My dad introduced me to G. She came to Tamworth from Manchester. If you've grown up in the Midlands it's tempting, but wrong, to see southern types as inherently more sophisticated. She might have suffered from dyslexia, but she was so much cleverer and kinder than her snooty rivals that it was hard not to fall for her. I thought of myself as well informed; still she managed to teach me a lot about feminism and politics and world affairs. After I went off to college I still saw her there fairly often. As often happens with studious girls, she got better looking as she got older.
Once I graduated I could afford to see her a lot more, but this growing familiarity made the first signs of trouble all the more obvious. One day we were in the cornershop, about to go out somewhere together, and I glanced at her with the usual warmth—only for her to answer my interest by saying something so thoughtless, so spiteful and silly that I walked out right then, leaving her behind.
That's when things started getting complicated. We both moved to London separately. As soon as I arrived I had my head turned by a much younger metropolitan type. I'd pick G up occasionally and have breakfast or lunch with her, but she wasn't first choice any more. Even when we spent whole weekends together it was never the same. I didn't change, but she did, very much for the worse—especially after she started hanging out with her gossipy little celebrity-loving friend. She wanted to have her cake and eat it: cultivate an educated front, while still drivelling on about junk TV and fashion and crystal healing.
By the time I moved to Cambridge she'd become seriously kooky. Sure, she could pass for coherent a lot of the time, but she'd taken up with an awful crowd of fuzzy thinkers, conspiracy theorists, extremists, and mystic bullshitters. I wouldn't have minded so much if she'd left the hocus-pocus to them, but then she started spouting the same kind irrational opinions they did. When I encountered her—as inevitably I did from time to time, going about town—I'd look at her briefly and walk away. I didn't want to be seen with her any more.
If you're reading this, G, I was tempted just for a moment today to get back in touch with you, but everybody's been talking about you and Seumas and George this week. Now I can never forgive you.
The truth is, I don't want anything more to do with you.
[…] inted at (posted before Harry linked to my original). Here is my normblog profile. Here is the infamous post about “G”. Here is Tony Blair's Independence Day address to the Ameri […]
Ding! (lightbulb comes on) – for me in the middle of the third paragraph. Ah yes, I was fond of her too, once.
It was mentioning breakfast that did it.
But who is the celebrity-loving little friend?
If she's “G”, her little celebrity-loving friend has to be “G2“.
What did she say that was “so thoughtless, so spiteful and silly …”? It must have been above the fold, and everything there is usually pretty bland.
I think it must have been something about John Major. There was a loss of perspective at times in the investigation into the (admittedly dodgy) private activities of members of his government, glad as I was to see the back of it.
I still keep G in the favorites list, although she’s been filed under “Humor” for a long time now. :o)
maybe ill write one of my own…
given my relationships with g-types over the years, its a surprise i havent broken down and written something similar.
What a magnificent post
All I can say is, if you’re interested in UK media, read this splendid piece by Damien Counsell. PS V. busy and was away for July 4. Hope to resume regularish posting soon. In the meantime, try this post over…
I always thought she was a minger
I went out with G. for forty years. Over the past few years I have been getting more and more out of patience with her increasingly blinkered attitude. The disgraceful behaviour of Gary Younge in the Skandia incident was nearly the last straw, but it is hard to end the relationship of half a lifetime, and it was not until January of this year that I made the final break. I am now happily living with T. from Wapping.
Funny – but I had a very similar affair which started in my teens and lasted twenty-five years. Somewhere in the Major years she seemed to get nastier and nastier, and at the same time she never seemed to know any more what last night’s footy results had been.
I started seeing T (she’s now moved to Canary Wharf) who was much more sporty, and though we only see each other a couple of days a week I’m much happier.
Unlike Steve (Comment 1) I had to read to the very last paragraph before I realised why Iain Murray had linked to it. Really splendid! It’s true, you see her sometimes and think oh, she looks good today, but the morning after you have to live with the shame.
I split up with G many years ago and now mainly hang out with FT, although he can get rather silly at the weekends. I do miss G’s cross words though…
Funnily enough, Pernille, my dad expressed exactly the same masochistic tendencies when he read my original post. That's what Jesuits do to you.