Saturday, 27 August 2016

Bridget Jones

I got up at dawn yesterday to pack up our rented holiday cottage in Cornwall before the 10am deadline.

By the time the children emerged, bleary eyed and mussy-haired, from their lairs, I'd got all the suitcases and bags shoehorned into the car, leaving them with a change of clothes for the journey, and just enough space to sit in.

(At least #3 didn't have to perch on top of a case of Beck's Blue like she did on the way down).

"MUMMY!" Wails #1. "I HAVEN'T GOT A BRA!"

At this point I lose it.

"YOU'RE NOT EXACTLY DOLLY PARTON ABOUT TO GO JOGGING!" I yell back at #1.

But she fixes me with that baleful, nearly-teenage glare, until I go and unpack her suitcase from the car, like playing Jenga with surfboards, buckets and sundry kitchen items, and retrieve the crucial piece of clothing.

Eventually, we're driving over the A4 flyover into London, and there it is. A giant poster proclaiming that BRIDGET JONES'S BABY is about to hit our cinema screens.

And I'm hit by a wave of nostalgia.

I loved Bridget. I loved her neuroses, her imperfections and her granny knickers.

I loved her humour and the way she cut through all the 'emotional fuckwittery.' And I loved the way she ate like a normal woman, smoked like a chimney and drank like a trooper.

I loved Bridget because I pretty much was Bridget.

So much so, that when the BBC were looking for people to 'star' in a documentary about the 'real life Bridget Joneses' they called me.

I flatly refused, despite a fair amount of arm twisting, to let a camera crew follow me around town for a week, but I did agree to take part in a small segment of the film - a single's dinner party.

I turned up, along with seven other 'singles' at the appointed Chelsea restaurant, and was told that the film crew would be a while setting up, "so do, please, help yourself to free drinks at the bar."

An hour later, nervous and tanked up with booze on empty stomachs, we were all flying. At least, I was.

In a herculean effort to stand up for the rights of women to be single and happy, I waved my wine glass around and proclaimed "Look. I've got a great job, a really cool car, and I own my own flat. Why on earth would I need a man to make myself complete?" Job done. Or so I thought.

I wasn't expecting anyone to actually see the documentary. My friends were all far too busy working and partying to be indoors watching TV on a Thursday night.

(And this was before the days of Sky Plus and Catch Up TV. You actually had to set a timer on your VHS machine, which was far too much hassle).

So, imagine my horror, when ALL WEEK, on prime time TV, the BBC ran a trailer.

There was only one person in the trailer: Me.

There I am, slightly tipsy, saying "Look. I've got a great job, a really cool car, and I own my own flat." Then the serious, male, voiceover cuts in: "So why can't these women find the one thing they really want: A MAN?"

Everyone saw it. Everyone saw me slapping feminism in the face and pronouncing myself un-whole.

But it didn't stop me loving Bridget.

After all, she gave us all an excuse to drink too much. She made downing gallons of Chardonnay with your friends cool. She made drinking home alone, holding a pity party for one, de rigeur.

So, what's Bridget up to now?

More of the same, apparently. Still drinking. Still going to nightclubs. Still looking for a man to make her emotionally stable.

Well that's all just bollocks.

For a start, I know - better than anyone else - that Bridget could not have drunk that amount of Chardonnay for the last twenty years without suffering some pretty major side effects.

One thing's for sure: she would NOT be the size two that Renne Zellweger portrays her as in the movie.

(I presume that Renee flatly refused to 'bulk up' to a normal size this time around).

And would a drunk, forty-something Bridget still be funny and endearing, or just a bit....sad?

I like to think that lovely Bridget would have learned something over the past two decades.

I think she'd be a brilliant, funny, imperfect mother. I think she'd have a not-always-perfect, but kind and forgiving marriage.

And I think she'd be sober. (Let's face it, moderation would never be Bridget's thing).

Love to all you proper Bridgets out there.

SM x

P.S. That was my 400th blog post. If you'd like to read from post #1 then click here.

25 comments:

  1. I whole heartedly agree. I have gone so far as to turn my nose up at the trailers, but secretly I am hoping she does sober up and would love that to happen in the film. Maybe it does?!? Congratulations on post 400! You rock lady! I celebrate 18 months today! There is a definite link between the two. Big sober hugs LNM x

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    1. Awesome work LNM! I've been thinking about you and your Big Day! My 18 monther is next week :-) So thrilled to have had you along for the ride xxx

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  2. I think you should write the next Bridget Jones sequel. Now I'm off to see if I can find that BBC episode on youtube! ;)

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    1. I've tried that! Sadly I think it's lost in the mists of time....

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  3. Just one question...1 case of Becks Blue for your entire vacation?????? hahaha

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  4. 400 posts SM, that's fantastic xx

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  5. I loved Bridget Jons too. Not too sure about the new movie, but I'll watch it all the same! Congrats on 400 blog posts! A x

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  6. Thanks for continuing to post SM, you have been a tremendous lifeline!

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  7. Ah bridget jones! Or just 'jones'.... Yes she certainly sums up that whole era of how normal and acceptable it was to drink lots of wine at home. The big difference between me and her was that she always wrote down her weight and already the wine witch had added quite a few pounds to me. Even then I knew drinking was making me pile on the weight. I am delighted to say the most of it has gone now 16 months down the line! 400 posts is amazing and thank you so so much for continuing to post. I actually feel sorry for newly sober people out there who don't know about you because I am 100% sure I wouldn't have stayed af without your blog! What a shame if that documentary has gone forever. .... I'd be joining the others looking for it! Bet you checked before you posted though. Big hugs and big thank you xxxxx

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  8. Ah bridget jones! Or just 'jones'.... Yes she certainly sums up that whole era of how normal and acceptable it was to drink lots of wine at home. The big difference between me and her was that she always wrote down her weight and already the wine witch had added quite a few pounds to me. Even then I knew drinking was making me pile on the weight. I am delighted to say the most of it has gone now 16 months down the line! 400 posts is amazing and thank you so so much for continuing to post. I actually feel sorry for newly sober people out there who don't know about you because I am 100% sure I wouldn't have stayed af without your blog! What a shame if that documentary has gone forever. .... I'd be joining the others looking for it! Bet you checked before you posted though. Big hugs and big thank you xxxxx

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  9. I am on Day 4. I was grumpy on Day 2 and my partner said "Just have a drink will you?!" Not much support there! I haven't told him I am doing the 100 Day Challenge (and may never drink again).

    One glass of wine is never enough. I was drinking every night. I don't want my girls to follow my example. Something has to change.

    Only today there is a "funny" Facebook post by "Peter and Jane" about the stresses of being a Mummy and needing wine. 100s of responses all agreeing wine is the way forward. How has this become so normal? Why are we doing it to ourselves?

    Thanks for your blog (I have been reading it for a year). Wish me luck!

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  10. I am on Day 4. I was grumpy on Day 2 and my partner said "Just have a drink will you?!" Not much support there! I haven't told him I am doing the 100 Day Challenge (and may never drink again).

    One glass of wine is never enough. I was drinking every night. I don't want my girls to follow my example. Something has to change.

    Only today there is a "funny" Facebook post by "Peter and Jane" about the stresses of being a Mummy and needing wine. 100s of responses all agreeing wine is the way forward. How has this become so normal? Why are we doing it to ourselves?

    Thanks for your blog (I have been reading it for a year). Wish me luck!

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    1. What a shame that you are not getting support close at hand. But never fear - there is support aplenty for you right here!! Stay near, keep reading (cuz SM has an incredible gift she shares!) and keep posting! Wishing you a good day....followed by another.

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    2. Thank you for your message - it means a lot. Day 5 here I come! BBQ tonight so googling delicious mocktails recipes...

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    3. Good luck GrassisGreener! You're doing an amazing thing! Hope the BBQ went okay. Big hugs xxx

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    4. Thanks SM. BBQ was surprisingly fine! Planned ahead and made an elderflower, ginger and lemon mocktail. Just about to go to bed at the end of Day 6. I can do this!

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  11. Congratulations on 400 blogs SM!! Even throughout my rollercoaster ride of AF and not AF I've always enjoyed reading them and getting inspiration that one day I'd get 'there'. I'm on day 3 today and feeling incredibly positive xx

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    1. You go, girl! We're all with you xxx

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  12. Congratulations on 400 blogs SM... This means I've read 400 blogs- here's to 400 more!

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  13. Read all 400 - in less days than that - as it's great to read from the start - enjoyed them all - thanks for what you do and share with us - Eeyore 8 months happily abs

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  14. 400 posts! You're amazing, and such an inspiration. Annie x

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  15. Keep sharing these glimpses into your awesome life. From Bridget to the bra finder.
    Life is awesome.

    Anne

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  16. 400 blog posts, that is amazing SM. It has been quite an adventure! I remember reading Bridget Jones Diary back in the day, seeing the film with girlfriends and completely relating to her. To carry in the same way would just make her a sad old lush now.

    Good luck with the back to school preparation. I am trying to bribe/threaten/cajole #2 son to get a haircut. We are making progress, he did shower this morning small mercies and all that.

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