Tag Archives: internet dating

Making my peace with the Irish

30 Dec

My ex was Irish. Is Irish, I suppose. I don’t know why I talk about him in the past tense. After all, nothing about him stopped when he broke up with me. It was me who stopped.

I stopped feeling. I stopped sleeping. I stopped dressing properly, wearing makeup or drying my hair. I stopped eating (Christmas has seen me put all the weight back on through my love of cheese, don’t you worry). I stopped reading. I stopped getting out of bed for a while.

Amongst every other emotion I’ve been through in the past few months, I stopped liking the Irish. I would hear Irish accents on the bus and wonder why they had to taunt me like this. During the X Factor final, one of the boys from Westlife was on giving his expert musical opinion (kind of risible, anyway), but he said the word “amazing” with exactly the same intonation that my ex’s family used. I spontaneously sobbed like a mad woman. Maybe worst of all, when I could finally face reading again, I couldn’t read anything by Marian Keyes – one of my very favourite authors. She’s Irish.

I started her latest book, ‘The Mystery of Mercy Close’, yesterday. I’ve nearly finished it. It’s brilliant. And the Irish sayings, the language, the places she alludes to, they’re actually helping me to make my peace with everything.

Incidentally, the book is about a woman around my age suffering from depression. I know depression is a devastating illness, and I’ve only brushed with it over the past few months, not been pulled mercilessly down as some are. But the vivid descriptions of her hopelessness. The matter-of-fact distress. The sadness. Those are the elements of this book that have me turning the page corner and putting it aside for a few minutes just so I can cry.

The Irish? The Irish I can cope with.

In fact, I’ve been talking to a guy on eHarmony. Irish.

So we will call him ‘Irish’.

He’s from the other end of the country from the ex, so that’s good. He really makes me laugh and we’ve been sending each other crazy long emails. He’s back in London next week. Irish used to live in Japan, writes stand-up comedy, loves animations, and lives really near me. I am a big fan of all these things.

Maybe Ireland isn’t out to get me. Maybe I just had the wrong Irish man.