lifestyle


I have acquired a husband. He is French, he is tall and he is terribly jealous and posessive. He is also completely imaginary. I summon him up when I am being mildly hassled by blokes who are too pleasant to be assualted with a barrage of abusive sounding Gaelic yet too insistent to be off of with a simple ‘non merci’ to their invitations to coffee.
Thing is, when I’m bluffing about him, I almost start to believe in him myself. I get a little buzz at the thought of him waiting impatiently for me at home in our wonderful apartment, cooking something delicious for a romantic dinner a deux. Yes his jealousy IS a bit over the top at times but he considers me such a prize he presumes all other men are crazy for me too. What a fall I set myself up for when I am faced again with the stark reality of my dog smelling room and a melted lump of camembert.

However for all my husband is tall, sexy and loves me I’d drop him in a shot if one actual cutey asked me for coffee.

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A little google trawl has revealed that a person upon which I contemplated having a crush makes music videos with very georgous very famous French actresses. I think I shall refocus my sights on the 22 year old waiter. My mate snogged a 23 year old while drunk in a pub in Manchester last week, so that’s like…permission isn’t it? She said he had very soft skin.

….I’m going to stop complaining. As well as here I’ve been giving out about my illness on Facebook and one of my ‘Facebook Friends’, one of the ones by the way I only fecking ‘accepted’ out of politness becuase he is a writing peer and we had ‘mutual friends’ , told me to ‘oh shut up’!!! Can people do that? Is there not a code of ethics on Facebook which goes along the lines of ‘don’t be mean to people when they are sick!’. And anyway, feck him, if he is that sick of my malingering, why doesn’t he just ‘hide’ me,

I’ve hidden a good ninety percent of my ‘friends’ for various reasons. Some becuase I was bored of their posting accounts of what they were having for breakfast, others becuase they used the word ‘yummy’ just once too often and one becuase he kept posting these rather grey and blurry photographs which disturbed me and put me in a weird mood for the rest of the day. And one or two becuase they just seemed too bloody happy and made me look at my life with jaundiced eyes!

Anyway, now that I am sulking with the kids on Facebook, I am not going to tell them that I have decided to develope a crush on a 28 year old pop star! Well apparently he’s famous in France anyway, for what it’s worth! He’s a friend of a friend and he told me my blue coat was lovely.Of course he is going out with a suitably bottechelli -haired rock chick but I’m just going to stick his mental poster next to that of my 22 year old waiter on the mental walls of my brain and in a few years time write a philisophy book about them. Heh, it worked for Germaine Greer.

Anyway, I am going back to ‘poke’ the Facebook bully….in his cyber eye with a shitty stick!

I wonder has the cute waiter noticed I haven’t been in the last few days? I’ve had the flu so haven’t been going to my local cafe for my daily ‘cafe alongee avec un petit peu du lait (someday I’ll work out how type do the accents). The nice thing about Paris is that you can establish ‘local cafes and boulangeries’ pretty quickly and staff get to know you, at least if you have distinctively dreadful french and a red hat, both of which I do.

Anyway I have developed a crush on one of the waiters. He’s lovely. He always greets me with a big smile, a tad of chat (until about one and a half sentances in and my French breaks down) and in his crisp white shirt and smart black trousers, well he’s just a peach, in a French Prince William cleancut sort of way. He’s also about 22! Maybe younger! Certainly not much older. Which I am. I could be his mother if I came from a rather more dysfunctional and permissive background! But he’s just so cheery, fresh, happy and NEW looking. And that’s kind of new!

After all I have been spending alot of time lately with artists, and a more entertaining and funny bunch of ex-alcoholics, divorcees and depressives you couldn’t wish to meet, but compared to my shiny waiter in his shiny white shirt, they seem rather nicotined and life stained. I can suddenly see the appeal of younger women for men, it’s the hope some of their freshness might rub off.

Of course this being Paris, I should just have an affair with him. In fact if this was a French film, I the older jaundiced woman, channeling Isabelle Huppard, would just lure him into my web. Then I’d use him and abuse him in all sorts of sordid and louche ways, break his heart (becuase of course he’d fall madly in love/lust with me) then cast him aside with that innocent light in his eye extinguished and replaced by …’knowingness’.

Unfortunatly, as thirty somethings go, I fear I am a bit behind on the ‘knowingness’ front myself and the most sordid activities in my web involve illegally down loading ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ ,eating too much chocolate rice and avoiding writing. In fact he would probably scrabble quickly out of my writers web and into a proper pensional job for fear of ending up in a similar state of retarded adolesence in his late thirties.

As it is, he probably just views me as the slightly eccentric foreign woman who sits at the counter..watching him! Oh sweet Christ, I’m less Isabelle Hubbard then Dirk Bogarde in ‘Death in Venice’, complete with smudged makeup! Time to change cafes.

Hmm, is it worth blogging if you feel you have to be cautious about what you write? Before, when I was a complete newbie to Paris and was internet dating up a storm, it didn’t really matter what I wrote about various people becuase chances were, I wasn’t going to see them again. Actually that goes for my standard dating too unfortunatly, but let’s not dwell on that.

But now you see, I am getting to know people, in fact I can even say I have made some friends. However gossip is my life’s blood. In fact I think rather then blood, I have the exact brand of ink running through my veins they use to print ‘The National Enquirer’. And where there is very little gossip, I can manufacture some. That’s one of the few advantages of being judgemental, I can have an opinion, about which I can go on at lengh, on just about everyone!!
But you can’t do that with friends can you? Oh of course you can behind their backs with other friends, I mean that’s part of the deal right? It’s what you sign up for, in fact if one’s friends are NOT dissecting one’s latest life decisions, well they don’t really care do they. However it’s probably not the done thing to post the gossipy musings on the internet is it…or is it??? I’m still not 100% au fait with blogging etiquette ..or liable law for that matter but it’s why, when I went back to Ireland, my blog fell at the first hurdle. Various family and friends were within hitting distance or at least knew where to find me.

The other option is I suppose, ‘if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing’ but where’s the fun in that?

I have small veins, possibly due to dehydration. I found this out today when trying to donate blood. I’m in Dublin, borrowing a friend’s house while she’s on holidays and when ever I’m here I try to build up a bit of karmic credit. Well after all I’ve lived 8 months this year on bursaries and other people’s generosity, so I kind of feel I better give something back or the cosmos might feel a tad underappreciated.

Also giving blood is the only time I allow myself ‘whole fat Tayto Crisps’ and the Time bars they give out free to build up strength so it wasn’t an altogether unselfish gesture. I did happen to be peckish when walking past the clinic.

Unfortunately it was literally like trying to get blood from a stone. The nurse spent about five minutes trying to rise my weedy little veins before sticking a massive sharp PIPE into one of the stringy little feckers but to no avail, I couldn’t yield a single drop. So not only did I manage not to donate but I’d already scoffed back two bag of Taytos and had loaded up my bag with free blood donor pencils.

However I had already volunteered at ‘Fighting Words’ that morning, a group set up to teach kids the joy of writing. Basically, in the morning workshops a group of kids comes in and are facilitated in making up a story on the spot. This is simultaneously illustrated, typed up and then, while the volunteers work with the individual kids on endings, the story is printed up into a little book which they each get to take away with them. It’s a fab idea (see Dave Eggers on http://www.ted.com) and very satisfying and rewarding…if you’re not a writer yourself.

Trying to get some of the kids to come up with endings was like, well trying to get blood from one of my scrawny little veins. The remit is to be encouraging and supportive so I managed to suppress my frustration at certain 8 year olds lack of instinct about conflict and narrative arcs just enough not to be discouraging but not, I fear, to put my karmic credit balance into the black.

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