This month, learn from the legend herself and remember to check if the Halloween parties approaching are fancy-dress to avoid a “de-bunnying” situation. By Erica Toms.
If you are a fan of Bridget Jones like I am, you will be pleased to find out that on October 10th, Mad about the Boy, the third installment of the Bridget Jones series written by Helen Fielding, was released. However, unpleasant news was given to the world in the Sunday Times Magazine prior to this; Bridget Jones returns as a 50-something widow. Extracts were published in advance, which allowed readers into the new book to find that Bridget is now with two children and a 30-something “toy-boy”.
A widow? Yes, you’ve guessed it. “Fans were left heartbroken” as they learnt Fielding has decided to kill off one of literatures’ most charming, handsome gentlemen; Mark Darcy. This is a devastating reality-check for every young Bridget out there, who commiserated at the likes of Daniel Cleaver with vodka and Chaka Khan, and celebrated when Bridget finally scored the man of her dreams (probably also with vodka and Chaka Khan- no judgment). Couldn’t Fielding have kept the one realistic fairytale as just that- a fairytale?
When Fielding was questioned about the news, she responded to the British Vogue that “life is full of twists and turns”, and explained how she wanted the books to reflect a reality. Bridget Jones diary began as a newspaper column in the 1990s, when most of us here at UWE were still on the hopscotch. Bridget Jones has since become a phenomenon, transcending generations globally. Fielding has produced two best-selling novels about the character, which have sold over 15 million copies, and there have been two Hollywood adaptations. According to The Hollywood Reporter, film rights for Mad about the Boy have yet to be snapped up by producers, despite strong first-day book sales of 46,000.
In getting over Darcy’s death with the help of vodka and Chaka Khan, I decided it would be best to remember why we love Bridget and what she has taught us. After all, she’s seen us through our teenage years and is now returning for the next big chapter. She reminds us that men are not the be-all and end-all, and you can be fabulously single with just Ben and Jerry for company. She’s also the rare example of a female heroine. Darcy doesn’t save her; she saves herself (be it in a clumsy, tripping-over-the-duvet kind of way). Given the title of “Best Female 20th Century Literary Icon”, here are 10 things Bridget Jones has taught us:
- 1. Never let yourself be undervalued.
“Thank you, Daniel that is very good to know. But if staying here means working within 10 yards of you, frankly, I’d rather have a job wiping Saddam Hussein’s arse.”
- 2. To the single student from Pam Jones, Bridget’s mum. Make an effort sometimes.
“You’ll never get a boyfriend if you look like you wandered out of Auschwitz.”
- 3. Always be careful when answering the phone. It could be a prospective employer, or worse: your parents.
“Bridget Jones, wanton sex goddess, with a very bad man between her thighs… Mum… Hi.”
- 4. That little to-do list doesn’t disappear when you graduate. Not even when you’re 30. Go with the flow.
“Resolution number 1: Will obviously lose 20 pounds. 2: Always put last night’s panties in the laundry basket. Equally important: will find nice sensible boyfriend and stop forming romantic attachments to any of the following: alcoholics, workaholics, commitment-phobics, peeping toms, megalomaniacs, emotional fuckwits, or perverts. Will especially stop fantasizing about a particular person who embodies all these things.”
N.B. This was in the ‘90s. The list has grown since.
- 5. Your friends don’t always know the answer.
“Tom: Whose side are we on?
Shazzer: Mark’s, of course. He never dumped Bridget for some naked American.
Bridget: But he did shag Daniel’s fiancée and left him broken-hearted.
Tom: You’re right, it’s a tough one to call.”
- 6. Learn to cook at some point after Uni. It may affect potential marriage proposals.
“Daniel Cleaver: I’ve been going crazy. I can’t stop thinking about you, and thinking about what an idiot I’ve been. Christ, is that blue soup?”
- 7. Don’t accept a half-hearted offer, even if it involves your fabulous wardrobe.
“Daniel Cleaver: Come on Bridget, we belong together – you, me, poor little skirt. If I can’t make it with you then I can’t make it with anyone.
Bridget: That’s not a good enough offer for me.”
- 8. It’s always better to think before you speak. Seminars included.
“Bridget: You once said you liked me just as I am and I just wanted to say likewise. I mean there are stupid things your mum buys you, tonight’s another… classic. You’re haughty, and you always say the wrong thing in every situation and I seriously believe that you should rethink the length of your sideburns. But, you’re a nice man and I like you. If you wanted to pop by some time that might be nice… more than nice.
Mark Darcy: Right, crikey.”
- 9. Never, under any circumstances, leave your diary lying around.
Bridget: I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean it. Well, I meant it, but I was so stupid that I didn’t mean what I meant… After all, it’s only a diary. Everyone knows diaries are just… full of crap.
Mark Darcy: Yes, I know that. I was just buying you a new one.
- 10. Being a student is hard, but according to Jones it doesn’t always get easier. Learn now.
“I choose Vodka. And Chaka Khan.”