THE DIARY OF BRIDGET JONES

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Thursday 23 March

9st (liposuction soon?), cigarettes 19, alcohol units 2, fat units 8 (unexpectedly repulsive notion: never before faced reality of lard splurging from bottom and thighs under skin. Must revert to calorie count tomorrow).

I know for certain that Daniel and I will sleep together tomorrow given that we have kissed passionately on company premises three times in the past four days: twice in the lift and once in the books cupboard (does this mean he will have to resign?). Hints at a weekend in Prague suggest he has thought better of his no-relationship caveat. So why do I feel not happy but as if I am on a self-improvement assault course? Surely it is not normal to be revising for a date as if it were a job interview? I suspect Daniel's enormous well-read brain may turn into a bit of a nuisance if things develop. Maybe I should have fallen for someone younger and mindless who would just, like, cook for me, wash all my clothes and agree with everything I say.

Since leaving work I have nearly slipped a disc wheezing through a step aerobics class, scratched my naked body for seven minutes with a stiff brush; smeared myself with, effectively, salad dressing; cleaned the flat; filled the fridge; plucked my eyebrows; skimmed the papers and the Ultimate Sex Guide; put the washing in and waxed my own legs, since it was too late to book an appointment. Ended up kneeling on a towel trying to pull off a wax strip firmly stuck to the back of my calf whilst watching Newsnight. My back hurts, my head aches and my legs are bright red and covered in lumps of wax.

Meanwhile, I'm frantically trying to drum up some incisive new woman opinion about the ex-mistress's vengeance on the ex-deputy governor of the Bank of England. In panic all I can think of is that Mary Ellen Synon looks exactly like Jennifer Saunders. It seems bizarre that this should be so overlooked amidst endless speculation as to why she took such immoderate revenge. I see her slumped over a bottle of Bolly with a fag on, 15 denier legs akimbo slurring, "I schlowed 'im, sweetie, I shnot gonner take it lying down, schlowed the whole bloody world," and Joanna Lumley going, "Course you bloody did, darling, quite right. Wife's a bloody hag."

No wonder Mary Ellen is crazed with rage if she has to go through all this to start another affair, as well as wandering round pantless trussed in a suspender belt.

Wise people will say Daniel should like me just as I am, but I am a child of Cosmopolitan culture, have been traumatised by supermodels and too many quizzes and know that neither my personality nor my body are up to it, if left to their own devices. I can't take the pressure. I am going to cancel and spend the evening eating doughnuts in a cardigan with egg on it.

Saturday 25 March

8st 10, alcohol units 0, cigarettes 0, calories 200 (at last have found the secret).

6pm. Oh joy. Have spent the day in a state I can only describe as shag- drunkenness, mooning about the flat smiling, picking things up and putting them down again. It was so lovely. The only down points were 1) immediately it was over Daniel said, "Damn I meant to take the car into the Citroen garage" and 2) when I got up to go to the bathroom he pointed out that I had a pair of tights stuck to the back of my calf.

But as the rosy clouds begin to disperse, I begin to feel alarm. What now? No plans were made. Suddenly I realise I am waiting for the phone again. How can it be that the situation between the sexes after a first night remains so agonisingly imblanced? Call me old-fashioned, but I think it is biological. For a man, some part of him, however tiny, will be saying "Hah!", feeling that a quest has been fulfilled and wanting to back off. Simultaneously, in the female camp, no matter how cool the woman believes herself to be, age-old practical needs and vulnerabilities rear up inappropriately, demanding twigs, feathers and cosiness. It is a hideous blunder of nature. Now I feel as if I have just sat an exam and must wait for my results. Oh my God, it's Mother's Day tomorrow.

Monday 27 March

9st (4 lbs in one day? how?), alcohol units 4, cigarettes 17, calories 3,000.

The last remaining tiny bathmat of security has been pulled from under my feet. Called my parents yesterday to say Happy Mother's Day and offer magnanimously to pay surprise visit to deliver enormous gift (not yet purchased) only to get odd sounding Dad on end of phone. "Er ... I'm not sure. Could you hang on?" I reeled. Part of the arrogance of youth (well, I say youth) is the assumption that your parents will drop everything and be thrilled 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 talk, tried to help, understand, but got nowhere. What is going on? Is the whole world doomed to emotional trauma? Poor Dad, poor Mum, poor me. Am I to be the tragic victim of a broken home, now, on top of everything else? As is the way these days, my mind turns instinctively to thoughts of compensation. But who is to blame for the emotional quagmire I find myself in? Cosmopolitan? Society? The feminist backlash? Myself? Opening my paper it seems policemen are suing police bosses for something which was the police's fault. Maybe that means it would be all right to sue Daniel.

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