He wore trainers to a restaurant, so I asked, ‘Where are your proper shoes

He wore trainers to a restaurant, so I asked, ‘Where are your proper shoes 

 I was going to write this week about all the awful things I have said and done to men to create what we in the news trade call ‘balance’. Viz, the time I met an ex for his birthday dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant, spied his awful velvet trainers, and asked him in front of the maître d’, in a Joyce Grenfell voice, ‘Where are your proper shoes?’

Then, I remembered something terrible that he did once. I’d been to see him in Edinburgh. We were staying in the Missoni Hotel, but the stripes started to make it dizzy. So I said that my last morning, I would go to visit my nieces. He said, ‘OK, but I’ll come and see you off at the station afterwards.’ He had bought me a first-class ticket, as I’d be travelling home without him. He was going to spend a week on Skye ‘to decompress’, which made me wonder, ‘From a mini break with me?’

I am always on edge and anxious when I’m about to board a moving object, which is why I always hate getting on top during sex. So I said, ‘No, please don’t see me off. I don’t know how long I’ll be with the nieces.’ To which he replied, with annoying clarity, ‘But I booked your seat. I know what time the train is.’

I set out to visit my nieces thinking that I had put him off. But later, as my taxi dropped us outside Waverley station I saw his car illegally parked at an awkward angle. He was still there. I thought, ‘Oh no!’, as I hadn’t been able to get all my clothes back into my case (why does that always happen?), so I was also clutching a Sainsbury’s carrier bag containing my washing. I was about to lob it when he got out of his car (difficult, given it’s a sports, and he’s not small) and came towards me and in that moment I realised THERE WAS A WOMAN IN THE PASSENGER SEAT. She did, however, manage to get down a bit.

Did I tell him off? No! No! I should have stopped him with my washing. He booked my train knowing that he was about two more with someone else. (When I asked, years later, who the woman was, he merely smirked and said, ‘My human sat nav lady.’)

Hmm, what other things have I done that could have gotten me cheated on or called C-word twice, anyway? I was in Edinburgh again when that first man called me. I’d booked and paid for a Georgian Airbnb apartment (I know! What a sham! Two bedrooms for if we had an argument. He ended up sleeping on the spare bed. He was able to text the expletive to me, however.

So, I couldn’t help but wonder, do I deserve this sort of treatment? Why are some women adored, waited on, supported and fawned over, and I’m texted rude words?

The worst my ex-husband could come up with to say about me in the Telegraph was that I am very OCD about cleanliness and my cats*. But surely that’s a good point? Oh, and that I showered him with expensive gifts and long-haul holidays**.

I think the problem is that men come into my orbit, attracted, like moths, by my dazzling wit and nice hands, and then they instantly become chippy about my lifestyle, my work ethic, my awards*** and success so that they want to spoil it by deliberately not using a coaster or taking several months off (from what, you might well wonder?) to find themselves in another woman’s vagina. ‘Where are your proper shoes?’ doesn’t sound quite so bad now, does it?

*He had a very cavalier

Attitude towards Squeaky & Snoopy. He renamed them Sniffy & Scratchy.Everyone is talking about Liz Jones’s Diary: The Podcast!

**Thailand, Puglia, Seville,

New York, Lucca, Cardiff, Delhi, Udaipur, the Himalayan foothills, Marrakesh with a member of Blur, Babington House (twice), Claridge’s, a yoga retreat in Ibiza (I sent him on a press trip, without me, which he seemed to prefer)



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