The rehashing of Bridget Jones has made me nostalgic for my teenager self. Times that were simpler; when you listened to music on your CD player and there were just 5 channels on the TV. Life was safer back then. I still had my university years stretching ahead of me. I believed the lecturers when they told me that I would leave university and walk into a job for £30,000 plus. Jobs were plentiful and the economy stable. Life was good.
I feel like I can almost divide my life into two halves. Life changed after 9/11. I found myself suddenly living in a new fearful world. A world that we continue to live in today. A world where terrorist attacks are a regular occurrence. The world we live in now is a very violent one and because of that I find myself happy about Bridget Jones. Bridget is my safety blanket. I am more than aware that I shouldn't like Bridget Jones. She's hardly feminist material is she? At university I was studying English Literature and Bridget Jones was not thought to be befitting of a literature student. I should have been reading War and Peace, which I did, but behind closed doors I devoured Bridget. I loved Bridget because she was a breath of fresh air. I was spending my days reading Jane Austin and Charlotte Bronte and whilst I enjoyed their novels, I secretly yearned for a female that I could relate to. Bridget was that. Even though she was clearly older than me, I understood and felt her fears.
University was a time when I was obsessed with my weight. I was always aiming for the ideal size of a size 8. I believed that when I hit that weight, my life would be better. Now I look back and realise that I was quite possibly nuts and seriously deluded. I lived off Ryvita crackers and cottage cheese. I stuck photos of supermodels on my fridge with the words "don't eat it, you fat cow!" coming out of their mouths. Hardly healthy eating habits. However, it was all part of finding yourself. I was finding myself just like Bridget was. However, also like Bridget I seemed incapable of functioning on my own. I look back and I wish that I had been single. Instead I bounced from one doomed relationship to another. Ignoring the signs that my taste in men was appalling and that my boyfriends and I were clearly incompatible. I might have put on a convincing act of being confident but really I was painfully shy. I relied on men to help me feel confident. I fortified myself with wine before a night out so that I felt confident. Now that I write this I feel very sad for my former self. I feel like I need to mourn the tragic waste of my university years. However, my reliance on men and liquid confidence didn't seem tragic because Bridget, our heroine, was also doing all of these things. Bridget made us feel good.
This was the the very end of the 90s and people were more forgiving back then. We had Chris Evans getting lashed up and missing his radio show, but he still kept his job. The 90s was about living life to the excess because we had no other worries. Never did we dream that two planes would be flown into the twin towers. That event changed everything. How would Bridget have reacted to that event? I'm not sure. Of course, she would have been aghast, just like we all were. So what of Bridget's behaviour now? Is it too frivolous? Too superficial? Too silly? I look back at what my eating and drinking habits were like at university and I wince. I was just being young and silly. I had nothing else to occupy my head. I was vain and self-obsessed. It was all about me. Now I have two little ones to think about so I don't have time to do a Bridget as often. I still love Bridget though. She reminds me of more carefree times, if still a little tragic too.
I do still have Bridget tendencies today. I hate to admit it but I still seemingly have this inability to open milk cartons properly. No matter how hard I try. Pathetic really that I have to rely on my husband to do this. I also have a fear of public speaking believing that I will shout something out like "tits pervert". At any social function I am a mess. Over enthusiastic and eager to please would be an understatement. Also a love for shrieking and talking very fast, so fast that only dogs can hear. I love Bridget because she makes me feel like none of these things matter. I like Bridget Jones because she is me. Bridget allows us to laugh at ourselves. Bring on Bridget, we all need a laugh! We might be living in a world that at times feels fragile and dangerous; a world where nothing is a certain anymore. Bridget offers us our old world back. She gives us hope for the future. If the hapless Bridget can land her dream job in TV, a job that she was ill-equipped for, a job where she lacked the necessary qualifications, then there is hope that I too might land my dream job one day. Let's not mention how Bridget got her first job in TV.
"Just so you know, no one gets sacked for sleeping with the boss here"
Let's not focus on her apparent reliance on men to get her out of situations, to save her. No, we won't focus on that because that's not very now. However, I am not too keen on the now at the moment.
This post first appeared on Island Living 365