I’ve been starting to wonder how you know that you love someone. David thinks he loves me because he’s driven mad by jealousy: I sent him a photo of a lovely view when I was having lunch in Wensleydale and he replied the next day, having presumably studied the photo with a microscope, that, ‘You didn’t say you were not alone when you were eating your fettuccine!!!????’
‘What on earth are you on about now?’
‘I could see the corner of a beer glass on your table.’
At a party the other week, I was talking to Nina Myskow, who once edited Jackie, about how intense my love for David Cassidy was, and how no man has ever inspired that passion in me since. David (my David), at my side, literally went green. He was jealous of a dead man! Of someone I’d known only as a poster on my bedroom wall.
Take the occasion I texted to say that I was sorry I hadn’t called, but I was backstage at an arena in Sheffield. I didn’t mention I was meeting Lipizzaner horses before a demonstration by the Spanish riding school, as I assumed he wouldn’t be remotely interested. But he jumped to conclusions, and thought I was with some rock god, because he replied: ‘Thanks for telling me that. Now I feel sick.’
The thing is, I never, ever feel jealous about David – what he’s doing, who he’s seeing. I no longer even hack into his email account. He stayed with me on Sunday night, after we’d been for an eight-course vegan tasting menu hosted by my new friend Day. He said he had to be up early on Monday to drive to France to help his friends get ready for a big party.
‘Julie will be there,’ he said. ‘She’s been texting me about chairs and things.’
Julie is his ex-girlfriend, the one he was living with when we re-met. She texted him in the middle of our first date to ask how it was going with the She Devil – ie, me. Now, it seems, she’s back.
When he told me they were in contact again, I felt not one twinge of jealousy or anxiety. My theory is that it’s fruitless being possessive: if he wants someone else, he will be with someone else. However, I couldn’t help but feel it’s rude not to invite me to the party given I’m his ‘girlfriend’. Or to at least say, ‘I’m sorry you’re not invited,’ and explain why.
I was never jealous when I was married, either. I would send my husband off on yoga holidays in Ibiza and to ‘find himself’ in India at my expense (literally; a moot point here: why are men so expensive when all they ever give me is cystitis?). And it turns out I was right to let him travel on his own, as he’d been having an affair with a woman down the road in Islington all along.
In fact, when I found out about affair number 467 (a work experience girl he’d met while on a book tour in Mumbai), my main emotion was one of relief: that’s two columns taken care of! And, thank God, now I’ve thrown him out, the house will be tidy!
And so I’m starting to wonder: do I not feel things deeply because I’m not in love? Was a crush aged 11 the pinnacle of my passion? Or do I remove my failed relationships from my heart and my head by writing about them?
Anyway, I play along with behaving like a normal (ie, desperate) girlfriend, just for a bit, to try it on, see how it fits. So I type this: ‘How’s Julie?’
Him: ‘No idea. She’s not here yet. I’m up and down ladders and scaffolding, getting the barn ready for the party. I miss you.’
Isn’t it telling, how helpful men are when it comes to their friends. I wonder if he’s going to start calling his hosts d*******s, complain about the bread, then storm off in a rage leaving them with a huge bill, which is what happened with me on our recent ‘romantic’ mini-break.
Also, given I’ve just taken him to a film premiere, a vegan tasting lunch, a pop star’s summer party, the aborted mini-break and am about to invite him to a wedding in Devon, I then send this: ‘Why am I not invited to the party in France? Is it because you want to be alone with [said in a Rachel-from-Friends voice] Juuuu-liiiieee?’
He replies. ‘You would hate it. There are no coasters.’