The diary of Bridget Jones

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Wed 8th March

8st 12, alcohol units 7 (why? why?), cigarettes 22, calories 1,850 (perfectly fine particularly in light of freakish am gym session).

11.30am Delighted by reports that by the turn of the millennium a third of all households will be single, I telephone Jude and Tina from the office to break the news. At last we are no longer tragic freaks. Jude grumpily claims it will take centuries for the world to adapt to not asking, "Why aren't you married?" in patronising voices at every available opportunity and for Smug Marrieds to lose the drive to fix you up with obvious homosexuals through excruciating informal suppers.

Tina, worse, simply bursts into tears. Eventually she explains in a sheep's voice that Richard, whom she has been seeing for 18 months, has chucked her for asking him if he wanted to go on holiday with her. Tina is full of remorse and self-loathing. "I'm a fool, it's all my fault. I asked for too much to satisfy my own needs. Oh, if only I could turn back the clock."

An emergency summit is scheduled for 6.30pm in the Dome. By this time Perpetua is practically apoplectic with rage over all my personal phone calls, but suddenly, like a gift from God, Daniel appears, sits himself on the edge of my desk, with his back to her, takes out his diary and murmurs, "How are you fixed for Friday?" Yesssssss! Oh bliss, oh joy.

11pm At the Dome, Jude presents her theory on the Richard situation: "Emotional Fuckwit-age", which is spreading like wildfire among men over 30. As women glide from their twenties to thirties, she claims, the balance of power subtly shifts. Even the most outrageous former minxes lose their nerve, wrestling with the first twinges of existential angst: fears of dying alone and being found three weeks later half-eaten by an alsatian. Stereotypical notions of shelves, spinning wheels and sexual scrapheaps conspire to make you feel stupid, no matter how much time you spend thinking about Joanna Lumley. "And men like Richard," says Jude, "play on the chink in the armour to wriggle out of intimacy, commitment, maturity, honour and the natural progression of things between a man and a woman." By this time Tina and I are going shhh shh out of the corners of our mouths and sinking down into her coats. After all there's nothing so unattractive to a man as strident feminism. "How dare he say you were getting too serious by asking to go on holiday?" yells Jude. "What is he talking about?"

Thinking moonily about Daniel and the date I venture that not all men are like Richard. At which point Jude starts on a long illustrative list of Emotional Fuckwit-age in progress on our friends, one whose boyfriend of 13 years refuses even to discuss living together, another who started an affair with a man who chucked her after the fourth date because it was getting too serious, another who was pursued by a bloke for three months with impassioned proposals of marriage, who ducked out two weeks after she succumbed and repeated the whole process with her best friend.

"We women are only vulnerable because we are a pioneer generation. In 20 years' time men won't even dare start with Fuckwit-age because we will just laugh in their faces," declares Jude. At this point, Alex Walker, who works in Jude's company, strolls in with a stunning blonde who is about eight times as attractive as him. He ambles over to say hi. "Is this your new girlfriend?" asks Jude. "Well, chuh, you know, she thinks she is, but we're not going out, we're just sleeping together. I ought to stop it really, but, well ..." he says, smugly.

"Oh that is just such crap, you cowardly, dysfunctional little schmuck. Right. I'm going to talk to that woman," says Jude, getting up. We forcibly restrain her and Alex, looking panic-stricken, rushes back to continue his Fuckwit-age unrumbled.

Fri 10th March

8st 9, alcohol units 6 (urine of Satan), cigarettes 400 (feels like), calories 875 (off food).

Huh. Daniel and I had a dream date at an intime little Genoan restaurant near his flat. "Um ... Right. I'll get a taxi," I blurted awkwardly as we stood in the street. Then, looking amused, he lightly brushed a hair from my forehead, took my cheek in his hand and kissed me, full on the lips, urgently, desperately. After a while he held me hard against him, and whispered throatily, "I don't think you'll be needing that taxi."

The second we were inside his flat we fell upon each other like beasts, shoes, jackets strewn in a trail across the room. He suddenly said, "Bridget, look, I'm not sure this is a good idea." (His hand was at this moment undoing the zip on my skirt.)

"I mean, I think it would be great to sleep together a few times, but I don't think we should have a relationship," he said, then caveat in place, carried on with the zip. Had it not been for Jude and the drink, I think I would have sunk back, powerless into his arms. As it was, I leapt to my feet, pulling up my skirt. "That is such crap," I slurred. "How dare you be so fraudulently flirtatious, cowardly and dysfunctional. I am not interested in Emotional Fuckwit-age. Goodbye."

It was great. You should have seen his face. But now 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.

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