Saturday, April 14, 2007
Mrs. Bennet and Me
I've always found Mrs. Bennet, of Jane Austen's PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, a really funny character. Her melodramatic highs and lows, her willful blindness, her chatter, all made me smile.
We've been invited to a large social event. My daughter is no longer a teenager, and is currently without a significant other.
I thought, "Maybe she'll meet a nice young man and...EGAD! I'm doing a Mrs. Bennet!"
Since I'm a writer for whom thinking "why did s/he do that?" is key, I thought about this some more.
Let me say one thing loud and clear: I don't think a woman needs or should be married to be happy. I think there are plenty of worse things than not marrying, and many ways to achieve happiness, contentment and security. For a long time, I honestly believed I would be in the ranks of happy, contented singles, but lo, I eventually met a great guy and we've been very happily married ever since.
I want my kids to have that kind of relationship in their lives. I want them to know the sort of joy, security and just plain fun I've had being married to my husband. I don't think there's anything wrong with that, since I'm well aware this would be but one road to happiness and contentment. But it's the road I know based on my own experience.
And now poor, dear Mrs. Bennet isn't quite so cartoonish to me anymore. She wants her daughters to be happy and comfortable, and in her world, there's only way to achieve that. I can appreciate where she's coming from, in her own loud, nattering way.
I just hope I never find myself Googling some guy to see if he earns 10,000 pounds a year....