Wednesday, 5 September 2007
50 Ways to Lose Your Lover
Paul Simon made it all sound so easy.
You just skip out the back, Jack
Make a new plan, Stan
You don’t need to be coy, Roy
Hop on the bus, Gus
Drop off the key, Lee
..and set yourself free.
Sorry, it’s not that straightforward, pint-size.
When I was nineteen, I lived in Germany as part of my studies at university. Whilst there I met a diverting chap called Salvatore, who was of Italian parentage but born in Germany. He was eighteen. He was also one of my students. OK, OK but I was a student teacher and I was NINETEEN, OK?
Anyway, I saw him for about five months. I'm a big Al Pacino fan and I guess I had a little Michael Corleone thing going on (the years in Sicily, specifically, since you ask).
Salvatore said he loved me. And I thought I did him too. Until I got on the train out of Cologne back to Ostend to go home, that was. As soon as the train left I decided, I did not. I was NINETEEN,OK? Stop giving me a hard time!
Back home in the Motherland, I got a summer job and started seeing some other bloke I worked with giving nary a thought to Sal. I replied to Sal’s letters of undying love with the news that “Hello, I’ve left Germany. Time to move on.”
He didn't take the hint, so I wrote a letter informing him of a new boyfriend. Then it started. He made phone calls in the middle of the night to my parents’ house in tears. You do not want to see my Mum being woken up after a couple of hours’ sleep, trust me. The phone calls had to stop.
And they did, for a while.
One year on, I get a letter from Sal at my student flat saying that he’s on a tour of Scotland and could he pop by to see me. I see no harm. I’M TWENTY for Godssakes, of course I didn’t see it coming!
Turns out, of course, that Sal takes the casual affirmative reply to mean he’s back in there. There’s no bloody tour of Scotland that he makes out to sound like he’s doing the old backpacking thing with mates. He is coming over alone specifically to see me. Indefinitely.
Of course, the fact that he’s thrown in everything to come over and be with me doesn’t dawn on me until after a few days after he's arrived. He just doesn’t leave, and it is excruciating. I find everything about him annoying. Even his shoes annoy me.
I also keep asking him things like, "So are you going to go and see Edinburgh?", "So is a tour of the Highlands on your agenda?". He doesn't budge.
Worst of all, my flatmates and friends think he’s adorable, even though I have tried to hide him from them. They think he is cute and laugh at his little jokes, but everything he does embarrasses me.
Worse than that, he tries to creep into bed with me every single night. He cries (he’s Italian, remember?) when I say I don’t love him anymore. The only plus side I can see about his presence is the fact that my finals are coming up and the German conversation is good practice. But the linguistics is not enough; I have to get rid of him.
I start a campaign of making him hate me, so that he’ll leave. I leave him waiting in for me all evening whilst I go out straight from class and get pissed on Friday night with another bloke. I make no attempts whatsoever to entertain him in any way whilst he is in the UK for the first time. I am rude to him, I purposefully try to make myself look unattractive to him. I make no attempt to smother any bodily emissions in front of him (as you would normally do in the company of a bloke), because I know he is quite chauvinistic Italian about how a woman should behave, and it will annoy him.
But he does not get the hint. If anything, he seems to like me even more.
I have to do something drastic before I end up marrying him out of politeness.
I break his heart and put him on a train.