Welcome to the Diary of Roxy Collins – The Serious Relationship Series.
Every Thursday you can read Roxy’s latest diary entry.
What has happened so far?
Roxy, a thirty something, single mother, of three spirited children, is looking for love. She wants to find someone who will accept her chaotic life and crazy ways.
Lady luck has not been on Roxy’s side when it comes to men. Her first partner, Jon, informed her he was gay, whilst she was pregnant with their daughter, Matilda. Her second partner, Rob, father to Harry and Toby, ran off with the local barmaid, leaving Roxy destitute with three children. Luckily Brian, her 68-year-old landlord and emotional rock in life let her rent his late mother’s house.
Roxy is currently pregnant with her fourth child to boyfriend, Marcus. They finally got together after a series of communication mishaps and situations fuelled by Roxy’s runaway emotions.
Roxy and her kids have moved into Marcus’s big house on the expensive side of town.
Last week Roxy tried to fit in with the posh mums, but failed miserably. At the end she decided to go against Marcus’s wishes and accept Shaz’s job offer in the beauty salon in the rough end of town…where she felt more at home.
I have woken up early. Marcus is snoring gently next to me.
I reach over for my phone. Some people when they wake like to start off the day with a glance over the newspapers to see what’s going on in the world. I prefer to dive straight into complicated health issues.
To my delight my latest pregnancy newsletter is sitting in my email box. It is titled ‘Pregnancy Paranoia.’
“Marcus,” I say, tapping him on the arm. “Do you think I have suffered with paranoia during this pregnancy?”
There’s a low murmuring from underneath the duvet as he struggles to wake up.
“Please wake up, Marcus.”
He raises his sleepy head off the pillow. “Is this important, Roxy?”
“Have I been paranoid during my pregnancy?”
I show him my phone screen. “What do you think?”
He rolls his eyes at me and then falls back asleep.
“I think I morphed into a Jersey cow during the night,” I moan, staring at my bulging pregnant stomach, udder sized breasts and huge wobbly bits, which have magically appeared on my thighs.
Marcus is reading his iPad in bed, whilst I get ready for work. He always ignores my daily body updates.
“Aren’t you going to say anything?” I snap. “You are partly to blame for the incident in the laundry cupboard, which resulted in me getting pregnant and transforming into a Jersey cow.”
He looks up, smiles and returns to his iPad. “Your cousin Mags tweeted me last night,” he says. “She’s got a great sense of humour.”
It takes just a few seconds for irritation to come to the boil inside of me. I don’t see why my cousin Mags has to tweet Marcus and there is no need for him to remark on how funny she is when I am standing half-naked in front of my bedroom mirror, feeling like a large prize-winning agricultural animal.
“Is my cousin’s hilarious tweet important, right now, Marcus?”
I am sat on the bus to work.
Today I am sat next to a hooded teenager. He’s wearing large gold headphones and is engrossed with his phone.
Out of the corner of my eye I can see him furiously typing out a text message to someone.
I take a quick glance over his shoulder. He’s busy keying, ‘I was crushing on her.’
Crush is one of my favourite words in the English language. It’s so sweet and romantic.
This scary hooded teenager is confiding in a friend about a secret crush.
I wish my daughter, Matilda, would have more crushes, love boys from afar for a bit, instead of having full-blown relationships, which are mainly spent in her bedroom, listening to thumping dance music.
I like to think Marcus and I had a sweet romantic crush on each other before we got together. We gazed at each other from across the office, asked each other for photocopying requests and got all tongue tied in meetings.
As the bus pulls away from the stop, outside the community centre, I sneak another glance at the teenager’s text.
‘Crushing made me do a stupid thing.’
Oh my goodness! This poor teenager has probably said the wrong thing in front of his crush or he’s written a long romantic email, confessing his true love.
My mind becomes awash with sweet and silly romantic gestures.
Curiosity gets the better of me. I peer over again.
‘Sorry about the photo I sent your best mate. Yea I was in bed when I took it. Will you still be my girl though?’
I gasp. He catches me reading his text and I shake my head with disapproval.
Teenagers and I clearly have a different definition of the word crush.
Gasp. Marcus’s twitter conversation with cousin Mags is still going on.
Since I left the house he’s liked one of her tweets and replied with a laughing face GIF.
I can’t remember the last time he tweeted me with a GIF.
Reassure myself with the fact that Marcus is allowed to communicate with members of my family.
If he wants to tweet cousin Mags then I shouldn’t stand in his way. I have nothing to worry about…
Flick onto cousin Mags’s Instagram feed as a cloud of tiny jealousy knives hit me.
Her latest photo is of her outstretched on a sun bed in a minuscule white bikini. She has the body of a model; stick thin brown legs, a flat stomach and no wobbly bits. Her long sun-kissed blonde hair looks like something out of a TV hair commercial.
I can’t help but recall my reflection in the mirror earlier.
I sense someone is looking over my shoulder. It’s the hooded teenager. He’s gazing longingly at the pic of cousin Mags sunbathing.
“She’s so fit!” he gushes. “I would defo have a crush on her.”
Grip the side of the bus seat as it dawns on me, Marcus has a crush on my attractive cousin.
The hooded teenager casts me a worried glance.
Marcus has just text me to ask what he should cook for tea. I’m not replying.
Stand in front of mirror in office toilets and groan.
This morning two buttons on my shirt made a bid for freedom. I think I have put on more weight since breakfast.
In my experience the best thing you can do when you are feeling insecure about your body and are worried about your boyfriend tweeting your attractive cousin, is to have lunch with a group of women from the office, who all, at some point, have been cheated on by their boyfriends.
“Do you trust your cousin, Roxy?” asks Helen from Accounts, before wedging a handful of thick cut chips into her mouth.
“We’re family so yes, I suppose so.”
Denise, from Sales leans over the table. “Family don’t mean anything to some people, Roxy. Take my Rick for example. My own sister couldn’t keep her hands off him. He says she told him she was desperate for his body.”
Helen’s jaws drop at Denise’s revelation, giving us all a good view of her half mashed up chips still inside her mouth. “OMG – no way!”
Sarah from Finance gives Denise a puzzled look. “She was desperate for your Rick’s body – did you believe that?”
Denise nods. “I think my sister has always had a secret thing for large beer bellies.”
Helen takes a loud slurp of her drink. “Did you say anything to her?”
Denise takes a bite out of her cheese baguette. “Rick didn’t want me to say anything. He’s nice like that. Its our little secret, but at family gatherings I keep my eye on her.”
“Must be terrible to have your own sister coming onto your fella,” says Helen.
Sarah scratches her head. “Do you think your sister really said that, Denise?”
Denise puts down her baguette. “Sarah, my Rick doesn’t lie! Apparently she told him he was the most attractive man she’s ever laid eyes on.”
Sarah grimaces. “Your Rick – really?”
“I don’t think I have anything to worry about,” I say quickly. “It’s not like my cousin finds Marcus…”
I stop mid sentence as my brain replays something Mags said to me a few weeks ago. She talked about Marcus being handsome.
Helen places a soothing hand on my arm.
Break down into floods of tears during my monthly catch up with Martin.
He shuffles some paper around the desk and asks me whether I want a hot drink, as I blubber to myself about how damaging crushes can be.
Have intense text message conversation with Shaz regarding the Marcus situation.
Me: ‘Marcus has a crush on someone else!’
Me: ‘he’s tweeting my attractive cousin.’
Me: ‘he’s tweeted her ALL DAY.’
Shaz: ‘Are you over reacting?’
Me: ‘3 tweets, I like AND……1 GIF! #notoverreacting
Marcus has left me a voice message asking why I am ignoring his texts.
As I leave the office I see his car parked outside. He’s waving to me with a bunch of colourful flowers.
“Here,” he says, “I am clearly in the dog house about something so I thought I would get you these.”
I can’t hold back the army of tears any longer.
“So I am supposed to have a massive crush on your cousin after tweeting about the football scores?” He asks with a look of bewilderment. “Tell me, Roxy, how have you managed to jump to this conclusion?”
I stare out of the window.
He strokes my hair and leans over. “Roxy Collins, I do love you, but please stop reading about complicated health issues early in the morning!”
There will be more Roxy next week.