One of the advantages of a week off work in which one’s planned to do exceptionally little is that there’s plenty of time to have one’s hair cut mid-week, mid-afternoon.
Thus it was that I found myself sat in the hairdressers’ chair, tea to one hand and a whole rack of dodgy gossip magazines to the other. And, having read more than I cared to know about a whole variety of non-slebs (none of which I can remember, incidentally), I came across an article in this month’s Company magazine.
The basic premise of the piece was that, with the advent of digital technology, it’s becoming ever easier to cheat on our partners - and, as Ashley Cole and Vernon Kay would presumably find it hard to dispute, easier to get caught. But, the piece went on to consider, given that the boundaries between what’s acceptable behaviour and what’s not seem to have lapsed, what does constitute cheating?
There were varying opinions from several different women, ranging from pretty much “anything goes” to essentially the opposite.
One opinion given was that any behaviour you wouldn’t want your partner to know about constitutes unfaithfulness. As a general rule of thumb, I think it makes sense - whether it’s a few overly flirtatious emails or a full on dirty weekend away in a country hotel, if you know your partner wouldn’t be best pleased were they to discover the behaviour, then you probably shouldn’t be doing it.
(By the by, subscribing to this particular theory, apparently, according to the article, makes me a prude. It’s the first time that word’s ever been applied to me, but there’s clearly a first time for everything. I wonder how long it’s been that expecting a little fidelity made one a prude? I can see how one might acquire the label if objecting to a few dirty text messages from one’s other half, but surely wishing one’s other half not to send lascivious emails to other people is probably excusable?)
The question of cheating was one posed to me recently - another first, given that it was on a first date. I forget how we got there now but it came after several drinks, and in the last bar of the evening.
“So, have you ever cheated on anyone?”
I was slightly surprised by the question, but given we'd already covered excessive weekly alcohol consumption, families and exes, I figured that it was probably fair enough, and cast my mind over misdemeanours various.
“Yes, once.” He looked at me. “I’m not proud of it, but I ended up in bed with one guy at university, genuinely totally forgetting that I was seeing someone else. Not my finest hour. You?”
He shook his head. “No, never.”
Great, I thought. Now I look like a harlot - and a particularly dippy one at that.
But then again, maybe it’s not as bad as I fear: maybe he just has a different definition. Which, of course, is probably not ideal either...
The Cinnamon Club, Westminster
3 hours ago