Overnight, my lovely American ex-girlfriend changed her Facebook status from single to 'In a fucking Relationship', with some bloke.
He's in a moody black and white photo. Local to her. Looks pretty macho.
And she's 34.
Meanwhile, 4,000 miles away, I went out with the lads. I've been avoiding huge drinking sprees for several reasons. Top of the list is my desire to spend all my free time on my (Ha!) novel. Coming in a close second, I'm attempting to save money in a sincere attempt to avoid Debtor's Gaol. Not far behind is my general health. I'm not getting any younger, and I won't do my ageing body any favours throwing pure grain alcohol down my Pringle-hole and tarring up my lungs with nicotine.
Nonetheless, I couldn't face the abuse I was beginning to get when I hinted to said lads that I might not go. So I bypassed my bicycle and took the tube to work on Friday. I wore my suit jacket with smart shoes, a white double-cuff shirt and cufflinks, and a pair of dark, understated jeans. I felt pretty damn sexy, I have to tell you, yet felt somewhat disillusioned as I sat on the train opposite a frankly devastating blonde who point-blank refused to look anywhere near me, not even to sneer.
Work - with no lunchbreak as usual - was typically stressful. And when I left the office two pear ciders merrier, I ended up walking to Soho as rushhour trains and buses wouldn't get me there any quicker. I was dripping wet by the time I arrived, having nearly been run over by a taxi and called an idiot. My suit was stained with sweat, and my friends publicly mocked my 'Ginger Beadle' as I'd only shaved my neck again. (It itches otherwise, alright???)
I spent a chunk of my overdraft on booze, and received much abuse I've grown accustomed to; several 'Cunts', a couple of 'Morons', and an occasional 'fatso.'
And London's womenfolk couldn't have avoided me more if I'd been covered with weeping buboes and had one leg. I did pat one girl on the back as we stood outside the pub, after she had a coughing fit. Surprisingly, she didn't seem to mind, so I did it again ten minutes later when she hacked up again. She even smiled in return, although the men she was surrounded by shot me a several dark glares.
This made getting her number all the more difficult, but before I could even think about that, I had the far bigger hurdle of summoning up the courage in the first place. I've never had a problem talking to women when the mood takes me. My shitfest of thrills has always been entering that bewildering next stage; getting those digits, or simply doing something to indicate a desire to see a complete stranger again, in a stressful and rather less pleasant 'coffee' scenario. In many ways, I've learnt to prefer that giddying high of not repelling a new Ladyperson and leaving it at that. I'd only ruin things doing something disturbingly adult like go on a date. Jesus.
So, I woke up this morning in my stinking pit with a now uncommon sense that I'd burnt the candle and both ends as I'd rampaged through London, my wallet, and my liver. The rumours are true; Huge piss-ups with the Boys do get harder with age.
And while I'd done so, my lovely American ex-girlfriend across the pond had cemented her 'blossoming romance' and officially Facebooked her commitment to a certain Mr Finkelstein.
They'll be getting married soon. I'm pretty certain of that.
I'm not prone to quoting ageing Jewish comics with impenetrably stereotypical accents, but I once saw Jackie Mason in London, and recall this bit he did about romance. To paraphrase; "Why do people always get married at the same age? Shouldn't it be random? If it was love, why doesn't it happen at fifteen, or fifty, or seventy-two? Why is it always around your late Twenties or early Thirties when two people decide, 'You're the one!' and tie the knot?"
Ugh. Too little, too late, once again. To all the single people out there with a little daemon in their heads, Hello.