What it's like to constantly have a look of forlorn longing in

St Andrews

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I constantly have a look of forlorn longing.

It sounds self-deprecating but the facts are the facts. Some people constantly have a look of vague hunger, or listlessness, or enui; I have a look of a forlorn longing. It’s something I’ve dealt with all my life so I might as well be honest about it.

‘But writer, it can’t be that bad to constantly have a look of forlorn longing can it?’ Yeah sure, there are perks. When I want to get to my favourite point on the pier, people often assume that my husband is lost at sea, so they usually clear out and give me some privacy. If I’m ever at an Other Guys gig, they tend to hurl money at me on the assumption that I’m a war widow representing Help For Heroes. And yeah, sometimes I’ll get the odd drink bought for me by some guy who thinks I’ve been stood up by an ex-lover from times gone by.

Overall though, it can be really difficult to have a look of forlorn longing in St Andrews. My friends never feel comfortable venting at me because they always assume I’ve got it worse! My best friend David broke up with his boyfriend recently and didn’t even tell me for fear of adding additional burden to my life that’s full of pain and wanting. That doesn’t sound too bad, but it got embarrassing when he kept on inventing imaginary dates so he never had to broach the subject- and the fake proposal really was a step too far.

Also, any boyfriend I’ve had has always assumed that he’s just a rebound thing. It really created a distance between us when he walks in to find me mournfully staring out of the window and just assumes I’m waiting for my one true love to return and whisk me away.

The worst thing though is that whenever I’m walking by a funeral, everyone assumes I had some deep, profound and secret connection to the dead person. I’ve been accused of infidelity, being a secret child of the deceased and- on one memorable occasion- double homicide and insurance fraud. Each time mostly false!

So next time you see a person with a look of forlorn longing, don’t just assume their father abandoned their family when they were two, or that their childhood love moved away and never properly said goodbye. Sometimes it might be a look that this person always has, or maybe they just really need to shit.