You can tell a lot about someone’s psyche by looking at their search history. Here’s mine. On just one day, I searched 124 sites. Zara for jewellery (cheap and fabulous). The Chanel catwalk show. Twitter support. The Outnet. Rightmove. An estate agent in London. MailOnline. A site showing photos of Paul and Linda McCartney (so in love!). The White House Urban Retreat in Knightsbridge (extensive treatments booked before the press awards on 2 April; I’m sure I’m the only Columnist of the Year nominee to have enlisted her own personal stylist – ‘Hello, Alessia! I’m thinking a Tom Ford tux or an ivory slip by The Row. It’s a bit bridey but I am after all married to my job!’). The nice people at Lumity to tell them I’m finding it hard to swallow (literally) their anti-ageing capsules. A yoga retreat in Marske, North Yorkshire. (Why? I hate yoga! And it’s fully booked!) Navygrey sweaters. A review of Hilary Mantel’s new tome. A certain photographer’s website and Facebook page; shamefully, this comes up a few times most days. The Conran Shop. John Lewis. Singapore Airlines. Waitrose. And, here’s an embarrassing one: 24 Beautifully Elegant Yet Affordable Wedding Dresses, via Vogue.co.uk.
I think it’s safe to say I’ve lost my mind. That I am still self-medicating by shopping, if only virtually; I fill a little basket but I never check out. What we can also ascertain is that I no longer stalk David digitally, or even read what his star sign has in store for him. The other day, walking the collies, a woman stopped me. ‘Is it on or off?’ she asked, waggling the fingers on her left hand. I couldn’t think what on earth she meant. The Wensleydale Agricultural show? I actually turned to see if she was addressing someone behind me. ‘The engagement!’ I had to think for a minute. Um. You really know a relationship is over when you stop thinking about him for days on end. You no longer wonder what he is doing or who he is seeing.
Anyway. Two weeks ago this column was an open love letter to the photographer, aka the Hunk. I haven’t had a response, even though I have refreshed my email inbox about a million times.
I’d love to look at his search history. Peer into his soul. I should have jumped on him when I had the chance. A friend asked what stopped me and I told her he was married. ‘But some people are unhappily married,’ she’d said. ‘He might not have had sex for years.’ But even if that was the case, I still think it was up to him to say so. And even then, men can lie, can’t they? Especially when abroad. My ex-husband told the dreaded Daphne (his ‘friend’ from yoga class) that he was in an unhappy marriage, even before he told me! I had thought he was too fat/poor/unsuccessful to attract another woman while he was ‘finding himself’ in India (turns out he found himself in her vagina). David is probably with someone else now, too, though I haven’t had an official ‘Are we on a break?’ email as yet.
The lack of response from the Hunk is annoying as this column brought me my last two boyfriends. The first emailed, ‘I hear you’ve gone off me.’ The second, ‘I feel left out.’ (I’d written about contacting the men who got away, friends who are no longer in contact, asking what I did wrong.) To show you how sad and desperate I am, when a friend said she was going into hospital for two weeks, I emailed her: ‘Sorry to hear that. But given you now have time on your hands, can you search for any videos of the Hunk?’ To her credit, she found one! I’m now playing it. Endlessly.
My Irish friend Andrea texts me. ‘I think you should carpe Hunk! Email him the link to your column about how you met, and say, “The ball’s in your court.” Then spend the next month afraid to check your emails.’
‘Yikes!’ I reply. ‘Or turn up in Sydney; my novel is out there, so I could say I’m doing a book signing, meet for a drink after? I’ve been browsing flights, putting them in a basket then not checking out. They must be cheaper now, surely.’
‘Well, that would be more dramatic. Worthy of a book in itself!’