Hugh Grant, I didn’t know that until recently, has a holiday home in Provence. I found out about this holiday home when I was sitting on a friend’s terrace and a drone was circling over our heads. That was due to their neighbor, an actor, they said and mentioned a name in which they had placed an Ü. Ah, another one of those French stars I don’t know, I thought. The drone turned away, a battery like that doesn’t last forever, and we talked about something else. When my son and boyfriend returned from buying eggs the next day, they were both more excited than you’d expect after going to the supermarket. We saw Hugh Grant, said my friend. We saw a donkey, said our son. Hugh Grant said “Bonjour”. The donkey doesn’t. Hugh Grant had a tennis bag with him. The donkey was wearing a headband with colored fringes.
I missed this big moment because I was out for a walk. I overheard three men who were talking very loudly. “I thought he was really good in ‘Pretty Woman’.” “Huh? Wasn’t that that other one in ‘Pretty Woman’?” “But there is this film where he falls in love with Julia Roberts.” “Ah, right, he’s a bookseller there.” “In any case, he looks crazy old now.”
So we sat in the sun, or in the kitchen because it was too hot outside, and thought of dying. Okay, most of them probably only thought about dinner, the eggs should turn into a gratin. Still, if Hugh Grant’s face is, I quote an eyewitness, “completely furrowed,” what does that mean for us? For people who cannot invest the equivalent of a small car in skin care every month? As a woman shortly before my 40th birthday, the only possible role for me in the next Hugh Grant film would be a cranky florist who has already become a plant herself while, regardless of furrow, he is starting a family with a 20-year-old.
On the other hand, what a stress it is to start a family with Hugh Grant now. It’s not as if he specifically asked for it, but if it did, we’d have to smile at tourists every time we walk to the tennis court, who look at us with wide-eyed eyes because something deviates from what we expected at the cinema. And I don’t even play tennis. A flower shop, on the other hand, or maybe a bookstore – how pleasant! And at some point Julia Roberts would come in with her huge smile, I would also bend my wrinkles up, something magical would happen, and I would have an apartment in London. Or was that Hugh Grant again? Or ‘Ügh Grant? It was the seventh week of the school vacation and our brains were sandy. It’s going to be rentrée soon, said the friend whose house we wrenched ourselves in. We were all relieved.