They say a watched pot never boils. I’ve never been bored enough to try it. But I can tell you for sure that if you stare at it, an iPhone doesn’t ding — no matter how furiously you do so.
I was hoping for a text message from a hot American I had been determinedly pursuing via WhatsApp. But it was not forthcoming. So I called Nichi, the dating guru who introduced me to the Inner Circle, the app where I’d found the American. She sidestepped the real issue — my sending an overaggressive text message demanding the boy meet me for a date or else — and instead invited me to the app’s après-ski party in Soho. “Bring your girlfriends,” she said.
So I called my only remaining single girlfriend and invited her along. Alas, my SG is even doomier about her prospects than I am about mine, so the moment she turned up she declared that every man in the entire vicinity was dressed like he was going skiing; that they were, therefore, all complete berks and we should just go home…
With every column, I invent a fresh excuse, unearth an old metaphor, so I don’t have to date. Which you might consider an important pursuit for a dating columnist. But my heart has been pulverised and I haven’t been able to.
It has been almost a year since I saw the man who took a rotating blade to my innards. He did it carelessly, suffered nothing himself. I’m sick of rehearsing the details even to myself: we met, I pretend he’s called Zinedine Zidane because when I met him on Halloween two years ago that’s who he was dressed as, he made me laugh like no man ever has and I was mad about him from that instant. But he made it clear that he was up for an affair and no more. And since he was getting married to someone else, I had to decline that so generous offer, absolutely.
I know I should be over it. But still I can’t quite eat, and can’t quite sleep, and can’t quite think. I wake up alone, every day. I count it a week well spent if I’ve painted my own toenails. Or untangled the mess of my hair. I run around the park to a song by the Internet, in which the singer repeats, “I don’t love you no more” over and over again, hoping to brainwash myself to the point where that’s true…
Love is a game I’ve lost. So now I must date, which, if you ask me, is an exhausting, undignified, seemingly neverending bout of musical chairs. One day the music will stop, and if I don’t want to end up alone, I must run round and round, trying to snag a man before they all disappear.
Everything is speeded up, exactly like it was when I was an asthmatic six-year-old, and instinct dictates that I should drop to the floor, refuse to move, stick my fingers in my ears and howl: “But I don’t want any of these chairs. I want that shambolic excuse for a recliner over there, which isn’t even part of this damned charade, since another girl’s bloody sitting on it.”
But to confess to such thoughts, or act in such a way, is stupid. Hopelessly defeatist. Everyone tells me I have to get up and carry on. So I sprint faster and faster. Become dizzier and dizzier. Feel sicker and sicker. As everyone else stares and points and mutters: “Good grief, I’m glad I’m not her.”
There must be a better way, I thought, casting about for inspiration. So how about this for a heartening tale..?
Halfway through London Fashion Week, the Millennial and I fell out. Before this (hot as hell, confirmedly gay) roommate of mine moved in, I could sprawl about all day half-naked, eating mango chutney from the jar, obsessively writing and rewriting my own sentences. But it is such a sad little existence, he begs me to desist.
He’s also fed up with me on the matter of ZZ, the man I “refuse” to stop mentioning. I try to tell the boy that when a man finally arrives in your life and causes you to understand, once and for all, the meaning of Bonnie Tyler’s power ballads and the oeuvre of Bryan Adams, it might be impossible to forget. But the Millennial is much too young, and much too cool, for (Everything I Do) I Do It for You…