Sunday, October 31, 2010

Bridget on Halloween

Much like the best holidays, it's a day focused on eating sweets and drinking.  Bridget-approved!

Bridget would go to a bar with Urban Family - she would be wearing a reasonably slutty Halloween costume, but then she would critique all of the stick-insects who went sluttier.  What moral fiber they're showing, their parents would be proud.  A few drinks later, she'd be fashioning her costume to be sluttier and dancing with the poofs, laughing her head off.

In the morning, she would be very confused about how the word "Boo" was written on her bum.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

First Impressions

Today I confront a harsh reality.  A secret I thought I might take to the grave....and that is that I didn't like Bridget Jones's Diary when I saw it in the theater.  At least not the first time.

When BJD first came to a theater near me, I had not read the book.  I watched the trailer and thought that surely there was some wish fulfillment device that Bridget was using to make Colin Firth challenge Hugh Grant to a fight "outside." ("Outside.  Should I bring my dueling pistol or my sword?")  Up until the time I sat in the dark theater and heard the opening lines of "It all began on New Years Day," I had no idea that they would be playing on Pride and Prejudice.  I kept noticing things like how she worked at Pemberley Press, of course that she had made a bad first impression on a M. Darcy, as did he on her.  And it didn't take an Austen scholar to piece together that this Daniel Cleaver chap was a modern-day Wickham.  Poor everyone sitting around me.  I'm sure there were a lot of AHs and OHs coming out of my mouth.  However, by the end, I was mad as could be that they had modernized Elizabeth Bennet as someone who was incompetent at her job, a horrible public speaker, and a touch empty-headed in general.  Was this really a modern version of my most beloved female heroine in the history of literature?

I was taking a Masters class on Austen at the time.  Out of the 8 of us nerds in class, I was the only one who had seen the movie, though some had read the book.  Naturally, they wanted to know all about it, and my review consisted mainly of my anger about the P&P comparison and the fact that the hair-stylist clearly hated Renee Zellweger.  It's all too true, and the words are like thorns in my side now.

Fortunately, having not been prepared for the P&P elements in my first viewing, I was compelled to go back to the theater to do a more detailed analysis.  At which point, I fell in love.  And I've stayed in love ever since. 

Perhaps I'm Mark Darcy/Mr. Darcy, and perhaps I was a bit too proud at first.  Fortunately, now I love Bridget just as she is.  I only wish that I could rescue her baby sister or mother from a scandal or defend her honor in a fist fight to prove my love.  Maybe she'll just let me buy her a new diary and have a fresh start.

Friday, October 29, 2010

New Plan: Find Camera

It's been suggested that I do a lot of crazy things next year from the books/movies.  (Wear bunny suit to non-costume party, Interrupt party with nonsensical speech, Break into Firehouse and slide down pole, etc.)

I'm game!  I'm not going to be held back by the threat of humiliation and/or jail-time since Bridget certainly isn't.  Isn't that sort of the whole point of my experiment?

But I'm going to need to get video footage of these catastrophes.  So I'm saving up for a video camera, and I'll also need knowledgeable person to shoot said video footage.  Oh, and when I run into trouble editing, I hope equally knowledgeable people will be around for me to question tirelessly.

Let me know if there are scene re-enactments that you simply must see!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Reflections on a V. Wet Shirt

What is the biggest difference between the Bridget Jones books and the Bridget Jones movies?  Answer: The absence of a very wet shirt.

For anyone who has not read The Edge of Reason, stop what you're doing, go get the book, and read pages 136 to 143.  You will thank me for it.

Why?  Because Bridget Jones interviews Colin Firth.  And despite the fact that she does so very inarticulately, can any of us blame her?  All I have to say is that she asked the tough questions that every woman wanted answered.

Obviously, they couldn't have this scene in the movie version (despite my keen ideas about how they could have done it), so they shot it as a DVD extra.  THE BEST DVD EXTRA IN CINEMATIC HISTORY!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What Bridget would think of Eat, Pray, Love

I imagine she'd say something like the following:

So let me just make sure I've got this right.  You have v.g. husband and v. nice house, and you dump both (bonkers!) to go to Rome and eat a lot of food (grand), meditate in India (poorly, I might add - I do better with my at-home yoga DVDs, and I'm total crap), and fall in love in Bali with some importer-exporter? (Ask Shaz about men like THAT - I'm minus one bra and a fortnight without ciggies because of him!)  All the while, you did it on your editor's tab?

........can I have the number for your agent?

Yes, Bridge, you and me both please.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Additions to "The Shelf of Self-Help"

I will be reviewing books from the Shelf of Self-Help on Tuesdays this year.  I'm ready to get good and mad at these, so let me at them!  Nine Tuesdays, nine books.  Place your votes now!  Pick my first Self-Help review!

Here are the books:
Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus - John Gray (of course)
Why Mr. Right Can't Find You - J.M. Kearns
If I'm So Wonderful, Why Am I Still Single? - Susan Page
Have Him At Hello - Rachel Greenwald
Love in 90 Days - Diana Kirschner
Marry Him: The Case for Settling - Lori Gottlieb
Become Your Own Matchmaker - Patti Stanger
Why Men Love Bitches - Sherry Argov
Why Men Marry Bitches - Sherry Argov

Monday, October 25, 2010

"Getting Your Colors Done"

In BJD, Bridget's mother meets her suitor Julian when he comes to the store to "get his colors done."  While my mom's not going to be around to meet any suitors, she did believe very much in this whole "Color Me Beautiful" world and even owned the book.  It would appear I was 8 when the book came out, so forgive me for not remembering every precise detail.  However, I do know that my mother had her "colors done" and determined that she (along with me, her clone) was a Spring.  I imagined the whole "getting your colors done" event that my mother participated in to be the deluxe Mary Kay party of the time.  No doubt, in Bridgetland, there were pickles on toothpicks and perhaps a turkey curry buffet.

Growing up, my mother reminded me constantly about the colors I couldn't wear.  Hot pink.  Purple.  Muted tones like Dusty rose (that was very in during the 90s, at least in least in Kelleytown, Georgia).  It was horrifying.  And yet, I still go around not wearing pinks and purples, opting for turquoise and yellows instead.  Perhaps that's because my mother was a *little* less ridiculous, so I believed what she said more.  Even when it was ridiculous. 

So to recap, I'm a Spring....and news flash: so is Bridget Jones.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Re: Magda & Jeremy vs. TJ & Robi

Magda & Jeremy: (noun) Smug Marrieds with child.  Invite her to the Smug Married party where she is asked why there are so many unmarried women in their 30s today.  Apart, they are Magda - best friend who shows that married life is not a dream come true while giving helpful advice on healthy relationships, as opposed to Urban Family's advice which is less than helpful - and Jeremy - Mark's law colleague who tightens the circle of the Bridget/Mark world.

TJ & Robi: (noun) Wonderful Marrieds with adorable child whom I love.  Invite me to stay with them whenever and make my holidays much cozier by welcoming me into their family.  Apart, they are TJ - best friend who inspires me to be a better person by showing me her own fine example but also thinks that I'm too picky about men (I disagree) - and Robi - who once told an ex-boyfriend he must be an idiot for dumping me, which led to said ex-boyfriend crying in the men's room.  Hurrah!

Again, I think TJ & Robi have taken the lead...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bridget Fashion Sense

A few fab Bridget ensembles must pop into your head when you picture her.  Any of the following?
(1) Bunny suit at the Tarts and Vicars party, obviously.  (Halloween '04)
(2) Red Skirt and a Fireman's helmet, sliding down a pole.  (Halloween '09)
(3) The hair of the Bride of Frankenstein when the "Grace Kelly" scarf falls off on the convertible trip. (Halloween work-in-progress)
(4) Knickers in general- whether they're granny-panties or her "genuinely tiny knickers."
(5) Short little skirt that needs fattening up, perhaps even paired with a sexy see-through blouse.

Much like Bridget, I try my darnedest to put myself together, but somehow it doesn't always work out just right.  Despite my lack of clothing coordination, I tried desperately to get on "What Not To Wear" but didn't even get a response.  Fine, Stacy and Clinton, I'll just keep walking my dog in my pajamas until you FINALLY pick me!

Tonight, while walking my dog in my pajamas (v. similar to Bridget's in the All By Myself jam session), I wanted very much for Mark Darcy to come and wrap his coat around me while all of the passersby stared.  If I happened to stand on my tiptoes to kiss him while he did so, even better.

Friday, October 22, 2010

An Open Letter to American Girls who love Brits

Dear American Stick-insects,
Please stop stealing our men!  We are only a small island, and a large share of our few single men either have horrid teeth or are poofs.  We do NOT need you coming over here, "studying abroad" for your MRS degrees, taking the few eligible men back home with you.  Or worse, settling here and rubbing our noses in your wedded bliss.  Please settle for your own Clooneys, Pitts, and Damons.  I'm in talks with immigration leaders about revoking your visas, particularly should you be a size zero. (UK 2, because honestly, what is a zero?  Do you exist or not?)


PS - It's not "quaint" when you say things like "lift" and "flat."


cc: Immigration leaders

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bridget vs. Liz Lemon

Two of my favorite ladies:  Bridget Jones and Liz Lemon. 

Bridget eventually gets to marry Mark Darcy...played by Colin Firth.
Liz is currently dating Carol...played by Matt Damon.

I wonder why I look to these ladies for inspiration.  Hmm.

Neither *quite* has it together - not time-wise, career-wise, love-wise, physically, or even in the household - but both have great outlooks on life.  And that outlook is?

Watch 30 Rock tonight, 8:30 on NBC
Drink wine on the treadmill?  No.... 
Rock out in your best flannel PJ's?  No.... 
Date extremely handsome men?  ...Perhaps...

Liz & Bridget both have accepted themselves for who they are.  Not with slightly larger breasts or a slightly smaller nose.  And that, my dear ladies, is why I love you both!  (Please do not make me choose between you.  Can't I wear a Team Bridget shirt that says Team Lemon on the back?)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What Bridget would think of The Girl with the Something-or-Other Books

Yet another cultural phenomenon: The Girl with the Something-or-other Books.

I think Bridget first picked these up so she'd have something to read on the train-ride to visit her parents.  (You have to read on the train when you're single and alone so you don't have people starting up awkward conversations and showing you pictures of their nephew who is also single - with good reason.)  She had finished reading the Twilight series and thought this was likewise Young Adult fiction.

Re: Dragon Tattoo.  Oy.  Nazis and sexual favorite.

Re: Played with Fire.  Snore.  Fell asleep a few times per chapter and could never remember whose perspective we're following.

Re: Kicked the Hornet's Nest.  Why am I still reading this?  Honestly, WHY?

And this time, Bridget and I are 100% in agreement.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Run, watch Bridget, repeat.

I have one advantage over Bridget in the exercise department.  I can watch Bridget Jones's Diary while running on my treadmill, and she cannot.

Here are some factors to consider when picking a good run-on-the-treadmill movie:

(1) Expected length of run.  You will surely quit running the second the credits roll.

(2) Pacing.  If you're doing intervals (which you're insane if you're not), you want the story beats to have a similar interval length.  Preferably something that accents these story beats with music and/or musical montages.  (I'm Every Woman montage at the midpoint is IDEAL!)

(3) Something you've seen enough to know thoroughly but still has the ability to engage you.  You don't want to run while watching that movie you just got from Netflix.  You'll be cursing when you miss something important and end up watching it again, only this time you know the movie's twist. (Bruce Willis is dead!)  For me, "mini-break" equals walk-break.

(4) Don't watch skinny-minnie teenie-bopper movies while exercising.  Causes too much rage and may lead to binge eating afterwards which defeats the point of exercising.

So, when I'm running for 1:40, Bridget Jones's Diary is a perfect 10.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Bridget on Mondays

Why are weekends so short?!?!  Perhaps because was passed out most daylight hours of weekend.  Hmm. 

Surely there's a labor law (or one could be passed) to reverse one week and weekend a month.  "Flip Week" - the 2 day week, 5 day weekend.  Must contact representatives immediately.  Or Human Rights Activist.  Having only 2 days is far from humane.

Note to self:  Must make laundry a priority next weekend so that dressing does not take 5 hours on Monday morning.  Will most definitely be late.  Perhaps should come in at lunch and say was at an off-site appointment for morning.  Good plan.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Re: Pamela Jones vs. My Mom

Perhaps the most relatable relationship in the whole book & movie series is the relationship between Bridget and her mother Pam.  That's because we all have moms.  (I mean, even if we don't have moms, we had moms - we weren't Arnold Swarzenegger's child in Junior.)  And ALL of our moms are chock full of advice for how we can lead a better, happier life.

My mom and Pam would disagree heartily on what makes for a happy life.  My mother vehemently opposed serious relationships in high school, and she even cautioned me about getting married in general.  What was most important to her was that I didn't feel like I had to get married.  When she was 28, she got married because she thought if she didn't, something was "wrong" with her.  She didn't want me to feel like that.  So thanks, Mom, for never pressuring me.  Or conversely, thanks a bunch for strongly dissuading me, thus allowing me to fall into current state of singledom.  At least Pam sets her daughter up every New Year's!

"Promise to stay single until you're 30."
"Yes, Mommy, I promise."
My mom and Pam would also disagree on whether to have kids.  Pam says that if she had it all to do over, she might not have children.  My mom, to her dying week (boom, sympathy bomb just went off!), told me that having me was her favorite memory.  (In her state of mental unclarity, I wonder if she could remember my name...hmm.)  She decided I was having kids with blonde hair and ringlets, and she'd tell me things she would do for them when they came to visit.  (I believe they were more like threats directed at me, so phew, crisis averted.)

So, Pamela Jones vs. My Mom.  My Mom wins.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Bridget on a Sick Day

The weather has changed, making me feel cold-like symptoms.  Fun.  On a sick day, I'm guessing Bridget and I would do different things - mainly because a Kelley sick day includes watching Bridget Jones's Diary in my pajamas.

Bridget would probably wake up, have a head-ache, and think it has no correlation to last night's drinking marathon.  No, she's definitely dying.  She'd send out "FYI" emails to her Urban Family to A) let them know they may have been exposed to killer virus and B) alert them that she might die alone in her flat (so her corpse won't be eaten by wild dogs).  Then, she would come up with a healthy life-style plan - lots of vitamin C, exercising, neti-pot cleansing, going to bed at a reasonable hour, and eating a balanced diet.

Around 2pm, after eating the entire contents of her fridge having decided that healthy life-style plan is only in effect after survival becomes evident, she would realize she feels better and that perhaps she's over-reacted.  It may be possible that she only had a hangover.

Ok, Bridge, I'll try your healthy life-style plan for you and see how I fare.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Bridget in the Dog House

Another difference between me and Bridget: I have a dog, and she can't keep herself clothed.

I think Bridget would very much like to have a dog, and she'd even enjoy playing with the dog when she got it.  On cold and lonely nights, they'd snuggle.  She'd talk to her dog as if it were a person - practice work-conversations with a big vocabulary so that she'd be respected, admired even.  In the future, she'd think how nicely a dog would complete the picture of her happy life: a country home with Perfect Husband and adorable children with ringlets.  They'd all trot off together to have a picnic in a meadow, pup nipping at their heels.

If she got a dog now, surely she'd be able to meet Perfect Husband at a park.  She'd have THE proper casual-Sunday-afternoon outfit on...she'd toss a frisbee for her golden labradoodle to fetch, only Perfect Husband would catch it first.  A cute little game of tug-of-war between the dog and PH follows, and they both bring the frisbee back to Bridge.  Mmm, good dog.

However, if she were to dog-sit for a weekend and take the dog to the park, she'd be tripping over herself with leashes and doggy-waste bags, look ridiculous in what she thought was the proper outfit, and wind up with fines from PH for letting her dog run off-leash.

Sandy-bear, looks like you're stuck with me.  (Bridge, maybe you should start with a plant.)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Vice Advice

Friends have noted that I don't seem to have enough vices to "give up" in my year of all things Bridget.  While one friend suggested getting a quick drug addiction, I think I'll pass on that and just look to my own vices.  I have PLENTY!

So I'll just substitute some of mine for Bridget's.  Hers: "drink less, and quit smoking...and stop talking total nonsense to strangers."

(1) "Drink less" - The calories in alcohol are an awful lot like the calories in the chocolate chip cookies that I am compelled to buy at the Disney commissary every day that they sell them.  (Today, had to settle for M&M.)  Something about how they aren't always available makes me justify buying them when they are.  "I'm just buying this because they have them today, but I can save it in my desk for a snack when I really need it."  Cut to an hour later: no cookie in sight.  It does feel a little bit like the alcoholic who hides bottles of vodka behind the fridge.

(2) "Quit smoking" - I bite my fingernails like crazy.  I've given it up time and time again, but I just keep falling back off the wagon.  I put bad tasting polish on my nails, but I somehow managed to endure the taste!  It's a little like a smoker trying to kick the habit with nicotine gum but then wakes up in the morning and smokes before they realize what they're doing.

(3) "Stop talking total nonsense to strangers" - For me, it would be a bit more like "stop being so freaking shy."  True story: on more than one occasion, I've gone to ladies' rooms to look myself in the mirror and pump myself up enough to go back out there and mingle.  That doesn't just happen in movies!

The fortunate thing is that Bridget defeats zero of her vices.  The other fortunate thing is I can enjoy all of these guilt-free until January 1st.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What Bridget would think of Twilight

I recently saw Kate Spade's new line of "Book Clutches" and commented that they should have picked the books Pride and Prejudice and Twilight since then every age range of females would instantly HAVE to have them.  They did not take my advice.

It seems only fair to weigh in on what Bridget (a die-hard P&P fan) would say about the new phenom: Twilight.

First, I think she would act as if you were jogging her memory.  "Twilight?  Oh, that Stephenie Meyer series about teenage vampires, right, right."  She'd probably take a sip of her drink to delay responding properly - she wouldn't want to come across as too eager.  Then, she would claim that she had only read them because she does, after all, work in publishing.  She might wax on about how she was concerned about the impact they were having on teen girls - showing a grim picture of love.  All the while, she has the whole set of books dog-earred under her bed and watches the first movie over and over again on nights that she can't sleep.  And she's Team Edward all the way, shh.  She just loves when he says "Bella, you are my life now."  Chills.

Um, that was what Bridget would think.  Not me at all.  No....but I did "have" to read them for work....and I do have concerns about the grim picture of love the books present to teen girls.  And that's all you're getting out of me! 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Shelf Full of Self-Help

Remember when Bridget tosses out the self-help books in the awesome Chaka Khan "I'm Every Woman" montage?

I'm prepping for that moment in next year's experimental "year as Bridget Jones" by reading up now!  Tongue in cheek, of course...unless it works, in which case I'll swear by it.

Today, a friend reminded me of a running theme in these self-help books - "visualize" the target.  So if my target is Mark Darcy, I need to visualize my Mark Darcy.  Will he actually be a barrister?  Well, considering we'd never call them barristers, probably not.  Divorced from his Japanese wife?  Will he be wearing a reindeer jumper?

Going back to Bridget's own inspiration (a wet shirt clad Colin Firth in BBC's Pride and Prejudice), I wonder what I would think of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy himself if I met him tomorrow.

(1) He wouldn't have a job.  So, I wouldn't love that. 
(2) He'd have lived in his parents' house until they died.  Not a far cry from the average unmarried guy living in his parents' basement. 
(3) He'd hunt all kinds of innocent creatures for sport. 
Suffice it to say, thank goodness times have changed.

I have no idea what my Mr. Darcy will be like, but I hope that I'll have an open heart and mind to whatever form he happens to take.

Monday, October 11, 2010

In the Beginning, there was a diary...

I realize that fact is fact, and fiction is fiction: two separate things entirely.  But having no other leads toward my own little happy ending and being as close as I'll ever be to Bridget Jones in age, I've decided that 2011 is going to be my year of testing out Bridget Jones's method.  How?  By following her diary of course. 

The complications with this plan:
(1) I don't drink
(2) don't smoke
(3) don't have a vulgar mother, but I do have a form of verbal diarrhea that will help with the similarities. 
(4) Also have never, to the best of my knowledge, run around naked in anyone's paddling pool.  This could be tricky, very tricky.

I do, however, pledge to:
(1) Obviously lose 20 pounds
(2) Always put last night's panties in the laundry basket
(3) Find a nice sensible boyfriend and stop forming romantic attachments to any of the following: alcoholics, workaholics, commitment-phobics, peeping toms, megalomaniacs, emotional bleep-wits, or perverts.

What most appeals to me about the Bridget Jones method is her unwavering ability to see the fun in life and smile even through the hard times. 

Hopefully, there's still a Mark Darcy out there who will look past my short-comings in those other areas.