News, Culture & Society

LIZ JONES’S DIARY: In which I unlock a New Me

I have no idea what’s going on. Last week I wrote about how my family is ghosting me. Then, on Sunday, I suddenly realised I haven’t had a text from David for eight days (I know, I’ve been busy; plus, my life does not revolve around whether or not I have a boyfriend), so I sent a nice, friendly, light-hearted note.

‘Hi Dave. Do you need any more cat food delivered? I’m in town this week if you fancy dinner on Friday. I’ll cook.’

Three days later, nothing, although I received a ‘read’ message moments after I sent it.

Which is worrying, mainly because he’s looking after my three cats. Tiny little fur hostages who mean not only the world to me, but that I cannot ignore him back.

I’m trying to think what I have done (or written, more like) to annoy him. And then I remember that last time I saw him, we’d had a huge row over the fact he never takes my side (I yelled at one point, ‘Marry the Uber driver, see if I care!’), and he had said sadly before I drove home to Yorkshire, ‘Well, I don’t know where we go from here.’

I was angry too because, barely two weeks after moving into my flat, he lost my spare set of keys. I never lose keys, because when I get home they go in a bowl by the front door, and if I’m out they are sealed in a zipped pocket or Prada handbag. I tried not to be angry, but it managed to seep out of my pores.

Why do men always lose things? Do they think being careless is somehow swaggeringly macho? In Paris, he lost the Dunhill lighter I’d bought him. He has in the past locked himself out of his car and his flat. After a hotel stay, he realised he’d left all his clothes in the wardrobe.

I told him I hadn’t even managed to get the meters read and transferred into my name having just moved home twice, and that he was giving me more irritating, time-consuming tasks to do. Getting Banham to sort it all out cost £400 and two days.

Tell me this. Why does a night out with a man always end up costing me money? He offered to pay me back, but as he lost his car keys at the same time, he also texted, ‘I know it’s my fault but I’m already poorer by £480 getting Jaguar to supply another set of keys. Plus the stress has taken its toll.’

The stress has taken its toll!

He should try being me! I’m going to put ‘The stress has taken its toll’ on his gravestone, below, ‘The ring was just a token…’

You see, men do daft, careless things, yet we’re not supposed to react in case they get stressed.

Men also say annoying things such as, ‘Remind me in the morning to find out why the car is overheating.’ (My 30-year-old husband had no idea cars need oil, or that you have to check the levels with a dipstick or that the bonnet, like, opens.)

In the past, I’d have said, ‘Of course.’ and immediately typed it into my online calendar, and set an alert on my phone. I’d have phoned the garage, too.

But these days, I just say, ‘B***** off. I’m not your bleeding PA.’

So, for all you gals out there still in the giddy throes of a new relationship, or getting waxed and ex-foliated each Saturday and wondering about the sequin skirt in Zara in the hope of meeting The One, let me give you the benefit of my experience in order to save time and money spent on weddings and divorce lawyers and skirts, and teach you the correct response when a man starts mewling.

1 You ask him to put up a Bill Amberg bedhead and he says he will ‘do it in daylight’. The next morning, he says he has to leave for lunch with his son, and will ‘do it next time’.

Old Me: ‘Don’t worry, I’ll pay for a builder.’

New Me: ‘You should have got up earlier. Tell him you’ll be late. He’s not 12.’

2 You’ve delegated responsibility for getting you both to the airport for a mini break. (You’ve booked flights and hotel; old habits die hard.) Half an hour before take off, still in his sweats, he mumbles vaguely, ‘Which airport is it?’

Old Me: ‘OK, I’ll drive at 104mph and leave the car in the short stay car park. It’ll be fine, if expensive.’

New Me: ‘Bye! Don’t forget to feed the cats!’

See how much more fun it is being New Me?