Well, after much toing and froing and heavy sexual fantasizing, I have finally realized who I want to have an affair with: myself. No, I'm not referring to Madam Palm and her five daughters, although they are a nimble bunch who have never let me down in a crisis. I'm referring to Me, Myself and I.
While my husband has been away this past week, I sat down and thought about what makes me happy, and came to the conclusion that it is spending prolonged periods on my own. The happiest time I can remember, in recent memory, is three years ago, when I left my two kids with my mum in Vienna and spent two weeks in my flat in London (I rent it out to tenants but they sometimes let me stay in the spare room at a pinch). I just adored striding around London in kitten heeled mules, sipping cappuccinos and having light lunches with friends at Harvey Nichols. It was heaven on earth!
I had a tenant living in the flat at the time, Lucinda, a pale, fey creature who wore tiny little white vests on her flattish chest, coupled with 1950s style thrift store coats, and would waft about, acting like she was Virgina Woolf (which was okay, the flat is in Bloomsbury). I had never met this creature before, because another tenant had procured her for the flat.
The first time I met her I was stressed out, because I had come to London to sort out a visa situation. So I burst into the flat on Sunday afternoon and found these three sexy Australian boys sprawled around the place, all tight t-shirts and jutting cheekbones and jutting hipbones. On the table was a pile of croissants, pastries, fruit etc. etc. I immediately thought, Lucinda, if you have actually been eating any of this, then I hate you, because she was like a white envelope, if you'd have turned her sideways she would have disappeared.
Lucinda said, "Oh hi, you must be Emma. I went to a rave last night so I'm kind of deaf this morning."
I got to learn a lot about Lucinda during my stay, because although she was ostensibly doing a PhD in something like The Symbol of the Vagina in Feminist Poetry, she was basically just hanging around the house trying to pretend that one of the pretty boys was her boyfriend (the other two were gay).
She'd bend my ear all day. "I really think that men are basically cunts, and I really tried to have sex with women. I really tried to be a lesbian, but I just don't like the taste of pussy. I love tits though."
"Tough luck. Being a lesbian usually means licking pussy at some point."
"And I really wanted Graham (the Aussie boyfriend), to make a commitment to me. But then, the last few weeks, he hasn't wanted to have sex and I said, 'What's wrong?' and he finally admitted he had caught chlamydia while he was visiting his folks back in Oz a few months back."
"Hmm, he didn't give you the old story about getting chlamydia from a toilet seat?"
"How did you know he told me that?"
"Because I've heard it all before. You don't get chlamydia from a toilet seat, okay?"
Somehow I don't think it sunk in.
Anyway, during these two weeks, Lucinda made me feel so good about myself. There but for the grace of God go I, I thought: I used to be like that. A hopeless romantic getting involved with chlamydia ridden young hotties who are obviously playing away. Also, it rapidly transpired that she hadn't eaten any of the breakfast buffet that Sunday. She lived, seriously, on crispbread and stuff like cucumber slices sprinkled with chilli pepper. And yes, she had been or maybe still was anorexic, and yes I did feel sorry for her, but there was nothing I could do for her.
And I basically swanned around London during that holiday, shopping for clothes and waiting for my visa to come through. And this past week while my husband has been away, I've just been so happy to just do my own thing. I've done a few chalk pastel portraits and some of flowers, and drunk a lot of wine and lounged about and put my younger daughter in camp.
I miss my husband, in the sense that I miss moaning at someone, and I definately miss having sex, but generally it is so nice not to have kids or a husband about and to just have this lovely clean house and this lovely selfish affair with myself. Self-love is severely underrated, I reckon. What say you?