The not so beautiful south

Do you remember a band called The Beautiful South? In the 90s era they were famed for hits such as ‘A Little Time’, ‘Rotterdam’ and ‘I’ll Sail this Ship Alone’. Back then, as a school kid, the lyrics I related to most went along the lines of, “I love you from the bottom of my pencil case”. Sometimes I’d hear those words in my head during geography, while I gazed at my Take That tin version, wondering if the boy I had a crush on even knew my name…

These days, unfortunately I’m relating to the band’s lyrics in a slightly different way - and it’s depressing me even more than an unrequited teenage crush. You see, the line that resonates with me currently goes something like, “Your love life shines like cardboard, but your work shoes are glistening.” This should give you something of a clue towards my current plight.

I promise, somewhere in between school crushes and present day, I’ve been involved in one or two romances that would rival Christian and Anastasia in terms of raw passion. But right now, in lieu of a man in my bed, I’ve taken to stripping it instead. Tonight I spring cleaned my house from top to bottom; I sorted out my bathroom cupboard, I defrosted my freezer, I cleared out my wardrobe, I washed my Converse... I even dusted the top of the wardrobe. I mean, who does that? Besides from Anthea Turner, of course.

The song I quoted above is entitled ‘Don’t Marry Her’. If you’re unfamiliar, this song centres around the age old contrast between a lover and a wife. Sung from the point of view of ‘the other woman’, she attempts to convince a man in her life that marriage is a mistake. She outlines a future of endless nagging, constant car washing, promising his socks will smell better than his life. And if he chooses her? “I’ll never grow so old and flabby, that could never be. Don’t marry her, f**k me."

When I used to listen to this song, I never imagined I would one day relate to the wife, which is why I’m freaking out about this. On the contrary, I used to feel I had a sign on my head that read, ‘If you are a man in a relationship, please hit on me’ such was the track record of men I attracted. I’m not saying everyone should start locking up their husbands or anything, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t prefer being forbidden fruit over smelling of fruit-flavoured furniture polish. 

So why last night? Well I can’t be sure, but I’m guessing I simply needed something to do with my hands. That’s what my neighbour thinks. (I actually think he’s partly to blame, for all he ever does is regale me with details of his own sexual conquests.) Good friend that he is, he actually has high hopes that there is light at the end of my tunnel - we’re getting a new neighbour soon and he’s convinced I’ll start using him as my new boy toy. I’ve met the guy in question. He’s cute. But I’m not convinced it’s a good idea to love thy neighbour that much. Things will inevitably get messy, and not in the way a spritz of Mr Muscle can fix.

On that note, now I’ve purged my soul, I think I’d best go to bed; dare to dream of a world where a young Robert Redford swoops in to sweep me away - and there won’t be a broom in sight. For the record, I do understand that this is really my problem. I’m far, far too picky, something Mother Dearest has pointed out to me many, many times. But I’d rather wait for the fairytale than settle for someone who doesn’t love me from the depths of his stationery.

But least when I was thirteen years old I didn’t know what I was missing…

The Horse Whisperer

One of the girls?