Caitlin Moran: ‘When it comes to love, art is a very bad advisor’

Journalist, author and The Times columnist Caitlin Moran opened up to The Big Issue in a Letter to My Younger Self

If you’re looking for guidance when it comes to love, steer clear of Nick Cave and Afghan Whigs.

That’s according to writer and broadcaster Caitlin Moran, this week’s Big Issue cover star and subject of a Letter to My Younger Self.

“When it comes to love, art is a very bad advisor,” Moran said. “In the early Nineties I was listening to Afghan Whigs and Nick Cave who were writing about sex and love being dark and dangerous. They’re not songs about true love, they’re songs about unrequited love or dysfunctional love.

“And so when I met Pete [Paphides, her husband, who she’s been with since she was 19], because he wasn’t a dangerous fucked-up dark boy I just presumed he was a mate. I knew I felt more comfortable around him than anyone else; I didn’t have to pretend to be anyone, I didn’t have to drink or smoke. It took my subconscious about two years to just go, oh for fucksake, and make me have a dream where we were going on an escalator together, and the escalator just went on and on and on and on forever.

The 45-year-old added: “And I turned to him and said, what’s happening here, and he said, it’s OK, we’re just going to stay together till the top. And I woke up and went, I’m in love with him, we’re gonna stay together forever.

“So thanks unconscious for stepping in there, because my conscious mind was too stupid to realise I was in love with him.”

Despite the many lessons she has learned along the way, Moran said she doesn’t think her 16-year-old self would be particularly surprised to see the spectacular life she has led.

“I absolutely have lived the life I presumed I would when I was 16,” she told The Big Issue. “When I read the novels of Jilly Cooper, and she described to me what a middle-class life was like, I was like, I want that. I want to live in a lovely house with a beautiful garden with herbaceous borders, surrounded by delightful spaniels, and have friends over and we’ll get drunk in the garden drinking champagne, smoking fags and gossiping.

“I’ve always had really gigantic dreams so I absolutely imagined a future of film premieres and books being published.”

To read the full interview, pick up a copy of this week’s Big Issue from your local vendor!