Well, I've finally chosen a wedding dress. It's a beautiful 1930s/1940s inspired gown, a stylish figure-skimming design that I know I'll feel a million dollars in because while I can't wire a plug, let me tell you, I know how to fill a dress. Which may sound impractical as talents go, but I've had more cause to fill dresses than I have to wire plugs in my life, so I regard it as a more useful skill.
I haven't planned a single element of the rest of the wedding, but then there is no rest of the wedding. I'm single. Choosing a dress is much easier than choosing a man so I thought, fuck it, I'll just have the dress.
I got off on the wrong foot with this man-choosing business. The first man I ever chose was James Bond, who turned out to be fictitious. You would think that things could only get better from there. Not so. I've gone on to choose one wholly unsuitable candidate after another, from the insanitary to the immature, the deranged to the disappointing, the unenthusiastic to the unfaithful. (I fully expect after this blog goes online to receive a series of text messages from former flames irate at the word that applies to them, not seeing the irony that they guessed correctly from the list.)
'So what do you want, Helen?' I hear you ask. (I don't hear you, I'm sat at my dining table in an empty house wondering if it's too early for gin. It's 10am.) 'Do you want the full-blown, kisses-on-the-back-of-the-neck, four-poster-beds-in-five-star-hotels, dancing-slowly-on-balconies-at-midnight fairytale?' Fuck, yeah. Let's aim high, why not, I've aimed everywhere else and all I've hit is dickheads.
Affairs to remember do happen. I'm currently reading a book about the wartime romance of Mary Booker and Richard Hope Hillary. She was heart-stoppingly beautiful; he was a dashing young RAF pilot whose face was badly scarred from a plane crash. They fell in love and had a year-long relationship that was both tender and intense and that ended only when his plane was shot down and he was tragically killed. It could be straight off the silver screen, but every word is true. And reading about it makes me feel quite jealous. None of the men I've ever been in a relationship has died heroically. None of them have even died.
In December, when my last relationship ended, I decided not to date anymore, that I was clearly bad at it and should instead put my efforts into bonding with my cat, who no doubt will one day sit on the end of my bed looking at my old and lifeless body, being pissed off that I hadn't fed her that morning. Then a couple of days ago I realised that in the last 7 months, no one has actually asked me out. I am therefore 'choosing' to be single in the same way that Ann Widdecombe is 'choosing' to be single.
So I think I'll just put my new wedding gown on, head out, on my own, to a bar and sit in a corner looking mainly serene but with the kind of cheekbones you get from having gritted your teeth for a really long period of time. I'll be like Miss Havisham, only with both shoes. And I won't care that I'll look like the world's worst attended hen party. Because now I think of it, I don't mind being single, as long as I get to do it in a fabulous dress.