Deborah Ross: Cheryl's in a state, and so's my husband

If you ask me...
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The Independent Online

If you ask me, it wasn't until I read the headline "Why We Are All Worried For Cheryl" that I realised just how worried for Cheryl I was. Sometimes, it can take an all-inclusive headline like that to distract you from, say, Syria or Afghanistan or Serbia or even the closure of your local library and put everything into perspective.

From then on, I have worried, worried, worried about Ms Cole, who has been "uncontactable" ever since she was booted off the American X Factor; which is no way to treat someone with such super hair and dimples. Do you think super hair and dimples come easy? Do you? Do you think Cheryl hasn't worked at her hair and her dimples? I'm betting you don't have such super hair and dimples. She didn't get to the top for nothing, you know.

And so I worry about Cheryl. I worry day and night, sometimes waking at 3am and thinking: "It could be day, it could be night but, whichever it is, I'm just so worried about Cheryl." Naturally, I nudge my husband to ask if he's as worried about Cheryl as I am. "No," he always says, but then he would say that. He's not good at expressing his feelings, which isn't to say that, deep down, he is isn't worrying. And hurting.

He was exactly like this when Kerry lost her contract with Iceland. Wouldn't talk about it at all. I do tell him that bottling it up in this way isn't healthy; that he will probably die of a stroke at 52. One day, I told him, he'll be eating his breakfast at the kitchen table, perfectly normally, then he'll clutch his chest, make a few choked sounds and he'll be gone, head in his porridge, and who'll be left to clear up the mess? Yes, me. And don't I have enough worries? Aren't I worried enough about Cheryl as it is? Aren't I still a little bit worried for Kerry, who is so obviously off her trolley?

"You can talk to me about your fears for Cheryl at any time," I told him. "Go away," he said, which only confirmed he is so worried for Cheryl he just can't deal with it. He then moved into the spare room, but I understood. Some people just need their own space in which to worry about Cheryl and deliberate on the kind of support she most needs right now. I've just knocked on his door to update him – "We're still all worried for Cheryl out here, you know" – but, no, nothing. He's probably had a stroke the other side of the door. Didn't I tell him? Didn't I?