Blogging Pride and Prejudice as If It Were a Teen Novel: Part 4
At Casa de Bingley—home of The Bingley Burger—the Bingley sisters don't give two peppery sharts about sick Jane Bennet, which makes Lizzy happy, because it means Lizzy's allowed to hate the Bingley sisters again.
Being happy about being angry is really, really cool. Lizzy makes all things—like anger and a long, dirty walk to the Bingley's house—seem awesome. If Lizzy were in high school today, she wouldn't write in black pen; she'd write in pen noir. She wouldn't study The Periodic Table of Elements; she'd study the Always Table of Elements. She wouldn't eat her soupy lunch out of a bowl; she'd eat it out of an upside-down dome. She is my hero. My hero!
But enough about L, there's a problem: What are the Bingley sisters' names? Did I miss them earlier on? I know one of them is married, okay I'm looking it up now—Louisa Hurst. But what about Miss Bingley? She needs a name! How about...
- Biznasty B.
- Barbara Walters Bingley.
- Iva Von Skinklehorn Von...Bingley.
- ChaCha Bling Bingley.
- Rosemary K. Bingley.
- Esmerelda Lemonsense Bingley.
There are basically no names left, so it's likely to be one of these. I hope we'll find out soon!
Teen Novel Rule #14: All characters should have names.
I hate to give Jane Austen another fail mark (looks like a strawberry with an itch), but come on! I'm right, about this, right? People should have names!
After dinner, Lizzy reads a book, and Barbara Walters Bingley starts blabbing about how few "accomplished" (ehem, "perfect") women there are in the world. She adds that a woman must be good at singing, drawing, dancing, modern languages (like, everything but Latin?), Ultimate Frisbee of Death, and have a certain je ne sais quoi (ehem hem "money, beauty, does not carry herself like a man") to be "accomplished."
Darcy adds that a woman should also read a lot. Which is what Lizzy's doing right now! Oh ho, Mister Thang, the samples have come back from the lab, and they are 100 percent positive for shameless flirting. You dog!
But Lizzy doesn't blush, because she's awesome, and says instead that she's never met a lady with all these traits. I think Lizzy means that you can still be a pretty neat gal without doing all those goofy things, but Miss Biddy Bingles privately tells Darcy that Lizzy's a jerk for saying that no woman can do all the stuff. Miss B. thinks Lizzy insulted the capabilities of women to make herself seem more accomplished by comparison. Obviously, this is a load of Doobie Brothers, and Miss Bumpin' Bertha Bingley is straight hatin.'
Teen Novel Rule #15: There's got to be something (or someone) keeping the protag and her potential lover apart. Duh juice. At least Austen wins at this!
Next, Mrs. Bennet comes to visit her sick daughter, and does so! Much! Embarrassing! Stuff!
1. She won't let Jane go home under the pretense that she's too sick. Most likely, everybody sees right through this and knows that Mrs. Bennet's just trying to keep her daughter close to Bingley so that he has no choice but to encircle her diseased finger with a wedding ring.
2. She tells Darcy and Bingley that London is basically the same as the country, and there are no perks of city life that you can't get out in the boonies. Obviously, country and city life are very different and both have distinct advantages, so Mrs. B's proclamation makes her look like an ignorant rural doink.
3. She brags about how pretty Jane is. Right in front of Jane! To her love interest, Bingley! Mo-ooom, this is SO embarrassing!
Then Lydia Bennet—the youngest sister who came to the Bingleys with her mother—reminds Mr. Bingley that he promised to throw a ball soon. Bingley agrees, and little Lydia goes home happy.
After this, there's just pages and pages of living room conversation. Miss Otis sucks up to Mr. Darcy, and Darcy doesn't like this at all. Then, Lizzy, Mr. Bingley, and Darcy discuss humility. Surprise times 100, Dirty Downtown Darcy thinks humility is a lousy trait to have, and Lizzy playfully fights him on it. Afterward, Darcy goes back to his old ways: he creepily stares at Lizzy like a cracked out clown in a van. This is icksville, of course, but it does mean that Austen's sticking to rule 16.
Teen Novel Rule #16: If you want us to believe in this real love, you must repeat Rule #11. This establishes that the crush isn't fleeting or superficial, because now it's a pattern. And if you develop a pattern of crushing on someone, it turns into love. And if you develop a pattern of loving someone, you will probably have to marry that person. In Vegas.
Darcy asks Lizzy to dance, and she's really confused and says no. Miss Nameless K. Bingley is jealous, and the next evening, she pretends to read a book to look smart, like Lizzy. This book happens to be the second volume of what Darcy's reading, which just makes her look like a fool.
Finally, after like 4 seconds, No Name McBingley asks Lizzy to "take a turn about the room" with her. This means she literally wants Lizzy to walk around the room in her company. Seriously! Miss Bingley fancies herself quite the sexy monkey (that's a thing, right?) when she walks, and she wants the to show up Lizzy by WALKING BETTER in front of Darcy.
Does this actually work in real life? I can never tell, because when I walk down the street, everybody faints, and there are no conscious people left to ask.
Luckily, Darcy sees right through Miss Bingley's walking shtick, and tells Miss Bingley that she must be walking with Lizzy to show off her own bod, or to gossip. Caught in the act, Miss Bingley turns bright red, and then throws up on her shoes.
Psych! She doesn't get volcano mouth, but she did just get called out by DJ Dizzy Darcy, which is almost as good, and brings us to rule 17.
Teen Novel Rule #17: Dude, after a while, you're going to have to start giving that love interest some redeeming qualities. When Darcy burns Miss Bingley, then goes off to flirt with Lizzy at the end of Chapter 11, he earns one solid gold star from the star sticker factory. Finally!
It is at this moment, when Miss Bingley is at her lowest, meanest, maddest, and most jealous, that we find out her name. And it is the only name in the whole universe I forgot to include on my list, Sandy du Beaches McBingley Caroline.
What kind of name is...
But I came up with such great...
...And then Emily Winter threw down the her ugly green copy of Pride & Prejudice, shook her fail feathers, and was never seen or heard from again.
Jane Austen's teen novel score card:
Wins: 12, Losses: 4, Undecideds: 1
To see the full list of teen novel rules, click here!