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Dating Miranda Priestly - A reflection in five parts

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Part 1 : Miriam

 

If all dates ended like this, Miriam thinks she would be more than happy. They’d been flirting with each other in class for a few weeks before she had the courage to suggest they go out for a drink. Together. Just the two of them. To a bar. Not a pub frequented by other students. And now she is sitting on the edge of a bed, a mouth nuzzling at her neck, the smell of shampoo from the hair pressing against her chin and cheek, filling her nostrils. She can feel the flush of heat course through her and bloom between her legs. Her own hand trails down the back of her companion, and beneath their shirt. She can’t help the soft gasp that escapes her, as she traces it back up the smooth skin she finds there, across the stomach and up to the swell of the laced breast. And then soft lips are on hers, and she is sinking back onto the bed. A hand finds its way beneath the waistband of her jeans, and down into the warmth pooling in her underwear. It is as if every moment of her life till now has been building up to this, to this moment, to this touch. Fingers slide, and slip into her. Her back arches. And then all she can focus on is sensation, and heat, and the pounding of her heart, her body coiling, tightening, impossibly more. Sounds beyond her control escape from her. And then she is in freefall.

If all dates ended like this, Miriam thinks she would be more than happy. But they don’t. Sometimes they end in recriminations. And in silences. And in departure.

Then Miriam shuts her doors. She stares at her reflection in the mirror. Sets her jaw. Leaves England. Starts afresh. And becomes Miranda Priestly.

 

Part 2 : Greg

 

Dating Miranda Priestly is not easy. As evidenced by the fact that she is currently sitting opposite him consulting her diary as they try to arrange their next rendezvous, and scrolling up and down making “hmmm” noises. He sits back in his chair and smiles. Miranda Priestly is something else. Serves him right for pursuing her. She is a woman who means business. Takes no prisoners. But she fascinates him. He sees the layers. The Editor in Chief of Runway magazine, a magazine she has moulded and dragged, often kicking and screaming, to the forefront of the fashion world since her meteoric rise. She is exacting, demanding, no less of others than of herself. Focused. Ambitious. But she is more than that. He has seen glimpses. Of a wit that is funny and clever, not merely acerbic and withering. Of a tenderness, admittedly rare, but definitely there. And of a distance, a place she alone goes to, usually when they are making love, somewhere way beyond his reach. It’s as if she is present one moment, and then she disappears to a place where he cannot follow her. She intrigues him.

“I have a couple of hours next Wednesday – we could do lunch ?” Miranda raises one eyebrow, cocks her head, and looks unapologetically at him.

He shakes his head and huffs a small laugh. He knows he will make himself free. God knows how long he’ll have to wait otherwise. He leans forward and before he can think about what he is actually saying, “Miranda, will you marry me ?”

Miranda almost recoils, in surprise. “I beg your pardon ?” almost as if she misheard.

More intentionally now he repeats, “I said, will you marry me ?”

“Why on earth would you want to do that ?” but he can see that beginning of a smile crack across her face.

“How else am I going to get to see you ?” he shrugs, “Will you ?”

She surprises herself now by saying yes. She likes Greg. Maybe even loves him, in so far as she knows what love is in a world where Miranda Priestly is all. And it’s not a bad decision. They become friends. He becomes the father of the children she never thought she’d have. The biggest gift in her life, Cassidy and Caroline. But with their arrival there is even less of Miranda Priestly to go round, and priorities shift, until not only is Greg not first, but not even second, or third. Dating Miranda Priestly, wife, is not easy. It is impossible. And they drift apart, Greg into the arms of someone who is prepared to make room in her diary for him. They’ll remain friends, the shadow of their near intimacy held in place by their daughters. But that’s all.

 

Part 3 : Stephen

 

Dating Miranda is not easy. It never has been. But enough is enough. It is bad enough when he arrives at the restaurant and yet again they welcome him to the reserved table as “Mr Priestly” when he is not. His name is Stephen Tomlinson. He is man in his own right not merely the appendage, the consort, of the aptly named Ice Queen. The absent Ice Queen. Another reservation, made by a no doubt harassed assistant, the newest Emily recruited to attend to her every whim, intended to mollify him with a crumb of her time. And she is not even here. She has stood him up - again. Leaving him looking foolish. They all know who he is. His picture has graced many a paper, escorting his wife to some event or other. They all know who has stood him up, left him sitting like an abandoned puppy.

No more.

He always knew it would be a challenge. She made no bones about it from the start. Runway would always come first. And her girls. If he was prepared to work around this, then yes, she would favour him with her company, and her body. But she would never become the next Mrs Tomlinson. Despite her signature gracing the marriage certificate in the same way as it graced the bottom of the editor’s column in Runway’s monthly appearance, she would resolutely remain the very singular Miranda Priestly. But it was a challenge he was prepared to take on. She was beautiful. Intelligent. Ambitious. So was he. Ambitious. With a woman like Miranda on his arm, doors would open for him. And who wouldn’t want a body like Miranda’s beneath you at night ?

But the reality ? His marriage to her diminished him. He became the new Mr Priestly. Her intelligence, her wit, was the preserve of others. Even at home, her home – she wasn’t going to move so he’d had no choice but to move into her territory - there was no ease together of an evening. Each night The Book would arrive, and she’d withdraw to her study, leaving him to wait alone in the bed for her exhausted arrival. “Not now, Stephen. I’m tired.”

But she was clever with her crumbs. At first. There’d be just enough to keep him in line. But love becomes bitter, and turns into taking not giving, if it is not fed. And so does the act of love itself. Somewhere along the line he knows he began to use her body to mark his territory, to claim her rather than stir her. To punish her. To brand her with his entitlement. Cold love, ice cold. Until he couldn’t be bothered to do even that, the wretchedness of it too much for either of them to bear, or acknowledge. Separate rooms. Separate lives.

Dating Miranda Priestly is not easy. And he doesn’t want to try anymore.

 

Part 4 : Anonymous

 

Dating Miranda is not easy. Or even possible.

He thinks he has struck gold. Being asked to accompany her to the Gala. He dons his tailored tux. His shoes polished and buffed. His barber has trimmed his silver flecked hair to perfection, the wet shave leaving his jaw soft and smooth. He looks good. As befits Miranda Priestly. She will look exquisite. He will be worthy of the title, companion. All eyes will be on him. He will be the one to whisper amusing comments in her ear, the one to bring a smile to her face. He. Him.

He will be the one to accompany her home. To unzip her evening dress. To drag his fingers across her pale skin. To breach her defences. He. Him.

Only he won’t. He has not appreciated the rules of engagement.

He collects her in his limo, stepping out to open the door for her as she sweeps down the steps of the townhouse, the driver still seated, the engine gently purring. She offers him her cheek and he lightly glances his lips against it. “You look wonderful,” he croons. All evening he stands at her side as court is played to them both, and he delivers his wit and knowledgeable comments to all comers. At dinner he engages with the dowager seated to his left, the gold jewellery dripping from her, a symbol of her rank and beneficence. He turns only occasionally to make some quiet remark to Miranda, a confidence that signifies his privileged status as her escort. After dinner he is the one to steer Miranda across the dancefloor. He’s a good dancer, light on his feet. So is she. They glide seamlessly, his hands spread across the smooth silk of her skin. Eyes alight appreciatively on them. He knows they look a splendid couple.

He has played his role so well.

And now for his reward.

The limo draws up outside the townhouse. He goes to unclip his seatbelt, when Miranda’s hand falls gently on top of his, stilling it.

“Goodnight,” she purrs in soft dismissal.

He can’t help it, “But I thought…a night cap maybe ?”

“Goodnight,” she repeats with quiet finality, an eyebrow rising slightly in reproach at the need for repetition, and she exits the car, and up the steps, towards the front door, not even looking back at him.

He doesn’t wait for her to open the door and safely disappear inside. Cursing under his thwarted breath, he barks “Drive”, and the car speeds him away from the moment of his frustration, of his humiliation.

 

Part 5 : Andrea

 

Dating Miranda is thrilling.

The first thrill is wondering if she will turn up. There is no message on her phone to say that she is delayed, and she has got better at messaging. Andy has made sure of that. They have arranged to meet at the theatre. It is a cold evening. Andy is wrapped up warm, her scarf wound around her neck and tucked into her thick coat, a woolly hat, pulled down over her ears, rendering her almost unrecognisable. Incognito is good. Let’s not alert the paparazzi.

Around her mill other theatre goers, the bustle of arrivals, shouts of greeting, a buzz of anticipation. She leans against a column, standing on a step to get a slightly better view. She will not keep looking at her watch. She will come. Trust.

She recognises the car as it pulls up to the kerb. It is no different from the stream of others dispatching their cargo onto the sidewalk. But she knows it. She feels her heart beat just that bit faster as she watches its passenger emerge. Miranda. The legs, perfect calves, feet nestled in black Louboutins, with their flash of red sole, appear first. And then, with an elegance the magic of which Andy has never been able to explain, Miranda rises from the car, and stands in her full regal magnificence, her faux fur coat wrapped around her. Heads turn, and bodies part to make way, a hush rippling as she passes.

Andy watches her but doesn’t move. She, she is my person. Mine. A warmth surges through her at the thought, and a smile broad and generous breaks across her face. Mine. And then Miranda catches sight of her, and she watches how the tension in Miranda’s face melts away. Only then does Andy move towards her.

“Andréa.”

Nothing more effusive. They do not touch, no hug in greeting, not even a kiss to the cheek. No, that embrace they keep for them alone. But Andy doesn’t mind a jot. Miranda is here. Her Miranda is here.

“You made it !”

“As I said I would. And here I am.”

“Thank you.”

And Miranda smiles, at Andy’s smile. The one that’s given to her and her alone. Andréa is always generous with her smiles, but Miranda has come to recognise the one reserved for her, the one that blossoms from deep within.

There is no time to get a drink from the bar, only to deposit their coats in the cloakroom. They make their way to their seats, ignoring the whispers as the handsome celebrity couple pass through the crowd. Andy is still getting used to this, but Miranda no longer notices, or if she does, she hides it well, placing a hand at base of Andy’s back to guide her through. They sit, and soon the lights are dimming, and the opening bars of the overture start up. Then, then, Andy feels Miranda’s hand find hers, and the smallest of squeezes. Andy takes a deep breath, and holds in the sigh of pleasure that washes up through her and settles at her throat.

Dating Miranda is easy, when Miranda loves you. And Miranda loves her Andréa.