Flowers, flowers, and ooh look more flowers! Two bouquets and a tiny heartfelt bunch wrapped in foil. If I’d known being dumped was going to be this much fun I’d have volunteered for it sooner…
Day four in Heartbreak House. After twenty four hours of solid stupid sobbing egged on by PMT from hell, I finally gave it up as a bad job. Let’s face it, worse things happen at sea and rumour has it there are plenty more fish in it too. (Yey!!) But while the day I dare go fishing again is, ooooh, at least two weeks off yet, there is only so much moping around a woman with any spirit in her dancing shoes can do before she wants to take herself into a dark room and beat herself around the head with a chinese wok.
I mean really!! What made me feel I was entitled to quite so much pea soup soaked bliss anyway? Me! With a bum like the back of a haulage wagon and grey hairs sprouting out my nose? Any woman worth her self-deluded salt knows that blaming the kind of man who wouldn’t know happiness if it swooped him up in a bear hug and took him out for a pint, is ludicrous when it is clear to all and sundry that it is her cellulite, stretch marks and crepey old bingo wings that are to blame for both her current emotional crisis and the state of the nation. And so in the past two days I have done what all women do when they can’t see their brains through their mascara…namely dyed my hair a funny shade of something and signed myself up to the WeightWatching brigade. And yes of course I know how very very ridiculous that is but it makes me feel better so try and stop me and I will have something of a hissy fit, ok?
Luckily most of my friends and family aren’t remotely threatened by my frosty, whingy hysteria. They are in fact getting rather used to it and so, as good friends should, they come and wrap me up in a communal hug, join me in in calling him concerned a whole lot of very bad words indeed and humour me when I say Yes but I loooove that scrunchy winky thing he does with his eyes and he’s the bestest middle of the night snuggler in the world. And You don’t understand, (screeched like a banshee) I like him more than CAKE!!! And for a moment they sit pondering on the enormity of that last sentence and then obviously we all fall off our chairs giggling at my sheer demented lunacy. God bless my girls. They humour me and try to hide my phone. But I already understand that there is nothing dignified about making unasked for calls and I am quick to reassure them that there is no need: I can be trusted with my mobile and wouldn’t dream of turning into his very own late-night stalker. Wouldn’t dream of calling him again full stop. Unless of course there was a Screaming Multiple Orgasm or six involved and both my sanity and dignity had flown out of a swanky bar window.
And so the women I know humour me and feed me. Kate plonks me down in the midst of her cosy kitchen and makes me a skinny casserole. Clare invites me for breakfast and stuffs me with still warm homemade orange muffins and mugs of matching tea. Kath takes me to Waitrose and lets me run riot in the calorie-reduced aisle. Diane says nothing but strokes my arm as we wait in line in school. You, every last one of you, offer me the kind of sympathy that makes me cry when I open my email box. And Julie, lovely, funny Julie, she who knows me of old, phones me late at night and talks through my sniffling till I laugh so loud I nearly wake Finn up.
I love them all. Women you see understand what is required of them. They get what sympathy is all about. Women, as Martin Amis once remarked, have got tears cold. Not so the men in my life. While even they it seems can be relied upon for the delivery of unexpected bouquets in times of turmoil, it is sad but true to say that where women see heartbreak, men see opportunity with a glaring capital O. One silly specimen turned up on my doorstep, all outstretched arms and let me make you feel betters and seem surprised when I chased him without so much as a resentful cup of coffee. (He would, Julie later informed me, probably turn up at the burial of my late husband when I’m ninety three, so persistent an opportunist that he is.) Another rang full of I’m so sorry you are sad’s that all too quickly turned into I told you so’s and Let me make me you happys. And a third still (oh these arrogant fools!) offered me a holiday to anywhere. Let’s just bite the bullet and do it, he said, all charm, and fast car and cufflinks.
Ao there you have it: my very own groupies.. wannabes crawling out the woodwork. An infestation of ulterior motive. You’ve got to wonder if they’d be quite as quick in his grave.
But enough already because who needs this kind of nonsense? I don’t want holidays and schmoozing. I want my girls. And marmite flavoured rice cakes. And on Lindas recommendation, to play Griffin Houses’ song The Guy Who Says Goodbye To You Is Out Of His Mind till I turn blue. And tidy drawers please. And him. (Because I’m a spoilt little madam.) And a clean oven. And Big Brother. And my little boy. Because the very last word I will ever utter on on this entire subject has to go to Finley…
He has, with all the fervour of a four year old, decided that his precious curls are no longer de rigeur. He wants instead, hair he can spike with gel like his cousin Gabriel’s, or failing that, a head shaved like Paul’s. So he has taken to wetting his hair and plastering it down to his head like Pee Wee Herman. It isn’t a good look, but who am I to interfere? Unless of course, like this morning, it is five to nine and we are already late for school.
Finley, I said, we haven’t got time time to do your hair this morning.
Yes but I need to Mummy, so nobody will recognise me. I wannnnnnnnnt to.
Well, said I, I’m afraid I want doesn’t always get, now move it!
Mummy, he said, water dripping down his t-shirt, don’t you know what the point of lif
I stopped in my tracks.
Tell me Finley…
The point of life Mummy, is to get what you want. Otherwise it hurts your heart. My heart will hurt if I don’t have straight hair today Mummy.
And so because I don’t want him to know how it feels to have a heart that hurts, I helped him smooth his hair behind his ears like Antonio Banderas on a good day, took him to school and went shopping for the kind of fishing rod that sounds an alarm when you hook a dodgy catch..
Life goes on. And Big Brother starts tomorrow. Zo it’s not all bad.