September 28, 2010 by Kat Richter
Just in case you were wondering—okay, you probably weren’t wondering, not about this specific fact at least, but I’m going to tell you anyway—reading novels set in London is not the greatest way to embrace your new surroundings and live in the here and now.
This is why I am going to stop reading novels set in London, at least after Sophie Kinsella’s latest comes out (and I’m only planning to read Mini-Shopoholic because Ms. Kinsella went to New College, which practically makes us colleagues seeing as I spent my entire junior year studying— and learning the definition of the word “snogging”— at New College. And since we’re obviously such well connected, kindred spirits, I should support her work, right? Right.)
Anyway, as I was saying, I know that storylines set in My Favorite City aren’t going to help me to adjust to living in My Other Favorite City but what was I supposed to do when I stumbled upon a used copy of Bridget Jones’s Diary at the public library? Especially since it was only $1 (for a hardcover!) and all proceeds went to the library, so it would have been criminal of me not to buy it. Criminal and unpatriotic, come to think of it, and seeing as some of my more vitriolic fellow Americans manage to abscond with the word “unpatriotic” whenever describing independent thinking, freedom of religion or the use of tax payer dollars to fund something other than homeland security (such as public libraries), I would like to state that my purchase was as patriotic as it gets.
Except for the fact that Bridget Jones’s Diary is set in London.
I’m probably the last person in the world to read about the exploits (and hopeless “sexploits”) of Helen Fielding’s rather dimwitted heroine, and I’ve already seen the film (and the sequel, plus I’ve read Pride and Prejudice so I know how it ends) but British humor just cracks me up.
Plus, Bridget is a girl’s girl. I can totally relate to her pre-date eyebrow plucking rituals (and so, I suppose, can approximately half of the population, which is why Bridget Jones’s Diary was such a success despite Renee Zellweger’s deplorable approximation).
And now that I’m no longer sick and Date #9 is no longer too busy with his work to take me out, it’s time to commence the rituals and get back in shape. (And I have just over 48 hours because we’re not going out until Thursday.)
In terms of my weight, I gain and then lose the same five pound over and over again, just like Bridget. I go from The High End (a three digit number that ends in a “0” or sometimes even a “1”or a “2” if there’s cookie dough to be had) to The Low End (a three digit number that ends in a “5” or even if a “4” if I’m really lucky) on a weekly basis. This is why I don’t own any sexy underwear.
Shall I explain?
A while back, when I was living in a city I’m not going to name because I’m all about living in the present and I’m living in Philadelphia now, I decided to buy myself sexy underwear as a reward for maintaining my three-digit-number-that-ends-in-a-five weight. My goal was to maintain that weight for a week—just one simple week—and I almost made it once but then Asda had a sale on fair-trade chocolate bars and it seemed a shame not to buy them. Criminal even (and yes I know that Asda is owned by Wal-mart and Wal-mart is evil incarnate but fair-trade chocolate trumps evil as far as I’m concerned).
Needless to say, I didn’t exactly maintain my ideal weight. (I did however make a substantial contribution to the Divine Chocolate Co-Op, in fact they’ve probably built entire cities, universities and even highways to connect them thanks to my commitment to the fair-trade industry).
I did nearly achieve my goal upon returning to the US, mainly because I was depressed, I walked to work on a daily basis and I was so horrified by my boss’s eating habits that I forced myself to have salad for lunch every day (in the rare moments when Head Boss wasn’t prepping us for a visit from Corporate, she used to joke, self-deprecatingly about her “breakfast of champions” which consisted of bag a of Doritos and can of Coke from the vending machine in the break room).
Of course, my months at The Shop comprised a very dark and traumatic period in my life, one from which I emerged (surprise, surprise) without a boyfriend. So even though I nearly earned the sexy underwear, I didn’t bother to buy any because aside from my lucky red knickers, I see no point in wearing sexy underwear if no one’s going to see it.
(And no matter how you may feel about the relationship between self confidence and matching underwear sets, I can assure you, there is absolutely no relationship between sexy underwear and the meager paycheck that comes with a dead-end job in South Philadelphia’s finest retail establishment. Unless of course I had been sensible enough to purchase a Beddazler before my “leave of absence” robbed me of my employee discount. Then I could have made my own sexy underwear.)
I’m fairly certain that I won’t be needing any sexy underwear for my third date with #9 (we’re just going to dinner, but then again I ended up snogging my first Republican after we went to church together during my New College days, so it’s anyone’s guess really).
What I do know that it’s been a while since I’ve worked out the “3-4 times a week” that I claim to work out on my Match.com profile. And I’d really like to reach The Low End by the time I see Date #9 again, so I guess it’s time to lay off the chick lit and bring on the crunches.
Just as soon as I finish this piece of chocolate (I’ve got a village in Africa to support).