I'm presently reading Liz Jone's Diary ... how one single girl got married. Liz used to be Editor of Glamor and Marie Claire but is now the Fashion Editor of Daily Mail. I used to work in the Daily Mail and I used to sell adverts off the back of Liz Jones - "I love her - she's great blah blah blah" I'd lie. Of course I hadn't a clue who she was really. I'd a sheet with names I was expected to drop into conversation (I always raved about our Gardening columnist "his the best" I later found out he is a she. Lesson learnt - "know your product").
I only read one of her articles - it was bearable only because it mentioned her pets. I never read "You" Magazine on a Saturday (it does boost the papers sales though) because it only had English adverts (I only read newspapers and magazine for leads not enjoyment) now however "plug plug" it does have Irish adverts...
I picked up the book in the library last week only because they literally had nothing on my list of classics (yes I wrote a list) and I needed something to show for my trip (or to stop me spending money in Easons or worst Forbidden Planet on the way back home) so I went home with dating books, some chick lit, and a Dr. Phil book (see why I needed the list). To start off with I thought she's a bit like my perfect older sister who's rather fab, fashionable and has wallpaper encrusted with Swarovski crystals in her living room.
As I read on and on it dawned on me "Liz Jones ... how one single girl got married" is not a celebration of finally being part of a smug married couple after years of single living it's about how women sabotage themselves and their relationships with their needy behavior, unrealistic expectations and mind games. By Chapter 10 it was me mirrored in the pages. At first it was fun, cute similarities - she works in The Mail, owns 4 cats - one is even called Snoopy, likes guinea pigs, her boyfriend is younger and doesn't eat meat, football widow, complains at goldfish in round bowls in shops (it's distressing for them you know) and her pet hate is standing up eating without a plate (I once nearly broke up with Chris in our early years because he expected me to eat a bag of chips on a street corner in Navan - I told him it was common.)
Then I started to notice the less nice similarities - the word "negative" comes to mind and the phrase "nothing is ever good enough" or" high maintenance". We have a high divorce rate because of the Liz Jones of the world. Whilst confidence and successful her self esteem is dangerously low and therefore she should not date never mind marry. I'm only on Chapter 46 but I know she's not married anymore so it can't end well. Bridget Jones can be as dim as she likes... she's fictional...
It got me thinking about my own many bad habits. I've always viewed myself as not a saint of a girlfriend but a good solid keeper all the same! I'm starting to think I'm not that much of a keeper at all. Chris however is annoyingly a saint (except every now and then he accidently locks me in the bedroom) - he puts up with my expensive "pet rescue" complexion (I once maxed a credit card on two sick rabbits - they didn't even live...), I'll eat all the Rice Krispies and leave the box in the cupboard, I refer to him as "well trained" and say "the key is to get them young" when I boast about how he cooks and cleans dispite his daily 4 hour commute, I openly wonder if I'd prefer living alone in a bed sit furnished by Ikea, I've told him which pets and other items I'm keeping when we spilt (because no one stays with the fella they've been dating since they were 17 but yet I've pinned him down on an exact wedding date), I guess all his surprizes, I open Christmas presents early, I put Boyzone on his ipod, I'm doing something else this year for his Birthday (I'm going to Simply Red with my Dad), in general I throw a fit when I don't get "exactly" what I want (I steal all my ideas for movies) all the time (example the time he brought back Kimberly biscuits instead of Jaffa Cakes), I wake him in the middle of the night to get me a drink of water (I can't go downstairs in case there are zombies or ghosts) then complain I don't like the glass the water is in and perhaps worst of all when I'm home sick I blame him as the reason I'm in evil Dublin instead of Limerick where my friends and family and a career in radio is even though I love my job, I've plenty of friends in Dublin and seeing my Family would probably ruin our great relationship.
Chris protested all this - having read the last paragraph he says I'm being very hard on myself. I am lovely in other ways even if I'm very demanding it's worth it. Chris likes me because I'm focused, motivated, generous, intelligent and funny. That sounds more like a reason to hire me then date me. I figure I must be great in bed? I wish it was New Years so I could promise to be better behaved - I'll promise anyway.