Bridget Jones's diary

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Thursday 18 January

9st 1 (thinner than Fergie); cigarettes 15 (better than Fergie, bet); alcohol units 3 (vg, saint); calories 2,845 (at least not gobbled as free charity dinner); expenditure pounds 22 (positively Mother Teresa).

8.30am. No cigarettes all day so far. VG. Would fetch post but cannot face wading through piles of begging letters from Fergie. Tee-hee. Cannot remember when enjoyed a story so much unless was Fergie on shoulders of John Bryan with Bryan's bald head protruding in her midst like giant organ. Feel we are living through history in dazzling fin-de-millennium manner. Children in centuries to come will read about the decadences and Queenie's naughty daughters-in-law as if it were ancient Rome, memorising the names of Fergie's and Diana's lovers like Henry VIII's wives, whereas for us it is everyday. Enjoying same smug feeling people who live in holiday haunts must have when others undergo costly and expensive journeys merely to come to everyday home situ.

8.45pm. Particularly grateful to Fergie at the moment for gift of making us feel good about ourselves compared with her. Just asked Tom if I was as fat as Fergie and he said she was four times as fat as me. Hah! Tralalala! Trying to concentrate hard on same to avoid spiral of self-doubt over ex-boyfriend Waspy getting married. Have never met Waspy Intended but imagine giant thin blonde Spartan who rises at five each morning, goes for run, rubs herself down with salt then runs international Merchant Bank all day without smudging mascara.

Realise with sinking humiliation that reason have been feeling smug about Peter all these years was that I finished with him. Suddenly fear the forgotten reason for finishing was that he never asked me to marry him (blotted from memory as too humiliating) and now he has asked Miss Giant Valkyrie it was not that he did not want to get married: just that he did not want to get married to me.

Sinking into morbid, cynical reflection on how much romantic heartbreak is to do with ego and miffed pride compared with actual loss, also incorporating sub-thought that reason for Fergie's insane over-confidence may be that Andrew still wants her back (until he marries someone else, har har) - when phone rang.

It was Waspy - in self-pitying mood saying had made terrible mistake and now he had found ability to commit, wanted to marry me. At which point I remembered the reason I finished with him was these terrible whining self-pitying moods. There was sudden sound of woman's voice at which Waspy bellowed: "Could you give me the code for Peterborough? Thanks!" and hung up. Two minutes later it rang again: Mum still going on about Mark bloody Darcy's parents' Ruby Wedding.

"Mum. There is no way I am going all the way to Huntingdon to celebrate the wedding anniversary of two people I have met once since I was three for eight seconds just to place myself in the path of a very rude divorcee who describes me as 'bizarre'."

"Oh, but he's very clever. Cambridge apparently. Apparently he made a fortune in America ..."

"Mum, I've got to go to ..." I said foolishly since she then began to gabble as if I were on Death Row and this was our last phone call before I was given a lethal injection.

"He was earning thousands of pounds an hour. Had a clock on his desk, tick tock tick tock. Did I tell you I saw Mavis Enderby in the post office?"

"Mum ..."

"What I actually rang to say was that Malcolm and Elaine are having the Ruby Wedding in London now so you will be able to come ..."

"But ..."

"Yes, darling, marvellous. What are you going to wear? You see Mark's completed on the house in Holland Park - throwing the whole party for them, six floors, caterers and everything. Of course with Malcolm being with ICI they've got friends all over so in actual fact it's much better for them having the party in London."

"Are you going with Julio or Dad?" I said to shut her up.

"Oh darling, I don't know, probably both of them," she said in the special, breathy voice she reserves for when she thinks she is Diana Dors. "Anyway, darling, must fly, I'll tell Elaine you'd love to come byeeee!"

Hah. Then the phone rang again. I stared, letting it ring, knowing it was Waspy. Magda has a theory that when men decide to marry they turn into loose cannons, wanging like gunmen in McDonald's liable to fasten on anyone who passes in their sights. She herself married Jeremy when he left his girlfriend of eight years, got engaged to the girl who works in the off-licence on the corner, then went back to the girlfriend and proposed to her, too, then proposed to Magda as well. Magda was the only one who kept a cool head and didn't throw a wobbler.

Impulsively I picked up the phone.

"Bee, I mean it. I want to marry you," said Waspy.

Where have my principles and independence and search for true love got me? I thought, I spend every Saturday night doing feminist ranting or giggling with homosexuals, have no sex, struggle to make ends meet and am ridiculed as an unmarried freak, whereas Magda lives in a big house with eight different kinds of pasta in jars and gets to go shopping all day.

"Bee?" said Waspy. "I earn a good living now ... I want to take care of you. Will you at least meet me to talk about it. Cafe Rouge? In 10 minutes?"

I gripped the phone, shaking, my whole life flashing before me. "OK," I said resolutely, "OK".

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