Bridget Jones's Diary

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Monday 3 June

9st 3 (not self's fault: manipulated by media). Alcohol units 5 (drowning sorrows). Cigarettes 22 (fumigating sorrows). Calories 3684 (suffocating sorrows in lard-duvet).

Humph. Fedup. After marvellous three days stuffing face after "too skinny" Vogue models furore, suddenly open papers to find Nigel Lawson diet everywhere and that idea is to try and lose third of body weight by refusing all alcohol except "fine wines". Fear if see enough photo-shoots of weird- looking yet slender Nigel Lawson he will turn into self's new role model and will find self cutting hair into short bubble curls, reading the Economist and trying to shove face down into neck to give impression of multiple ex-double chins. Anyway going round to Shazzer's tonight so should be able to sort out over-impressionable identity crisis with feminist ranting; though fear being unable to drink as Shazzer's leftover birthday Kwik- Save Bosnian-Muslim Cabernet Sauvignon probably does not, come to think of it, qualify as fine wine in any normal interpretation of the term.

Tuesday 4 June

9st 1 (excellent). Cigarettes 0 (unable to find window for same in mouth). Alcohol units 4 (but champagne-type wine so fine).

9am. Got bloody third degree from Shazzer last night. All Tom's fault. Since made the mistake of admitting about new self help book, The Rules, had been reading last week about how to make men fall in love with you by ignoring them, not returning calls etc. Tom then spent entire week faxing me new rules. "Rule 35: when you see a man simply stick two fingers up at him and run off. How else will you know if he's truly in love with you?" Rule 36: if you find yourself married to a man stab him with a kitchen knife like Sara Thornton: how can he put you on a pedestal if he doesn't feel he has to win you over?" There was no need to bloody well tell Shazzer though.

"I gather you've been practising The Rules!" she said coldly.

"No I haven't! No! No!" I gabbled gaily. "I was simply interested in them for professional reasons. I thought they might make an item for "Wake up Britain". "Item my arse," growled Sharon. "The Rules are profoundly insulting to women. The whole premise behind them is that men are unable to deal with women's hard-won economic power and therefore it is up to women to resolve the situation by mimicking the dating mores of pre-emancipation females to make men feel powerful and in control".

"Bastards!" I bellowed hopefully trying to distract her.

"Shazzer," bellowed Jude, loyally jumping to her feet and grabbing the wastepaper basket. "What's this doing in your Relationship Corner? Don't you know anything about Feng Shui?"

But Shazzer would not be stopped. "The whole self-help culture is the most shaming face of modern womanhood," she bellowed. "A mindless substitute for religion, feeding on the guilt and lack of self-worth, foisted on fledgling economically-powerful group by a hostile male media who...." Fortunately she was interrupted by the doorbell and Simon, looking hideously smug.

"Yessss! Yessss!" he said, punching the air.

"What? What? You've finally shagged Isabella?" I shouted excitedly.

"No," he beamed "But I rang her and she didn't ring back!"

There was silence.

"Well there's only one explanation isn't there?" he said, looking at our sceptical faces.

"She's been doing the Rules! Which must mean she wants to marry me!"

We practically had to shut Shazzer up with tranquilliser darts. But she does have a point. Whole dating scene has become like hideous game of bluff and double bluff with men and women so puzzled and defensive about each other that no one has first idea what is going on. Anyway, do not need need men, am going to throw self into work. Oh goody, party tonight.

10pm. Loos at party. Aargh. What's Mark Darcy doing here? Have never seen him look so ... oh my god, dark and brooding and hot. Anyway determined to ignore him and all other men, meet no one's eye and say nothing then no way can end up looking like prat.

10.30pm. Loos at party. Aargh. In complete panic. Went back into party and accidentally locked gaze with Mark Darcy. Tried desperately to look away demurely in manner of Rules but it was as self had turned into a warm Rolo. Mark just lifted his eyebrows sexily and nodded towards the garden. What could I do? I felt as if I were being dragged out there by tiny dainty silken aliens. Once we were outside he didn't say a single word, just looked down at me lustfully for a second then kissed me till I was practically fainting. As we broke off panting I said "Stop" feebly and, it has to be said, rather late in the day - since the Rules say you're definitely not supposed to snog till date two or was it three and we haven't even been on a date yet. At which point we re-started kissing with even wilder abandon. Eventually he murmured into my neck. "The car's outside, see you there in five minutes," and pressed his hand down by bottom and thigh.

"But ..." I squeaked, trying not to pass out.

"It's all right, Bridget, he murmured throatily. "You need to read More Advanced Rules: The Rules volume II, pounds 6.99, Harper Collins."

"What does it say?" I said suspiciously.

"It says," he whispered "If you're young and gorgeous it's the first day of summer and you've just had the snog of the century, it's absolutely imperative to get in his car, go back home with him immediately and fall into bed".

Oh no ob no. Cannot stay in bathroom any longer. What to do?

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