Palimpsest (i_palimpsest) wrote in diarybjones,
Palimpsest
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diarybjones

'I mean: as if Daniel is going to marry me. He can't even manage to speak to me'

Wednesday 11 Jan
Weight: 10st 2lb, lbs gained more than should at this point: 8(bad),
alcohol units: 0 (torture), babies: 1 though (vg)

8pm. My flat. Nightmare day at work. Richard Finch started off, bouncing
round the room yelling: "Right! I'm thinking Blair's 'Respect' initiative,
I'm thinking graffiti, I'm thinking council-estate thugs, I'm thinking
respect... I'm thinking respect... I'm thinking respect..."

He ground to a halt like a wind-up toy winding down. The assembled team
stared at him, mildly interested. Found self wondering if repetition of
so alien a concept had short-circuited his brain.

"Respect!" Freddo burst out, in his Cambridge falsetto, stepping valiantly into the breach like Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music when Captain Von Trapp loses all heart for "Edelweiss" during the Salzburg talent contest.

"Where has it gone? What has happened to it? Where are our English values? -
cucumber sandwiches, Thomas the Tank Engine, the red pillar box, the thud of
tennis balls, the vicar on his bicycle, we shall fight them on the beaches,
an Englishman's word is his bond?"

"Jesus Fucking H Christ, shut up, Freddo," interrupted Richard Finch,
wiping snot off his nose. "I've just realised something earth shattering. The
question we've all been asking ourselves is answered."

Everyone stared at me."What?" I hissed.

"Oh come on, Bridget. You are, aren't you? Up the duff? Why else would
a woman not drink at the office Christmas party!"

The said "Christmas" "party" - held only last Thursday - consisted of
the trusty team, festivitied-out, slouching reluctantly to the upstairs
room of the pub and drinking crap white wine ferociously on empty stomachs to
ease the pre-Christmas deja vu. Two people had thrown up by 7.30. Patchouli
was sent home comatose in a taxi at 8 and the whole sordid, strip-lit,
wilted-decoration affair was over by 9.30. I was, it is true, the only
person sober.

"It's scientifically proven! And I'm here to announce our New Year Special
Strand! Older Motherhood: Bridget Jones's pregnancy and childbirth - live on
camera."

Grrr. I mean: what kind of schizophrenic, split-personality culture do
we live in? On the one hand, if a woman doesn't get plastered at the
office party, the only possible explanation is that she's pregnant. On the
other hand, the leader of the Liberal Democrats is obliged to resign for - as
far as can see - being bit of a pisshead in manner of everyone else in the
country. He's certainly not as much of a pisshead as Winston Churchill,
who used to start the day with two scotch-and-sodas in the bath and carry
on drinking till bedtime.

What has Charles Kennedy done exactly? He hasn't been pictured falling
out of a taxi with lipstick smeared all over his face and a strap falling
of his shoulder.

I mean we're not in bloody California, are we? We're not in the land of
" Oh look, you've had a glass of wine at lunchtime - better go to rehab."

Hmm.

Maybe I should start writing a newspaper column with my opinions. Oh
goody, telephone!

"Oh hello, darling, did you see?" - my mother - "Elizabeth Hurley is
buying her wedding dress from Debenhams."

Grrr. This is the latest thing with Mum. Having subjected me to years
of " When are we getting you married off?" to make me have babies; now that
I've got pregnant, in a sickening, last-ditch, far-too-old attempt to have
it all, she's trying to get me married before I have the baby. I mean: as
if Daniel is going to marry me. He can't even manage to speak to me.

"There's no need to go all quiet, Bridget," she said huffily, adding,
lyingly, to disguise her passive-aggressive "get married" as something
less sinister. "I was only showing you that Debenhams isn't as unfashionable
as you think."

"I think you'll find Elizabeth Hurley's point was precisely the
opposite," I said through grinding teeth, "ie she's friends with so many fashionable
designers that the only way to avoid offending them is to get her dress
from somewhere completely unfashionable."

There was only a second's alarmed hesitation, and then: "Don't be
silly, Bridget. Elizabeth Hurley wouldn't say something like that about
Debenhams. Anyway don't you think what Tony Blair is doing about Respect is
marvellous? I only wish Daddy and I had had access to those parenting classes when
you and Jamie were small."

I took a deep breath. "You think I have no respect?"

"Well, I'm not saying you don't have any respect darling. But when it
comes to certain things... I mean Debenhams is a very long-established
department store."

"I don't think Tony Blair was talking about respect for Debenhams,
Mother."

"Well what does he mean, then? He should make himself more clear."
"He means... er..."

I tailed off. Respect for not doing graffiti? Respect for politicians
who's main thing is spinning everything? The problem is, it's the wrong way
round. You can't tell people to respect people - people respect people for
behaving in a ways they respect.

As I said at work only this afternoon: "The only leader I see people
really respecting is Prince William. I can see him shaping up to be a
spectacular new kind of global leader, insisting on going to Iraq to fight like all
the other boys at Sandhurst, making speeches thundering 'If a country
cannot send its heir to the throne to field of conflict, if politicians will
not send their own sons to die on that field, then let us ask ourselves -
is that a conflict we ought to be fighting?'"

"Iieeuw," Finch interrupted leerily. "Bridget wants to shag Prince
William while she's pregnant!"

"I think Bridget's confusing Blair's concept of 'respect' with 'want to
shag'," snorted Freddo, with a high-pitched whinny.

I mean, honestly. At least "want to shag" nails it down a bit. You
don't want to shag people you don't respect, do you? Oh, though. What about
Daniel? And come to think of it... actually, I think I'll just go to sleep
now.



Published: 12 January 2006
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