David is always up for it, even after a long flight. Me: ‘Aren’t you tired? Jet lagged? Nursing thrombosis?’ Him: ‘Yes, but we can have a go.’
For me, at least, sex is just another item on the To Do list*. If he removes my knickers, I can’t sleep as I’m thinking, ‘I wonder where they are. They must be in a small ball; I will never find them. They should be in the laundry bin or, preferably, still on me.’
If he wants me to get on top, given he’s tired/lazy, I can’t help thinking that isn’t my best angle. Lying down flat is my best angle, otherwise things go lava-like. Sex with older men can be a bit… long drawn out. They keep putting on spectacles to peer at bits of you.
I slightly blame all the women who have gone before me for not speaking up and saying, ‘No. Don’t do that. Get your elbow off my hair. No, that does nothing for me. Time’s up!’
But no, women let men just limp on, emitting encouraging noises at appropriate moments, and so they never improve.
It’s years of social conditioning. Years of reading Jackie, desperate for a boy to like us. Which reminds me. I’ve just been on a podcast about David Cassidy. I talked about how his narrow hips and feather cut, his snaggle tooth and shell necklace nestled against a hairless chest ruined any prospect of me ever having a meaningful relationship. No man ever measured up. I remember being in a car with Nige in Peru and the woman we were with from a non-governmental organisation asked me, ‘What type of man do you go for, Liz?’
I replied, ‘I like small, girly men. David Cassidy. Prince.’ And Nige, who as we all know is rather burly, said, ‘Well, that rules me out, then.’
David, my David, is small and snake-hipped. Maybe that’s why I went for him in the first place. Plus, he’s called David! When I eventually met David Cassidy, at his home in Las Vegas, he turned out to be humourless. Angry, even. Bitter. It’s best never to meet your idol. I should have left my David as a chimera, perfect, frozen in the early 80s, warm in my thoughts.
I should have flirted with Nige. Said I like my men tall, like Liam Neeson. I had dinner with a friend before Lockdown 2**, and she suggested I just post him a plane ticket. But I’m tired of doing all the running. He has to come to me.
*Unless it’s with Nige.
**That sounds a bit like a Liam Neeson movie.