In the ultimate confluence of Anglophilia, literary intelligentsia, and my magnetism for crazy I’ve come to the conclusion that the Mr.Collins’ of the world need to leave me the fuck alone. Much like Eliza Bennet in Pride & Prejudice I seem to have been chosen as the adequate parter in life, without my consent, and most assuredly without my interest, by men who are under the mistaken impression that I am up for grabs. Mr. Collins speaks to Elizabeth as though she should be grateful for his attentions and at one point actually tells her that she has “no reason to hope for another proposal” in her lifetime. That is precisely the way men talk to me about the romantic plans we are going to enjoy together. Excuse me – but I don’t remember consenting to the current conversation, much less any future endeavors with you and your insulting, misogynistic, and delusional views of the world in general, and me in particular. Lizzie may have been too polite to say it (and I am not without my share of courtesy) but enough is enough and that is simply not an appropriate way to speak to anyone. I’m all for confidence, but there is a fine line and a massive difference between attractive-in-a cocky-way and obnoxious-in-a-totally-out-of-line-way.
I can only surmise that Miss Jane Austen experienced something similar to have been inspired to write a book where not only is Mr. Collins soundly blown off, but is served with the massive “suck it!” that is Lizzie finding and falling in love with Mr. Darcy. For me Mr. Darcy doesn’t represent the paragon of romantic manliness (okay, maybe a little), but the hope that someone with a modicum of normal might one day pursue me. And perhaps he’ll have some English estates. Some have said that Austen’s famous novel presents unrealistic expectations of romantic love to the women of the world, but, first of all- it’s a novel, and second of all- there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be wanted for the right reasons….above all other things by the man of our dreams. God knows it’s better than settling for Mr. Collins’ on the off-chance that he’s all the universe has to offer you. Ick.