I was introduced to Bridget Jones, Mark Darcy and Bridget’s underwear when I was a teenager.
When I wasn’t spending my time hurling balls at fellow women or punching out the opponent’s lights in the car park, I found myself being held hostage in a former friend’s bedroom. On this particular day, I happened to glance down at the right time and discovered Helen Fielding’s book on the night stand. Picking it up and ignoring what can only be described as ‘twerking’, I read the bio on the back.
After flipping over the book and staring at the cover, I knew this book would somehow or someway have an impact upon my life as a single woman.
Fast forward 10+ years after being held hostage in Buttsniff’s bedroom, Bridget Jones has had some pretty interesting revelations about my life so far. Bridget was the one to confirm that my first
man-child boyfriend fitted into the category of: alcoholics, workaholics, commitment phobic’s, peeping toms, megalomaniacs, emotional fuckwits or perverts. While people tend to say you find yourself often fantasizing about ex’s and the good things they had going for them, it’s safe to say I didn’t about this particular person as he certainly embodied most all of those things.
Having accepted the fact Dick was really a dick with a dick, I realised while watching Fatal Attraction if you were to take Glenn Close and put her into Bridget Jones’ Diary; women are reminded that we shouldn’t simply sit down, pine and die in the corner over an ex. In more cases than not, we call in the infantry, pair ourselves with weaponry and the full intention of causing damage, we boil the bunny if need be.
All because this f*cker ruined our mood by flaunting the fact ‘his life is so much better now’ like our happiness once upon a time didn’t exist and as for the perfect wedding… boil the bunny, honey.
However in some circumstances, we need to take a step back from going all Glenn Close and resort to being Bridget Jones worthy. Having done so, we acknowledge it takes more strength to walk away than what it does if you were to throw the first punch. Or on the other hand in my family’s case, a good tongue-thrashing is the way to go and get our point across.
But if I were to kick back after a busy day on the ward with a small tub of ice cream and a bottle of white wine, all the while listening and singing drunkenly to All By Myself; my fantasy would involve the forever lost in transit and irresistible bachelor, Mr. Darcy and his brown shoes.
Least to say, the interview Bridget did with Mr. Mysterious otherwise known as Colin Firth, makes my fantasies about Mr. Darcy look and act like they are 100% daydreams. These daydreams of course experienced by every woman I know have allowed us to no longer feel ashamed about dropping our gazes below the belt buckle to check out the merchandise. I know I’m guilty on both accounts of the matter.
As to dropping our gaze below belt buckle, unlike Bridget, I don’t have a girlfriend who rings me while stranded in the bathroom which entails a daily cry session over vile Richard and him being a big knobhead with no knob. Instead I’m more likely to be that girlfriend stuck in the bathroom, crying over a broken heel or the discovery and revelation, I could very much die alone.
Which of course has me reaching for the phone calling Lois.
And we all know how this shall pan out: three and a half weeks after dying, I’m found in my apartment half eaten by an Alsatian while wearing scary stomach-holding-in pants very popular with grannies the world over. On a more brighter note, at least I can’t or won’t die of embarrassment and in a way, it can be said that Bridget Jones has made nearly every woman identify her fear of dying alone.
Post depressive thought of being rescued by a gorgeous firefighter, dead and in my grandma undies; I am the girlfriend nearly everyone wishes they had/didn’t have. The one girlfriend who’d willingly lights up a cigarette even though it clearly says ‘no smoking‘ and when it comes to discussing politics about marriage and sex, I’m more likely to be Shazza. Who famously questioned Bridget as to whether or not Mark had “stuck his f*cking tongue down your f*cking throat?”
Before I’m found next to an empty tub of Ben & Jerry’s with an Alsatian savagely eating my leg off, I suspect Lady Blacksnot III will be the one to inadvertently kill me off. Whether it was on purpose (paid assassin job?) or accident (paid assassin job?), I’m afraid she may stumble upon and discover the secret to gourmet cooking just like Bridget.
Immediately after making this self-discovery of how she can cook, I suspect I’ll be invited over to LBS’ for a ‘celebratory birthday dinner’. On the night of attending this celebratory birthday dinner, I’ll find myself taking a double shot of courage before slipping into a taxi/uber and it’s in this moment as my hand lifts to press the buzzer, I realise there is a 50/50 chance of my dinner going two ways: perfect or I’m dead in three and a half weeks.
Post stint flan making while away in New Zealand and after many years of snapchat video’s consisting of soup boiling over the edge with the caption of #whoops, I suspect I shall resort to being Una. Who’ll walk into the kitchen (or what resembles a kitchen) with a stiff drink containing more alcohol than mixer and ask Pam (Lady Blacksnot III) were the mini gherkins are.
Which aren’t just for myself but to ward myself off from being eaten by her 82 cats. So here’s hoping the mini gherkins are found under the gravy that drastically and immediately needs shiving/whisking and the bonus of cubed beetroot. Or I shall resort to sticking my head in the fridge, saying “where the f*ck is the f*cking tuna?”
Lady Blacksnot III’s idea and my nightmare of a perfectly cooked gourmet meal shall resemble something you’d find in a can of cat food. As for the criminally heinous, while being surrounded by her 82 cats and skeletons of dead lovers; LBS shall walk out and serve our much anticipated, stunning
and heart stopping four course meal consisting of: blue soup, omelette, congealed green gunge and marmalade.
Although my Little Bridget has spent four hours slaving away and upon presenting me with a gourmet feast of blue soup, omelette, congealed green gunge and marmalade; I know I’ll have to resort to lying. This is where I shall find myself raising a glass filled with copious amount of alcohol as I glance into her proud face and tell her, “I have to say, this really is the most incredible shit”.
Guess I better start practicing to make sure it sounds sincere as my intestines are shriveling from imminent death. Now when it comes to not being able to lie to Lady Blacksnot III since she has a built in bullsh*t radar (hello, she is a lawyer!) on the context of her fantastic ‘gourmet’ cooking abilities, I may need go the opposite way.
Where I choose vodka. And Chaka Khan.
Aside from imminent death and blue soup, there has been a few times my single arse has wined and dined with adults at dinner parties. Unfortunately, these parties weren’t spent over a makeshift college student bar as LBS makes a mean pina colada or being pressed up against a wall and told, “I want to be inside of you”. Instead, I was forced to pull out my little black dress, heels and quickly Google business and stock market impacts.
These dinner parties would see me be greeted by a smug couple in matching his and her tweed outfits and than be surrounded by other, equally smug and very married couples. When the gong for dinner was rung, I’d find myself being placed at the end of the table and smack bang in the centre, being asked the dreaded question every single girl hates.
It’s worse than being asked “how’s your love life going” while the man visibly grabs his junk and knows full well, you’re very much 100% single. Instead, I got asked “why aren’t you married, old girl?”
This question was asked by my own Cosmo while he stroked his very pregnant wife’s stomach. As if knowing this question would be asked, everyone placed their cutlery down and turned to stare at me. I realised in that second, I was the circus act for the evening. Secretly I looked around the crowded dinner table whilst expecting a man to come out with a blow horn and proclaim loudly, “Come one, come all. A circus freak you’ll never want to miss!”
“Underneath my clothes, my entire body is covered in scales” I reply, staring down everyone.
Just like that, everyone turned to their plates and picked up their cutlery before continuing on with dinner. Clearly the quote and comment had flown over the top of their heads when I soon returned the favour by asking the couple opposite Woney and Cosmo, “how many marriages are ending in divorce these days?”
Unfortunately as I stood there buttoning my jacket and waiting for my own Darcy to come running down the stairs; I was politely thanked for coming by the hosts. Although the evening appeared to turn out a success (he got a promotion), I was asked to return for more smug married dinner parties and politely declined another ‘mating of lions’ episode.
Some 10+ years after having picked up the book titled Bridget Jones’ Diary, I found myself sitting on my couch with a glass of untouched red wine, wearing my pajama’s and stomach defying grandma undies. It would be as the credits rolled and Daniel Cleaver was speaking of his ‘love’ for Alan, I discovered for the first time what it was truly like to be a single woman.
A twenty something year old woman who listens to SAD FM, easy-listening for the over-thirties. Who could sing drunkenly along to the lines of ‘All By Myself’ before completing the percussion and guitar solo’s perfectly and finishing the drunken evening off with Chaka Khan singing about being every woman. Looking past the Fatal Attraction references and Bridget walking away from Mark Darcy, I realised that Bridget and I were survivors.
Survivors of a four course meal consisting of blue soup, omelette, congealed green gunge and marmalade, smug married couples, mini gherkins and in Bridget’s case, her mother dressing her as a carpet. As for me, I think I was daring with odd socks, a paint covered smock and antenna ears back in the early 90’s.
As much as I bag out about being that ‘weird and crazy spinster’ twenty something year old and LBS’ cooking abilities (that have actually gotten better); to me its about honestly living by being true to who you are as a person.
And to: “love yourself, just as you are”.