Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Shoes, Mortification and Some Rather Surprising Insecurities.

It's been a peculiar day, though not because of the constituents, or even The Boss. He's still not speaking to me, even though he should be thanking his lucky stars that I am so much more competent than Liz Truss MP's caseworker.

What a monumental cock-up that was! If you're going to panic that a constituent may be unhinged after they contact you a few times asking for a surgery appointment, you're going to burn-out pretty quickly in this job.

Anyway, it's not Andrew, but Johnny who starts acting out of character.

He thanks me for the photos that he requested in his last email - the ones of various, unspecified parts of my anatomy.

"I wasn't exactly expecting pictures of your foot, elbow and knee," he says. "Though they were all very attractive."

Then he asks whether the sandal I am wearing in the foot photo is a "dancing shoe" and says that he had to go to a ball at the British Embassy at the weekend. He mentions that dancing with his wife was nothing like the time he danced with me all those years ago. Apparently he has been using that experience as a private fantasy for years, together with memories of what happened next. He doesn't specify what for, exactly - and I don't ask.

I'm a bit embarrassed by all this flattery, and don't really know what to say. I get so flustered that I end up telling him that Max and I always avoid dancing together, as people mock us because of the height difference. Johnny's reply comes back immediately:

"How tall is Max?"

He doesn't usually ask anything at all about Max, and I don't volunteer anything either. Some warped sense of propriety. Anyway, I reply:

"Six foot two."

"Bloody hell, woman," Johnny says. "Shit."

"What's the matter?"

"I don't know how I'm going to live up to that."

Is this really Johnny Hunter talking? Go-getting, super-executive Johnny, who spends half his life ordering me to "keep up" via email? It's rather satisfying to hear him express a bit of insecurity. Though I am a bit worried about how short he must be to panic so much about Max's height.

I must check my old photos when I get home. I don't remember Johnny seeming short when we were at school together - but then no-one's shorter than me. And we were lying down most of the time after the disco.....

I do hope he hasn't got short man's syndrome. I'm sure that's why Dad talks about his sex-life so unrelentingly. Talking of whom, I get another email this evening. The text is brief, as usual:

"I'm sending you these photos so you will understand why I had to come back to Thailand."

I think we already know the reason for that, actually - even without the clue afforded by the Thai Bride's name. Oh God. I really, really don't want to open the three picture attachments. F*ck knows what I'm going to find. Probably gynaecological shots. I make Josh open them instead, while I stand behind him, peering through my fingers at the computer screen. (Does this make me an irresponsible mother?)

"Mum, what are you on about?" Josh says. "No naked women at all." Does he have to sound so disappointed?

Photo number one is of Dad, who appears to have grown a very dodgy-looking moustache, and is kitted out in what must be new clothes. He looks like a pub landlord. Where on earth did he get those slip-on shoes, for Godsake? And is that really a medallion he has round his neck? Forget the pub landlord analogy - he looks more like an ageing Jason King. But with an even greater fondness for Grecian 2000.

Photo number two is of a bunch of unidentified old Thai people, and number three shows four young Thai children. There is no sign of the Thai Bride in any of the pictures, either clothed or unclothed.

"What is this?" I ask Josh.

"Probably Grandad's new family," says Josh. "The ones he's keeping with your inheritance. And where the hell did he get those f*cking horrible shoes?"

I need to discuss this with someone. But who? Dinah's already furious with Dad; Max is getting pretty fed up with my family's dramas, and I can hardly chat to Mum about what her ex-husband is up to. She'll probably decide that marrying him was a sign of very early onset pre-senile dementia and make an emergency call to her GP.

Josh still thinks it's funny, and Connie refuses to look at the photos, because she doesn't believe that Josh and I aren't trying to trick her into looking at more pictures of semi-clad Thai totty.

"I am still mortified," she says. "Most people have cuddly grand-dads. But not cuddly in a pervy way."

I shall have to write it all down in my diary and bear the burden alone. I should be getting used to this, as the last ten days have been pretty lonely, now I come to think of it. I almost wish The Boss was speaking to me. No, what am I saying? Thank heavens for small mercies. Just hope Johnny doesn't turn out to be one.


  1. Go and meet Johnny, Molly. You will never view the world again like you do now. If it works out, you will be on top of the world, and if it doesn't, then at least you'll have some fun.

    I certainly have and I'm very very very happy.

  2. Molly, go and meet him. You know you want to. What's the worst than can happen? I met my lover and have never been happier, but just remember that you will never view the world the same again through your eyes.....

  3. aargrgrghhhh! I didnt see the approval thing! Sorry honey!

  4. Don't worry - I deleted a couple of your duplicate comments ;-) My fault for being slow to moderate them. Hmm, am still not sure this is a good idea, especially since Johnny seemed so concerned about his ability to compete with Max. I have another week to think it over....

  5. Short man syndrome.. run a mile!

  6. That has the ring of experience - tell me more!

  7. Max sounds like he's already done that from what you've written. So why shouldn't you at least have a coffee with Johnny? BTW, he's defintely NOT an oil company exec, probably just somebody like you looking for love and excitement. As I always say, life's just too damn short so take what you can when you can.

    BTW, and I really need some readers, come read _my_ blog. It's mental! :)

  8. Gawd, be brutal, why don't you?! Are you sure Max has really cheated? I change my mind every time I think about it!

    And shameless self-promotion too ;-) Admirable panache.

    But Johnny really is who he says he is - I checked on the oil company website....eventually.

  9. Hey Molly, if you decide not to meet him then please post his details on the blog and we can all have a look and see if we fancy a bit of extra-marital with him.

    You're not the only one not getting enough...

  10. Ha - so relieved I'm not the only one. Will do - do you want them even if he turns out to be 4'3"?

  11. Molly, for Max not to know the hotel he was staying in.... hmm. Must be either the most useless person around or the worst cheater ever.

    Either way, just a coffee. Think about yourself for a change, honey.

  12. If he is 4'3" I could pretend I'm Sally Bercow. Have you seen the post on Guido's site - with a Chinese TV clip about her? ROFL

  13. Mr A - have horrible feeling he'll definitely be expecting more than coffee after crossing a continent and heading for the provinces :-O

    Anon - I haven't, but I shall check now! You don't notice how short Bercow is until he's photographed standing next to someone...and I only have photos of Johnny minus any hangers-on, so same effect could well be occurring, eek.