The History of Mark Darcy, a Barrister
By S. Faith, © 2012
Words: 95,000, in 18 Chapters and an Epilogue
(I have estimated the Word count down from 96,292 to offset the dialog that came straight from the book.)
Rating: PG-13 / T
(for non-explicit adult situations and language)
Summary: The other side of the coin: what if we knew what Mark was thinking? An account of the time period covered by both books, Bridget Jones' Diary and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (UK editions).
Disclaimer: Really, truly, honestly is not mine.
Notes: Title inspired by another Fielding: Henry, author of The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling.
This site does not accept the strikethrough tag, so there may be some bits that are nonsensical. Go read it on my site instead via LJ. Grumble.
Chapter 1: 1 Sept – 5 Jan
Thurs, 1 Sept
Let's try this, since nothing else has worked.
Now that it's open, though, I find I don't know what to say.
Fri, 2 Sept
I'm supposed to use this to help gain control over the stress in my life. I have to find a solution, given that I'm only sleeping about two hours a night, there's no physical reason to be found for this insomnia, and the medication the doctor initially prescribed for me cast a veil of fog over my days. I need to stay sharp. Not that the lack of sleep is keeping me any sharper.
Going to visit my parents in Huntingdon. I have only been back about a month. I hadn't seen my parents since before I moved to America, so I've been to see them twice since being back. At the risk of sounding uncouth, they aren't getting any younger. So I'm making up for lost time.
Sat, 3 Sept
Last night, slept two hours, woke, slept another two. Slight progress.
A most perplexing day. Was not expecting garden party on my agenda for the day, though my mother insists she mentioned it. (It's possible she did so whilst I was groggy.) Many of my mother's friends were there—some had brought their daughters; I did not ask why—and she seemed very pleased to introduce me to them all. I felt a little put on the spot listening to my mother talk about me, explain where I've been and that I'd just returned. Even though I know she's proud of me, and I'm pleased to have made her proud, it all felt a bit like bragging.
One of the ladies present, Mrs Husbands-Bosworth, talked my ear off a bit; her daughter was staying with her to help her after a medical procedure about which I prayed they would not go into more excruciating detail than they already had. She was also not very subtle in letting me know that her daughter was unmarried, and the daughter—Pauline, I think—seemed very eager to reaffirm this. I was of course polite, but it was discomfiting.
I was also introduced to Mrs Jones, who had come over from Grafton Underwood for the afternoon; my mother reminded me though that it was more of a reintroduction, because we apparently went to visit the Joneses often when they lived in Buckingham. I did remember this, and it prompted a recollection of a daughter seven or eight years younger than myself, whom I'd been charged to mind in the garden on occasion during those visits.
"Your daughter, Bridget?" I asked suddenly, feeling the need to engage a little more; I could just hear my mother, at the end of the day, chastising me for keeping to myself too much. "She's well?"
"Oh yes," said Mrs Jones, her eyes lighting up in a way I couldn't quite define. "Thank you for asking. We're hoping she comes to the New Years Turkey Curry Buffet. Your mother says you'll be coming."
I nodded. I vaguely remembered agreeing to something on New Years since I had already planned to be staying with my parents for the holidays, but it made me wonder if it was normal to plan an event like this one more than four months in advance.
I excused myself to get another glass of wine and decided to have a stroll in the garden to enjoy the pleasant weather and get away from the chatter. I could still hear the conversation—the garden is not that large, after all—but the sound it of had been dulled enough to my satisfaction.
I was startled from my thoughts by the sound of my name. I turned and found Pauline Husbands-Bosworth standing there. "It gets a bit much," she said. I smiled politely. "You're living in London, are you?"
"Yes," I said.
"So," she said. "You're back from America?" She knew from the introduction that I was, so I waited to hear what was to follow. "How nice it must be for you to be back and so near to your mum and dad." She laughed almost nervously. "Not as near as me, obviously. At least for now."
"Your visit here drawing to a close?" I asked.
She nodded. "My mum's obviously recovered, so I'll be back in London soon, too." She smiled brightly. "I'd love to hear more about your successes in America, but mum and I are leaving the party. Maybe once we're both back in London… here's my number."
She handed me a card, which I mutely accepted; I was too surprised by the sudden change in conversation to respond. We had gone from casual small talk to a full-bore pass in seconds flat.
"Oh, there you are, Pauline!" It was her mother, who looked very pleased indeed. "So glad to see you two getting on so well. Mark, lovely to see you're back home."
The Husbands-Bosworth ladies' departure seemed to spark an exodus and within twenty minutes everyone had cleared out. My mother broached the new-born subject of Pauline's interest in me as we cleared away the empty glasses and plates.
"What did you think of Pauline?" she asked as she filled a tray (and I filled another). The light yet cautious tone of her voice was odd. "Did you like her?"
I almost said that I didn't know her well enough to like her or not like her, but I thought about what she'd said; the focus of her words had been only on my successes. "Not particularly."
As I said, perplexing—I would have sworn she'd wanted me to like Pauline, but I'm equally glad she didn't press the matter.
The rest of the day was uneventful. We spoke a little about their visit to London oncoming in a fortnight; I am treating them to a weekend in the city for their thirty-ninth wedding anniversary during which we'll have dinner at least once. At this rate it'll have to be at the hotel since I don't yet have a house. Hope the estate agent will have found one soon that meets my needs.
Sun, 4 Sept
Back in London. Five hours solid sleep last night. Maybe there's something to writing things down.
Have just had dinner; time to prepare for work.
House in Mayfair the agent wants me to look at tomorrow. Not hopeful.
Mon, 5 Sept
Two steps forward, one back. Barely an hour last night.
Doctor thinks the insomnia is related to the nature of my work; my mother believes it's because I work too much. She tells me often that I need to relax more.
To no one's surprise, I did not care for the house. Estate agent is doing her best, but the selection available hasn't been what I'm looking for.
Weds, 7 Sept
Two very long days in chambers, working on a court case. Feel as if I am running on an empty petrol tank. Chamomile tea last night helped a little; shall try again tonight.
Thurs, 8 Sept
Had a surprise this evening. While I was eating my dinner and catching up with a recording of—it pains me to say this—last weekend's Blind Date, my telephone rang. I did not pick up, as I did not want my dinner to go cold. The answerphone engaged; it was Pauline. She had looked up my number, and wanted to see about meeting to chat. Her message was fairly blatant, despite the attempt at a coquettish giggle. A sample: "Maybe dinner somewhere nice—not like you can't afford it!—so we can get to know each other a little better."
I am not looking to get to know anyone better. Not Pauline, after a crass message like that. Certainly do not need another Amanda.
Weds, 14 Sept
Went to drinks party (as is often required in professional circles). I was, to my surprise, chatted up rather extensively by a woman called Janine who, as it turns out, is the daughter of another of my mother's friends. She was very keen to tell me this, as if this fact alone would instantly cause us to bond. I did not wish to be rude but being direct seemed to be the only way to respond, particularly when she enquired as to the make and model of my vehicle. She reeked not only of desperation but of cloying perfume, and her makeup appeared to have been applied with a trowel.
Given the previous encounter with Pauline, I have a very strong suspicion that this is not a coincidental happening. I shall have to ask my mother about this apparent onslaught.
Sleep improving marginally. Still no more than five hours a night. I suppose I should be grateful for small improvements.
Sat, 17 Sept
Dinner out with parents. Treated them to Le Pont de la Tour. Most of the evening was uneventful (which I tend to prefer), until a moment of enlightenment when I brought up the encounter with Janine so hot on the heels of Pauline.
"Mark," she said. "There's more to life than work."
Of course, I knew that, and I said so.
"But you must be so lonely," she went on. "You can't have much of a personal life all on your own."
My father piped in: "It wouldn't hurt to take out a girl once in a while."
I understood at last. They thought the ultimate source of my stress was not simply that I worked too much, but that I didn't have someone with whom to spend personal time so I chose to work instead. I had to ask her exactly what she'd said or done to send these women after me.
"I only told my friends how proud I was of you, your achievements and your success," she said. "And yes, I might have mentioned you were on your own. But I did not in fact tell them to point their daughters towards you, wind them up and let them go."
I felt terrible for accusing her of scheming in such a way, and I apologised. She accepted and the subject changed.
I couldn't stop thinking, though, about how wrong they were about my personal life. If they think I'm mourning the loss of an unfaithful wife, they are mistaken; divorcing her was no loss. No; if anything, I am filled with self-reproach at my own error in judgment.
Mon, 3 Oct
Extraordinarily overwhelmed with work. Have been invited by Giles to participate in the chambers' five-a-side games, but have not been able to participate since he asked. I'm lucky if I'm able to make it to fall into bed, though lack of physical activity is affecting my already poor ability to sleep.
Have decided to narrow focus to Holland Park, for house.
Sat, 22 Oct
Still very busy.
Was finally able to make it to a game. Sore all over, in a good way. Giles asked if I played squash. I told him I did. Obviously I could use a little more physical activity.
Sun, 23 Oct
Last night, six hours sleep.
I have neglected keeping up in this journal regarding the on-going saga of the daughters of Cambridgeshire and environs. Since that first call, Pauline called several more times whilst I was out. I caught one such call just as I was leaving for court and made it very clear that her calls were not welcome. Janine I have not heard from again, which is a blessing, I suppose.
Another point of interest. I am no longer the most recently joined barrister in chambers. We have acquired a family law barrister by the name of Natasha Glenville. She is tall—almost as tall as I am in her heeled shoes—and very thin. Dark eyes; short dark hair. She dresses impeccably in the same sort of defeminising suits that most of the professional women I know wear. She seems whip-smart and we've had a couple of very intense legal discussions. She is very self-assured and direct.
Thurs, 3 Nov
Michael Howard's Criminal Justice and Public Order Act has passed Parliament. Not sure what my feelings are on the subject. There's much I support about it, but I have severe misgivings regarding, among other things, being allowed to draw conclusions about an accused's silence, and the whole 'repetitive beats' as sound nuisance. Aren't military marches composed of repetitive beats? It's a slippery slope.
Sun, 20 Nov
I realise that this doesn't work as a stress pressure release if I don't actually write in it. However, the days are just flying by. When I look back over the last month since my last entry, I can think of nothing important that stands out from the routine. I did find myself the centre of unwanted female attention again at a dinner party given by Louise Barton-Foster, not once, but twice. At least these two were not from my mother's circle of friends. Their intentions were clear, though. It's tiring to realise they are not interested in me as a person, but as a rather fat chequebook, or a rung on some ridiculous social ladder.
Sleep is only improved in very small ways. I'm holding steady, averaging 4-5 hours a night.
Mother called to firm up plans for the Christmas holiday. I can drive up Friday night the 23rd, then stay through Sunday the 8th of January. (Well, the company car can drive me, since it's estimated my own car won't be delivered until mid-January.) It'll be nice to get away from everything. Maybe I'll sleep a little better.
Last Sunday, the new Channel Tunnel began allowing passengers to cross. I was beginning to doubt it would ever actually open. Historic.
As for today, it was a very ordinary birthday.
Thurs, 1 Dec
It feels now as if we're in the dead of winter, especially so with the new moon; it gets dark very early as it is wont to do in December. I have made all necessary holiday purchases and have lent my signature to the Christmas cards going out to the clients. (I have never quite understood leaving holiday purchases until the last moment, then panicking to find the right thing. Then again, my list is relatively spare.)
I've been busy wrapping up the end of the year so that I can take it easy for those two weeks. I wonder if instead I shouldn't have booked a holiday somewhere warm and sunny, but remind myself that the holidays are about surrounding yourself with your loved ones, and my parents are really all I've got.
Sun, 11 Dec
Yeltsin has ordered troops into Chechnya. A story to watch.
Fri, 23 Dec
I have encountered many things as a barrister, but do not, until now, believe I've ever been ambushed.
I arrived just as my mother was preparing to serve dinner. My father was reading the newspaper and drinking a brandy, and was, bless him, oblivious to the conversation occurring around him. After the usual pleasantries, the conversation took a very unexpected turn.
"So I don't suppose, in a city as large as London, that you've ever run into Bridget Jones," she said as if it were the most natural, casual thing in the world to mention.
I stuttered a response, my mind racing to place the context. "Not to my knowledge."
"I only ask because I was visiting with Pam, who showed me some photos—she's a very pretty young lady now. Very pretty. But then again, she was so adorable as a child, so it's really not that unexpected."
I realised she meant my young charge from our paddling pool days, all grown up. "Ah," I said, for lack of anything more to say.
The subject dropped for the time being, until we were part way through the meal.
"You know," said my mother, completely apropos of nothing, "I'm sure she'll be at the Alconburys' Turkey Curry Buffet on New Years Day. That'll be nice, won't it? You can talk. I'm sure you have lots in common."
I was extremely doubtful. "Oh, is she also a barrister?"
Mother pursed her lips. "There's more to have in common than just a career, Mark."
"So what do we have in common?" I asked.
"Well…" she began. "I think she works in the city."
I stifled a chuckle. "So do millions of other people."
"Mark, there's no need to be rude," she said.
"Sorry," I said quickly, and I was sorry, because she's my mother, not my enemy. My father then began talking about how he'd had a letter from one of his naval colleagues (as if she and I hadn't been talking at all), and the subject was again dropped.
I do hope it's for good.
Sun, 25 Dec
A very pleasant day. My aunt Harriet and her son Simon arrived last evening and we all had a nice catch-up; however, I don't think she realises I am verging on forty, because her gift included a ridiculous pair of socks with a bumblebee pattern upon them. It is perplexing because she is otherwise fairly fashionable, and is not even twenty years older than I am. I even caught Simon sniggering behind his hand when I opened the package.
They stayed through breakfast then left; Harriet needed to go take Simon to visit his father. After they went I decided to sit by the fire, read the book from my mother and drink mulled wine until it was time for dinner.
I suspect I will sleep well tonight.
Mon, 26 Dec
I slept the most I've done in months last night. Eight and a half hours. An anomaly, to be certain. The wine had much to do with it.
I expect this will not occur again tonight. My mother has, oh so subtly, returned to a subject I should have guessed was not in fact dropped.
"By the way," she said, unrelated to anything about which we had been talking, "Una's confirmed that Bridget's coming on New Years."
"Oh," I said, totally caught off-guard; I was not sure what sort of reply was expected.
"Pam told Una that she has to work on New Years Day, but that she'll be coming up afterwards."
"She's driving all this way just to spend a few hours at a party thrown by friends of her parents?" I asked. She said no more at that moment; it was almost as if she hadn't heard me. I was not about to pursue it further, either.
Una Alconbury then came by after lunch, bearing a gift for my parents and one for me. "Tell Mark," said my mother as I slipped a fingernail under the sellotape on my gift, "that Bridget's coming to the Turkey Curry Buffet." As if I hadn't believed her earlier.
Una puffed up, quite pleased with herself. "Of course she's coming," she said. "She's being coming since she was running around with no clothes on!"
I opened the present. It was a jumper, dark navy, and when I held it up to inspect it, I saw that it had an argyle pattern on the front. It was unlike anything I owned or was likely to purchase; target audience for such a jumper was about twenty-five years my senior. I did not know what to say. I certainly did not want to hurt her feelings. I struggled to keep my features in check.
"I thought you might like something nice to wear on New Years," supplied Una with a bright smile. "You know, to impress."
I returned that smile fully. "Thank you very much," I said. I could only think about the verbal contortions Bridget would have to manage to try to compliment me on this thing.
Weds, 28 Dec
More hint-dropping here and there about Bridget coming to the Alconburys' Turkey Curry Buffet. It is becoming tedious, maddening and a bit offensive. Why does my mother believe I need help to find a girlfriend… or persist in believing I need one?
For added enjoyment, I shall also wear the bumblebee socks.
Thurs, 29 Dec
After my mother mentioned that I should pay a visit to my boyhood barber for a trim before meeting Bridget Jones, I'm afraid I lost my temper. After all, it is not as if I could be mistaken for a hippie.
"My hair's fine," I said curtly. "I do wish you'd stop fussing about the Turkey Curry Buffet."
She frowned. I felt instantly horrible. "I just want you to be happy, and you deserve someone nice."
Of course I agreed. I just didn't think it was likely to happen from the very small available pool of my mother's friends' daughters, both here in Cambridgeshire as well as Northamptonshire. My response to her was considerably less verbose: "I know."
"Especially after… what happened in America."
I lowered my eyes. This was, much to my gratitude, sufficient to end the conversation. I again wondered why the sudden zeal about my loneliness, and particularly the proposed remedy in the form of Bridget Jones.
I paid my penance. I must admit that the barber did a very nice job.
Sat, 31 Dec
My father, mother and I had a lovely dinner and in a couple of hours we'll pop open the sparkling wine and ring in the new year. Thinking back over the past year has sparked introspection the likes of with which I am unfamiliar. I suppose I could make a list of everything that's happened over the last year. It might help to organise my thoughts, allow me to process in a rational way the changes that have occurred, but on the other hand, it might completely overwhelm me and send me into the corner, quivering like a blancmange.
I look back to this time last year and to how happy I was; all right, perhaps not happy so much as satisfied. I wonder how I will feel in a year's time; will this (the present) be considered a happy or satisfied state compared to how things are at that future time? God, I hope not.
My life was on track, and in most ways still is. It's just time to readjust course.
Sun, 1 Jan
The Turkey Curry Buffet is over, and I have to admit it was not at all as I had expected. Not at all.
We arrived just after the time it was slated to start. Many of the usual faces were present, including the Joneses. I was a bit on my guard; I practically anticipated a physical ambush by the much-spoken-of Bridget Jones. Then I learned she had actually not arrived with her parents—and I reminded myself she was coming after work.
We had been there at least an hour when Bridget had not yet arrived; I began to relax a little, ate my turkey curry, and passed the time having a look over Geoffrey Alconbury's disturbing collection of tomes. It was when I heard the elaborate doorbell go off, then Una's high-pitched, animated voice coming from the front of the house proclaiming, "She got lost, everyone!", that I realised Bridget had arrived.
I hoped to sink into the book shelves. Maybe everyone would forget I was here. When Una trilled my name, said, "I've got someone nice for you to meet," I realised there was no escape.
I turned to face them (and my doom, or so it felt) and clapped eyes on the daughter of Pam and Colin Jones for the first time since we had both played together in a paddling pool in Buckingham. She was not particularly tall, even in her heeled black boots. She was dressed simply in a blue V-neck knit top and blue jeans; clearly she had not gone out of her way to 'dress to impress.' Her hair was loose, almost wild around her face. The expression she wore told me everything I needed to know about her opinion of the jumper I'd chosen to wear: disgust, even horror. She was pretty, though, just as my mother had intimated, with stunning blue eyes. Last but not least, unlike the women with whom I had recently been acquainted—well, there is no delicate way to say this, but there was no escaping noticing her curvaceous figure.
Una looked completely beside herself. "Mark, this is Colin and Pam's daughter, Bridget. Bridget works in publishing, don't you, Bridget?"
"I do indeed," she said; I detected a mocking tone. Mocking?
"Well, I'll leave you two young people together," said Una. "Durr! I expect you're sick to death of us old fuddy-duddies."
"Not at all." The statement came out of my mouth of its own accord before I realised it made me sound like a fool. I tried smiling to smooth things over, but don't think I succeeded.
Una left us to an awkward silence. I was feeling on uncertain ground. This was not at all what I had expected; she was not immediately grasping my arm to stake a claim, flattering me excessively about my work, asking me how much I spent on my suits (to give examples of what I've endured these past months). Actually, it didn't seem she wanted to be there or talk to me at all. I realised quickly that I should probably speak, but I had no idea what to say, and my eyes continued to fix on the V-neck of her shirt.
'Publishing,' I thought. 'She works in publishing.'
"I. Um. Are you reading any… ah…." I stopped. "Have you read any good books lately?"
She looked at me like I was mad, to be honest, then suddenly said, "Backlash, actually, by Susan Faludi."
I was surprised it was not something more current. I had thought the arguments were poorly constructed and the conclusions drawn were fraught with logical fallacies. "Ah. Really? I read that when it first came out. Didn't you find there was rather a lot of special pleading?"
"Oh, well, not too much…" she said, then changed the subject; in retrospect, it was probably for the best as it was no good to get into a feminist debate among this company. "Have you been staying with your parents over New Year?"
"Yes. You too?" Even as I asked it I knew it was ridiculous. I already knew she had come directly after work.
"Yes," she said, then quickly amended, "No. I was at a party in London last night. Bit hung over, actually." She then launched into a ramble about the holidays and particularly about New Years Resolutions, how it was impossible to quit smoking at the stroke of midnight, and eating to ease one's hangover. Here I'd been with my parents for a week and due to spend another here in the middle of nowhere, while she'd been out having fun. I must have seemed an awful bore; this conversation with me seemed politeness, nothing more.
If she'd arrived after work, she probably hadn't eaten and had a headache to ease; there was the buffet. Abruptly I said, "Maybe you should get something to eat," then turned to walk towards it, half-expecting her to follow. She did not.
I'd made predictions about the day; being absolutely snubbed had not been one of them.
The worst of it was that as the evening progressed, I witnessed her mother and Una bullying her into serving hors d'oeuvres, evidently trying to push her into my path when she had no desire to do so. I had many opportunities to observe her when she thought no one was watching; her exasperation was evident. She made no effort to mask how she felt, which I actually appreciated, even if it meant —well, why should I care if she didn't like me? I had been dreading this day, anyway.
I admit I had been unprepared for this. Given the way Pauline, Janine and the others had thrown themselves at me, I fully expected more of the same. Indifference and disdain, not so much. This intrigued me.
As Bridget walked past with a tray of gherkins and other such things, Una appeared out of nowhere. "Mark, you must take Bridget's telephone number before you go," she said; "then you can get in touch when you're in London."
I was not about to embarrass her when she had no interest in me. "I'm sure Bridget's life in London is quite full enough already, Mrs Alconbury."
Bridget spoke up. "Can't I tempt you with a gherkin?"
This startled me. "Thank you, no."
There were several more offers of silver skin onions and beetroot cubes. I did not know what else to do but pluck up a stuffed olive and thank her.
"Hope you enjoy it." There was a hint of victory in her voice. I had no idea what had just transpired.
As my parents and I put on our coats to leave, my mother came closer to me, consternation settled between her brows. Una was suddenly on my other side, looking equally grim. "Mark," she said. "Go on and offer… I don't know. A drive back to London."
"I'm not going to London tonight," I reminded her.
"I doubt she is either, but the offer counts."
I felt frog-marched by the two of them over to where Bridget was. She looked up at me with an expectant expression.
"Do you need driving back to London? I'm staying here but I could get my car to take you."
Without missing a beat, she asked, "What, all on its own?"
I blinked. I was at a loss for words.
Una chuckled. "Durr! Mark has a company car and a driver, silly."
"Thank you, that's very kind," she said with what would best be described as an impish little smile, "but I shall be taking one of my trains in the morning."
Before I knew it we were back in my parents' drive; I had driven their car, and thank goodness for autopilot. After preparing for bed, I sat to write this in the hopes I could make sense of the evening; if the length of this entry is anything to go by, I should sleep like a baby.
Mon, 2 Jan
Regret to report that I had a terrible time sleeping last night.
I tried to ask my mother a little more about Bridget over lunch, but she merely replied with an insufferably smug expression on her face, "You should have asked her yourself yesterday. She and I had a lovely chat about essential oils." Not very bloody helpful.
Una Alconbury stopped by to drop off a pan that had been used in preparation for last night's party. She had brought Geoffrey (he of the other argyle-patterned jumper last night) and they were on their way somewhere; I didn't ask, but I thought since Una had been in the know about Bridget's attendance of the Turkey Curry Buffet she might have a little more information to impart. Fortunately, the subject of Bridget came up without my introduction of it.
"So," my mother asked, "Bridget's on her way back already?" She was looking at me pointedly, as if our not hitting it off was the solitary reason she'd gone home.
"Yes, Pam says she was on the road first thing. Something about work again."
On the New Years Day holiday? I suspected a fib, just as yesterday had likely been. "What is it that she does in publishing?" I asked, trying not to seem overly interested. "It never came up."
"Editorial," said Una, beaming as if Bridget were her own daughter. "Literary whiz. Totally obsessed with books. She has a first in English Literature." Una's hand went to her bosom and fluttered a bit, as it often did, as if it had a life of its own. "Such a glamorous life with the book launches and… oh, and she's a radical feminist—"
And I'd brought up Backlash. And criticised it.
"—but you wouldn't know it to look at her diary—men taking her out all the time. Millions of them, I'm sure!"
I must have seemed such a clod in comparison.
"Suppose you're sorry to have missed your chance," Geoffrey said in a blustering, all-boys-together way with a knowing wink, "especially with a figure like that, eh?"
"Of course not," I returned defensively and automatically, even though it was a lie. I was willing to take the blame for the lack of sparks firing, even though I found her infinitely more interesting than they'd ever guess, because ultimately it was my own fault.
Not unexpectedly, this shut down conversation on the subject.
Thurs, 5 Jan
So if Bridget has masses of men asking her out, why such an effort to set her up with
I get it now. I was being set up with her. This is not helping me to sleep.