My brother broke the news to me when I mentioned a particular space movie, outside my usual genre of choice.
“You’ve heard the latest?” he asked.
“No,” I said, ignorant of the bombshell that was coming.
And cue detonation.
Until last weekend, there were three certainties in life: death, taxes and George Clooney staying a bachelor — at least until he met me.
I have bided my time since the last millennium, confident our moment would come, while my friends photoshopped me into pictures with him. One even made a Christmas bauble out of us. We looked so happy together.
Admittedly, there were impediments to overcome. The fact that while an acceptable four years his junior, I was still about 15 years outside his target demographic. The logistics of splitting our time between Sydney, Lake Como and various film festivals. The prospect of competing with Angelina Jolie on the red carpet. Or spending any time at all with the Jolie-Pitt kids.
And yes, there were a few other women with the same idea. OK, about 50 million. Yes, George had sampled a few of them. OK, a conga line of cocktail waitresses, models, TV presenters and wrestlers. But, as you can see, he never looked happy with any of them, poor love. Clearly he was waiting for the real thing to came along.
As I settled into life as Mrs-Clooney-in-waiting, my daughter pointed out a flaw in my plan.
“You haven’t even met him,” she said. Having George as a stepdad meant giving up her spot in the front seat of the car, so she was clutching at any straw available.
Then I did meet him. Sort of. It was an intimate gathering of about 2,000 people at that most romantic of venues, the Darling Harbour Convention Centre.
George was there to talk about the power of collaboration. It was obvious from the way the predominantly female audience was dressed — in clingy frocks and death defying heels, freshly plucked, moisturised, blow-dried and scented — that they too had collaboration in mind.
From my seat in the middle of the auditorium, I projected George-luring vibes not quite strong enough to penetrate the wall of perfume and hairspray.
When the convenor permitted photos, prompting a clattering stampede, I remained seated, not wanting to trivialise our budding relationship in this way.
So no meeting of eyes across a crowded room that day but I went home pleased with the progress we had made.
Now he’s reportedly engaged to a young, beautiful, whip smart, linguistically adept human rights lawyer, who snuck in under his arm seven months ago.
She’s carting a huge rock on the relevant finger. Her law firm has issued a statement. George’s parents have expressed their delight.
But there’s been no word from George himself. And it’s been three days now. So I worry for Amal Alamuddin that she may have got a bit ahead of herself here.
Poor girl. Such an embarrassment for her. But at least my plan remains on track.