War of the WAGS: what we missed
PUBLISHED: 15:43 15 October 2019 | UPDATED: 15:43 15 October 2019
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Last week everyone was buzzing about the so-called War of the WAGS. With hindsight, however, Liz Nice suspects that there is a lot of sadness underneath all of this, and a lesson for all of us about what to put on social media - and what to keep to ourselves...
There's nothing like a good catfight and last week we were treated to a real humdinger.
My friends in America were beside themselves, asking for updates.
The men on my desk were positively aglow with schadenfreude. As, I admit, was I.
"So," wrote one friend, tongue in cheek, "If anyone ever crosses one of us, I think we should stay cool, plan revenge for five months and then take them down, Coleen-style. This story has brightened my whole day!"
The battle of the WAGS for anyone who missed it involved Wayne Rooney's wife, Coleen, accusing Jamie Vardy's wife, Rebekah, of leaking stories from Rooney's private Instagram account to The Sun.
Rooney planned an elaborate sting - supporters have amusingly dubbed her 'Wagatha Christie' - which involved blocking everyone but Vardy from the account, then planting fake stories on there to see if they made it into the papers. Sure enough, they did.
Vardy, however, is distraught; denying that she would ever do such a thing, pointing out that others have access to her Instagram account and that she scarcely needs the money. Heavily pregnant Vardy was last seen in tears at the airport, clutching her husband's hand, while wearing an unflattering tracksuit.
I'm not sure why such nonsense is so appealing because it really is quite horrid seeing two women, who ought to be supporting each other, at each other's throats.
I suppose it's the fact that these women seem to have it all - wealth beyond our wildest dreams, fabulous holidays, beautiful homes, yet, when it comes to a fall out with a friend, they are no different to the rest of us.
Our prurience is natural and predictable, but paints none of us in a good light and rather masks what is really going on here, a state of affairs which is actually rather sad.
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I think Vardy made a very valid point when she said to Rooney, albeit on social media, "I wish you had called me if you thought this."
There was absolutely no need to make this public and, if Vardy is telling the truth and it wasn't her leaking the stories at all, then she has been through a public and humiliating roasting for nothing.
I wonder, now, if Rooney took advice before she put her accusation out into the social media abyss? Or whether she is so alone that she spent five months planning her revenge in solitude before convincing herself that such an extraordinary airing of dirty linen in public was absolutely the right thing to do.
She must have felt so hurt and lonely to do that - a fact that escaped everyone - including me last week - who genuinely saw her initially as some kind of vengeance queen.
It made me think of some of the mad thoughts I have had whenever I've spent too much time alone - and I felt eternally grateful for the friends and family I am able to share these with, who will laugh me out of them and bring me to my senses.
In 21st-century Britain, anyone who hasn't yet grasped that social media is not the place to have a row, show your deepest insecurities or look for salvation, should take note of what has happened in the War of the Wags and be chastened in the future.
The darkness of our lives is always best dealt with in private, with the support of trusted friends. Give it to the world and you will rarely get back even a smidgeon of the pleasure the world will gleefully take from your pain.
Prince Harry also, I feel, is unwise to take legal action against certain tabloids for alleged phone hacking, however much he, quite understandably, hates seeing the negative press regularly meted out to his wife.
The royal mantra of 'never complain, never explain' has worked well for a reason. It enables the royals to glide above the shabby world of bitchiness and approbation which the tabloids fuel - but which, actually, is tomorrow's cat litter lining and which no one really cares about for more than half a minute.
The mistake is to take gossip seriously. To care what people think - unless it's the people around you who truly know and love you. The rest is just chatter at the bus stop. Of no consequence, unless you pay it any heed.
In my experience, whatever people think of you, they will rarely, if ever, say a word to your face so what does any of the snarking mean anyway?
Coleen, Harry, Rebekah - forget the whole thing, go out and have a beer together and support each other. And afterwards, say not a word about any of it on social media for it is in fact, far away from social media where real life resides.