It’s my birthday. I don’t want to talk about how old I am. You can look me up on Wikipedia, where some vindictive wag keeps changing my date of birth to 1948. Anyway, I received one card in the post. The address was written by hand, with an actual stamp. Inside, the card said, ‘Happy birthday, my darling Liz.’ Alongside this was a drawing. I showed it to Nic. ‘Do you think it’s a penis?’ I asked her, turning the card at different angles. ‘What are all the bits all around it?’
I emailed to say thanks. I mentioned I will be at a posh work party at the Serpentine Gallery the day after my birthday, and does he want to come along? ‘I’ve put on so much weight, I can no longer get into any of my suits,’ he replied. ‘I will meet you afterwards for dinner.’
LIZ JONES’S DIARY: ‘He threw two £20 notes down on the table like a cowboy, stood up and left’
This is the key difference between men and women: when single, we harvest and hone, trying to make ourselves marketable. Men don’t bother.
I’m sure I was the only person at the party to have hired a stylist. The beautiful A, who only days before she gave birth, dressed me in cream Bottega Veneta teamed with a metallic clutch and a selection of jewellery. She even supplied Skims shapewear.
In a supreme Devil Wears Prada Miranda Priestly moment, I also dispatched her, with the days old baby, to Selfridges to buy an Hourglass primer. All of which meant I looked good. After the party, I caught an Uber to meet the birthday-card sender in the bar of my hotel, Soho House. He swivelled to look at me. ‘Wow!’ he said.
‘I can’t keep the dress on for dinner,’ I said. ‘It’s rented. I need to change.’
He threw two £20 notes on the table like a cowboy, stood up and left
‘Just keep it on for five minutes.’ He ordered himself two vodka and pineapples. He was in jeans, a creased shirt and awful canvas slipons. We had dinner and it was fine.
‘Do you want to come up?’
He said yes. We went to my room. It was a ‘large’, unlike me, at £500 without meals. He turned on the TV. I took off my many layers of make-up. He didn’t comment on my new eyebrows. We had sex, after a fashion.
‘Just tell me what to do,’ he said, but nothing worked. I slept, exhausted having been up since six, and travelled nearly 300 miles. The next morning, as I was putting on make-up, he said, ‘Your ears are whistling!’
Me: ‘Are they? Sorry.’ I pushed the hearing aids in further.
Him: ‘It’s really annoying.’
JONES MOANS… WHAT LIZ LOATHES THIS WEEK
- The artisan bakery in the Dales which, at three minutes past closing time of 3pm, refused to make a sandwich and told off my collie who deigned to put one paw inside the door.
- Hunter wellies. Mine are barely months old and already cracked and leaking rain.
- Men who order room-service cappuccino on my bill and complain it’s not hot when they don’t even own a teaspoon!
We went down to the lovely room for breakfast. I handed in my key. ‘No, we’re not checking out,’ he said. ‘We haven’t had breakfast yet.’
‘Yes, but you can pay for that as I paid for dinner and drinks.’ (You can tell I’ve turned over a new leaf. I am Meghan: you are lucky to be dating me.)
I handed him a menu and he screwed up his face.
‘Why are you making a face in a lovely hotel?’
‘I’m not that hungry yet. And, well, I want smashed avocado and chilli with a poached egg and they don’t do it.’
When his scrambled eggs came, he complained his toast hadn’t been buttered.
‘Why do you complain about the small things when you don’t care about the big things, like your health? Why make fun of my hearing aids? I don’t criticise the fact you wear false teeth.’
‘Why do you lie?’ he said, his face a rictus of anger.
‘On your podcast, why did the Amoeba say I told you I was in the SAS?’
‘Do you mean Nic? When you fell down my ancient stone stairs, you did say you’d been trained how to fall in the cadets. That was ridiculous: you can barely walk. And why are you listening to the podcast anyway?’
‘Oh, f*** off,’ he said, throwing down his napkin.
‘You are paying for breakfast,’ I said. He threw two £20 notes down on the table like a cowboy, stood up and left.
You’ve guessed, haven’t you? It wasn’t a drawing of a penis. It was a drawing of a white pepper grinder, with bits of pepper scattered around. It was White Pepper Guy. And now the Rock Star knows I sort of slept with him.
When will I ever learn?