Wednesday. Checking my morning emails, I notice my daily missive is missing from My Man in Oman who appears to have gone deep into his cave.
A little back story on him: I went to Muscat on a business trip two months ago and stayed in the utterly sumptuous new 6* Shangri-Spa Hotel. Hot and cold running flunkeys who licked the sand from between your toes whilst mopping your brow with a cool, scented flannel and feeding you mango and papaya whether you required it or not. My kinda place.
On click-clacking through the solid gold Reception Atrium one day, the Manager approaches me and starts chatting. He’s Canadian, tall, dark, reasonably handsome, and very personable. Long story short, he chats to me a little more intensely every time we meet, and there is an unmistakeable chemistry between us. On my last day he tells me he’ll soon be visiting London which he doesn’t know very well. I offer to show him around and we exchange business cards.
On returning home, a most inappropriate email awaits me which begins ‘My sweet and lovely Wendy…’ and over the course of the next few weeks, he continues to write daily and before I know it we’ve ‘fallen in love’ cyber-stylie. This is all completely ridiculous as I don’t even know the guy! In fact when we first met, I thought he was gay but he's clearly not.
I’m slightly worried by his mood swings which are either very high or very low. Also, most of his messages are All About Him. Notwithstanding this, I am very drawn to the idea of a life lived swanning around the world’s most exclusive hotels, so I keep the banter going and find myself becoming dependent on his daily contact. When he’s in a depression I don’t hear from him for days. When he’s hippy-happy, he texts me ‘I luv u, I miss u, I’m thinking of u’ all the time. It starts to mess with my head.
He invites me to meet him in Dubai, but my instinct tells me not to invest in the ticket until I’m sure he’s not a complete nutter. Mea culpa, but if he writes me a line, I reply with a novel. Then I don’t hear from him for days on end. Virtual relationships are shit. You never know what’s really going on. Dubai seems dubious.
Thursday. MLP texts to tell me that he thinks he’s left his beanie hat in the cinema. I phone Odeon Lost Property but they haven’t found it. I text him back an offer for somewhere else to stick his head which is guaranteed to keep it warm. He replies LMAO which I think is his predictive text gone wrong until I Google it and find out it means ‘laughing my ass off.’ Get with the urban lingo, old woman!
He accepts my invitation to come and cook for me - i.e. trash my kitchen - next Saturday night. Yay! I go to First Sport in Whiteleys and get him another beanie hat. I detest this look but it gives me pleasure to buy him a present and there’s a certain spiritual fulfilment in that.
Oman Man wakes up and texts me ‘I am thinking of u’.
I text back: ‘And what are you thinking exactly?’
He doesn’t reply.