The Jane Austen Dating School: Don't Pull a Jane Bennet
enthusiasm&austen is taking lessons from Jane Austen characters to find her soul mate. Awesome, right? —Sparkitors
“But when a young lady is to be a heroine, the perverseness of forty surrounding families cannot prevent her. Something must and will happen to throw a hero in her way.” —Jane Austen, in Northanger Abbey
Hi, my name’s enthusiasm&austen, and I am on a mission—to find my hero. True, he is a rare, elusive creature, especially here in the wilderness of Michigan, but if I have learned anything from my voracious love of Jane Austen, it is the value of hope—hope in the face of difficulty, awkwardness, and unrealistic Taylor-Swift-ian expectations.
So, from here on out, some of Jane’s most delightful characters are going to be my dating and social life mentors*. Every week, I’m going to go to my reflection pond (which is kind of like the Thinking Lake for beginners, except super awesome, since it also incorporates Mulan amazingness), where I’m going to ponder boys and maybe sing a little song. Then, I will ask myself, “what would Lizzy Bennet/Marianne Dashwood/Catherine Morland do?” The answer will hopefully get me closer to my dream of finding happiness with my very own Mr. Darcy.
After that, it’s back to the real world, where I’ll do my very best to accomplish my reflection pond plan. And just to up the insanity ante, I’m going to let you all spy on me and tell you exactly what happens. But hey, I’m letting you in on my personal life here, so, true to my obnoxious OCD tendencies, I would like to propose a few rules.
1. I will answer any questions y’all may have. Probably because I have reached the bring-your-spud-gun-to-work level of crazy.
2. Suggestions are welcome, if sent by paper airplane.
3. Cake is yummy. This is actually just a rule of the universe, not one I invented. I just thought I’d restate it so we’re all on the same page.
With all of that introductory stuff out of the way, I thought maybe we might take Jane herself as our first mentor today and have a little something I like to call story time!!! Okay everyone, gather around, have a seat á la the “stoybook lady” from You’ve Got Mail (I may or not be wearing that little hat at this very moment), all right, everybody cozy? Splendid.
Once upon a time, in the faraway land of the Midwest, there lived a charming young man. We’ll call him Fitzwilliam, in the true Austen tradition of giving heroes funny names. Fitzwilliam was basically all kinds of wonderful—silly, kind, loved Harry Potter (duh), played soccer, ordered the same sandwich as me at Panera, was supermegafoxyawesomehot (like, for real you guys)... Oh, and did I mention? He was literally the boy next door. The only thing to mar this perfect picture was the fact that he was a freshman in college gearing up for second semester. I tried not to wallow in despaire at the thought of him going back to college, but I couldn't help but wonder if he'd have a college girlfriend the next time I'd see him. But then one night, he asked me to hang out...
Around 7:30, Fitzy arrived with his best buddy, and desserts in hand. Hooray for boys who bring me cake! My family and I had been watching the first HP, so I invited them to cram onto our already full-ish couch and watch it with us for a while. They, of course, said yes. After all, who can resist Harry Potter AND claustrophobia-inducing couches? As is by now quite customary, we had an amazing time talking through most of the movie. (Who knew we ALL could do such fabulous Hermione impressions?) In fact, we started assigning different characters to everyone—my little brother was Harry, Fitz’s buddy was Hagrid, my sister was the Norbert, the dragon, and I was Hermione. Here’s the best part though, you guys—Fitzwilliam declared himself Ron. As if that weren’t enough to make my little sparkly heart do the happy dance, he explained his reasoning: “Ron never knows what he’s doing, but he’s hilarious and he gets the girl in the end.”
Harry Potter AND luuuurve in the same sentence?!?! How lucky could one girl get? Granted, he was being completely facetious, but hey, I'll take what I can get.
This sudden dramatic increase of awesome instantly reminded me of Jane Austen (because she, like HP, is awesome), particularly when Jane Bennet and Charles Bingley discover their soul-mate-ish-ness at a ball and everyone is like, “Ohemgee you guys are totes getting married!!!!!” But then I remembered that by the time they actually did get married, it was after quite a few bumps in the road. So today, I’m reflecting on some wise words Jane told me once: “Keep a head on your shoulders, goofball.” (And yes, those were her exact words.)
Here’s the thing about my buddy Jane, though—a lot of her problems stemmed from the fact that Mr. Bingley was never really sure if she liked him or not. Which leads us to this week’s project: Enjoy every single second, and, more importantly, make it obvious that I’m enjoying it.
Crossing my fingers this works! But I guess we will all have to wait until next week to see what happens…until then, here’s hoping you eat your weight in Cheez-Its and/or take a hippogriff ride!
*not to be confused with mentos, which, though delicious, probably wouldn’t be very helpful with the boy drama-rama.
What Jane Austen rules do you think E&A should follow?
Related Post: Are You Living in a Jane Austen Novel?