Consolations for the heartbroken

Dear Kitty

Since my friend got dumped last month she just sits there drinking Cup-a-Soup and staring at her phone. I’ve told her she needs to get back in the game but she’d rather stay in playing ‘their CD’ and waiting for him to ask her back.

The thing is he wasn’t such a wonderful guy! He had a lame sense of humour, a job rinsing ash trays and a face like a dishcloth hanging off a stick, whereas she’s witty, clever and, from certain angles, the spitting image of Charlize Theron

I told her all that but she burst into tears and now she’s refusing to take my calls. How can I convince her you haven’t lost your soul mate if ‘your CD’ was Now That’s What I Call Music 2015?

A Friend, Southport


Dear A,

It’s a rare heartbreak that can be mitigated by the news that the ex told a terrible Knock-Knock joke. As that great sage Morrissey once observed, “Rejection is one thing but rejection from a fool is cruel.” Rather than tell your friend she’s been spurned by a moron, why not stick pins in her eyes? Or kick her in the chest? Or stick pins in her chest and kick her in the eyes? Or pin sticks in her eyes and …okay, you get the drift.

Here’s what you need to understand: all the things you feel compelled to impart, your friend would lop off her ears with a rusty wire not to hear. This is because you are viewing their split with the brutal eye of slightly bored logic, where as she is seeing it through a haze of love, anguish and phlegm.

In the unlikely event that she picks up the phone, here’s what else not to say:

“Why aren’t you angry?”
Your friend can’t summon up an omelette, let alone her ire, though, oddly, she’ll still manage to be narked by this question which roughly translated means, “Get to the good bit, you chump.” However, as that great sage Phil Collins once observed, “You Can’t Hurry Love”, and , as he went on to explain in a little-heard follow up single, “You can’t rush the point at which one casts off one’s jim jams, taps into apoplectic rage and takes a blowtorch to his moped, either.”

“It was just like that with Stanley/Sarah/that waiter from La Tasca…”
Just as one person yawning sets off a whole room, so one person’s romantic misfortune elicits a deluge of break-up reminiscence, 96% of which comprises the word “fuckface.” Unfortunately, such verbal bumper stickers are Krypton to the newly-dumped who only want to hear those tales which validate their fervent hopes. So, that’s yes to, “We got back together/She never found happiness/It turns out that Stanley was clinically insane” and no to, “He lost twenty kilos, looked up his ex and now they’re expecting quads.”

“Plenty more fish in the sea.”
To the broken-hearted this is a bit like saying, “You know your nan just died? Well there’s a woman down the road who wears the same rain hood, has a better range of biscuits and this one doesn’t whiff of Stork margarine.”

“Do you think he’s seeing someone else?”
She didn’t. She does now. Hence she’ll be spending the next month outside his flat in some night vision goggles and a Forever Friends bathrobe. Still, least it gets her out of the house.


Excited news! My debut novel, The Gods of Love,  published 1 February 2018 is available now for pre-order.