Relationships

Divorce diaries: Outrageous fortune

The best kind of man for a newly separated girl about town.
The best kind of man for a newly separated girl about town.

I’m hesitant to speak for the whole of womankind, but I can’t be the only one who’s spent the past few months envying Amal Clooney. I certainly don’t want my own husband back – but boy, would it be nice to have hers!

Envy, however, is a complete waste of time, not to mention a deadly sin. So it was fortunate that, three Saturdays ago, I forced myself along to a work-do in a Chinese restaurant instead of giving in to the overriding impulse to lie flat on the floor (sloth) with a family-size packet of Doritos beside me (gluttony), indulging in a king-size daydream about George (lust, lust, lust).

You will hardly believe it but there in the Good Luck Canteen, between the fishtank and the Lazy Susan, was the perfect man. Just as I cracked open a fortune cookie of the sort that makes you wonder why fortune-writers get paid – Everything will be Wonderful! – someone introduced us. Our eyes met, we liked what we saw, we clinked our plum-wine glasses together. And from that moment on life did indeed become wonderful.

Frankly, if I weren’t already me, I’d now be envying the hell out of myself. I’ve found the single woman’s Holy Grail: the perfect Brazilian. And we’re not talking waxes. Not only does my Gorgeous New Boy Friend (GNBF) have an exotic Latino accent, he wears Italian boots and beaten-up American leather jackets, drinks good French wine, owns a villa in Greece and a vineyard in Portugal, and adores Asian food – and me. I’m on the ride of my life: a Disney-for-Adults version of It’s a Small World. And it feels great.

My GNBF holds my hand when crossing the street, without being possessive. He drives me places fast, without being macho. He doesn’t suffer from that common male affliction STML (Short Term Memory Loss). Hearing of my struggle with the dastardly underworld of German insurance brokers (I’m worried about my precious shoe collection going up in flames) he promises to help. At 3am, we part with merlot kisses. By 9am he’s already sent a text: ‘Here’s the link! Shoes R important. And so R U.’

You see why I’m even happier than Amal? No one could be kinder, more entertaining, or have better hair. And one last significant bonus: he’s actually a GGNBF ie, gay. So we never have to endure those awkward late-night murmurs. “Erm, do you want to come up…?” If he does come up, it’s to cackle over reruns of The Love Boat and crack jokes about Captain Stubing’s shorts. If he doesn’t come up, he’s going home to Google insurance for newly separated shoe-loving friends. At the end of each evening, my clothes are neatly hung up on their blue satin hangers, my face is cleansed, my sleeping mask in place, and my alarm set. No wild messy clinches. No wine-fuelled mistakes. My mind remains unmussed, and so does my underwear.

If you’ve ever separated from a long-term partner, even if it’s the right thing, you’ll know this feeling. The sometime-sensation of standing alone in an icy wind, with no clear road ahead and a closed door behind you. Intense loneliness is close to fear.

And in these chilly times, a GGNBF is like a wall at your back. You can ring in the middle of the night without feeling stupid. He never says you look tired, even if you’ve been crying for 24 hours. And when you enter a film premiere and spot your ex-husband there, he holds your arm tighter and surveys your ex from a distance. Were you with a newly single girlfriend, you’d risk hearing, “That’s your ex-husband? He’s cute!” – and next thing you know, she’s right beside your ex.

But GGNBF says objectively, “Hmm, cute, I suppose… But not cute enough for you.” And at that moment you could kiss him right there on the red carpet, for being the man-version of a diamond. A Single Girl’s very, very best friend.

Words by: Sarah Quigley

Photographs by: Getty Images

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