Sunday, April 01, 2007

Pride and Prejudice

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife."
- Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen, perhaps the original judgemental bitch, is best known for her novels documenting the sordid lives of the English gentry in the late 18th and early 19th Century. In her most popular tome's Austen's characters flit about country manors, attend social events while projecting upward mobility through marriage vows. Jane [and I call her so because clearly we'd be besties if she was alive]'s rather amusing social commentary revolved around the thematic importance of marriage - a bi-product of England's rigorous inheritence laws which directed the bulk of family fortune on male heirs, leaving daughters out in the cold, take that Bold.

Sim Sim Sima in true WWSD mode has made her thoughts known about marriage: She offered Bold 30,000 to elope and save her the trouble of planning an "event". Actually Sim Sim Sima has often remarked at the relative uselessness of marriage, "I wouldn't bother getting married today," she's totally a member of PFLAG!, "unless I planned on having children," or not.

Apparently not enough of my friends are heading Sage Sima's advice though [guys WWSD] - as I've got three weddings this year.

So who, pretell, is exploiting Austen's universal truth?

Recently two of my best friends decided to host their birthday party on the same day. Being the good friend I spent half the evening at one and half the evening at the other party. The first was held at a lovely house in Faux Hill... the other hosted at an Irish pub downtown. Being sans plus one, I dragged El Heurd to the house party for good measure but as we surveyed the scene we realized that "we'd have some splaining to do," as unlike everyone else we were NOT coupled, not to each other and not to anyone else outside of the party. The Faux Hill house party was full of almost engaged and or long-term relationship couples. Downtown, conversation at Fionn McCools centred mostly around whether to take the plunge and join Lavalife.

Marriage is seemingly rampant in the Faux. But, this of course, makes complete sense. As in Jane Austen's time marriage is about financial independence and while my downtown friends are still finding their feet those in the Faux have already walked down the professional aisle of medical school and or law school. Throw in religious pressue of Judaism and its no wonder I have a friend who found the last safron coloured J Crew bridesmaid dress in the world and had it flown to her, "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a mentsch in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a Yiddishe maidel."

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