Sarah Caden: Coleen Rooney sticks the boot in on bad-boy hubby Wayne
Coleen Rooney knows all about humiliation, so she's best positioned to make Wayne feel it, writes Sarah Caden
It is said that revenge is a dish best served cold. Coleen Rooney, however, seems to prefer dishing it up hot.
Last week, as her husband Wayne celebrated his birthday and did his community service, Coleen was basking in the Barbados sun with their three sons, apparently without a care in the world - and also, as it was noted, without her wedding ring... but with a monogrammed Louis Vuitton bag bearing her maiden-name initials.
Wayne, back home, had park-bench painting duties and a pair of shiny new birthday runners. Which he may have had to buy for himself.
He also had, publicly, a nice birthday message from his family. Via Instagram. We can't say if he also had a private message from his wife and sons, but the Instagram was the public one. "We love you so much Dad," the message went. "Thank you for all that you do for us."
Talk about carefully composed. On the surface, there is plain and simple gratitude. After all, the boys wouldn't be enjoying their lovely sun holiday if Dad wasn't earning a reported £150,000 per week.
Mummy, it should be said, has had a lot of holidays this year, too, with and without the boys, and the message conveys that there's no taking for granted of this. However, it's hardly a loving message. It's more "we know that you work hard for us, and the boys love you and all, but that's about all the good I can say at the moment".
Coleen might be the one on holiday, but she's also the one on the moral high ground. She can afford to lord it a bit over Wayne, because by god, he's on the back foot.
Through this terse birthday greeting, Coleen is sending a clear message, not just to her doghouse husband, but to the world at large. Coleen is handling her humiliation quietly, but in an utter devastating manner all the same. You couldn't fault her on the dignity front, but you wouldn't like to be the one on the wrong side of her, either.
Of course, it should be remembered that the humiliation occurred when Coleen was also on holiday. Last month, Coleen, who is pregnant with their fourth child, was on holiday in Mallorca when Wayne was arrested at 2am for drink-driving. He was driving the VW Beetle of his passenger, Laura Simpson, after what was described as an "all-day, all-night" drinking session.
There was dancing on tables, apparently, there was singing along to Oasis songs. He was, perhaps, cutting loose while the missus and kids were out foreign and, according to Laura Simpson, there was kissing and cuddling before he got behind the wheel of her car.
After Rooney's arrest, Simpson wasted no time in publicly stating that she would have "shagged" him if they hadn't been stopped by the police. Nice. But not the same as actually having done it, nor to be taken as an indication of what Rooney intended. She's only speaking for herself and it's hypothetical.
It doesn't make Coleen's humiliation any less acute, though.
Apparently, when she returned from Mallorca, she is reported to have screamed at her husband: "The world is laughing at me because of you. How could you do this to me while I'm pregnant? How could you be so stupid?"
There's so much in that alleged confrontation. Her distress at the public nature of it. Her confusion at how her pregnancy sends out one message (we're a happy family), while his high jinks send another (I'm trapped and frustrated).
Also, it's not just that he was in a car at 2am with a girl. He was drunk. It's irresponsible and dangerous and he has three, soon to be four, kids.
"How could you be so stupid?" also speaks of what he jeopardised. Everything, basically. Her. The boys. His job. His reputation.
Coleen and Wayne Rooney have been together since they were 16. They've come from getting-by working-class families to a place of great, great wealth. Wayne's talent has got them there, but the solid foundation offered by Coleen has no doubt helped him to keep focus, to stay on track.
He is very close to her family - even attending a match with her father in recent weeks - and she has stuck with him through scandals with prostitutes in the past.
Sure, Coleen gets a good life as result, but no amount of holidays is quite worth seeing Laura Simpson on the telly talking about how utterly daft your husband was with her when he was locked.
Apparently, as Coleen and Wayne Rooney thrashed out the drink-driving incident, he said he'd give up the booze if she took fewer holidays. Her eye, he felt, was off the ball and she was giving less attention to him and to ordinary family life than she was to topping up her tan and dropping into Sandy Lane.
We have no clue of Wayne's situation with alcohol, but Coleen's still taking holidays.
In mid-September, Wayne was banned for driving for two years, and given 120 hours of community service. He was also fined two weeks' wages by his club, Everton. He and Coleen seem to be making a go of it - though much has been made of the lack of any rings on her wedding finger in recent weeks.
Remember, though, that she is pregnant and fingers can swell and rings can become uncomfortable. Not that Coleen has said any such thing. What she did correct last week, however, was the fuss over her maiden-name monogram on the bag she took to Barbados. Her mother's bag, she pointed out on social media, and her mother's initials. Coleen didn't need to go quite that far to make a point about her position.
Last week, Coleen Rooney was snapped every day on the beach in Barbados, looking tanned and relaxed. Meanwhile, back home, Wayne spent his 32nd birthday alone. He had his super-white new runners, but they only added to the pitiful cut of him.
Coleen's Instagram message to him had gratitude aplenty, but there was no mistaking a warning in there, too. Yeah, he does a lot for them, but without them, all he has is the empty pleasure of new runners.