When I joined high-school, one of the dominant girls in my class, who was aptly named something sounding like Delphine Bully, picked on me relentlessly.
I was a small, awkward 15-year-old, feeling bewildered in a new 5000-pupil high-school, and her behaviour was very much the sporting equivalent of hunting a caged baby rabbit with a Kalashnikov.
Luckily, a solid group of friends, and distractions such as passing notes during lessons, eating chocolate pasta (yes, yes, obviously a French gastronomic highlight you missed out on), watching 9 and 1/2 weeks with saucer eyes, or even getting plastered with Cointreau on a memorable sleepover helped me survive the nightmarish school year. The following year, we were in separate classes and I was able to bloom in peace, while Delphine Bully presumably went on to ruin someone else’s life.
Now, if the world was ever fair, I reckon Delphine Bully should currently be rewarded for her cruelty by working the tills at Carrefour’s (the French Tesco’s), having no friends, and sporting a double-chin and nasty highlights.
Well, thanks to the weird connections of Facebook, I recently found out that she works in fashion, is married to an Italian stud and has two mail-order-catalogue little girls. Of course, there is always the possibility that the Italian stud cheats on her with anything with a pulse, that she doesn’t have any friends, that her job is a miserable drag and her girls miserable brats, but still, how annoying is that?
On a more current note, many people say that T will regret breaking our family to pursue the New Ms T, and that he will eventually be an unhappy man with middle-age spread and estranged children. But in the meantime, he seems happier than I have seen him in a long time, pleased with seeing his daughter every other weekend, while leaving behind the brother he used to call his son. In fact, he seems to have arrived where he wanted to be, which somehow implies that he’d made a mistake in having a family with me, and I find especially horrible…
The reality is that everyday, men and women brutally leave their spouses in much the same way he did, and whilst I would like to imagine them carrying on through life plagued with regret for what they lost, and guilt for the pain and destruction they caused, many seem to actually do very well, thank you very much. They seem to build new versions of happily ever after, have more kids, re-invent themselves as great people, while everyone around conveniently forgets the past.
It might be in reaction to being dangerously close to turning another year older, but I feel very much like a petulant 15-year-old today: Forget political prisoners, domestic violence, or the famine in East Africa, this is sooo unfaiiiir!
To Sandrine T, Manu P and Hélène, still my friends after all these years.
Remember singing Forever Young and Hotel California off by heart during recess? “I don’t want to perish like a fading horse”, what were they on for crying out loud 😉 ??
Alphaville – Forever young