How I Live Now *

In Friends, Men, Older women on June 17, 2011 at 11:07 pm

The other day I had one of those major Facebook moments. Rare for me as I’m not on Faceache much any more, being so addicted to Tweeting, blogging, breathing etc, there’s no time.

Anyway, I was looking through a very good friend’s friend list because he had specifically told me that a mutual was on there and I wanted to friend him right away because we’ve just met and we’re at that stage of a gay man/fag hag friendship where it’s like a bit of a crush.

(That’s me above right, with my BFF Jo at her stepdaughter’s wedding and below is Peggy at sports day.)

But before I found my new GBFF on the list I saw something that nearly made my tea come down my nose THE AGED FACE OF THE FIRST MAN WHO EVER BROKE MY HEART. And his name. A very particular name. It was definitely him.

(Not the bloke below, that’s me with my husband at Goodwood, at the races, hurrah.)

And the really annoying thing was that even though I haven’t thought about him for years and even then it was more with contempt than longing, my treacherous heart went pitter patter. Bastard.

I sent him a friend request just to see what would happen. He sent me back a reply I consider, in retrospect, indescribably arsey. Roughly: ‘Wow, hello, what a coincidence, those were the days, eh – but I’m thinking of coming off Facebook, so I’m not really taking on any more friends.’

But then with his email address. WTF?

What a total arse. (Not this pic, this is my mum, Peggy Senior.)

But of course I’ve been thinking about it ever since (largely, how I can work this arsery into a book plot ha ha ha) and after such an exquisitely insulting reply I concluded I would never contact him again NOT EVEN TO TELL HIM HE’S A BUMFACE but at the same time I could think of nothing but what I would say to him if I did.

(This is where I work.)

Finally, I decided, if I did ever send a message to that email address – and I so fucken won’t, A-HOLE – I would send him how I live now in pictures. Which would be something like what you see here.

And all the better for not having his mug in it. Bah!

(Peggy at a gymnastics competition thing. She loves gymnastics.)

How I Live Now is the title one of my favourite books of all time, by Meg Rossoff. They’re making it into a film, but do read the book first. So romantic. So original.

(The other place I work…)

  1. Definitely write him into a book – it will be very cathartic.

  2. Ha! What a fabulous post! Isn’t Peggy gorgeous? Both of them, in fact xx

  3. Hey Maggie, love your pics. Is that an ILVE cooker I see in your gorgeous kitchen?

  4. Oh Maggie you crack me up!! You HAVE to tell me (off line) who Mr A Hole is. And that is one extremely tidy cooking area. A bit of polishing going on. It’s all standing to attention.
    And my darling niece looks as adorable as ever. Very serious in that picture.
    No pic of Popi.

    • No pic of Pop? This blog template drives me mad with pics. So tricky. It comes up on mine now, how annoying. Will email you the other info! and yes of course the kitchen never actually looks like that ha ha ha photo shoot… x

  5. OMG! That is the funniest ever. “I’m not taking on anymore friends.” That’s the title of your book, has to be. Seriously, what a complete narcissist. Or….there’s someone on friend of his on Fakebook that would take kindly to the girl who he used to date being his friend. Well. That’s the argument I would use in court, but he’s happy to email on the quiet…Dirty dog. 😉
    Meanwhile, how gorgeous is your daughter? She looks like a little stylish French girl in the gymnastics pictures.

  6. I agree – what an a-hole and so smug. Dont you dare give him the satisfaction of contacting him again. Great great pictures by the way and love your kitchen. Now for a totally naff question – dont the things hanging above your stove get greasy? They look so good hanging there but I know the response from my man around the house if I asked him to do something similar.

    • Yes they get disgusting, but I don’t care. I take them all down from time to time and stick it all in the dishwasher. Not much hassle for the convenience in my very small working space. x and ps yes, smug is the perfect word.

  7. Maggie, I love your style notes…. and I so totally relate to this one!!

  8. So glad you didn’t let him get to you. THE BUMFACE PITTER-PAT CAUSING A-HOLE.

    (You have a beautiful family. I hope Bumface sees this post and rues- rues, I say!- what he missed out on)

    • I hope he doesn’t find out I expended any more energy on him. That’s the thing about men like him, they always pull you in by pushing you away…. but good material ha ha ha xxx

  9. What an utter, utter Bumface! The pics are truly splendid xxx

  10. Hey, Maggie, my mum had that hat on in 1968! I knew she was oh-so-stylish in her day! Love your kitchen – do you have enough prep space, tho? Makes me want to run into my boring kitchen right now and make it look like that. They do say living well is the best revenge………….

    • It’s pretty small and I don’t really have enough prep space, although there is another area behind the stove. However, I do think small kitchens are more efficient. I once rented a house with a huge kitchen and I was constantly doing laps from stove to fridge to sink, it drove me nuts. xxx ps that might be your mum’s hat I;m wearing!

  11. Maggie, how wonderful that as we get older the same OUTRAGE over a broken heart keeps us young, young, young! What wonderful pics – your life is just super fabulous just as it worked out. We miss you here in Australia and especially on Saturday mornings! xx

    • But didn’t you get this on Saturday morning? And you can now find me on Sunday mornings in S section of the SUn Herald or M mag in Sunday Age… xxxx

  12. Unbelievable – what a twat! Was he an arse when you knew him (hence why you were too good for him) or has it developed over the years as a result a life of bitter disappointment post Maggie? You’re right though – living well is the best revenge!

  13. Oh Maggie, thank you so much for the giggle this morning, yes, he truly is a Bumface. Peggy on the other hand is absolutely stunning – how gorgeous!


    • Laughter is the best medicine! I hope I have exorcised him with it. I think I might now have the strength to throw away the (inscribed…) book he gave me in, er, 1976.

  14. I love looking into people’s lives. Kind of like walking past houses at night with lights on and the blur of activity, and imagining what goes on in there…is that creepy? I love your post!

  15. A-HOLE!!!!!!!!!!
    Complete Bumface.
    I hope your friend request to gbff went a bit better!
    Love the pics!

    • Yes, the gay friend is always a much better bet than the straight man, which is why I’m a total FAG HAG with at least three gay men in my life who are true soulmates. And maybe four with the new one! xxx

  16. Idiot Bumface! I am sure he would definitely suffer a pang of jealousy and regret if he received a capsule of your life in pictures (LOOKS PRETTY GOOD TO ME).
    Obviously you having a great life and and you share it with a dishy husband and a gorgeous little girl; I say CONGRATS to you Maggie (Bumface just can’t be having such a good time, he’s too busy being a Bumface).

  17. Oh, I think we all have a Bottomface Heart Breaker in our past. I’m ashamed to say I google mine every now and again – isn’t it weird watching them age? I’d completely die if I bumped into him. I often wonder if I’d have the guts to friend him if he ever popped up on Facebook. I’ve friended a few other ex-s who were totally sweet and lovely about accepting my friend request with a few nice exchanges about what’s happened to us in the last 20-30 years. But then, then never broke my heart like my Bumface. A pox on them all, I say. Your husband is a total fox, the best revenge of all. Great topic for a book, the whole what if kind of thing. You hear (or I have) lots of stories of people reconnecting with lost loves at school reunions. Now we have Stalkbook for that.

    • Stalkbook ha ha ha. Yes I’ve known of some affairs after school reunions – unfinished business! I’ve got some unfinished business with Bumface and it involves my middle finger, but of course my crossness just shows that he can still get to me… Damn xxx

  18. Agree with all the previous comments, and I say if you are the sort who can carry off gold lame at a day wedding with insouciance (which you clearly are!), then you would not have been happy with Bumface in any case! Living well with a foxy husband and clever, talented daughter is indeed the best revenge.

    • I hate to say it but Bumface would have fitted right in at that wedding. There were reasons I was so mad about him – but also reasons why he dumped in a vile way and was so rude on Facebook! xxx

  19. Peggy is beautiful 🙂
    It is so hard in the age of FB not to bump into people you don’t want to. Rise above him and know that your life is brilliant xx

  20. But who is the chap in the pic next to you and your husband at Goodwood? Nice to see snaps of people you’ve talked about for ages.

    • That’s husband too. It doesn’t look quite like him, but I was having problems with the other picture so I stuck it in for good measure. And glad you liked it, I was worried it was too ME ME ME which is it was, but I’m glad that was OK !xxx

  21. I love this Maggie & I can so relate to wanting to show that particular *one* how good your life is now!!! Did you do this intending for him to read it??? Either way I hope he does…loving your kitchen also & of course your gorgeous family! Xx

    • Oh Lordie, I would hate him to know I had expended the energy on him! I normally flag my blog on Facebook and was just about to do it last night when I though … STOP!

  22. Maggie, I found this a really beautiful, poignant piece. Tears to eyes….in a good way! Loved the ‘how I live now’ in pics running through. I’m a long time fan, and would put this up with your finest! Bravo!

  23. Wine just came out of my nose! Just spent all day at f’ing yooni in yooni clothes with horrible young yooni people with yooni germs studying for horrible yooni exams and you made my day! That my dear is why I am not on facebook!
    And the second I read it I thought “that’s got to be in your next book!”
    You go girl!
    Oh, just send one email – with a link to your blog.. Hahahaha. What a wally.

    • Yes event the mutual friend agrees he was a twunt about it. Shall I defriend him? Actually I think the less attention the better… yooni ha ha ha x

  24. omg – that is so funny – i think that stalkerbook (or facebook as it is properly known) has a lot to answer for, flashing up pics of our ex-‘s so our stupid emotions can go on a flutter for now known reason! please put him in a book – ultimate revenge! also – your mum and daughter are so totally gorgeous! xx

  25. Sometimes you just have to be a Beatles song…”Let it Be”

  26. I loved this column – oops, blog is the word yes? You look fantastic in the hat and your husband is sooooo handsome! Lovely daughter, too.
    It is very fun to see how your live and where you write and cook. Our kitchen is ab out the size of a galley on a boat and it works well – most of the time. No laps for me,
    What a jerky man … I sometimes feel left out because I am not on Facebook and can’t use it because it will not work for the visually impaired and be “see-able? if this is a word. I heard a young girl brag to a mate one day that she had over 300 friends and I asked her if she knew them all and she looked at me like I was from Mars.

  27. Someone in there was spot on – this is up with the best. Laugh out loud hilarious.
    Know where you’re coming from sister. My ex sent me a friend request and I have ignored it up until now (didn’t want to even give him the satisfaction of an acknowledgement) – I may just borrow that line “I’m not taking any more friends”? Hope that doesn’t make me a BUMFACE!! Nope, different altogether. Thanks for sharing your lovely life in pics – Peggy is sooo lovely.

  28. Hey Maggie, have always loved your articles in our Aust papers, and am reading your new book laughing out loud – priceless comments and observations!

    Your article reminds me of a song by an Australian singer, Kate Miller-Heidke (yes, am a huge fan of hers) – she’s a classically-trained opera singer, who moved successfully into pop songs. She has a song titled “The Facebook Song” – you have to check it out! Youtube probably has a clip of her doing it.

    Like you, I find Facebook pretty blah – too much time wasted on it, instead of doing other things. It does have its place, to reconnect with people and find out what is new, but a lot of it I just ignore. I have a FB holiday every six months or so, where I just don’t go online for a few weeks – very refreshing.

    • I think I need to do a purge. My method is: would I run over to this person, if I saw them across a crowded cocktail party? Or, would I like to do that if I ever could? Really I think F’book should be for friends and family – Twitter is to make new friends with total strangers. x

  29. Oh what a wanker with that FB line, be glad to be rid of him! But do write him into a book, give him a disease or an unfortunate accident that sees his slow torturous demise while the heroine blossoms in mid age with lovers, friends, kids etc!

  30. Fab husband, fab daughter, fab you together in your fabulous life. Bumface who?

    Faceache is the best name, by the way!

  31. In my head I gave you the line “Do you know who I am!!!???” (said in imperious Margot Leadbetter style tones). Well, most of us would tear your arm off for the offer of e-friendship! Which all goes to show that he is a foolish, foolish man, nay arse….
    Thanks for the lovely pics. It’s really nice to have that intimate glimpse.

    • Thank you, I did wonder if it was a bit LOOK AT ME (which it was). Of course that was a carefully edited version of my life¬! I should put on the real one… fish fingers for dinner, jeans which don’t fit, sulking child who won’t do homework, grumpy husband who drank too much wine the night before, bits of the house still not finished etc etc… xxx

  32. OH DAMN FACEBOOK TO HELL!!!! I recently thought I had received a friend request from an ex – I felt oh so smug & paused for a millisecond deciding whether I would give him the privilege of accepting – of course I did. It wasn’t until after I had hit accept that it dawned on me that what I was in fact accepting was a bloody “friend suggestion” sent by one of my more sadistic friends. What this meant was that I had in fact sent him a friend request! I felt ill. Facebook then went on to torture me for weeks by putting into my news-feed each and every time he fucking well accepted other peoples friend requests, whilst evidently ignoring mine. I have since discovered that you are able to go to their profile & remove the request which would have been perfect at the time of sending but would only cause me to look even more pathetic than I already do.

    I have said it once & I will say it again……DAMN FACEBOOK TO HELL!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagggggggggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! that is truly terrible. how utterly vile. I’m beginning to hate Facebook, loads of people I don’t know from Adam want to be friends, because we have friends in common and I don’t want them seeing photos of my niece’s birthday party. But I feel rude saying no, so I do nothing. It’s begining to get me down.

    • OMG……….Worst nightmare! Red-facebook might be a better name…….

  33. What a TOSSER! Love the 2 Peggys the husband and the kitchen xxx

  34. Maggie, I’ve been reading you column in the good weekend since before Peggy was born and have always wondered what all your significant others looked like. Gorgeous family! So pleased to see they fit my imagination- just like when you said rob Lowe was your inspiration for jay in cents and sensitivity. Btw I didn’t realise you weren’t living in Sydney until I started following you on twitter. Anyway loved this post, bastard exes!

    • I had to move back from Sydney for my mum… she’s 89 and frail and I just couldn’t be that far from her anymore and my husband has the same issue with his mum in Belgrade. We both feel torn in two about it… Would love Peggy to be there now. She’s such an outdoor girl and she loves Australia so much. We’ll just have to see what pans out xxx

      • Oh much better for Peggy to be close to your mum- I couldn’t bear my kids to be far from my parents. And Peggy senior looks so lovely xx

  35. you’re brilliant, i love you maggie. i’ve only just started reading your blog, but i’m hooked now. thanks so
    so much xx

  36. Hands up who hasn’t googled an ex. (Especially of the “broke my heart/bumface” variety)….
    Yep – just as I thought. No-one!
    Why do they still have this power after all of these years?
    Sure there is a book in this, Maggie! Love Style Notes (and everything you have written) – you are one warm, funny, savvy gorgeous, successful woman! (eat that, bumface)

  37. Maggie, you really are wearing the most fabulous outfit in that top pic – I wish I could carry off a hat that like – something about the pic reminds me of Bridget Jones Diary movie (in a good way!)

    Your family are gorgeous and it must be said your husband is hotter than Hades!

    I ran into my Bumface a few years, I was so pleased as on that particular day I was looking fabulous (and I totally ignored him!)

    • Well done on the ignoring (and thank you for the compliments!). I think Iwould now ignore this one if I ever saw him. I only wanted to say HI isn’t life funny and he turned it into another insult. Probably didn’t give it two thougths, just his default setting: Bumface.

  38. I had a smiliar online experience, with a smilar Bumface.

    You really should write him into a book, may I suggest simply Bumface for the character name? Actually in Italian, we have an expression “faccia di culo” (literally : face of bum) meaning someone with a real hide or unbelievable gall.

  39. well.done.Maggie….that’s what I call ‘right back atcha’ x

  40. As a loooong time reader and lover of Style Notes in the GW and now here on wordpress I have to say I ABSOLUTELY LOVE sneaking a look at the lovely people you write about, and the lovely places you write and work. An absolute voyeur’s delight. Thank you! As for the hideous, infuriating and smug man who prompted this generous display, at least the material is bookworthy and he’s wholly absent from your real life now.

    • aw – thank you so much for that. And the joy of blogging is being able to do that. If you have any friends who used to like the column, please tell them about this… It’s hard to get the word out xxx

      • I have many friends who adored the column and will post something on my v modest blog to point them in this direction. I’m heading home to Aus in a week after 2 years in Oxford and am already lamenting the fact I will be without my beloved copy of The Times, especially on a saturday. The fact the GW now lacks Style Notes does not bode well for my transition.

      • I have to say the UK papers are a joy… You will find me in M mag in the Sunday Age, or S section in Sun Herald. xxx thanks v much would really appreciate the heads up x

  41. not sure if this is already buried somewhere in the above comments, but definitely sounds like a Kate moment… (NSFW – swears!)

  42. Isn’t it infuriating when your treacherous heart still goes pitter patter for the bumface who first broke your heart. I think Cat Stevens really did have it right when he said the first cut is the deepest.

    But a life well lived is the best revenge ever, and it seems that you have yours all sorted! Fab post, I loved the insight into your life and your kitchen is gorgeous!

  43. My childhood sweetheart found me on Facebook 10 years after we left school, and we’ve been deliriously happily married for 2 years now, but I still hate Facebook like poison in spite of all it’s done for me. Possibly because I first joined Facebook to catch out my cheating ex, who was using it to pick up other women. I was too busy to bother with Facebook but he had friended one of my oldest and dearest friends – how he could possibly have thought she wouldn’t tell me, I’ll never know. Bumfaces are so impossibly arrogant, aren’t they? (I love the James Bumface idea, incidentally.) But Maggie…I’m a little disappointed you even gave Bumface an opportunity to irritate you once again. That sort of person almost never changes their spots. I’ve found that it’s better for everyone concerned to just leave them behind completely and utterly, like the unpleasant, dangerous flotsam in the shipping lanes of life that they are, and sail off unencumbered into your private glorious technicolour sunset (which you have – your husband and daughter are gorgeous!), never sparing them another thought. I believe it’s more respectful to your current love to have no contact with their predecessors, even if they are nice and civilised and not a Bumface. My jealousy doesn’t take much to arouse, so it’s a ‘do unto others’ kind of habit…but good on anyone who’s ever managed to make ‘active friends with the ex’ work, it’s got to be the ultimate modern manners challenge.

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