News, Culture & Society

LIZ JONES’S DIARY: In which David fails a test

It’s not like me to persist. But, having been ignored/rejected when I asked David whether he planned to come for Christmas, I rather boldly sent him this.

‘Hi handsome. Are you dead? Would you like to come with me to my office party on Tuesday in Soho? We could go out for dinner after?’

He replied: ‘Sounds lovely. I can’t. I’m sorry. X’

It reminds me of the Post-It left on Carrie Bradshaw’s desk the morning after the night before. ‘I can’t. I’m sorry. Don’t hate me.’

I know when I’ve been dumped, but still, I do wish men had the courage of their convictions. To say what has annoyed them, rather than just sulk and go all evasive and cryptic. So I just left it at that. It’s odd because, when I told him the Dries dress he bought me was too big, he’d written, ‘I bet you look sexy as hell. X’

The next day, he sent this: ‘How was your party?’

‘It was okay. I met my friend after, gave him my screenplay.’

‘What does he do?’

‘He’s written a book that’s being made into a film. He lives in New York.’

He replied, ‘Cool.’

Do you know what I hate even more than ‘enjoy!’ or ‘I can’t, I’m sorry’? It’s adults who type ‘cool’. They only use that word because they feel threatened and deeply uncool.

I’ve just finished reading Tina Brown’s diaries about her years at Vanity Fair. We have so much in common – apart from the devoted, successful husband (Harold Evans, former editor of The Sunday Times), the New York townhouse, the house by the sea, the children, the shares, the company loan to buy the aforementioned properties. But so much of her life is, or was, like mine. The sinking feeling when the publisher says he wants to take you to lunch. The staff, always bickering and crying. The battling with lazy writers. She writes, of Martin Amis, when she was thinking of assigning him to follow in the footsteps of Nabokov that he ‘would probably have asked if it was necessary to do the drive’. It reminded me of when I asked an award-winning journalist (who hates me, by the way), to interview the author of A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, and I could tell she didn’t want to get on the train out of London as she whined, ‘But the book’s really looooong.’

What struck me about the Vanity Fair memoir was how much Harry supported Tina. So, feeling betrayed and alone, I emailed David the link to a particularly nasty piece about me in The Guardian. I added a rave review from the London Review of Books, just for balance. Let’s just say it was a test.

He replied: ‘Why you send these? [sic] I’ve read both before.’

Me: ‘Didn’t think you read the LRB. You didn’t mention either.’

Him: ‘I probably didn’t want to start an argument.’

Me: ‘Strange. If I’d read a rave review of your bread rolls, I’d have congratulated you.’

Him: ‘Why do you always have conflict in mind?’

Me: ‘You were the one who typed “argument.”’

Him: ‘Do you remember our last meeting? I’m still reeling.’

Me: ‘I expressly asked you not to mention the sheep during my minibreak. You were the one swearing in the car, giving the finger to other drivers.’

Him: ‘You didn’t have to go ballistic and throw me out.’

Me: ‘Your behaviour was disgraceful. I wanted two days without you moaning. I’ll delete your number so I don’t text you by mistake.’

Him: ‘Like I said, you don’t love me.’

Me: ‘I wouldn’t let the woman I profess to “love” arrive at a s***hole with no heating. Nor would I bring up your pony-tailed t*** of a friend at her niece’s wedding and be on his side!’

Ping! ‘You owe him great appreciation and thanks. He helped hire the van, loaned me money. The sheep could not have been rescued without him. You fail to appreciate anything people do for you. He is a polymath.’

Hahahaha! He’s unbelievable. I replied: ‘You could have resisted singing his praises for two courses, surely. Why don’t you give him the £21.99 “token” ring? You should have rescued them for the sake of two innocent animals, not to get into my pants.’

He replied. Ah, so now we know why he refused to come to my party. ‘He gave sanctuary to your two sheep, with no thanks from you, just a put-down in print.’

I’d written that his friend is a patronising t*** for going on about sheep ‘hefting’. As Tina Brown writes, ‘I’d forgotten what an hourly battering it is to stay on top. [The late, great writer] Dominick Dunne said he has been aggressed everywhere he’s been, with “Trust me, she’s gone too far this time.” Still, they are all still reading it…’



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