Emma is currently...

  • Addicted to: Fruit and nut mix
  • Listening to: Band of Joy - Robert Plant
  • Reading: Naples '44 - Norman Lewis

Friday, 16 July 2010

This is no Bridget Jones... well I kind of wish it was.

I have a guilty secret. Yes, I love my fancy literature, but whenever I'm feeling a bit depressed about my life I read Bridget Jones' Diary. Sometimes a trashy read is exactly what you need to cheer yourself up. I think I feel an affinity with the novel because every time I read it, I am struck by how disturbingly similar my life is to Bridget's. Here are the ways in which we are similar:

  1. She is very, very middle-class. When she talks about her "hideous middle-class singleton guilt experience" in the supermarket when she goes shopping for a dinner party, it reminds me of the time I almost had a break-down in Asda because everyone else was buying Asda Smartprice Bacon Flavour Cardboard Pieces and Asda Frozen Deep-Fried Sheep Intestine Burgers and I was buying asparagus tips and wensleydale with cranberries. I believe I wrote about that particular traumatic experience on this blog, actually.
  2. She works in publishing. All right, I don't work in publishing yet, but according to my incredibly sketchy life plan - which takes up half a page of my pocket book and was written in a sleep-induced haze when I woke up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat thinking GAAHWHATAMIGONNADOWITHMYLIFE - that's where I'll be in a couple of years time. Bad: she sees her job as a 'dead-end' job and hates it. Good: she has a degree in English from Bangor and a poor grasp of spelling/grammar, and yet still managed to get into the industry. This bodes well for me.
  3. She is terrified of growing old alone and then being discovered in her apartment weeks after her death being eaten by alsations. Admittedly she is thirty and has more reason to be worried about not finding someone than I do, as I am still twenty and young and sprightly. However, I really can't see myself ever finding anyone who meets my impossibly high standards. At least I have managed to co-erce one of my guy friends into the old 'if neither of us is married by forty...' pact. Well, when I say co-erce, I have decided it is going to happen, but I haven't exactly told him this yet. I'm sure he won't mind.
  4. She is an obsessive calorie-counter. I'm not proud of this. Before uni I ate as much as I liked and never worried about it, and because I was still growing I never got fat. When I first came to uni I decided that no-one liked me, I didn't fit in anywhere, and I wasn't clever enough to be there. I think everyone has these worries at some point, but everyone responds to them differently; I responded by eating. I remember one shameful day when I ate an entire Christmas log for lunch, and then sat there on the verge of throwing up thinking this has got to stop. So then I went the opposite way. Once you start counting calories you can never stop, because even if you stop caring about your weight (which I have) you know how many calories are in everything. Please, never start doing it. Anyway, there are some days when Bridget eats about 5,000 calories... that always makes me feel better about myself.
  5. She is socially awkward and always makes an idiot of herself. And to emphasize this point, I just wrote 'myself' instead of 'herself'. I always say weird things to fill silences, and am constantly tripping over in public, spilling things all over myself, walking into trees and falling down stairs. Honestly, what am I like? Guffaw.
There are differences between us. She likes smoking and drinking, both of which I hate, and she watches trashy TV instead of reading books. However, most importantly, she is a fictional character and I am not (I hope). My life would make an awful novel or movie, because nothing interesting ever happens to me. Reading Bridget Jones cheers me up because even though she fails almost all of her New Year resolutions she's still happy, and she gets her Mr Darcy in the end. It's unashamed wish-fulfilment, of course, and promotes the idea that you need to be in a relationship to be happy. But I'm not going to go on about that, because everyone knows it, and no one really cares. Sometimes, a bit of escapism is nice.

And now I've had my little jaunt to the land of escapism, I'll return to the gritty, depressing WWII literature I'm reading for next year. Which I love just as much.

(Oh, and mouse update: I forgot to take a photo, but I set her free under the shed because I think that's where the mice live. She was dragging one of her legs and kept falling over, but hopefully she made it home. I couldn't have kept her forever...)

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