STYLE

Julie Burchill On Boomerang Bangs

24/06/2011 12:20 | Updated 22 May 2015

If only that great actor, Russian and all-round good-guy Peter Ustinov was alive today to give Cheryl Cole – allegedly about to reconcile with ex-husband Ashley – the benefit of his wisdom. He once famously said "Contrary to general belief, I do not believe that friends are necessarily the people you like best, they are merely the people who get there first." I've thought for ages that this is even truer of those with whom we become romantically involved. Forget all that moony-eyed swill about 'The One'; it's more like 'The Queue.'

The only 'One' you need to be finding out about and devoting your life to is the one you see in the mirror, in my opinion. But this is not a piece in praise of solitude. On the contrary, the three-ring circus of sexual attraction, romantic pursuit and emotional enchantment is truly the gift that keeps on giving – a Disneyland for adults, like Las Vegas but with better light shows, if you're doing it properly. And with longer queues.

I'm not saying that you have to make any sort of effort to fornicate your way through the First Eleven candidates, let alone make a start on the subs bench, but knowing that around any corner could be a hitherto unknown human creature who could give our own little world a whole new horizon is surely one of the main reasons for getting up in the morning. This being the case, WHY WOULD ANY WOMAN EVER CHOOSE TO GO BACK TO A RELATIONSHIP SHE HAS DONE WITH?

I just don't get it. But then, I've never understood people who use teabags twice or split the restaurant bill instead of just letting the richest one pay. ('The rich one pays, the clever one talks,' was one of the best bits of advice my rich, clever patron gave me when I was a teenager, and I can thoroughly recommend it, having experienced it now from both sides.)

I have always specialized in putting the wreck into reckless. But being a Boomerang Bang is surely the ultimate cheese-paring, risk-avoiding, life-denying act that a human being can commit.

Yes, we look back at the two-headed lush colossi which was Burton-Taylor at its beautiful, monstrous peak, forever rutting, boozing, scrapping, separating and reuniting. And no one can deny the explosive glamour of the whole shebang. But Burton and Taylor were cultural colossi alone as well as united and it was their vastly differing backgrounds and achievements – Hollywood royalty meets dirt-poor Welsh Shakespearean swashbuckler – which made their relationship (it feels wrong even writing such a milksop word to describe it) such an awesome sight to behold. You just don't get the same impression of a natural force sweeping aside all in its wake when you see the tepid, attractive, oh-so-mind-numbingly similar Jude and Sienna on/off yet again – not so much Clash of the Titans as Dither of the Dunces.

And much as I love Cheryl Cole, I fear that her proposed peregrination back to the faithless arms of Ashley will diminish rather than enhance her. Such a bright, bold, beautiful girl from nowhere, to come all this way from hand-me-downs and cul-de-sacs to the bleakest hand-me-down cul-de-sac of all – the Desolation Row of the rehashed relationship, all trust and joy gone. Run, Cheryl, run!

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