I was a 21 year old frustrated waitress/wannabe writer when we met. Late to the party (well, the book shop, actually) I instantly knew we’d be lifelong friends.
You stumbled in, glass of Chardonnay in one hand, cigarette in the other and immediately stopped the literary world from blowing smoke up the arse of the serious, male-dominated fiction that had previously flooded the bestseller lists and made them laugh instead. You spoke with such emotional and social truth that you inspired a generation of female authors like Sophie Kinsella, Lisa Jewell and Adele Parks to write for women, about women. They inspired others – like me – to do the same. I wouldn’t have my dream career without you.
“Thanks to you we all wear big pants these days.”
You made it acceptable to have a dysfunctional family/relationship/career, made being ‘Smug Married’ an affliction, not an aspiration and inspired female Singletons the world over to give male emotional fuckwits the wide berth they deserved.
You made being comfy, sexy (thanks to you we all wear big pants, these days) and even though you obsessed infuriatingly about weight you didn’t actually need to lose, you also made women the world over to feel it was ok to be a work in progress. Not perfect, but loved by those that count ‘Exactly as we are’.
So, Bridget, on this the 20th anniversary year of your diary being published, your friends – who all love you v. much – will be wetting your baby’s head at the cinema with gallons of Chardonnay. (And no, we don’t want to know how many calories are in it!)
3 life lessons we’ve learned from Bridget’s books
lesson 1: how to fall in love
“Can I officially confirm that the way to a man’s heart these days is not through beauty, food, sex, or alluringness of character, but merely the ability to seem not very interested in him.” Bridget Jones’s Diary
lesson 2: how to make big life decisions
“9p.m. My flat. Feel very strange and empty. Is all very well thinking everything is going to be different when you come back but then it is all the same. Suppose I have to make it different. But what am I going to do with my life? I know. Will eat some cheese.” Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason
lesson 3: how to dress
“Call me old-fashioned, but I did read in Glamour that one’s shorts should always be longer than one’s vagina.” Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy