Diary of a divorce: Beloved and Bonk

I'm paranoid. I admit it. Looking a gift horse in the mouth isn't enough for me, I have to shine a torch in its ears, prod its feet with a stick and lift its tail up. Ideally I'd like a CT scan of its whole body, plus tissue samples of all major organs for analysis. I don't trust anything any more: if I plant a seed I have to dig it up to check the roots are growing; if there's a loose thread I have to pull it. So although my Very Nice Chap (VNC) may be keen on me when he gets up in the morning, he could have developed a violent dislike of me by 20 past 10. I just don't see any reason why such disasters, having happened once, should not happen again.

I realise that this may make me impossible to live with, so when I see a loose thread sticking out of our happy ending I sit on my hands. I don't pull at it in public. I wait until I go for my daily run, then I yank and worry at it, so that, by the time I get back to the house, I've unravelled my whole life, and I have to spend 10 minutes up the apple tree deep-breathing before I can go inside, and face the "Goodbye and thanks" note that will be pinned to my computer screen.

No matter how many times I wind it up and weave it back in again there's one particular strand that always sticks out: that's the fact that I am eight years older than VNC, an amount you can't ignore (although after his birthday it'll be just seven years, which is only two years more than five, which is almost nothing).

It's not the fact that society doesn't like age difference that way round, the woman older than the man, that bothers me. Because in my personal society of friends and acquaintances it's fine, and quite common for women to have younger partners.

"You're at your peak," my buddies say, "stop worrying". Hah! Maybe. But the trouble with peaks is that they have a bloody steep slope on the other side. All VNC has to look forward to with me is everything sinking into a pool of cellulite.

But it's not the drooping and the crow's feet that worry me so much. After all, I can do things to hold them off a bit, keep running six miles and slapping on the cold cream. No, it's reproduction that really gets me twitching. VNC being young but sensible isn't at all sure about having children of his own. Which is par for the course: in my experience, men don't get keen on babies until they get a sharp sense of their own mortality at around 35 or 40. Then they realise that this side of becoming the new Shakespeare their only shot at immortality is via something small and smelly in nappies.

Of course therein lies the big problem with the age difference: by the time VNC gets really broody, all my feathers will have fallen out and I'll be so well past my sell-by date that my barcode will have dropped off. I'll have no choice but to release him to a gal whose reproductive apparatus is still up to turning out fine strapping sets of quintuplets.

There are things I can do about this but they are a lot more difficult than taking regular exercise and going to bed with my face greased up like a chip:

1) Get some egg and sperm mixed up now and put it in the freezer along with the frozen peas. (The sperm extraction isn't a problem, and I'm sure with the right self-help manual the eggs wouldn't be too difficult.) Then, when VNC starts looking fondly at booties, he can have the embryos implanted in him, just like Arnold Schwarzenegger in Junior. Although that does depend on nobody mistaking the mixture for the last bit of vanilla ice cream or leaving the freezer door open by accident and there being no substantial power cuts for for the next 10 years.

2) I can get immensely fat, so that no one will notice that I'm pregnant. When the nine months is up, I just slip off to the shops one afternoon and have the baby. I smuggle it home among the cereals and strawberry yoghurts and install it in a cosy corner of the chicken shed, where I and the chicks raise it in secret. Then, in 10 years' time, when VNC looks at my raddled body and bemoans his lack of foresight in not having children, I just run down the garden and say, "Here My Darling, meet your son Bantam Boy."

Yeah, okay. So maybe there isn't anything I can do. I should have learnt that from experience: I didn't predict my divorce and couldn't do anything constructive to prevent its inevitability. So gather rosebuds, sing songs and enjoy happy endings because tomorrow you may be mown down by a skateboarding Chicken Child.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Appointment Maker / Telesales

    £15000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading supplie...

    Recruitment Genius: Trainee Field Sales Executive - Dereham

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This organisation is proud to b...

    Recruitment Genius: Trainee Field Sales Executive - OTE £30,000

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This organisation is proud to b...

    Recruitment Genius: Audit Assistant

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Graduate Opportunities are available at a lead...

    Day In a Page

    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    Army general planning to come out
    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project