From men to mid life crises, from Botox to Brazilians, from infertility to infidelity, every week Jacqui Leigh gives her personal take on being a fortysomething woman
Another Facebook friend request.
It was from someone called Dave Pease. I examined the tiny photo closely and vaguely recognised a man from the gym. I've said hello to him many times in passing but I didn't know his name was Dave Pease. Actually, I've always thought of him as the jolly Green Giant, the man on the can of sweet corn. Something to do with his improbably triangular torso, big shoulders and tiny nipped in waist which, judging by his skin-tight T shirts, he's extremely proud of.
The thing is, if Dave Pease wants to be my friend, why doesn't he speak to me directly? Could it be that if he came up to me and asked to be my friend I'd run in the opposite direction? And exactly how did he find me on Facebook anyway? I've never spoken to him or told him my name. It's slightly creepy.
I weighed up the options. I didn't fancy accepting but did I really want to offend Dave - a person I have to see almost every day? In the end I took the third way and deleted the email. It never happened right? If he says anything I'll just look baffled.
My fault for being on Facebook? Yes. But I only did so for snooping purposes, mainly in moments of total boredom looking for blokes I used to be at college with to see how much hair they had left. Not that you can tell, since most of the photos are at least ten years old.
Now and again in moments of even greater boredom I look at my wall. Another photo of Anna's poodle. Apparently it's loving the warm weather! A woman I knew from school, now a teacher, has posted to say she is bored in a meeting. Even worse - four people apparently like this and another nine have even bothered to comment on it. A lot of stuff in Swedish, fascinating undoubtedly. Somebody I've never heard of likes someone else's status. And look, a series of photos of someone's elderly mother. Hard to contain my excitement.
A while ago my sister was accosted by a woman outside the school gates who said she had a bone to pick with her. It turned out my sister had ignored this woman's request to be her Facebook friend. Why? Because this woman wasn't her friend. She wasn't even on her list of potential friends. They'd barely spoken. They don't even have children in the same class.
Not long before her husband got a friend request from a bloke in his brother's year at school. Not even in his year and not even his brother's friend...
There's something pathetic about middle aged people and Facebook. I really don't want to know that they've just been to the loo or picked their nose or yawned. I don't want to see pictures of their children or dogs, or sign their protests against high speed rail links. I definitely don't want people's inspirational quotes.
After deleting Dave Pease I checked out Fred on Facebook. Couldn't quite imagine him sitting at a keyboard. But no, there he was with three, um, let's say tarty looking women draped all over him. Awful. It made me feel weird to look at it.
And I was just genuinely getting to like him.
He has 893 friends. Of course he does.
Feeling slightly dizzy, I scanned through his friends to see if Hatchet Face was there (I presume she has a name) but I couldn't find her. I guess, quite sensibly, she doesn't want hubby to find out he's been footing the bill for her extra marital sex.
At the gym I walk past Dave Pease and smile vacantly, hoping he's not going to say anything. He smiles back like it never happened. With luck we'll never get around to actually talking to each other and this embarrassing episode can be forgotten.
I think about teasing Fred about his Facebook page and decide not to bother. I don't want to flatter him by letting him know I've been snooping. Anyway, he's busy having a conversation with a woman who has the same trainers as him.
Yeah, Fred likes women's shoes, I smirk. I do when they're around my ears, he says. I have to remember I can never beat him at that game.