It started, as ever, with a kiss.
It always starts starts with a kiss.
It never starts with five pints of lager, three shots of tequila, and your bottom being groped in a dingy bar, does it?
This is the story of Bryony Gordon’s twenties as a single girl in London, desperately looking for a boyfriend, spending her time drinking, partying and snogging the wrong guys.
This is supposed to be a “humourous” autobiography about a woman in her twenties screwing up. I put humourous in quotation marks because it didn’t work for me at all. There were some parts that made me smile faintly, but only faintly. The situations were so gut-wrenching most of the time that I couldn’t find them funny. I was cringing throughout the book.
The worst thing is not that he wants to use a breakfast food as a lubricant, that he wants to butter up my vagina as if it’s a piece of toast, thus possibly giving me thrush or cystitis or God-only-knows-what embarrassing condition that I will have to explain to a doctor. The worst thing is that, to allow my ridiculous fantasy of a life together to continue to flourish, I find myself making up an excuse instead of telling him to get lost. I find myself buttering him up, if you will.
‘Oh,’ I say, thinking on my feet. ‘I’d love to, but I’m lactose intolerant.
I am a single woman in my twenties so you’d think I’d find some sort of common ground with Bryony, but no. The few good points she made are few and far between.
What annoyed me most of all is that this book makes her seem so incredibly desperate for a boyfriend. This book is all about her quest for a man. It is all about men and that made it annoying and boring.
I spend most of my day staring at my mobile, trying to magic some sort of Happy Christmas text from Sam. I decide to send him one myself, one that looks as if I have just casually sent it to everyone in my phone book.
‘Happy Christmas! Hope you’re having a great one! Bxxx’.
‘Yeah, you too,’ he replies, on Boxing Day.
A man will change everything. The terrible thing is, that in the end, a man changes everything. It’s not that she grows up and comes into her own. No, it is all put at the feet of her new boyfriend. He changed everything.
‘Is it totally tragic that it has taken a man to make me calm?
Yes. Yes it is.
Then there’s the overall terrible, terrible decisions Bryony makes. I have a high tolerance for terrible decisions. People screw up, people make mistakes. And usually it leads to an interesting story. But here it just had me shaking my head in disbelief all the time.
I actually feel fretful and guilty, as if I have led him on. This man who has a girlfriend has made me feel as if I have done something wrong. ‘Sorry,’ I actually say, moving up to the sofa next to him and uncupping my boobs, in an attempt to lighten the mood. ‘It would be much more fun to get to it.’
And so it is that we have uncomfortable, perfunctory, brief sex, not on his sofa – good God, we wouldn’t want to leave a stain on the cushions now, would we? – but on the floor, my hips digging into the wood as he grunts on top of me. And when it’s over, thankfully very quickly, he says that it is probably best I don’t stay, as he needs a good night’s sleep and anyway, I probably want to get home to my own bed.
It was just painful. I wanted to shake her awake. I am very very sorry to use this word, but the way this book was written it made her seem terribly pathetic.
It wasn’t for me. The humour didn’t work for me at all and I spent most of my time shaking my head, ugh-ing.