Part 106: Giles Coren

A wise person – no, I can’t remember who – once told me, ‘if you know what you want, you can have what you want.’ Well, I’ve decided that what I want is a posh person to tell me what’s what. In the past, I’ve resisted taking advice from posh people, due to my working class aspirations and the fact that dinner parties with minor members of the aristocracy were more fun when I could bring a £5 bottle of Pino Grigio and have everyone think I was too plebeian to realise this was considered uncouth. But no more. I have reached an age where naiveté is no longer attractive. One must be razor witted and good-looking if one wants to move up in the world. Which I do.

So I need a mentor, and I’ve decided that Giles Coren is the man for the job.

In recent months I’ve developed a bit of thing for Giles Coren. Not a sex thing. He’s not my type and, even if he were, I have long since realised that lusting over men you haven’t met is a pointless waste of time, unless they’re James Franco.

My thing for Giles is more akin to my thing for Tina Fey – in that I want to be him. Or a fantasy version of him I have created with low self-esteem and the knowledge that not only is he quite wealthy and well-educated, but also has a talented, attractive wife and two bouncing baby children.

Giles has clearly made some Good Decisions, life wise.

You know how before Christians act they ask themselves, ‘what would Jesus do?’ Well, my version of that features Giles in place of Jesus and (until my recent stint of PhD enforced sobriety) gin in place of Christianity.

*

Now, before I continue, I would like to take a time out, during which I urge that those of you asking yourselves, ‘who the fuck is Giles Coren?’ retire to Wikipedia and return here better informed. The rest of you can make a cup of tea and get yourselves a kit-kat or a home-baked treat.

*

Welcome back.

Right. What I want is for Giles to give me his number so I can ring him up and get definitive answers on matters about which I am uncertain. For example, I am pretty sure Giles would strongly disapprove of me starting this paragraph with the word ‘right’, which is, even I’m aware, a meaningless affectation. I’ve only stopped myself deleting it so I could use the above to prove my point, which is this: Giles knows what he’s on about, and, even when he doesn’t, he delivers his judgments with the kind of conviction that I need in my life right now.

I want Giles to make decisions for me. Decisions which will result in success in my life and my work. Decisions I am unable to make on my own due to a genetic inadequacy. For example, if Giles were to agree to mentor me I could ask him whether I should hold out for the dream romance I’ve had mushrooming in my mind for six years or so – and which I’ve written about here, indirectly, on more than one occasion – to come true. Or whether I should pack it in and sign up to Plenty of Fish before my womb dries up. I believe Giles could give me very reliable advice on this. He could also advise me on the correct usage of ‘that’ verses ‘which’, which I still struggle with despite having read Gwynne’s Grammar cover to cover, twice.

I’m not entirely sure why I respect Giles’ opinion as much as I do. We are, socially and politically, poles apart. Giles would, I have no doubt, find my militant stance on private education (I’m anti) trite and pretentious. Also, he drinks gimlets in the Groucho with famous people and, although I did go to Shoreditch House one time, I am more likely to be found in the Malt Shovel, Armley, drinking sour white wine with manual workers and the unemployed.

He is right though, most of the time.

Thus, Giles Coren, though not exactly a reason to be single, would definitely prove useful in making sure I don’t stay that way forever.

If you’re reading Giles, and considering taking on the mentoring position I’ve described above, you should probably know that it doesn’t pay anything, cash wise, but that I am very good company and would be willing to attend any dinner parties you throw – and I promise I will spend at least £12 on all bottles of wine I bring to them.

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