Why You Should Never Live With A Chick-Lit Heroine

A while back, I had a lot of fun with why you should never live with an unreliable narrator. But why stop there? Anyone who’s ever lived in shared accommodation will know that flatmates can be difficult. But what would it be like to live with the sort of chick-lit heroines we know and love from Bridget Jones, Shopaholic et al?

Why You Should Never Live With A Chick-Lit Heroine

***************************

It is 6.30 pm. You come home from your strangely unproblematic job to find your flatmate face down on your checkered hall floor, amid visible signs of a struggle. A priceless antique vase, willed to you by your grandmother, lies in jagged pieces around her ample frame. Alarmed, you run and place a hand on her back, shaking her. She turns and groans, her eyes fluttering open, her mascara having long made a break for it down her cheeks.

You: Oh my God! Are you okay? What happened?

Chick-Lit Heroine: [slurring] Heyyyyyyyyyyyy.

You: Wait. Are you drunk?

Chick-Lit Heroine: Might be just the littlest teensiest bit sort of. I may have had some wines.

You: What the hell, girl? It’s not even dark!

Chick-Lit Heroine: [groaning] It’s not my fault. You won’t believe what happened to me today.

You: You’re right. I won’t.

Chick-Lit Heroine: [sitting up, wiping eyes] So I had that interview this morning.

You: Yes. I know. For the respectable office job, which was supposed to help you with your astronomical credit card debt and enable you to pay your share of the rent for the first time in six months. How did it go?

Embed from Getty Images

Chick-Lit Heroine: I got a taxi, just like you told me. I didn’t want a repeat of what happened on the train that time with the Pomeranian and the blocked toilet. My taxi driver was so nice – so interesting, told me all about growing up in Uzbekistan, did you know they didn’t even have a Wikipedia page until 2007? But anyway he got a phone call from his girlfriend while we were on the High Street and they had a big row, and we had to stop, because he was crying so hard he couldn’t drive.

You: Go on?

Chick-Lit Heroine: So we stopped outside this café and got out because I wanted to buy him a cup of tea. I was comforting him, when all of a sudden—

You: [sighing] I’ll bet.

Chick-Lit Heroine: All of a sudden, there’s Randall. The first guy who ever broke my heart. The one I never got over. The one who got away. The one with the biggest—

You: I get the picture. What about him?

Chick-Lit Heroine: He comes out of a really fancy boutique, laden with shopping bags, and I see gorgeous tartan ruffles from that SS16 Alexander McQueen dress I absolutely adore sticking out from his— uh—

You: You know, I’m really quite hungry, and I’ve a bag full of healthy vegetables to prepare. Do you mind if I take off my coat and we continue this in the kitchen?

Chick-Lit Heroine: But he’s holding all these bags because he’s out shopping with his— with his— [wails]

You: Are you pausing for dramatic effect, or have you actually taken a knock to the head which is depriving you of nouns?

Chick-Lit Heroine: His WIFE. She was gorgeous. And so thin. But he called my name, like he was glad to see me. Which he can’t be. I mean, this is Randall, the George Clooney lookalike who definitely only ever went out with me for a bet. And I’m desperately trying to look normal, only the Uzbek taxi driver has snot coming out of his nose, and he keeps moaning don’t leave me here, I can’t go on like this

You: So I know it’s a cliché, but I bought ice cream, and it’s melting. It’s starting to run down my shoe.

Chick-Lit Heroine: I’m trying to find the taxi driver a tissue, but I drop my Michael Kors AW15 handbag, and condoms and tampons fly out EVERYWHERE. I’m dying of embarrassment, but I can’t think of what to say, and Randall’s beautiful thin wife looks so smug and superior—

You: I’ll bet.

Embed from Getty Images

Chick-Lit Heroine: And I hear myself saying, Hello, Randall. Have you been shopping for a wife?

You: You did not!

Chick-Lit Heroine: [guttural groan] I did. I went puce, I mean I thought she was going to kill me, but Randall just laughed. He was looking at the Uzbek taxi driver, and said Bloody hell, Pooples, what have you been doing to this guy?

You: He called you Pooples?

Chick-Lit Heroine: It was his pet name for me, back when we were going out in college. Before I ran over his cat.

You: I can see where this is going. I’m guessing the same way as my ice-cream.

Chick-Lit Heroine: And I couldn’t take it anymore, I mean it was just so embarrassing, and before I knew it, I’d slapped the taxi driver hard across the face and grabbed him by the lapels, shouting PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER MAN!

You: Please tell me he did as instructed, and proceeded to drive you to aforementioned job interview.

Chick-Lit Heroine: [moaning] He just cried harder. So I had to run. Except of course I was wearing my favourite sky-high Louboutins. I fell and twisted my ankle right outside a 24-hour bar, where a paramedic stag party had been drinking all through the night.

You: You cannot be serious.

Chick-Lit Heroine: And these gorgeous paramedics bandaged up my ankle. I realised I was too late for the interview, and I burst into tears. The paramedics got me a brandy for the shock and offered me a lift home in their ambulance, so I ended up drinking with them until they were done.

You: Well, I suppose it would’ve been rude not to.

Chick-Lit Heroine: But when I got home, I forgot I’d twisted my ankle, didn’t I? So I fell in the door, and knocked the hall table. I’m so sorry about your vase. I’ll pay you back. I swear.

You: [sighing] I suppose you haven’t eaten?

Chick-Lit Heroine: Not if you don’t count sixteen packets of peanuts and twelve packets of crisps in the bar, no.

You: [shrugging off your coat] Well, it’ll only be the sixth dinner I’ve made for you this week. In the meantime, here. Have some ice cream.

**********************

I think I like my literary protagonists better on the page. Anyhoo, that’s about it for the chick-lit genre. But there are so many others. You have been warned.

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  67 comments for “Why You Should Never Live With A Chick-Lit Heroine

  1. September 6, 2016 at 9:31 am

    Entertaining, as always 🙂 Now to find a chick-lit trope you didn’t mention…

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 6, 2016 at 12:39 pm

      Oh, there’s plenty more of them out there, Milady! It’s a side effect of the massive popularity…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. September 6, 2016 at 10:32 am

    A bar full of hunky paramedics – where do these ideas come from? If only Casualty was set in downtown Dublin.. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • September 6, 2016 at 12:41 pm

      It isn’t until I write this rubbish down that I realise I must be harbouring some secret desires, Jan. I’m thinking of getting it seen to.

      Like

  3. September 6, 2016 at 10:57 am

    You have a big future, TS. I can see Pooples and Randall on the Big Screen.
    ‘Oh Randy, I’m sooo sorry she walked out on you.’

    Liked by 1 person

  4. September 6, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    Not an easy thing to do, but Tara, you’ve excelled yourself. You are ‘parafunny’! (at least several levels above paranormal) Can you hear me laughing all the way from Vancouver Island?

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 6, 2016 at 6:56 pm

      I wondered what it was, Veronica… I’d told myself it was just wind 😉

      Like

  5. September 6, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    That relationship would not work for me at all, Tara. I’m anti-drama, a flat-liner in my personal life. Just reading that made me want to strangle her (well, a little dramatic on my part, I’ll admit). No wonder I don’t read chick-lit. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. September 6, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    Please, please, make a book out of these two… I promise I’ll buy it on the spot, and I don’t even read chick-lit 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • September 6, 2016 at 6:58 pm

      I suspect my sympathies lie with the straight man rather than the ditzy heroine, Nick… what if the other kids find out? I’ll never get into Bestseller Club with that attitude.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. September 6, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    I”d definitely subscribe to.this series. On condition I make a cameo as someone’s sweary mate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 6, 2016 at 8:13 pm

      Are you seriously limiting yourself to a cameo, Tenderlation? I’ve already written you six two-page monologues. I assume you can cry on command?

      Like

      • September 6, 2016 at 9:16 pm

        Good job you didn’t suggest four-page monologues otherwise I’d be in danger of being typecast. Wait, why can’t I have four pages? *wails inconsolably*

        Liked by 1 person

        • September 6, 2016 at 10:04 pm

          Because you’ll take what I give you, Depterness. For the luvva Mike. Everyone’s a diva.

          Like

  8. September 6, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    Love. This. 👏👏👏

    I shall now stalk you! 😄😄😄

    Keep writing! 👍

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 6, 2016 at 8:18 pm

      Thank you Felicia! Stalk away. I most definitely will keep writing. Tried to stop once. Made an awful mess.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. September 6, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    I read this listening to symphonic metal. (Xandria) They make unusual bedfellows. Is that true about Uzbekistan and Wikipedia?

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 6, 2016 at 8:19 pm

      I’m sure it could be, Chris. And now that I’ve said it on the internet, it most certainly is. I must try the metal experiment and get off the psychedelic funk.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. September 6, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    I really loved everything about this: the idea, the fun, the local color, the heroine in distress.
    And it also got my juices flowing, which is sometimes all it is about in writing. at least for me, so…
    (hope you don’t mind. if you do, just junk this, no hard feelings)
    “I awoke to find myself tied to the railroad track. Or at least as good as. My ankle, you see, was tightly trapped by a tressle. And how the villain managed that, I shall never know, but I discovered, through rigorous induction, that if you work fast, you can braid the hairs of a wild goat, carefully lured to my side via the song of the great humpback wale, 1978 vinyl version, side A only, which confuses the goats, Then by adding in the vines of a particularly noxious, and fiberous, weed I found I could make a nearly indestructable vine before the train approached. Said vine, plus the fact that the train was also being held in place by a heavy metal walking stick, judiciously bent by me against the tracks, was enough, through friction, as I discovered, to heat the tracks enough to expand them to the point that the trapped ankle, after being smeared with the juices of the wild aloe vera , brought to me by the goats, who now felt me to be their leader, could be extracted. Under great pain and personal fortitude. Would you like another cup of tea?”

    Liked by 2 people

    • September 6, 2016 at 8:22 pm

      This is most certainly not junk, dunnasead.co. All creativity welcome here, and if it’s been inspired from here, it gets a round of applause. Standing ovation for the 1978 vinyl reference. That’s a thriller, right there. I look forward to the movie!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. carolannwrites
    September 6, 2016 at 8:14 pm

    If she was my flat mate I would get the dust pan and brush and sweep her up with the leftovers of the vase. Pooples is so full of poop. This is perfect! Your future is sparkling, Tara! 😉 And as always, the comments thread is just as entertaining as the post!

    Liked by 2 people

    • September 6, 2016 at 9:55 pm

      I know, Carolann. I keep trying to bar these people from making that kind of sparkling repartee and witty riposte all through the comment thread, but they just come back, every time. I’m looking into private security.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. September 6, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    I just typed ‘You do chick-lit really well’ when I realised (a) you’ll now have to kill me for being so rude and (b) I will then have to kill myself for knowing what good chick-lit is like though I could play the oxymoron defense and open with a stupid is as stupid does gambit moving my King’s Prawn to Knights Errant 4 before surrendering to Archduke Ferdinand at Agincourt after playing my Get Out of Here card. Nice post, Tada! I’m off hunting gerunds…

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 6, 2016 at 10:08 pm

      I’ve told you before, Geoff. It’s so rude to come around here and out-witty the witty. I’m fine with the compliments, but these hilarious comments have to go. Please try harder to be bad with words. The chess metaphor nearly brought down my whole damn site.

      Liked by 1 person

      • September 6, 2016 at 11:45 pm

        Oh no. Did I do a funny on your Persian rug? Let me mop it. It’s my age. I’ve been dribbling glibly recently. Soz. I promise never again.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. September 6, 2016 at 9:34 pm

    Absolutely the best line I have read this month: “or have you actually taken a knock to the head which is depriving you of nouns?”
    I’m thinking you have a career in chick-lit, Tara.

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 6, 2016 at 10:09 pm

      I’m afraid you might be right, Melodie. It’s such a shame I’m not writing it, and even shamier that even if I was, I couldn’t sell it. The market out there is harsh enough for writers, but for chick-litters, from what I can make out, it puts Game of Thrones in the shade…

      Like

  14. September 7, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    You’ve done the living with a crime novel heroine, haven’t you?? – with the obligatory Columbo-esque detective? If not, I look forward to reading it!
    Sx

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 7, 2016 at 3:09 pm

      No indeed, Scarlet, he’s next on my list. I did do a How To Know If You’re A Cop In A Crime Novel thing, but living with him – now that’s literally a different story 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  15. September 7, 2016 at 6:01 pm

    Wonderfully witty as ever, Tara. I thoroughly enjoyed this version of a (I’m guessing fairly typical) day in the life of a chick-lit heroine. I have only a sketchy knowledge of the genre, but won’t a gay best friend and a nagging mother turn up at some point?

    Incidentally, Randall is clearly a scoundrel, so I hope the heroine will escape all his self-centered schemes (after a suitable number of dramatic will she / won’t she moments, of course). As for a hero… I don’t know. Could the Uzbek taxi driver have a younger, better-looking and less teary-eyed brother? Obviously, the heroine would have to hate him at first.

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 7, 2016 at 10:32 pm

      But that’s where I get REALLY clever, Bun. You see, we assume that the ‘You’ of the piece is you, the reader, when in fact is it you, the reader, but also the gay best friend, and the nagging mother, ALL AT THE SAME TIME. I know. I will disintegrate in a meta-explosion one of these days, I swear.

      And don’t you say a word against Randall. He’s so dreeeeeeamy.

      Liked by 1 person

      • September 8, 2016 at 11:49 am

        Woah, that is very clever. By the way, I promise I won’t upset your heroine by saying anything bad about Randall. I’ll just nod my head, smile sweetly and hope he gets hit by a bus.

        Liked by 1 person

        • September 8, 2016 at 12:35 pm

          Well, I do have the power, I suppose. A bus or an ice-cream truck, it’s all relative.

          Liked by 1 person

  16. September 7, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    So why aren’t you a famous chick-lit author? I mean, you should be, if you can churn out that standard of um… stuff. You should be laughing all the way to the bank!

    Wait a minute… maybe you ARE a famous chick-lit author in disguise… *falls off chair in awe and amazement as realisation dawns *

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 7, 2016 at 10:34 pm

      That would indeed be a feat of extreme awesomeness, Ali. If I did in fact have a secret identity as a smashselling chick-lit author, whilst maintaining a constant barrage on this blog against it and all other genre tropes at the same time.

      Of course, if I told you, I’d have to kill you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • September 7, 2016 at 11:32 pm

        Ah… so you do psychotic murder mystery thriller chick-lit then?

        Liked by 1 person

        • September 7, 2016 at 11:46 pm

          Not exactly. It’s actually psychedelic murder mystery thriller chick-lit – with knitting patterns. Gonna be yuge in 2017, I tell ya.

          Like

  17. September 7, 2016 at 9:58 pm

    I can send you a picture to your heroine as I know her in person. Many an ice cream I’ve lost as she wailed.
    Great as always.
    Oh and well done on the blog awards Final place. There seems to have been a bit of a misunderstanding and I received a ‘sorry you were shite and didn’t make the finals’ email, but I’ve a high court injunction pending, preventing my award being given to someone else, so hopefully all will be cleared up shortly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 7, 2016 at 10:39 pm

      Thanks, Tric! There have indeed been misunderstandings aplenty – not only that you absolutely should be there yourself, but I didn’t get any email, telling me I was shite or otherwise. I’m still not even sure I’m in the final, other than my name was on the PDF list online. It feels like it’s a mistake, though, without an email. Anyway, presuming I’m going to be disappointed, I’ll be certainly blaming that for not winning!

      If you need a character witness for the high court, I have several great characters who could witness anything you like?

      Liked by 1 person

      • September 7, 2016 at 10:44 pm

        Don’t worry I’ll send you an email tomorrow.
        Go fly the flag for all of us wannabe bloggers finalists and you’d better have your speech ready and a copy for your fans online.

        Liked by 1 person

        • September 7, 2016 at 10:54 pm

          Oh I’ll fly the flag for wannabes everywhere all right. I’ve always wanted to be a flag flyer. Looking forward to my email though, that might be all the excitement I can handle!

          Liked by 1 person

  18. September 11, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    The guy with the biggest… wallet? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 13, 2016 at 5:08 pm

      But of course, Sarah… what else could it possibly have been? I can’t think of anything myself. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  19. September 29, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    I think I would murder her in her sleep… and then I guess I’d get to meet the Cop From the Crime Novel. Hmmm – a mixed genre novel? I think if you added in the Unreliable Narrator you’d be onto the next big bestseller, Tara 😀 PS No Trump ads on here, thank god!

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 29, 2016 at 10:44 pm

      Imagine all three of them in a room together, Helen… It would be the most complicated trialogue I ever attempted. I might do it while drunk and see what happens!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. November 7, 2016 at 9:17 pm

    Original idea! Well done. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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