Bridget joness diary, p.3
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       Bridget Jones's Diary, p.3
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         Part #1 of Bridget Jones series by Helen Fielding

  Slunk into the office crippled with embarrassment about the message. I had resolved totally to detach myself from Daniel but then he appeared looking unnervingly sexy and started making everyone laugh so that I went all to pieces.

  Suddenly, Message Pending flashed up on the top of my computer screen.

  Message Jones

  Thanks for your phone call.

  Cleave.

  My heart sank. That phone call was suggesting a date. Who replies by saying 'thanks' and leaves it at that unless they but after a little thought, I sent back:

  Message Cleave

  Please shut up. I am very busy and

  important.

  Jones.

  And after a few minutes more, he replied.

  Message Jones

  Sorry to interrupt, Jones, pressure must be hellish. Over and out.

  PS. I like your tits in that top.

  Cleave

  . . . And we were off. Frantic messaging continued all week, culminating in him suggesting a date for Sunday night and me dizzyingly, euphorically, accepting. Sometimes I look around the office as we all tap away and wonder if anyone is doing any work at all.

  (Is it just me or is Sunday a bizarre night for a first date? All wrong, like Saturday morning or Monday at 2 p.m.)

  Sunday 15 January

  9st (excellent), alcohol units 0, cigarettes 29 (v.v. bad, esp. in 2 hours), caloriess 3879 (repulsive), negative thoughts 942 (approx. based on av. per minute), minutes spent counting negative thoughts 127 (approx.).

  6 p.m. Completely exhausted by entire day of date-preparation. Being a woman is worse than being a farmer there is so much harvesting and crop spraying to be done: legs to be waxed, underarms shaved, eyebrows plucked, feet pumiced, skin exfoliated and moisturized, spots cleansed, roots dyed, eyelashes tinted, nails filed, cellulite massaged, stomach muscles exercised. The whole performance is so highly tuned you only need to neglect it for a few days for the whole thing to go to seed. Sometimes I wonder what I would be like if left to revert to nature – with a full beard and handlebar moustache on each shin, Dennis Healey eyebrows, face a graveyard of dead skin cells, spots erupting, long curly fingernails like Struwelpeter, blind as bat and stupid runt of species as no contact lenses, flabby body flobbering around. Ugh, ugh. Is it any wonder girls have no confidence?

  7 p.m. Cannot believe this has happened. On the way to the bathroom, to complete final farming touches, I noticed the answerphone light was flashing: Daniel.

  'Look, Jones. I'm really sorry. I think I'm going to have give tonight a miss. I've got a presentation at ten in the morning and a pile of forty-five spreadsheets to get through,'

  Cannot believe it. Am stood up. Entire waste of whole day's bloody effort and hydroelectric body-generated power. However, one must not live one's life through men but must be complete in oneself as a woman of substance.

  9 p.m. Still, he is in top-level job. Maybe be didn't want to ruin first date with underlying work-panic.

  11 p.m. Humph. He might have bloody well rung again, though. Is probably out with someone thinner.

  5 a.m. What s wrong with me? I'm completely alone. Hate Daniel Cleaver. Am going to have nothing more to do with him. Am going to get weighed.

  Monday 16 January

  9 st 2 (from where? why? why?), alcohol units 0, cigarettes 20, calories 1500, positive thoughts 0.

  10.36 a.m. Office. Daniel is still locked in his meeting. Maybe it was a genuine excuse.

  1 p.m. Just saw Daniel leaving for lunch. He has not messaged me or anything. V. depressed. Going shopping.

  11.50 p.m. Just had dinner with Tom in Harvey Nichols Fifth Floor, who was obsessing about a pretentious-sounding 'freelance film maker' called Jerome. Moaned to him about Daniel, who was in meetings all afternoon and only managed to say, 'Hi, Jones, how's the skirt?' at 4.30. Tom said not to be paranoid, give it time, but I could tell he was not concentrating and only wanted to talk about Jerome as suffused with sex-lust.

  Tuesday 24 January

  Heaven-sent day. At 5.30, like a gift from God, Daniel appeared, sat himself on the edge of my desk, with his back to Perpetua, took out his diary and murmured, 'How are you fixed for Friday?'

  Yessssssi Yessssss!

  Friday 27 January

  9st 3 (but stuffed with Genoan food), alcohol units 8, cigarettes 400 (feels like), calories 875.

  Huh. Had dream date at an intime little Genoan restaurant near Daniel's flat.

  'Um . . . right. I'll get a taxi,' I blurted awkwardly as we stood in the street afterwards. Then he lightly brushed a hair from my forehead, took my cheek in his hand and kissed me, urgently, desperately. After a while he held me hard against him and whispered throatily, 'I don't think you'll be needing that taxi, Jones.'

  The second we were inside his flat we upon each other like beasts: shoes, jackets, strewn in a trail across the room.

  'I don't think this skirt's looking at all well,' he murmured. 'I think it should lie down on the floor.' As he started to undo the zip he whispered, 'This is just a bit of fun, OK? I don't think we should start getting involved.' Then, caveat in place, he carried on with the zip. Had it not been for Sharon and the fuckwittage and the fact I'd just drunk the best part of a bottle of wine, I think I would have sunk powerless into his arms. As it was, I leapt to my feet, pulling up my skirt.

  'That is just such crap,' I slurred. 'How dare you be so fraudulently flirtatious, cowardly and dysfunctional? I am not interested in emotional fuckwittage. Goodbye.'

  It was great. You should have seen his face. But no I am home I am sunk into gloom. I may have been right, but my reward, I know, will be to end up all alone, half-eaten by an Alsatian.

  FEBRUARY. Valentine's Day Massacre

  Wednesday 1 February

  9 st, alcohol units 9, cigarettes 28 (but will soon give up for Lent so might as well smoke self into disgusted smoking frenzy), calories 3826.

  Spent the weekend struggling to remain disdainfully buoyant after the Daniel fuckwittage debacle. I kept saying the words, 'Self-respect' and 'Huh' over and over till I was dizzy, trying to barrage out, 'But I lurrrve him.' Smoking was v. bad. Apparently there is a Martin Amis character who is so crazily addicted that he starts wanting a cigarette even when he's smoking one. That's me. It was good ringing up Sharon to boast about being Mrs Iron Knickers but when I rang Tom he saw straight through it and said, 'Oh, my poor darling,' which made me go silent trying not to burst into self-pitying tears.

  'You watch,' warned Tom. 'He'll be gagging for it now. Gagging.'

  'No, he won't,' I said sadly. 'I've blown it.'

  On Sunday went for huge, lard-smeared lunch at my parents'. Mother is bright orange and more opinionated than ever having just returned from week in Albufeira with Una Alconbury and Nigel Coles' wife, Audrey.

  Mum had been to church and suddenly realized in a St Paul-on-road-to-Damascus-type blinding flash that the vicar is gay.

  'It's just laziness darling,' was her view on the whole homosexuality issue. 'They simply can't be bothered to relate to the opposite sex. Look at your Tom. I really think if that boy had anything about him he'd be going out with you properly instead of all this ridiculous, "friends" nonsense.

  'Mother,' I said. 'Tom has known he was a homosexual since he was ten.'

  'Oh, darling! Honestly' You know how people get these silly ideas. You can always talk them out of it.'

  'Does that mean if I talked to you really persuasively you'd leave Dad and start an affair with Auntie Audrey?'

  'Now you're just being silly, darling,' she said.

  'Exactly,' Dad joined in. 'Auntie Audrey looks like a kettle.'

  'Oh, for heaven's sake, John,' Mum snapped, which struck me as odd as she doesn't usually snap at Dad.

  My dad, somewhat bizarrely, insisted on giving my car a full service before I left, even though I assured him there was nothing wrong with it. I rather showed myself up by not remembering how to open the bonnet.

  'Have you not
iced anything odd about your mother?' he said in a stiff, embarrassed way as he fiddled around with the oil stick, wiping it with rags and plunging it back in a not unworrying manner, if one were a Freudian. Which I am not.

  'You mean apart from being bright orange?' I said.

  'Well yes, and . . . well, you know, the usual, er qualities.'

  'She did seem unusually aerated about homosexuality.'

  Oh no, that was just the Vicar's new vestments which set her off this morning. They were a little on the frou-frou side, to tell the truth. He's just come back from a trip to Rome with the Abbot of Dumfries. Dressed from head to toe in rose pink. No, I mean did you notice anything different from usual about Mummy?'

  I racked my brains. 'I can't say I did, to be honest, other than seeming very sort of blooming and confident.'

  'Hmmm,' he said. 'Anyway. Best get off before it gets dark. Send my love to Jude. How's she doing?'

  Then he hit the bonnet in an off-you-go sort of way but so hard that I had a feeling he might have broken his hand.

  Thought all would be resolved with Daniel on Monday but he wasn't there. Nor yesterday. Work has become like going to a party in order to get off with someone and finding they haven't turned up. Worried about own ambition, career prospects and moral seriousness as seem to reduce everything to level of scout disco. Eventually managed to worm out of Perpetua that Daniel has gone to New York. He will clearly by now have got off with thin American cool person called Winona who puts out, carries a gun and is everything I am not.

  On top of everything else, must go to Smug Married dinner party at Magda and Jeremy's tonight. Such occasions always reduce my ego to size of snail, which is not to say am not grateful to be asked. I love Magda and Jeremy. Sometimes I stay at their house, admiring the crisp sheets and many storage jars full of different kinds of pasta, imagining that they are my parents. But when they are together with their married friends I feel as if I have turned into Miss Havisham.

  11.45 p.m. Oh God. It was me, four married couples and Jeremy's brother (forget it, red braces and face. Calls girls 'fillies').

  'So, bellowed Cosmo, pouring me a drink. 'How's your love-life?'

  Oh no. Why do they do this? Why? Maybe the Smug Marrieds only mix with other Smug Marrieds and don't known how to relate to individuals any more. Maybe they really do want to patronize us and make us feel like failed human beings. Or maybe they are in such a sexual rut they're thinking, 'There's a whole other world out there,' and hoping for vicarious thrills by getting us to tell them the roller-coaster details of our sex lives.

  'Yes, why aren't you married yet, Bridget?' sneered Woney (babytalk for Fiona, married to Jeremy's friend Cosmo) with a thin veneer of concern whilst stroking her pregnant stomach.

  Because I don't want to end up like you, you fat, boring, Sloaney milch cow, was what I should have said, or, Becauseif I had to cook Cosmo's dinner then get into the same bed ashim just once, let alone every night, I'd tear off myheadand eat it, or, Because actually, Woney, underneath my clothes, my entire body is covered in scales. But I didn't because, ironically enough, I didn't want to hurt her feelings. So I merely simpered apologetically, at which point someone called Alex piped up, 'Well, you know, once you get past a certain age . . . '

  'Exactly . . . All the decent chaps have been snapped up,' said Cosmo, slapping his fat stomach and smirking so that his jowls wobbled.

  At dinner Magda had placed me, in an incestuous-sex-sandwich sort of way, between Cosmo and Jeremy's crashing bore of a brother. 'You really ought to hurry up and get sprogged up, you know, old girl,' said Cosmo, pouring a quarter of a pint of '82 Pauillac straight down his throat. 'Time's running out.'

  By this time I'd had a good half-pint of '82 Pauillac myself. 'Is it one in three marriages that end in divorce now or one in two?' I slurred with a pointless attempt at sarcasm.

  'Seriously, old girl,' he said, ignoring me. 'Office is full of them, single girls over thirty. Fine physical specimens. Can't get a chap.'

  'That's not a problem I have, actually,' I breathed, waving my fag in the air.

  'Ooh. Tell us more,' said Woney.

  So who is it, then?' said Cosmo.

  'Getting a bit of a shag, old girl?' said Jeremy. All eyes turned to me, beadily. Mouths open, slavering.

  'It's none of your business,' I said hoity-toitily.

  'So she hasn't got a man!' crowed Cosmo.

  'Oh my Cod, it's eleven o'clock,' shrieked Woney. 'The babysitter!' and they all leapt to their feet and started getting ready to go home.

  'God, sorry about that lot. Will you be OK, hon?' whispered Magda, who knew how I was feeling.

  'Wanta lift or anything?' said Jeremy's brother, following it up with a belch,

  'Actually, I'm going on to a nightclub. I trilled, hurrying out into the street. 'Thanks for a super evening!' Then I got into a taxi and burst into tears.

  Midnight. Har har. Just called Sharon.

  'You should have said "I'm not married because I'm a Singleton, you smug, prematurely ageing, narrow-minded morons,"' Shazzer ranted. "'And because there's more than one bloody way to live: one in four households are single, most of the royal family are single, the nation's young men have been proved by surveys to be completely unmarriageable, and as a result there's a whole generation of single girls like me with their own incomes and homes who have lots of fun and don't need to wash anyone else's socks. We'd be as happy as sandboys if people like you didn't conspire to make us feel stupid just because you're jealous."'

  'Singletons!' I shouted happily. 'Hurrah for the Singletons!'

  Sunday 5 February

  Still no word from Daniel. Cannot face thought of entire Sunday stretching ahead with everyone else in the world except me in bed with someone giggling and having sex. Worst of it is, only a week and a bit to go till impending Valentine's Day humiliation. No way will I get any cards. Toy with idea of flirting energetically with anyone I think might be induced to send me one, but dismiss as immoral. Will just have to take total indignity on the chin.

  Hmm. I know. Think I'll go and see Mum and Dad again as am worried about Dad. Then will feel like caring angel or saint.

  2 p.m. The last remaining tiny bathmat of security has been pulled from under my feet. Magnanimous offer to pay caring surprise visit met by odd-sounding Dad on end of phone.

  'Er . . . I'm not sure, dear. Could you hang on?'

  I reeled. Part of the arrogance of youth (well, I say 'youth') is the assumption that your parents will drop whatever they are doing and welcome you with open arms the second you decide to turn up. He was back. 'Bridget, look, your mother and I are having some problems. Can we ring you later in the week?'

  Problems? What problems? I tried to get Dad to explain but got nowhere. What is going on? Is the whole world doomed to emotional trauma? Poor Dad. Am I to be the tragic victim of a broken home now, on top of everything else?

  Monday 6 February

  8st 12 (heavy internal weight completely vanished – mystery), alcohol units I (v.g.), cigarettes 9 (v.g.), calories 1800 (g.).

  Daniel will be back in the office today. I shall be poised and cool and remember that I am a woman of substance and do not need men in order to be complete, especially not him, Am not going to message him or indeed take any notice of him whatsoever.

  9.30 a.m. Humph. Daniel does not seem to be here yet.

  9.35 a.m. Still no sign of Daniel.

  9.36 a.m. Oh God, oh God. Maybe he's fallen in love in New York and stayed there.

  9.47 a.m. Or gone to Las Vegas and got married.

  9.50 a.m. Hmmm. think will go inspect make-up in case he does come in.

  10.05 a.m. Heart gave great lurch when got back from loos and saw Daniel standing with Simon from Marketing at the photocopier. The last time I saw him he was lying on his sofa looking completely nonplussed while I fastened my skirt and ranted about fuckwittage. Now he was looking all sort of 'I've been away' – fresh faced and healthy-looking. As I passed he lo
oked pointedly at my skirt and gave me a huge grin.

  10.30 a.m. Message Pending flashed up on screen. Pressed RMS to pick up message.

  Message Jones

  Frigid cow.

  Cleave.

  I laughed. I couldn't help myself. When I looked across to his little glass office he was smiling at me in a relieved and fond sort of way. Anyway, am not going to message him back.

  10.35 a.m. Seems rude not to reply, though.

  10.45 a.m. God, I'm bored.

  10.47 a.m. I'll just send him a tiny friendly message, nothing flirtatious, just to restore good relations.

  11.00 a.m. Tee hee. Just logged on as Perpetua to give Daniel a fright.

  Message Cleave

  It is hard enough as it is, trying to meet

  your targets without people wasting my

  team's time with non-essential messages.

  Perpetua

  P.S. Bridget's skirt is not feeling at all

  well and have sent it home.

  10 p.m. Daniel and I messaged each other all day. But there is no way I am going to sleep with him.

  Rang Mum and Dad again tonight but no one answered. V. weird.

  Thursday 9 February

  9st 2 (extra fat presumably caused by winter whale blubber), alcohol units 4, cigarettes 12 (v.g.), calories 2845 (v. cold).

 
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