When my writer friend Emmy and I discovered that we both blog and we both love Jane Austen, we cried, “BLOG SWAP!” I’m the author of Pride, Prejudice and Popcorn: TV and Film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, and Jane Eyre. Emmy is working on an adaptation of Northanger Abbey. Here’s Emmy’s post, about the problems with holding out for a Mr. Darcy in the real world
1. Mr. Darcy was written by a woman.Yes, Jane Austen fulfilled our fantasies by writing a delicious character, but he is written from a woman’s point of view. He says the right thing (or wrong thing) at precisely the right time and approaches Lizzy with expressive and romantic language real men don’t use. “Hey, wanna take a trip with me this weekend?” can be just as tantalizing from a real guy as, “I must tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” Read his signs like you’ve read Pride and Prejudice, with care and attention to detail. Asking you to hang out with him, means you are special enough to spend time with. Give him a break on the flowery declarations of love.
2. Even Jane Austen didn’t write the Darcy in your head.
You’ve read her words, but you’ve blown Mr. Darcy into this full-blown fantasy that can’t compare to ANY real man. In your mind he is perfect, much more perfect than Jane’s text could speak of. Remember his faults, like being too uppity and assuming Lizzy is nothing because she is poor and lives with a family of nutjobs. You’ve mentally fast-forwarded through all his distain like you do on the DVD to get to the really juicy bits. Our minds have powerful forgiveness for faults when we’re fantasizing.
3. Perfect men are obnoxious.
Do you really want to be tied to a man so perfect, only his man servant sees him naked? Who knows how many girdles are beneath those perfect suits and that pants bulge might not equal happiness in the bedroom. Will he be as uptight while undressing you, or will his servants do that for him? If you think about it, Darcy is kinda creepy. He follows Lizzy around, being all uppity and superior and then involves himself in a family scandal. No one is that psychic to cater to your every need before you even ask. It’s rare to find that much gallantry in a man, especially one too perfect to be in the same room with your loud-mouthed mother.
4. Showing emotion is not a fault.
Being with someone so stoic could drive a person mad. This brings up images of dancing in front of him to make him smile like the royal guard dudes with the big fuzzy black caps. Will he show emotion while bedding you, or will you just receive a nice tap on the head and off you go? You want a man who shows chinks in his armor every once in awhile. You want one you can smile and laugh with, one who shows his passion for you and sometimes makes a fool of himself in the process.
5. No real man is free of fault.
And his faults are never as tame as being so proud he’s prejudiced! Let real men have faults and don’t compare them to Darcy unless you want them to fail every time. Find a man you can love despite his faults. Perhaps you’ll be lucky enough to find his faults cute or romantic. If you can adore Darcy’s snobby attitude, making fun of Lizzy, calling her names, and putting down her family, maybe you can let Joe Schmoe’s fetish for baseball cards slide, eh? And just remember, women have faults too. Find someone who thinks yours are adorable and not to be corrected.
6. Times have changed.
10,000 pounds a year ain’t what it used to be. Falling for a man because of his wealth is like signing up for disaster. In the olden days, rich men tended to stay that way and if they didn’t, they still had their title to make doors open for them. In this day and age wealth is something that can change quickly. What if he loses an account, his mansion, or his job? Will you still love him when he’s jobless or his life situation changes? Are you wishing for riches to make your life easier or to truly be happy? Money doesn’t breed happiness and if the relationship isn’t built on something stronger, it’s doomed to fail.
7. Looks are fleeting.
What happens when Mr. Darcy turns 50, has the comfortable couch gut and starts losing his hair? You want someone you love for qualities other than looks. Ten to twenty years from now, do you want to be looking at him thinking, “Geez he WAS gorgeous, but now he’s a bit chubby and has rather odd ears.” Or do you want someone who you can love despite his graying temples and age spots?
8. What will you have to measure up to?
Do you want to be with someone that you constantly don’t feel good enough for? What will be expected of a girlfriend or wife of Darcy? Are you ready to manage Pemberley? Will you be expected to have perfect children before you’re ready? Will you have to raise your children as heirs to vast wealth, thinking only of riches and status? Would you be able to still live your own life, go out with the girls, or finish school? You want someone who appreciates your talents and has just as much fun discussing your interests as recounting his smelly old fox hunt!
9. What’s so great about Darcy anyway?
Does he have any hobbies? Does he do or accomplish anything besides keeping up his family estate? What are any of his accomplishments beyond being born into a rich, titled family? What is Darcy when these days you can have a musician, artist, techy genius, or an architect? An evening at Pemberley seems rather drab, sitting around reading, pretending to enjoy whist… in a corset no less! Wouldn’t you rather be in your comfy leggings, dancing at a concert or strolling the boardwalk?
10. You might be missing out on your Mr. Right.
Just because the guys you date don’t fit your cookie-cutter hero costume, doesn’t mean they’re unworthy. What if Mr. Wrong is Mr. Right for you? What if the jeans and t-shirt guy from the laundromat turns out to be the love of your life? Sure, you don’t want to struggle through life, you’d like to find rich Mr. Darcy, but how do you know that you plus t-shirt guy doesn’t equal success unless you give him a shot?
Emmy Z. Madrigal is the author of the Sweet Dreams Musical Romance Series and Anime Girl 1 and 2. Her love for Regency romances goes back to the days when she first discovered Mr. Darcy and was instantly besotted. Emmy believes that love can conquer all and that sometimes, love comes when you least expect it. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her own Mr. Darcy and son. To find out more, go to: sweetdreamsnovel.com