Just call me BBB! Black, Busty and Bootylicious or Black, BROKEN and Bruised, your call!? Ultimately, I believe myself to be the 2017 combination of Bridget Jones and Carrie Bradshaw, thirty two years old, single, a hopeless romantic and looking for love! I am black with Caribbean heritage! Born and bred in Birmingham, England, I am therefor also a proud, “Brummie” and so for this piece of writing, I shall use the alias, “BBBB”!
I grew up watching the likes of, “Sex And The City” and “Bridget Jones”. These women who struggled with fashion, romance, friendships and occupation whilst living in big cities as single and strong independent women, the protagonists of two very well received, critically acclaimed prime time Television and Film were hits worldwide. They influenced my impression of life, success and romance. Helen Fielding the author of first the Bridget Jones column in the Independent and upon success a trilogy of books and movies and Candace Bushnell the author of first column writing for The New York Observer and then two fictional books that inspired both the long run HBO Television series and two movies thus far, both powerhouse women that had the balls to write about the world from the view point of single and independent women, but just like Disney lied to me as a child, these authors and fictional characters have been lying to me since the 90’s! I was inspired by sugar coated lies, fantasy sells because it gives us all false hope, no one wants to read the depressing truth, which is why most of you will stop reading at this point, but please know that it is not my intension to burst bubbles and “Debbie Downer” everything, I just speak the truth. I moved to London at eighteen years of age to go to drama school, live a full and exciting life, dreaming of becoming an actor, making life long friends, working hard, playing harder and dating, dating, dating but neither Bridget or Carrie did I end up being, I have no character to refer or relate to, because no one writes movie’s about people like me.
Bridget Jones as she comes across in the first novel and film, Bridget Jones Diary, Bridget complains of all the things that most of us women suffer and go through, weight insecurities, being single and feeling like the only woman on the shelf, hardship finding work or the right job, bad habits such as overindulging, in her case food, alcohol and cigarette’s, parents or peer pressure to do better, a longing for love and romance. As a woman I certainly relate but when I read the book again and re-watch the first film, you start to notice the details in the story.
Bridget Jones is from a middle classed family, financially able to rent a descent size flat in a descent location in London independently, with job, in between or without. Bridget has some rather solid and dependable friends, a social life, relatively good health, besides her over indulgence on comfort food, wine and fags, but what exactly is her reason for feeling the need to be comforted? She is unlucky in love, #single! Do me a favour! The lady has two handsome, financially comfortable, independent, popular men fighting over her. Spanks or no spanks, this chick should stop complaining. O.k. one turns out to be not so perfect and the other a little awkward, but pretty much perfect with just a touch of baggage and a stiffness to his character but come on, Hugh Grant and Colin Firth, Daniel Cleaver and Mark Darcy!? BITCH – GOT – LUCKY! She gets to have intercourse with both, have fun with both and basically pick. She also shifts the weight, gets the job, continues to have the friends, her status never changes and she keeps the flat. Don’t get me wrong, I have read all three books, watched all three movies and imagine that there may be a fourth as the third movie seems to sit between book two and three, but now I am older, the substance of the story and the characters almost offend me, we all love a happy ending but Bridget isn’t supposed to be sleeping beauty or snow white, she is supposed to be the woman that you sit next to on the bus, your best friend, even you or me but real life rarely has the feel good finale. I am thirty-two and still waiting for mine!
Focussing on Carrie from sex and the city, she also has her own flat in a highly sort after location, a wardrobe bigger then my whole families put together, many men knocking on her door, many hook ups and flings, a self inflicted tug of war between Mr Right and Mr Wrong, or Mr Big and Aidan Shaw, a solid group of friends, conquers many occupational hurdles and finally achieves the dream, dream man, dream job, everything comes on top in the end.
Now I may not have reached my end, but if you want to know about a thirty something lady facing the hardships of life and looking for Mr Right? Read my story… It may not be a feel good story but is definitely true and probably a story that many women can relate to, in one way or another.
So out loud, people always say that an unplanned baby is a blessing and gift from God, but when you’re a knocked up teenager, I assume what people really want to say is, shit, bollocks, you fucked up, no protection, major infection, I hope it was good because you will now have to endure a lifetime of rejection, a curse, and immediate exclusion from a social life. The curse was not bestowed upon my mum, she is fine and dandy, the curse was on me, the snotty nose baby, because I have basically never found a man to love me, searched, long, hard and far but still single past thirty.
My first kick in the teeth (apart from being the teenage, dirt-bag baby) from God/Science/Nature/The Universe… whatever, was when I was ten years old. I developed a dermatological illness over night, Alopecia, so many syllables for such a grim word. Hair, the symbol of strength and beauty, it can define your heritage, gender, style and personality, mine was stripped, completely gone by twenty-one, and the most sick part is, not everywhere, only where it counts… yes, on my head and face! I have to shave my legs and private area, over and over, it keeps coming back but not on my head for over ten years now. I have unwanted hair on my fingers but no bloody eyebrows, someone is really having a laugh! I am also loosing my eyelashes, my once beautiful and captivating eyelashes! You couldn’t make this up, well you could, but I wouldn’t, it really is quite mean!
Unless it is your thing, women with symmetrical faces suit short hair, some men prefer short hair on a woman but if it were my choice, it wouldn’t be for me. Also, there is a big difference between short hair and a head as smooth as a baby’s bum. Most people associate this look on both men and women as cancerous, no one wants cancer and I can’t imagine such a look would ever be rated as sexy! No disrespect to any one who has traumatically lost their hair to cancer or alopecia. I think if someone loves you romantically before the trauma of loosing your hair (potentially forever) hopefully they love you enough to continue loving you whatever, continue to find you attractive because they love you for who you are, what’s inside, not just your looks. I see young chicks on YouTube trying to reassure people like me that having alopecia does not banish you from the opportunity to be loved and/or found attractive, some of the women even feel comfortable enough to go head commando around their loved ones, not me, my hair is my hair and I rarely take it off! No wig, no hat, no disguise and these girls are still getting, “Boom-Boom!” Well lucky them, most of them live in America, maybe I should move out there, because from my experience, guys are way less cool with it over here in England. If a man happens to be reading this, feeling outraged at what I have just said, shaking their head in disbelief at how wrong I am, my telephone number is 071984123166678999, come convince me otherwise baby!? Bring it on and prove me wrong!
At least six out of the ten men that I have dated and told or who have found out about my dermatological condition, have run away before I even had the chance to explain! When men literally run away from you because they cannot handle the idea of a woman that they are dating, having no hair or false hair, it truly leaves you in despair, because you feel like a deceitful liar, a cheat in some ways, ugly and monstrous, helpless because you cannot control the medical condition that you have, that you never wanted, never asked for but simply have to endure because there is often no cure. I have tried every type of cure, but they have unfortunately not worked for me. I am insecure because I have a secret medical condition and I am insecure because many men have ditched/dumped me for the same medical condition, in the past. One minute my lover is looking lovingly into my eyes and the next he jets off like Usain Bolt and is nowhere to be seen!
Every time I meet a new man that I fancy, as well as the usual worries like, wardrobe panic, do’s and don’ts, food hang up’s, alcohol tolerance, touch or no touch, kiss or no kiss, I always have the dilemma of disclosure or non disclosure. I am not talking about kinky, “Fifty Shades Of Grey” dominant or submissive contracts, I wish I was! I am talking about one of the last things that I want to expose, the last thing that I want to talk about ever, let alone on a first date, my alopecia. I want someone to get to know more about me before they judge me but is it deceitful not to mention it? What if they kiss me, try to put their hands through my hair, I pull back and freak out, do I let them think that I am frigid, lie about having a phobia of people touching my hair or head or tell them as opportunity has called? This has actually happened a few times, I went with frigid. It is one thing telling someone that you date or want to date but just a random snog!? I think I am allowed to have that, drama free! So a few men have stayed, most men have run, it is a huge problem for me and not one I can easily overcome. A few of my girlfriend’s have tried to console me by saying, “Hey, at least you are black, most black chicks wear wigs and weaves!” They mean well but come on, how is that any consolation!? Choosing for fashion or depending on a necessity, they are two very different categories and I find it offensive to compare. I find it insensitive when girls and women complain about, “Bad Hair Day’s” because they may have a wondering curl or stray bit of hair. I am fucking bald and every hair advert on TV, when the girls look awesome with their new product and attract all of the men, getting everyone’s attention, pains me inside. In our western society, hair extensions are in, a lot of celebrities wear really beautiful and convincing wigs out of choice, women from all over the world, but they get to choose and I don’t.
Now a problem that Bridget had, and I share with, but most definitely not Carrie Bradshaw, is weight. I have always been curvaceous but never considered myself to be fat, but it seems that I also inherited the fat gene off some distant relative presumably on my biological father’s side, because my mum’s side, the only side that I have contact with, they are all muscular and thin, relatively tall too! I have always been short but out of nowhere, I also became a little (a lot) stumpy as well. I hate full body pictures which makes internet dating a little difficult! Bridget Jones wasn’t even that big, she just looked big because the actress that played her is naturally very petite. Bridget looked well hot in her playboy bunny suit. There is even the comic fumbling scene with Hugh Grant, who refers to Bridget’s big pants. “These are absolutely enormous pants, there is nothing to be embarrassed by, I am wearing something quite similar myself!” Cringe! Those pants were nothing, you want to see my hold in’s! Or perhaps you don’t, that’s my point. I have some pants that resemble the size of my Grandmother’s bloomers, they are indeed completely unattractive and something to truly be both mortified and embarrassed by, but extremely comfortable! I also may as well be wearing a chastity belt as my flower may have well been trodden on and stomped back into the ground, leaving a sandy, dry desert with an unbelievably strong spiders web blocking all sunlight, moisture and penetration, it has been out of action that long. Four years to be precise! The only action it gets is to release urine, rinsing in the shower or soaking in the bath. Both Carrie and Bridget at least get to exercise their woman hood, insecurities and flaws or not. I can’t even get a date. I have forgotten about the pleasures that us women can discover and explore between our legs. I will probably scream if I see a penis again and may very well be the first woman on this planet that has officially regrown her hymen non surgically! Seriously, close your legs for four years and it grows back, a much cheaper way of reclaiming your virginity!
So now I have established two physical flaws, which doesn’t give me great odd’s if we are measuring physical attraction. I work out and have a good diet but with age comes gravity and expansion! My weight is also greatly related to my third skeleton.
Do you remember the opening scene of Bridget Jones Diary? Bridget sits alone in her flat, drinking red wine, listening to her favourite sad song (All By Myself) on repeat, acting it out, pyjama’s on, smoking away. I think most single women have been there! I must confess that the set up of this scene basically resembles my life. I am constantly alone and at home, self reflecting, feeling sorry for myself and lack of love life, vaping away and feeling sad, screeching along with Spotify and howling at the moon, looking at the everyone I know, all loved up with couple selfies and notifications about wedding’s, babies, winning the lottery and I reach for my tissues, but have to re-use old ones because I have no money and haven’t left the house in weeks. O.K. I am exaggerating but my point is, everyone else is fucking fantastic and I am shit, not once In a blue moon like bloody Bridget Jones! All the sodding time!
Do you remember the opening scene of the very first, Sex And The City television show? Miranda’s thirty something birthday, four best female, single friends talk about owning sex. “You have two choices, bang your head against the wall and try and find a relationship or you can say screw it and just go out and have sex like a man”, Samantha Jones. “Men in this city fail on both counts, they don’t want to be in a relationship with you, but as soon as you just want sex, they don’t like it, all of a sudden they can’t perform the way that they used to”, Miranda Hobbes. “What are you saying? Are you saying that you are just going to give up on love? Like that is sick!”, Charlotte York. “Did all men secretly want their women promiscuous and unattached? And if I was really having sex like a man, why didn’t I feel more in control?”, Carrie Bradshaw.
Well I was having similar conversations in my twenties but now in my thirties, I don’t actually have an awful lot of female friends that are still single and childless, I am one of the very last ones on the shelf and it really sucks. It is always nice to have a wing man. Any man!? Most men my age are married or divorced or have children and my options of meeting a man who is genuinely available and without baggage, seem slim to none. That’s before the role reversal when I have to share mine! I alone have enough for two and so who knows how heavy a load a couple can carry before being trodden into the ground from the weight of the baggage!? I am not even picky at this point, I’ll take the widowed, ex convict, with triplets that are my age, at least we can go shopping together. Just kidding!
Both Bridget and Carrie found their men both right and wrong from going out and living, be it work or social gathering’s. Today’s dating world heavily relies on perfect selfies and a talent at having elegant yet seductive way’s of describing ones self and conversing with a little extra something that separates you from the rest. Bridget wrote her diary, Carrie was a professional writer, I put myself somewhere in-between when it comes to poetry and blogging but I don’t seem to have the certain, “Je ne sais quoi” with online dating.
My last partner failed to tell me that he was adverse to sexual intercourse, his reasoning being that he didn’t enjoy sex, but I believe the real reason was to constantly have the upper hand in power, I gave him everything, yet he just kept pulling those reigns. Complaining about all that I did and who I was, grooming me by micro managing my routine, personality and to some degree, my finances. When we broke up, I vowed never to use the internet dating site where we found each other, ever again. I moved onto another once ready to get back out there. Thus far, in 2017, I have been stood up four times and the guy that I finally went on a first date with, was already in a relationship and against monogamy! I am now contemplating paying for a dating site, the free ones seem to be tailored towards hook ups or full of Catfish who aren’t interested in the meeting part, just the seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, even months of chatting. I want to meet people, test the water’s, vibe off sparks and chemistry. I have tried speed dating twice, eighteen dates in two hours was fun but how can you connect in 4.5 minutes? I phoned a dating agency after watching, “Celebs go dating” because the set up looks quite appealing to me, meet and greets, dating, double dating, one to one feedback, the time and effort put into compatibility by the office. I appreciate that if done correctly, that kind of service would require a fee, but unfortunately I don’t have a spare £800 plus to invest in anything, let alone just a chance of meeting Mr Right.
My third skeleton or baggage, whatever you want to call it, is of cause my mental health. There is still so much stigma and misunderstanding in even the most western of cultures, when it comes to understanding the vast and diverse spectrum of what it actually means to be diagnosed as mentally ill. Once again, it is a subject that requires an opportunity to explain before people run away. My anxiety restricts how many places and times that I can actually go out and socialise because I often literally have panic attacks if not comfortable and relaxed. I cannot travel here, there and everywhere independently. My depression often has me in such dark places, that it takes me out of myself, leaving only a shell. My BPD means that my mood is quite rapidly interchangeable, for this reason I pretty much work on a day to day basis and try not to commit to plans to far ahead. Despite all of this, I still have a lot of love in my heart, I want to love someone and have it reciprocated but whether it be on paper or a conversation quite early on when dating somebody, I am scared that they will run away before I even get the chance to show that I am more then the girl with alopecia, the chubby girl, the crazy girl, I am loyal, considerate, passionate, fun, loving and so much more then my physical and mental ailments. I just never seem to get the opportunity to convey how great that I can be. My weight is actually a lot to do with my medication, not from over indulging on food. I could be so much thinner but if I don’t take my medication, I’ll be a goner. Priorities!
Bridget gets Mr Darcy, Carrie gets Mr Big, but in the real world, some people just never find their Mr Right and even if they do, their love may not last forever, but at least they get to give it a good go! I want to get married and I want to have children but time is not on my side! I think that my baggage is so specific and in this shallow and materialistic world, it has and does seem to hinder my ability to find someone that can see beyond my medical ailments. The dating game seems so much harder for me, all things considered. This is the real screenplay, I would suggest bringing some tissue’s because thus far, I don’t see it being a happy ending! Single forever, cobwebs and all!
This blog was actually supposed to be funny, I wanted to take the mickey out of myself whilst comparing myself to two fabulous, female, fictional icons. It is perhaps funny in parts, but actually left me feeling quite sad! I began writing this poker faced and have ended with a little tear. I hope to one day look back at this, having accomplished my simple desire to love and be loved in return.