According to what he told me last time we spoke, he was due to have a very big Saturday night out, so he’s probably going to want to sleep all day. Lying in my own bed pre- getting up, I daymare that he arrives at my house very late for lunch which he eats dreamily and uncommunicatively, and then crashes out on the sofa in front of the football to snore the afternoon away.
I imagine waking him at 7 p.m. to feed him again and then he goes home. I’m really good at winding myself up and by the time I reach my shower, I am so pissed off, I visualize myself lamping him the minute he walks in the door. We have a huge argument and it ends badly with him storming off. I’m grumpy and negative and my enjoyment of preparing and cooking the meal is marred by the worms going round in my head.
I phone my friend Frannie to flap about my fears and she tries unsuccessfully to appease me with platitudes like ‘Why on earth would he let you down?’ to which I have no sensible answer other than: ‘Why wouldn’t he?’
At 11 a.m. I set off to St. John’s Wood for the circumcision of my first husband’s grandson by the child he had with his second wife. Oh, do try and keep up! Despite my weird mood, I have a lovely time, catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. It passes the morning and, when I leave, I feel very guilty because my children want to come back to me for lunch and I tell them they can’t despite having a fridge full of food for someone who may very possibly Not Turn Up.
Trying to think positively, I finish getting everything ready, and change my clothes seven times eventually settling for black underwear with stockings and suspenders with a black denim skirt, black and white low-cut top and medium height heels. It makes me feel sexy but stupid. This is Sunday lunchtime and I’d normally be wearing jeans. He’s due at around 1.30 but by 1.45 with no word at all, I am bouncing off the fucking walls.
The chicken, potatoes and parsnips are roasting in the oven – the rest of the food is sitting expectantly on the kitchen worktop waiting to be cooked. I phone Frannie again in a state of high anxiety. She's doing her own Sunday lunch so can’t really talk but tells me to calm down and/or phone him. I will not phone him. He should have phoned me to either say he’s running late or is on his way or isn’t coming.
I’m now convinced he’s still fast asleep on somebody else’s sofa or, perish the thought, somebody else’s bed!
At 1.50 p.m. I register that I am not yet feeling depressed, just very, very anxious. Depression will kick in later. I refuse to pour myself a glass of the excellent Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon I bought specially, because I want to feel every agonizing nuance of my emotions without diluting them with even a smidgen of mind-numbing alcohol. I rubberneck out the window, a little flutter of relief and excitement passing through me every time a car turns into my road, but none stops.
Then one does and begins to park. It’s a great big Audi. It’s obviously not him but I still flatten myself against the cold glass pane to get a good look at the blonde woman getting out. It could be him but only if he’s dyed his hair and had a sex change.
I return to the kitchen to check the burn status of the contents of my oven. The afternoon stretches before me in a haze of insecurity, misery and pain. I imagine him eventually turning up at 4.30 p.m. and me reprimanding him. He apologizes but I say that this time, sweetheart, flowers, chocolates and breakfast at dawn will simply not be enough. I imagine him thinking ‘Sod this for a game of soldiers’ and dumping me ‘cos I’m nothing but a nagging harridan and he’s a carefree youth with no agenda who does not want to be tied down to an old lady’s demands to be at the lunch table at a certain time.
I contemplate the waste of money on buying all that food at his request: an organic free range corn fed chicken, fresh peas, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, potatoes, parsnips, Yorkshire puddings and gravy… I make a contingency plan to eat the chicken for the rest of the week, dump the potatoes in the bin and make a soup with the rest of the vegetables. It’s always good to have a plan…