Being Single Minded is a Classic Stance

Bridget Jones’s Diary Besides watching this past Sunday’s installment of Masterpiece Theater’s Jane Austen book series—the second of three for Pride and Prejudice—I also happened to catch the movie version of Bridget Jones’s Diary the night before.

My favorite scene is when Bridget, played so well be Renee Zellweger, is having dinner with a group of “Smug Marrieds” (author Helen Fielding’s wonderful phrase, not mine) who treat her as if she’s some sort of exotic animal who’s escaped from a zoo—

—And all because she’s not married. Then when one of the clods actually has the nerve to ask her why she’s single, her half-hearted attempt at a joke falls flatter than a pancake: “I’m sure it has something to do with all the scales we have under our clothes . . .”

Dead silence from the Smug Marrieds.

Her knight in shining armor is the one man whom she presumes hates her: Mark Darcy, who verifies that yes, as she flippantly points out, it’s true that one in three marriages end in divorce.

Fielding did a spot on job in updating Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. What makes the story fresh is also what makes it classic: the notion that single women (Fielding’s Bridget and Austen’s Elizabeth Bennet) would love to find their Mr. Right (or in both cases, their Mr. Darcy) but will not settle for relationships that don’t work fully for them.

Both heroines have strong family bonds, and a loyal and eclectic set of friends. This gives them the satisfaction of knowing that if their Mr. Right—er, Mr. Darcy never knocks on their door, they will still live interesting, fulfilled (and most importantly) happy lives.

Which brings me to my weekly feature article this week in Relationships: I had an enlightening interview with Bella De Paulo, author of the book Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After. If you’re tired of Smug Marrieds pitying your singleton status, then this is a must-read. De Paulo uses both statistics and real scenarios to demonstrate the truth about single living: that it can be the most productive, fun and exciting time of your life…

If you allow it to be.

Speaking of fun, if you’re bemoaning the fact that all the single men around your neck of the woods are less than desirable, check out this week’s Sex and the SMW. There I give some suggestions on where to find some that may fit the bill.

And in His Lips Unzipped, Martin gives you tips on how to handle any boyfriend who has not yet learned that it’s rude to stare at other women when he’s with you. (You’ll be happy to learn that no red hot pokers are necessary.)

Here’s to enjoying the lives we lead,


Josie Brown

SMW Relationship Editor