And get it quick! Otherwise I am going to self – combust/implode/explode/go on a murderous rampage; or more likely, die in a pool of my own vomit, *living in a shared flat, with no hope for the future, in the not too distant future.
Thank the good Lord above/ Odin/Buddha/Aphrodite/Brahma/the Universe, for husbands and babies. If it weren’t for husbands and babies, you might have found yourselves today, sidestepping the lifeless bodies of sad and lonely women, littering the streets on your way to work this Monday, who, with no play dates to distract them and husbands to cook for, saw nothing better to do with their solo time at the weekend, than go out drinking, sh*gging around and taking drugs to oblivion.
Because let’s face it, without a husband and a baby, that really is all there is to do, for someone like me say, with no obvious higher purpose in life.
So, I NEED a baby NOW! Where can I get me one of them bad boys, and quickly!? I don’t want to die, I’m too ‘young’…. <weeps, wails and beats breast> Aisle 7 of my local Bonpreu next to the bread……? Oh who am I kidding? I don’t know where the bread is, I’m always heading straight for the booze. Or, maybe today is finally the day (the first time in the last fifteen years of ‘more or less’ singledom), that Prince Charming is going to walk into my life, and save me from my drunken, louche self. If I’m lucky, it will be the hot musketeer of BBC fame, who will happen to be holidaying in Barcelona, and bump into me in the **queue for coffee, round the corner from work. I can but dream.
After realising my impending fate, I tried really hard to conjure a baby up this morning with my super brain magic, but there appears to be a little something interfering with my ability today, probably the copious amounts of gin I obviously drank at the weekend. (I did actually.)
And how do I know that this dreadful destiny awaits me? The Wrong Knickers – a Decade of Chaos by Bryony Gordon. Bryony sounds like me, and a whole load of my girlfriends too, for that matter, when we were in our twenties. Nothing too out of the ordinary there, the usual tale of drunkeness, casual encounters and all the other stuff you can get swept up in, being young in London (and probably most other major cities around the world). We did it all too. But there is one vital difference, Bryony, thankfully has been saved by a husband and a baby. All power to her elbow. The rest of us are just waiting to die in a sea of Tanqueray.
She herself says, in a Telegraph interview, “I couldn’t have written the book if I were still single – it would have been too bleak. But last year I got married and had a baby (though not necessarily in that order), and then I wrote The Wrong Knickers on maternity leave while my daughter slept in her sling. Her very existence provided me with some distance from the events of my 20s.
She was my redemption, my very own happy ending. When I mentioned this to a friend she said to me, ‘Well, if you can have a happy ending, then anyone can.’ I think that’s probably true, and I hope young women in a similar situation to mine will breathe a sigh of relief when they read it.” Note: italics mine, not Bryony’s.
Bleak – Bleak, or adventurous and fun and great stories to tell?
some distance from the events of my 20s – why do you want to create distance? Experience is part of what makes who you are.
she was my redemption, my very own happy ending – and if you hadn’t have been ‘lucky’ enough to meet your husband when you did……..?
I had some hair-raising moments in my twenties, they weren’t bleak, they weren’t particularly smart and sometimes they were downright dangerous, but definitely not bleak. And I learned a whole lot from those experiences of young marriage, drink, drugs, (men were later), debt.
You all know, I’m on man sabbatical. I learned life is easier.
I’m not interested in drugs. I learned drugs are a mug’s game.
I don’t drink so much as I did then. Much. I learned………. well, I learned not to drink quite so much.
I was nearly forty grand in debt after I moved to Liverpool, (according to my Dad, on the run from some mysterious person/organisation. He also likes to tell a great story, I wonder where I get it from), and now? My finances are all in very good order.
And guess what, my baby didn’t look at my bank account, take me to one side, and say, “Listen up mum, you’re a shambles, sort it the f*ck out!” Hell, I’ve even got some savings and am considering taking out a pension next year. Look at Annie P, all growed up. So proud.
And, I did it all on my own because, I like to think I’m smarter now with age, and they were incredibly valuable LIFE. LESSONS. Not everyone gets the ‘happy ending’, to quote Bryony. If you wait for the knight to charge up and scoop you out of the boozy, shambolic mire, you could be waiting a very long time. It doesn’t happen for everyone, so you need to man up and get a grip. Take responsibility.
I’m most definitely going to buy and read Bryony’s book, because I bet it’s a riot and I know for sure I will relate to it. And also to stick pins in my eyes as I think to myself, “I could have written this, it’s just exactly like my life. If only I’d had a baby to guide the way.”
*shared flat forever, a VERY real possibility, if the estate agents here don’t pull their fingers out and actually meet me when they say they will.
** I use the word queue lightly, I mean mess of people standing and sitting around, chatting, not paying attention, getting angry when you walk in and go straight to the counter to order because THERE IS NO VISIBLE SIGN OF ANY ORGANISATION. I am so very British in that respect.
Is it gin o’clock yet?