It ' s uncanny! Within six months of breaking up with her, Peg Silver ' s ex-lovers always meet and marry the women of their dreams. Even worse than being the eternal bridesmaid, she ' s the last girlfriend, the one who awakens in a guy the knowledge of what he ' s always wanted in a relationship ' and it ' s never with Peg. Obviously, a major lifestyle change is seriously called for, which is why the distraught interior landscape designer says good-bye to Manhattan and late-night lattes with pal Nina, and hello to a farmhouse on ten acres in tiny, backwater Manshire, Vermont, hoping to meet the ultimate, all-organic country man (without too much facial hair) to keep her warm in those frosty New England winters.
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January 03, 2005
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Excerpt from The Girlfriend Curse by Valerie Frankel
Peg Silver, thirty-two, could make a man come, but she couldn't make him stay. She'd just spent two hours bemoaning this problem to her friend Nina at dinner, parsing to the syllable what she'd like to say to her most recent ex-boyfriend, if such an unlikely opportunity presented itself.
The night's chosen scenario: Bumping Into Each Other by Chance. Peg would be in a glorious gown, on her way to the Oscars, a nominee for Best Set Design in a Major Motion Picture. As she stepped out of her limousine onto the red carpet, she'd spot Paul in the crowd, looking like he'd just been attacked by dogs. He'd congratulate her, beg her to take him back. She'd be gracious. Briefly pitying. But she had to rush, since her date, Johnny Depp, was waiting, and he was a very possessive man. Besides which, having just won the lottery ("The same day I got the nomination!"), she was flying to the Bahamas for a year as soon as the awards ceremony was over.
Peg smiled to herself as she unlocked her apartment door. She knew, rationally, that spending hours refining tone and nuance in a conversation that would never take place was a waste of time. But, she thought, a girl can dream, can't she Peg dropped her purse on her bed. The phone rang. She grabbed the receiver.
She recognized his voice instantly. It was Paul. He'd Called Out of the Blue. Panicking, Peg clicked the off button, giving herself three seconds to scramble for a good opening line before he called back. Something breezy. Casual. All she could come up with was, "You bastard, you ruined my life."
The first time in three months she'd mindlessly answered the phone, the one time the ring hadn't unleashed the flood of Pavlovian pretraumatic stress syndrome symptoms ' tight chest, shaky hands, constricted breathing, skin flush to a capillary-popping red. She felt eerily calm, actually, now that the wait was over. The phone rang again. She took a deep breath.
"Hello " she said, exhaling sexily.
"Peg, it's Paul. Something's wrong with your phone. I got cut off. And you sound nasal."
"Paul! What a surprise. How long has it been A month " she asked.
"Over three, actually," he said.