Soooooo it recently came to my attention that some of my friends think I remind them of that grand dame of singledom: Bridget Jones.
Now, I’m not going to lie to you; when my friends (plural, no less!) begin a sentence with ‘Do you know who you really remind me of…?’, my ideal answer has never been Bridget Jones. Don’t get me wrong – I love her. I remember reading the first book (at a far younger age than was perhaps sensible) and crying with laughter, and the film is a firm favourite too. But as a single woman in her early thirties, this comparison is no longer what you might call ideal. I mean, I’m not totally insane. I was never expecting to remind anyone of Grace Kelly. But when I picture the image I would most like to project to the world; bumbling, perennially single pseudo-alcoholic is not quite what my 15 year-old self had in mind.
I decided however, after approximately 11 seconds of careful reflection, to roll with it. Bridget Jones is technically based on Pride and Prejudice, and Mr Darcy has been my book-husband since I was 13. They obviously thought: ‘Well, she’s a bit weird and you can’t leave her unattended at fancy parties, so she’s deffo not an Elizabeth Bennett. But she means well and is truly awful at flirting. Bridget Jones it is.’
And to be fair, they’re not wrong.
But hey! Bridget has a pretty sweet life. She can afford her own flat in London; has a very comfortable lifestyle, a job in publishing and endless drinking sessions with her pals (you can’t half tell it was written in the 90’s…), and everyone seems to be going out of their way to set her up with reasonably eligible men. What’s not to love?
In my younger years, though, the idea of being set up on a date was my absolute nightmare. The thought of being foisted on some poor unsuspecting soul had me waking up in a cold sweat. I’d heard tales of triumph, of course. Ancient fables of people who had been matched up successfully by friends or family members. It always seemed to start out like any good rom-com. The first one doesn’t show up. The second one has no teeth. And then BAM! The third one is Ryan Gosling. But it was still a definite no from me.
The old me, that is. The pre-internet dating me. It turns out there really are only so many awkward stranger dates and dick pics a girl can experience (one was mid-pee…MID-PEE!!!) before she loses the will to live.
Where are you when I need you, Ryan Gosling?
So I decided to bite the bullet and dip my toe in this shimmering new pool of potential smoosh buddies. But running it up the flagpole with numerous friends led me almost immediately to the realisation that I am definitely not Bridget Jones. And not just because I’m too poor to own my own flat in central London. No, it’s because, while Bridget can’t swing a glass of chardonnay without hitting a well-meaning person trying to set her up, I couldn’t hit metaphorical dating water if I jumped out of a boat. It turns out that no-one has any single friends left. I have reached the age where everyone I know is in a relationship, and so is everyone they know. Someone suggested that I wait it out – statistically speaking, they’ll be single again at some point and then I’ll be positively drowning in offers.
That’s it. It’s time to buy a cat.