I’m literally clutching pearls.i’m outside tiffany’s Londonon Old Bond Street, in a box containing the last vestiges of a 40-year love affair with David. It’s as if it contains ashes. As if he was once my pet.
There is a security guard at the door. I’m a little embarrassed by the tattered Teddy Prada handbag the designer gave me over 20 years ago.
I love high end jewelers. They are quiet as churches, worship as they do at altars of money, and are women wise enough to marry, not like me.
I once visited Cartier in Paris. Elizabeth Taylor was a customer. Her face is on walls everywhere. She saved his face by pretending Richard Burton had bought her jewelry. I gave it to her sister in Australia.
The one Chanel bag I was ever given was bequeathed to my sister, Claire, who died shortly after, and I could never put it back.
This box contains the last vestiges of a 40-year love affair with David
I am shown to my seat and a young woman carefully carries the corpse of my relationship into a back room. I always get nervous when they do this. In the early 80’s, when I walked in to cash a check (before ATMs were everywhere), they said, “Wait a minute.”
I fully expected the portcullis to go down and the alarm to go off.
The young lady had returned, ready to tell the news with a pretty head shake. “Sorry, these are plastic.” Banzai! Bevel-setting Elsa Peretti diamond studs her earring for her to choose from.
As Basil Fawlty once said to Polly, “For the first time in my life, I’m ahead!” Brought my two nieces, Sophie and Anna, here to purchase her first Tiffany necklace before her wedding. God, the optimism I had, the generosity. Like the recent snow on the Dales River, it disappeared as if nothing had happened.
I almost ran out of the store. I skipped to Selfridges, my spiritual home, to get one ear pierced. After the earring my ex-husband gave me disappeared from the hole, the earlobe had to be stitched up by a plastic surgeon. I didn’t. Private Eye later wrote that she divorced because she had to upgrade her jewelry.
I emailed David to thank him for the very expensive gift that came out of nowhere (I didn’t tell him I exchanged it), but he didn’t reply. No. If a man doesn’t love her, would he send her something from Tiffany’s? Isn’t that a mixed signal?
When I emailed him and asked him, “What do you mean by gift?” David thinks he regrets not doing more to cling to me. I thought the same about his ex-husband.
I recently found a photo online of him with him at the launch of his book in 2006. I said I looked like a “corpse,” with huge, wild eyes clinging desperately to him, I thought I looked nice.
I even remember what I was wearing. Chloé cream smock borrowed from the designer. Her ex-husband Nirpal stared at me in a way that can only be described as when Mini finds a cocktail sausage.
I’m sure he loved me. He must regret losing me. We lived a very nice and privileged life. He called me all the time, so I was clearly not an “old man”.
PS Have you read “Hags” by Victoria Smith? There are far worse things than getting older.
*His Guardian Review The novel was just one line: Keeping up with Jones.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-11939127/Liz-Jones-Diary-upgrade.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Diary of Liz Jones: Go Upgrade