Valentine’s Day is inevitably a reminder of what was and what might have been, but mostly a reminder to be grateful for my having dodged not just a bullet but an AR15 assault weapon.
Surely this was the moment we’d all been waiting for: Taylor Swift running across the Allegiant Stadium, completely starkers at the Superbowl final.
For legal reasons, no companies’ names have been mentioned, the locations have been changed, and, for legal and ethical reasons, the identities of the bores, incompetents and lunatics have been disguised.
But here’s the reality: having a mortgage does not make you a home ‘owner’; you are, essentially, renting from the bank or building society with whom you have taken it out, and they, just like any landlord, if you fail to make those monthly payments, will turf you out on your ear.
But that’s me now. An adult orphan. I’m no Oliver Twist, humbly asking for another bowl of gruel, but neither am I Black Panther the Orphan King with his superhuman strength, speed, stamina and endurance. Because I feel weak. Alone.
Dad’s 60th birthday party is different. It feels like a farewell: a rehearsal for the funeral. I try not to think of it as such, but the house has an air of broken past about it.
It was only when the words were coming out of my mouth during the interview – alone, in a room, with only a microphone and tape for company – that the reality of abuse hit me.
Barbie was my dream girl. A fantasy. The girl I thought I might become, who would live happily ever after with the man of her dreams, the penis-free Ken.
I thought during Covid, we might have seen a return to the traditional dinner party, albeit with only the people in whose bubble you were allowed to be, but there was none of it. Even when the weather turned cold and outdoor dining was the only option, people preferred to don gloves and scarves and watch their hands sticking like Super Glue to a cold champagne glass rather than eat at home.