The very first book I downloaded on to my kindle was ‘Bridget Jones Diary’; it had been 12 years since I had read it, so I was wondering if I would enjoy it as much, but I really did.
There is quite a difference reading it at the age of 35 than at the bumptious age of 22. When I was 22 I could relate to Bridget in lots of ways, but sadly not quite as much as I can now!
The film makes her look a bit silly But she isn’t quite so silly in the book and it’s so well written. Helen Fielding’s understanding of single women in their 30’s (obviously through her own experience) is almost comforting; every little insecurity she voices in the book has made the 35 year old me feel soothed.
I spend most of the time acting as if I am in my 20’s anyway, but re-reading the book has made me more aware that’s its not as fun being single in your 30’s as it was in 20’s. In your 20’s there is no added pressure to be with someone, people just say ‘oh no rush think of your career, have fun’. When you are in your 30’s they react to your single status with a hint of sympathy before saying something soothing or suggesting Internet dating.
There are not as many 30 something single men around either most of them having been snapped up in their 20’s!
A few years ago, I never imagined I would be single again and as I have mentioned before, I have had some amazing experiences since then that I wouldn’t have had if I was still in my little bubble of smug married life (Bridget’s term for couples) and life as a singleton (Bridget’s term for single people) has served me well and suited me fine. But as 36 approaches there is that fear, it’s not a big one, but its there, ‘will I ever actually have boyfriend again’ or any kind of romance at all!?
My smug married friends would be horrified at how much my singleton friends and I analyse things but that’s mainly because we have the time and like Bridget and her friends feel like we are on a little journey to self discovery.
We don’t have to consider our partner or children, we can be completely selfish. Though unlike Bridget I like to think we are much less self obsessed and paranoid! My extended network of single friends are my daily life support; we have each other on tap, on messenger, email, and phone calls aplenty constantly reassuring each other that all is well and most of all ensuring we don’t get cynical.
Despite the romantic setbacks and despite t times feeling like everyone else is moving on: marriage, kids, mortgages. I don’t want to be compared to Bridget, as much as I love her. I don’t want to be stereotyped into this poor girl that can’t meet anyone; I want to be the girl that is happy regardless.
I have been through the healing stage, the wild stage, the calm stage and now some sort of period of reflection. I loved being a smug married and I love being single, now ready for the next stage. I am almost ready to be swept off my feet by a Mr Darcy type and I am taking my extended family of singletons with me. I can’t fight the cynicism on my own now, can I?