Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Becoming Jane (not the movie, which I found lacking)

A few years ago, my British Novel professor told me I was like Jane Austen. I can't remember why he said it, but I do remember that I was offended for several class periods because I don't like Austen (blasphemy from an English major, I know). Her novels bore me. They are all the same. Tonight, however, finding myself in a situation that smacked of Austen, I felt some appreciation for her deft portrayal of Victorian manners and romantic intrigue.

I was driving with a new friend in my car (it may as well have been a horse-drawn carriage!). We were on our way home from visiting a (male) friend. I casually asked her what she thought of said friend--at least I sounded casual, though I was actually digging for information, which turned out to be easy to unearth. She admitted to having a crush (as she put it) on our friend and asked if I thought he liked her, too. I replied that I did not know him well enough to read him accurately and that the way to tell if a member of the opposite gender likes you is to observe whether that person treats you differently than others of your gender. She then explained that she thinks he likes her and how she can tell, and asked me what she should do about it. I told her that if I were her--not to say she should do this, but it is what I would do--I would be forward with him about it. We chatted about what exactly she should say, and she decided to call him when we got home. 

What makes this a truly Jane Austen experience is that I have a romantic interest in the man I told my friend to pursue! Now, I won't take my own advice in this situation because I have no reason to believe that he has interest in me, so to spill my feelings all over the table in front of him would be more of a risk than I am willing to take. From what she said, I think it plausible that he has feelings for her, but we will soon see whether she was only reading optimistically into insignificant details. She is supposed to report to me tomorrow.

Coincidentally, earlier tonight, one of my friends said, "Anna, pick a boy, and we'll set you up with him." I said, "I've already picked one, but I don't think he'll have me," to which my friend said, "How very Jane Austen!"

Current song: "I Could Write a Book," the one by Harry Connick Jr.


FamiLee said...

Again, you have entertained my mind with your life. When is your first book coming out? or are you already published?

Liz said...

That is very Jane Austen. I think you should go for it though. Of course, I tell people that all the time but then don't do anything like that myself, but still...you've done so many brave and crazy things lately. Why not this one too? :)

laughing@little_things said...

Ah, friend. Although I, unlike you, adore Austen I can't say that I would really like to have those sorts of experiences. You really are amazing and I think he is just missing out. :)

Katy said...

If we learn just one thing from Austen we should learn that, as women, we just need to speak up! If her characters had just piped up and said "Hey! I like you!" she'd have written far fewer books.

So I suggest you say "Hey! I think you're cool!" Any man who is worth your attention would be more than flattered that you've shown interest (even if he's not ready to say the same).

Oh yeah...I think you're cool.