Sunday, June 10, 2007
Chapter Thirty Nine - A Whole New World Online
I’m ashamed to say that I’m living two lives. There’s my ‘real’ life - which is already changing at a faster rate than Paris Hilton’s jail sentence, and then there’s my ‘online’ life. I hadn’t realised how a few mouse clicks and an innocuous blank screen really is the window to a ‘whole new world’ - at the risk of sounding like Katie & Peter! I’ve been blown away by the mass of messages sent to my Staying Single website and am in awe at the huge amount of social networking sites that are out there. I’ve started up MySpace.com and Bebo.com accounts too - at Delaney’s recommendation - and if it wasn’t for Jacqui, my new assistant, then I’d never have the time or inclination to answer these propositions and character assassinations. I mean, what do you say to this:
Subject: You won‘t be single for long...
Babe, you’re totally gorgeousssss. My face is your armchair - come and sit on it.
or this one
Subject: No messing - marry me!
I know you will have had hundreds of emails from freaks and perverts promising you eternal happiness or the biggest orgasm, but take it from me, I am your Mr Right. I have my own businesses and earn way over £250,000 a year. I will give you the perfect life. You are the perfect woman for me - brains and beauty, humour and independence - I want you. Be mine. You won’t be sorry. I have 2 tickets for a weekend in Venice and one of them has your name on it. Come with me. You’ll see I’m genuine and a great catch too.
Worth a try.
Life is short, but life is long too.
Think about it.
Sounds kind of tempting, but also kind of freaky. If he’s such a great catch what the hell is he doing sending ME emails!
It’s late on a Sunday evening and I can feel the energy draining from me as I lay on my sofa and try to relax. It’s so hot and my lights are out and windows wide open. The breeze is wafting in over my flip flopped feet and my mind is reeling with what a crazy few weeks it’s been. I know I’m looking better than I have done for years and yet it all seems superficial. When I think back to my initial horror at being photographed by the paparazzi and how I’d clung to Rob’s arm at the sheer prospect of leaving the house, it makes me giggle. I’m now so St Tropez’d and waxed and groomed that I’m positively disappointed if there’s no photographers lurking behind the begonias! In my quieter moments, when I’m not attending celebrity parties or receiving bouquets of flowers or writing guest features for national newspapers, I actually look back and realise how I was limiting myself in my quest to find a man. I probably should have gone to a life coach really, rather than make such a huge promise to stay single for a year. But it’s a little late now. I’m still only about halfway through! I can see that I was choosing to date inappropriate guys - how I was almost hiding behind their faults and foibles, ready to use them as an excuse for ending the relationship. Or even how I’d deliberately date men who were so obviously a bad match that it would be inevitable that they’d dump me. I was clingy and needy and so obviously desperate - it’s no wonder they ran kicking and screaming! I’m far more empowered now, but still struggling with this dilemma. I’ve been approached by some seriously credible and eligible bachelors. I have to admit that I’ve even dated a couple of them, and will divulge one step further and admit that I’ve had a few gorgeous tongue-lingering kisses with them too. The trouble with kissing is, if you do it with someone who knows how to do it well, it’s all rather, well, addictive. But I’m not sure what I want from life now. I’m enjoying my independence but find myself longing for someone to share it all with. I look forward to seeing Rob whenever he calls over - which isn’t very much - or to talking to him on the phone. He calls every now and again to check that I’m ok and haven’t been abducted by any strange dates. I normally text him before I meet somebody new and I give him their name and email address, where they work (or at least where they told me they work) and their mobile number... Just in case I’m found in the bushes anywhere. He laughs at me now and calls my texts his Bush Tucker Trials - on the assumption that if anything goes wrong he’s on a mission to find me!
It does worry me though. I’m dating some great guys but know that I’d never have met them if it wasn’t for my ‘promise’, which leads me to question their motives. The Paul Ashkuri incident and then the Adrian Ford thing has left a bad taste in my mouth and I’m less trusting than ever now. It pains me to even say Adrian’s name. My stomach lurches with a longing every time my mobile bleeps with yet another text along the lines of:
From: Adrian Ford
Good night baby, won’t sleep
properly til I no u’ve 4givn me.
Try get sum rest n pls meet me this
wk. U dn’t no how sorry I am.
I blew it. Regret it every day. xx
He’d started as my little fantasy - my very own, real life office romance but he’d mutated into a Jekyll & Hyde.
But should I forgive him?
In trying to stay single I’d hoped that the days had gone when I got bored and dumped a guy, or they’d messed me about and dumped me for some pathetic reason. But maybe those days will never be gone. I’m tormented now.. It doesn’t help that I had a dream the other night that’s still haunting me. My Mother and Jennifer were standing before me, shaking their hands and wagging their fingers and telling me how I am shrugging off the best thing that ever happened to me.
And that I am emotionally constipated...
Ben Scott stares at the bright screen on his laptop as he sits on his rooftop terrace drinking neat vodka from the bottle. He’d been logging onto Sophie Regan’s website for the last couple of weeks and had just signed in to Bebo.com as JohnPamenter and had found singlesophieregan on there too. He’d checked out how Oonagh had been her first friend online, and how she had over 200 friends. It seemed her promise to remain single was a popular one and it bothered him that her celebrity status was rising. He found an image of a handsome guy on Flickr and uploaded it to his new bebo account, ready to send a new friend request to singlesophieregan. She’d never guess that he was going to be her new stalker...
Tamsin was bored with it all. Pete was making her feel worse rather than better and ever since the thing with his wife, she couldn’t trust him, despite trying desperately hard to. She’d spent the entire evening online and had come across a hilarious and thought-provoking site about working in a call centre. It was blatantly honest, but there was one particular story on there that made her think twice about dating a married guy. It’s called Monday Night and raised the ominous issue of step children. The call centre guys had been talking about being a step parent and they‘d joked about ****ing the parent. It unnerved Tam - that she was a young woman on the brink of stepping into a ready made life. It suddenly dawned on her that she was selling herself short. Sophie was meeting some fabulous guys and she was settling for somebody elses man.
Things had to change.
She needed to talk to Sophie...
Chapter Thirty Eight