Magazine article The Spectator

Real Life: Melissa Kite

Magazine article The Spectator

Real Life: Melissa Kite

Article excerpt

A boyfriend's for life, not just for Christmas. It's no good me getting myself a nice cuddly man with whom I can wade through the snow, roast chestnuts and ice-skate in amusing bobble hats.

Because then I am going to be responsible for that boyfriend for a very long time. I should know. These creatures need feeding, they need coddling. They need endless amounts of fuss, and care, and attention. A boyfriend can't be left in the house for longer than four hours at a time, or I will come home to find he's been lying in the bath all day and has managed to use up £200 worth of hot water.

He can't be trusted around food. The cupboards will have to be secured, or I will suddenly discover he has been secretly scoffing every edible thing in the house, including the tins of lobster bisque I was saving for a nuclear holocaust.

He can't be trusted not to wreck the house by taking things apart in the interests of 'fixing' them. No matter how much I try to keep him shut in one room so he doesn't make a mess, he will find a way to take the bath panel off to find the source of a damp smell and not put it back on ...ever.

Above all, a boyfriend cannot be trusted not to start regurgitating all sorts of horrible things I had no idea he had swallowed and not digested, every time he goes on Facebook after I have broken up with him.

I know this, and yet I can't help myself. It started last month when I was walking the spaniel on Tooting Common. I could feel Christmas in the air, drifting relentlessly towards me. The panic gripped my chest and the thought assaulted my brain: 'Get a boyfriend! Quick!'

The only other time this happens is the summer holiday season. Then again, the cute couples and happy families planning their annual bout of closeness make confirmed singletons like me feel utterly bereft.

Essentially, I need a boyfriend for two weeks in July or August and two weeks in December. I'm flexible as to which two weeks, but I'd prefer the lead-up to Christmas inclusive of Christmas Day. By Boxing Day I'm over it. I'm happy to be unhappy again once the big dinner is over and I can get on a horse and go hunting.

But I would like some kind of hire arrangement to cover 10 December through 25. Surely some enterprising soul could come up with a reliable festive, special occasion and summer boyfriend hire service, like tuxedo or car rental? …

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