Elizabeth Bennett and I have a lot in common. I have always fancied that if I were to write a book about my life and the characters in it, it would resemble a modern day Pride and Prejudice.
I have (and I'm not going to mention names just in case they read this. I don't know if I want them knowing who I think of as whom-- they can assume away) one sister who is a silly, over the top flirt, dramatic and runs away to get married (okay, that one is kind of obvious). There is another who is dramatic, prone to complaining and moodiness- but put her in the right situation and she's a lot of fun and can be quite pleasant. I have one sister who is very righteous and is always quoting scripture and another who is so sweet and never says a bad word about anyone.- and everyone loves her. I have one parent who is level headed and thinks things through and sees things more logically than the other- where the other parent revels in gossip and trying to marry off the daughters (very unsuccessfully, I might add).
I have even had my Mr. Collins. You know, the surprise proposal of marriage from someone who professed to love me but didn't know me at all. I didn't love him- I wasn't even slightly interested in him that way. I was thrown into his company because of circumstance- not necessarily choice. It seemed like it was more a proposal of either convenience, or he thought, "Well, I need to get married. It's not likely anyone else will ask her to marry- so she should be pretty willing to marry me... right?"
Anyway, lately I've been relating more and more with another Austen heroine. I never thought that Marianne Dashwood and I had anything in common. But lately, to my chagrin (I have always considered Marianne a pathetic mess...) I've been more sympathetic toward her. Recently, I've had my own brush with a Willoughby. Our introduction wasn't quite as memorable as Marianne and the mysterious stranger from Allenham (we met at the bank where I work) but through the months that followed, we flirted and even spent some time together talking, laughing and playing the piano. At one point I may have even fancied myself in love with him (though I really have no frame of reference to compare to). I thought things were going well. I thought he liked me too. His feelings were always implied but never declared (enter the pathetic mess).
Then, quite literally overnight, with no explanation, my Willoughby left me- metaphorically. He didn't up and move to London (or in my case, Denver) or anything, he just disappeared from my life. We went from talking on the phone, seeing each other, or at least texting everyday... to absolutely nothing. It was at this point that I went through my Marianne moment. I mourned him. I cried at his extended and unexplained absence. I sat around and racked my brain trying to figure out what I could have possibly done wrong to drive him away. And then I acted like a giddy fool when we inadvertently ran into each other again at a public gathering.
It has taken months (okay, a year) of friend therapy, crying, and replaying every moment in my head to figure it out- but I think I'm finally to the point where I can stop wondering what I did. Maybe- just maybe it wasn't really me. I have come to the conclusion that I wasn't so much in love with him- as I was the idea of him, or more accurately, the idea of who he had the potential to become.
In my head I imagined being there for him to help him through all the issues he is "trying" to work on. I saw myself being a good influence- being the stable rock he could rely on when the rest of the world thought him too weak and left him to drift on his own- and hoping that he would realize that he not only wanted me- but he needed me as he became stronger and came to understand his own self worth and destiny. But that's not going to happen. He has chosen his Miss Grey and her Fifty Thousand Pounds over my Marianne. Miss Grey may not be an actual person so much as a lifestyle or something else that seems more appealing to him. He is taking the "easy" way out instead of sticking with it and fighting for something that could have been wonderful.
So isn't this the time of the story where Colonel Brandon comes? I mean, strictly staying with the story it should be someone I already know, but I can't think of anyone who would fit the description of brooding romantic (trust me, if I did... I would not be writing this)
Somewhere in one of these stories that are my life, I'm still casting the part of either Darcy or Brandon. I won't be too picky. I would even take an Edward Ferrars- though I'm no where near as self sacrificing as Elinor Dashwood and probably don't deserve one of those. If It happens in two fictional novels, it's sure to happen in real life, right? That's a totally healthy way of looking at things.