I am not sure what it is about me that provokes such abuse in men of the male gender. Rochester, I have mentioned before, would start many an email or text with 'You're a cunt Elizabeth.' He seemed genuinely perplexed as to why I would find this less than endearing. He only ever sent one remotely sweet and tender message (after our first meeting). Which I have kept. Maybe it will be worth something one day - sweetness from the swarthy rogue being as rare as a signed first-edition of The Catcher in the Rye or a 10 carat canary yellow diamond.
'I think you are a gentle, witty, intelligent, wry, kind, caring woman. My sense is you are a great communicator in that you are direct yet supportive, so you don't scare people off unless you want to. I also feel you are a loyal friend indeed and have a strong sense of family. I recognise how much you miss your parents. I think you are very easy to be around and when we met I thought you had beautiful eyes that I couldn't stop looking at and full, sumptuous lips. I like you a lot.'
McFireman's solicitations make Rochester's grouchy grumblings read like a John Donne love sonnet. He is a showing his true colours - he is a foul-mouthed, bullying bounder!
Listen to this. Recently there has been a disturbing outbreak of MRSA at the School of Hard Knocks. Obviously, I was most troubled by this. McFireman's response.
'will you be catching the 'flesh bug'? It would be a veritable feast for it if you did!!'
I confess, I have been tormenting him about his salary. McFireman isn't actually a fireman, you see. He is one of those public sector, fat-cat bosses much maligned by the Tory press. Basically, he earns 5 times my salary AND gets a free uniform. In fact, his salary is on a par with the Prime Minister's. That can't be right, can it? I did point this out to the capitalist cad. It did not go down well. His response shows a total contempt and disrespect for my chosen profession.
'I am familiar with Penis Envy (or suppose Clittoral or Orgasm Envy may be more apropriate to you) but Salary Envy? You must have known that teaching, whilst laudible, would never be a big earner unless you wanted to get into management side. You work 7 hours a day, get months of holiday, have no REAL responsibility or accountability. The buck nevers stops with you dies it? And you're not satisfied? Holy fuck. I, on the other hand, have spent 31 years in public service; saved many lives; risked my own; took decisions that asked others to risk their lives in the public good; been held accountable for big decisions, sometimes in Court; never took a full years leave entitlement yet. And I'm not worth my £120k? Still, I do get a free uniform as you say.'
Well. La de fucking da! I wonder when his sainthood is due?
The other morning I awoke to the message.
'How are you? What have you got planned, other than being a challenging cunt, as usual?'
Next, I asked him about my recent blog of top 10 books, and inquired about his favourite reads. Oddly, Moliere The Misanthrope was not there! But, I couldn't help point out that he was being a little pretentious in his choices. I directed him to this blog of mine, about guilty pleasures - the trashy books/films/tv that we secretly love, but wouldn't necessarily admit to. I was hoping he would confess to being a closet Cash in the Attic fan, or a reader of Jilly Cooper. No, I was abused yet again.
" You're a fucking inverted snob. You will find all of those books on my shelf. It was supposed to be my Top 10 not a populist agenda. My taste is eclectic, except in women as I try to avoid those who behave like cunts! And that would be you!"
To be honest, I was beginning to wonder why I was bothering with the oaf. I defended my 'Guilty Pleasures' blog. Pointing out that we all have secret affections for the naff and cheesy. 'What are yours?' I demanded. His reply?
Changing the subject slightly. Can I just say thank you to Madam Rouge for sending me a terribly sweet birthday present. She had noticed on my blog that I was fancying a tea cosy, and sent me a gorgeous one. She even got the colours just right, my favourite combination: green and pink. Thank you Madam Rouge! For some reason, it just makes me smile.