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LIZ JONES’S DIARY: In which David’s halo slips

It was all going so well. David was a ‘hero’. He had gone up in my estimation immeasurably for rescuing the two little Herdwick sheep, guardians of England’s most famous and beautiful landscape, the Lake District, from ritual slaughter then rehoming them in their makeshift paddock in France while we got the paperwork sorted to bring them home.

He came back at the weekend for a change of clothes. I texted him. ‘Are you OK?’

‘I’m OK; not thrilled with the prospect of having to go back to France tomorrow. Can’t do much more of it. x’

I replied: ‘You have to continue to be a hero though. You’ve set a precedent! X’

He then typed this. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

‘I will always be your “hero”. However, I’m getting a lot of flack [sic] for, potentially, promoting Islamophobia.’

Red rag, bull? ‘Flak from whom? Do your friends really agree with sending animals hundreds of miles in boiling temperatures for their death to be advertised on Facebook and broadcast online? What about their rights? If you don’t understand this we can’t be together!’

He replied: ‘Thanks to you, I’m now a non-animal-eater. I am against slaughtering them in any way. I couldn’t say halal is worse than non-halal slaughter. That is what I am saying.’

‘Why are you discussing it with your friends anyway? What about my beliefs?’

I am so angry. His friends are the type of people who live in million-pound mansions in Brixton, just to show they are down with the peeps. I remember once, when my Mercedes was keyed, then all the chrome nicked outside his house, I said, ‘Well, it’s a rough area.’ ‘No it’s not!’ he shouted. The sort of white liberal thinking that is so patronising it makes me see red. To type the word ‘Islamophobia’ makes him feel good about himself. Edgy. An OK guy. Cool.

I try to remain calm. I try to let things wash over me. I can’t change others, only myself. But people keep making me angry! I remember the advice of a therapist, Sally (like the Herdwicks, also from the Lake District). She told me, ‘If people are negative, don’t bring you joy then cut them out of your life.’ She was right. And I have done that, to an extent, but they keep coming back to bite me on the bum, like great white sharks. They keep surprising me with the depth of their ignorance. It’s like waking up and discovering I’m dating a vivisectionist!

He had told me last week that on the same weekend we are going to my niece’s wedding in Edinburgh, he has been invited to ‘a punk weekend’ in Skegness. Do these people never grow up? David was too old to be a punk; he was a hippie. So I send him another missive: ‘Don’t bother coming to the wedding, go and spend it with your friends because you are never seeing me again.’

‘Great,’ he replied. ‘So I’ve not only lost my friends, I’ve lost my girlfriend. Go and have another drink.’

Ah. So here’s the thing. He is allowed to go to raves and festivals, and to smoke, which means he can’t walk far due to the arteries in his leg being constricted, and eat sweets (there was a half-eaten Finger of Fudge in his footwell), and drink G&Ts, but if I want a glass of red at the end of a long, stressful day, then I’m the one who is irrational.

But I am now worried about going to the wedding without him. I know we’ve had How to be a Woman and Lean In and all that, but the one last bastion of male oppression is that you still feel like a failure if you turn up at a wedding on your own. He was even going to smarten himself up, so I wouldn’t be ashamed of him, viz, ‘I’ve booked a haircut, eyebrow trim, manicure and a professional shave. I have my Burberry suit, a new shirt, my shoes have been found and repaired, and a selection of ties. What width is fashionable these days? Skinny or fat?’

‘Skinny,’ I’d replied. ‘Like your taste in women.’

‘I was about to say that, but figured my (beautiful) body dysmorphic girlfriend might take offence.’

I feel bad now we had a fight. And he might just have a point, viz, my low point on Monday when I went to Lidl in my pyjamas and chose to spend my last £4 on wine over food. Perhaps I am mad. Perhaps it has all become too much for me.



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