LIZ JONES: David tries to buy my dream dress

I have a wedding in Scotland in October, so I’ve been doing my usual thing: browsing apartments to rent on OneFineStay, and clicking on dresses in the MyTheresa sale. I get house envy when I browse the lovely homes on OneFineStay and Airbnb, and can’t help but wonder, where on earth do the owners go? Do they have two homes? How does it work? Do they pay tax on the earnings? On MyTheresa, I eventually found my perfect buy: a soft pink Valentino sleeveless Grecian dress, not fitted but softly draped to below the knee. It is reduced from over £4,000 to £1,600. The old me would have said, well, I’ve just saved £2,400! For the first time in my life, I’m ahead. The new me says, I don’t have £160, let alone ten times that.

Anyway, I sent the link to Nic, telling her it is what I would wear to the wedding (under my black Jil Sander cashmere duster coat I bought for the Oscars in 2005, and my Louboutin heels, bought for a fashion feature ten years ago, and my Prada clutch bought from Joseph in the sale when I was still married) if I won the Lottery. Wanting to cause mischief, but also because she knows I will have to pay for an apartment at the wedding, which David will come and untidy, she sent the link to him with the message: ‘Hi David. Liz sent me the link to this dress, saying she would love to wear it for the wedding. If you haven’t got her a birthday gift yet, she would love this, in a size 8 or 10; there is only one of each left. Bye!’

When Nic told me what she had done, I was mortified. ‘He can’t afford that!’ I told her. ‘But you bought him a Burberry suit for his birthday.’ ‘I know, but that was before I got sacked. He’s a pensioner. He can’t even afford to get his car unclamped for non-payment of the congestion charge.’

I haven’t let on to David that I know about the email. He hasn’t replied to Nic, as he can’t stand her. I keep checking the website. The last size 10 sold last week, the last size 8 sold this morning, but I wonder who to? Ooh, I’ve just had an email back about my Airbnb enquiry. It is done! Three nights for £800. I send the link to David. ‘All booked. It’s just a mile and a quarter from the wedding venue in the Royal Botanic Garden.’ He replies: ‘Thanks for that. It does look lovely.’

That evening, over a curry, Nic tells me David has finally replied about the Valentino. ‘Show me!’ I tell her.

He had written: ‘Hi Nic, sorry I didn’t answer this earlier. I wanted it to remain a mystery as to whether I’d seen it. Had I done anything about it? Anyway, I had and I did. But I’ve just been informed by MyTheresa that there’s a “technical” difficulty with my order. The item is not available. Any ideas? Please don’t tell her any of this, I want it to be a surprise.’

What? He’s not done the one thing I wanted?! Unfortunately, she had already gone off piste and replied. ‘Hi David. Oh, what a shame! If there is a size 8 that would fit. Does that help? I won’t say a word!’

I tell Nic that was the wrong answer. His next answer, and things get worse. ‘No, the size 10 I ordered was the last one. But I have ordered something I know she wanted, so hopefully I’ll get a gold star. Thanks for your help.’

Nooooooo! I tell Nic. He will have bought the Dries van Noten I told him about, for £300. That’s too cheap! It’s black! I will look like I’m going to a funeral! It’s long, when it should be day!

She starts to type another email. ‘I just had a thought: is the technical difficulty something I can help with? I could always call the press department and try to get it sorted out.’ She shows me. ‘Give me your phone!’ I shout, alarming the other diners.

‘No! You will Lizzie-fy it! He will know it’s you typing.’

We struggle. I wrestle her phone from her, and type furiously: ‘I know Liz liked the black Dries dress but it’s a bit cheap, and she can’t wear black evening to a wedding and she also spent her last grand on renting the apartment so she is VERY STRESSED!’

I press send. ‘He will know it’s you typing,’ she says wisely, chomping on a poppadom.