Finally Prided and Prejudiced

I picked up Pride and Prejudice for the first time a couple of Saturdays ago, when a visiting friend and Jonathan and I strolled by a used book shop in downtown Lodi. Pathetic for an English major, maybe, but I even did a report on Jane Austen in high school and still never read the book. I think I was put off by its popularity. I'm amazed when I go to the bookshop or the Netflix website and see fifty variations on Jane Austen's best-selling title like the Bollywood version "Bride and Prejudice," a movie about a Jane Austen book club, books made up of Elizabeth's imagined correspondence from Pemberley, books about Jane Austen lovers who take Jane Austen tours in England, and sadly even a vampire take on the Lizzy-Darcy saga, and on and on and on (Does Twilight have to take a bite out of everything?)

I'm on page 186 now, but Austen had me at 1. I finally get it.

And I'm so happy to report that the obsessions aren't overrated! Part of me wonders if it's so easy to get caught up in it because I've seen two movie versions. I watched the updated, shorter one with Keira Knightly when it came out, and I watched the 6 hour BBC production with my English friend's mom in her Cambridgeshire living room when the rest of the house had gone to bed. And of course the book is even better. Having seen the movies, it's easier for me to picture the scenery, but I am so loving the understated sarcasm and the intelligent critique of the culture and society of the time... and with the exception of the language that's maybe just a bit more flowery than ours, it's timeless.

Here's a few favorite quotes so far:

"what delight! what felicity! You give me fresh life and vigour. Adieu to disappointment and spleen. What are men to rocks and mountains?" - on being invited for an excursion to The Lakes

Upon the whole, therefore, she found, what has been sometimes found before, that an event to which she had looked forward with impatient desire, did not in taking place, bring all the satisfaction she had promised herself. It was consequently necessary to name some other period for the commencement of actual felicity; to have some other point on which her wishes and hopes might be fixed, and by again enjoying the pleasure of anticipation, console herself for the present, and prepare for another disappointment.

"But surely," said she, "I may enter his county with impunity, and rob it of a few petrified spars without his perceiving me." - on visiting Pemberley for the first time



This would be my cottage and tea house! That is, if I lived in Carmel-By-The-Sea with a cottage-by-name like Windemere and enjoyed tea and scones everyday at the Tuck Box.

Someone forgot to tell me that California could be a bit English.

(Although I wonder if they knew...)


Who do I live to please?

I've never had to consider this question so seriously before. Or, should I say I've never realized I should consider this question so seriously before.

It's a really important question. It's the springboard for my heartthrobs, tears, successes, failures.

Who do I live to please?

My boss? Coworkers? Hero? Friends? Family? Myself?

Whoever it is, they will be my heaven. When they are disappointed with me, I will cry tears of disappointment. When they laugh with me, I will wear the same smile for days. When they tell me what to eat and where to go and who to love, I will obey with the full velocity of lovers running into each other's arms after a decade of separation.

Because when I've found acceptance, I've found love.

There's only one who never fails to accept me, to hold me, to love me, even when I disappointment Him. If I could just wake up every morning thinking of Him, of only Him, would I be so selfish to fill up my mind with ideas of how to please anyone else? Would I waste my energy fulfilling empty rituals, knowing that the most important thing I could ever do is to be His?


Because being loved by Him means--already loved. Not having to please... getting to please.


1. Pocket Knife 2. Maxi Pads

For all you men out there who hate buying feminine hygiene products for your ladies...

. . . here's a handy tip for you.

Two words.

Survival Kit.

When you walk down the shop aisle, attempting to hide the little pink box somewhere-ANYwhere- (don't lie--you took the blue brand even though your wife said she wanted the pink) and another man walks by with a smirk, go ahead and tell him it's for your survival kit.

Yes, your ultimate manly survival kit that you will take with you on jungle explorations and 007 missions. And you can say the same thing to the cashier who winks at you as she passes the box over the scanner and you swear you smell flowers. Now you can smell sweat and adrenaline and musky pine wilderness air because you will put the Maxi Pads in your survival kit along with your swiss army knife and gauze.

I never would have known about this useful piece of trivia until, out of proper wraps, my husband bandaged up my wound with a piece of a Maxi Pad and told me that the military keep them in their kits. I perused the web to see if what he said was true and found this..

It's always helpful to know a bit about Maxi Pads and their alternative uses.


When you decide to make a banana cake...

... your husband will become sick the same night and not be able to eat it. (Especially because the last time you enjoyed banana cake together was at your wedding and you didn't even get to take home the top tier and eat it a year later because the drummer was shoving it in his goofy grin on his way out of the reception.)

When you've finally recovered from a three month sprain and can run, you will slice the other foot with a steak knife and be reduced to limping again.

These are important life lessons--the talk of bedside tucktime with parents, and visits to the wise old woman on the hill.

"What could they possibly teach me?", you ask.

I will tell you what they can teach you, because they have taught me this:


Limp to the store, buy fresh saltines to replace the stale, boil a chicken for homemade soup (you hear the fat cures respiratory ailments), bandage your wound, and head to the guestroom for another solitary night of fever-less sleep until your husband recovers.

But before bed, when the trees outside are whispering and the baby next door is crying and the man outside is plucking dissonant guitar strings, eat your cake. Savor it. And imagine that moment four years ago when you smeared it all over your new husband's face (or, at least tried).

Then all the illnesses and fluke injuries from the past few months will melt away like the gooey maple frosting dripping from your nose. And you will be thankful.

Dear Huzzy, here's to sickness and health. I'll be happy to take whatever comes next as long as I have you!