Bridget Jones's Diary

What we need is women in their fifties who've had affairs with young men - and chucked them
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Indy Lifestyle Online
Monday 3 March

9st 1; alcohol units 4(vg); cigarettes 32 (might as well, now); calories 300 (off food).

9.30am V Interested in idea of Chloe Sevigny or whatever she is called, star of youth cult movie and cool street style, being more important than beauty 'n' eyes of youth. Wonder if it is possible that it could become unfashionable to be really beautiful. Would be marvellous if society allowed sexual attractiveness in its images to be based on more than just being young and pretty, eg being cool, blurry good fun or nice. Think it is definitely moving that way, eg Ralph Fiennes (33) and Francesca Annis (52). Not that she is not beautiful, but certainly I consider I detect a shift in public perceptions. Instead of people saying, "How freaky at her age", there is more of a sense that this is the way things ought to be, ie it is equality now, and why should women have to wander round with this horrible feeling that they get past it when a man doesn't? It is one of the last vestiges of us being an oppressed ... Oh my God.

10.30am Was Richard bloody Finch shouting at me. "Bridget," he was going. "Hello? Hello? It's the morning bloody meeting. I'm not paying you to sit staring into space; you're supposed to be coming up with ideas." Now since I have read Emotional Intelligence I have realised that as long as you are calm you can think very quickly, so remaining calm I very quickly said, "Actually I was thinking up an idea."

"Excuse me while I lie down," said Richard Finch. "And what might that have been?"

"Francesca Annis and Ralph Fiennes," I said, smugly.

There were titters around the table.

"Yes, if you hadn't been thinking about Mr Darcy, the Agnes B sale or whatever meagre items of useless decor furnish your brain in a style which gives new meaning to the term Minimalism, you might have noticed that we have been talking about Francesca Annis and Ralph Fiennes for 45 minutes."

"If you'll let me finish," I said, airily, in a new spirit of Emotional Intelligence and optimistic thinking. "What we really need is to get some women, women in their fifties, in the studio who have had affairs with younger men - and then chucked them."

There was silence.

"Er, why?" said Richard Finch, eventually.

"Because - it will only be true equality when women are not portrayed as being sobbingly grateful for having attractive young men as lovers but can take them or leave them like anyone else, on their own merits."

Have been given item to do instead on women who collect different kinds of moss.

5pm Humph. Mosswoman has been dropped. Oooh. Goody. Telephone.

"Oh hello darling, guess what?" My mother.

What? I muttered sulkily.

"Una and I are going to Kenya."

My mind started to whiz round and round in a circular motion, frantically searching through possible explanations like a fruit machine before it comes to a standstill: Mother pregnant? Mother lesbian? Mother got Out of Africa out again on video? Mother suddenly remembered about Born Free and decided to keep lions?

"Yes, darling. We're going to go on safari and meet the Masai tribesmen, then stay in a beach hotel!"

The fruit machine clunked to a halt with horrible certainty. Mother about to attempt to participate in lithe-young-tribesmen-with-elderly-German- women Kenyan sex tourism.

"Mother," I said, with a sinking feeling. "Is this anything to do with Francesca Annis and Ralph Fiennes?"

"Oh don't be silly, darling!" she gabbled guiltily. "Anyway, I don't know what all the fuss is about! She's only 52! and there's only 20 years between them, for heaven's sakes. Anyway, must whiz, darling. How are you? byee!"

Am going to meet Mark Darcy tonight to accept marriage. Is important to have at least one responsible adult in the family, even if will have to spend rest of life smoking out of window.

11.30pm When walked into pub and saw Mark Darcy sitting in shadows, was suddenly reminded of why I fancied him so much. He had that sort of worried, slightly morose frown on his face, and his hair all tousled and shirt undone under his suit so could see the start of his hairy chest. Fwaw. Love it when you are going out with someone and they suddenly seem like a really attractive stranger and all you want to do is rush home then shag them senseless as if you have only just met. (Not that that is what normally do with people have only just met, of course.)

I sat down beside him breathing unsteadily, feeling as if was in middle of electrical charge field, while he just stared moodily into his glass.

Eventually he muttered, "I'm going to Japan," and then frowned.

Could not understand what was going on. Next thing Tom would ring saying he was moving to Russia and Jude and Shazzer would suddenly announce they had bought a sheep farm in New Zealand.

"Why?" I whispered weakly, vision turning blotchy.

"I've been offered a job there, that's pretty well paid," he said, almost curtly, hardly bothering to move his lips. "With a multinational."

"But what about ..."

"Us?" he said, with a bitter laugh. "When you offer a woman everything and it takes her three weeks to make up her mind, sooner or later you have to face up to the fact that she doesn't really love you."

Am dysfunctional adult, emotionally retarded, incapable of love in manner of person with ice instead of heart. But on other hand, as Jude says, Vile Richard has taken three-and-a-half years to decide whether to commit to her and she has not moved to Japan. Am member of oppressed race who cannot win. Am going to have blurry Mary to cheer self up, and then find 13-year-old to flirt withn

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