Sunday, 17 February 2013

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 222

Regency courtship, from Austenauthors

This week’s quote is about Valentine’s Day, which happened on last Thursday. It was taken from Pride and Prejudice, Chapter 6, spoken by Mr Darcy:

“A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony, in a moment.”

Just like any other Austen quotes, I originally thought that this quote was just applicable to the Regency or period time. At the most, the 1920s (aaahhh, Downton Abbey!) or 1950s. But apparently, it IS still very applicable today!

(I apologise in advance if this post is rather insensitive. I’m trying to make it more appropriate, but if I still offend someone, I do apologise. It was kindly meant.)

Let’s just check our dating system today. No, I don’t mean our Gregorian calendar system. I mean our modern courting system. When we were teenagers, we don’t care about whether we are going to be with our sweetheart forever and ever. Well, perhaps we do. But we care less. We just want to be with the sweetheart, watching movies together, eating ice cream at the canteen together, doing homework together... ah, how sweet life is!

Then we are at our 20s. Slowly slowly, we start to think if our chosen boy/girlfriend will stick with us through college and hopefully walk with us on the isle. In our 30s, with a horde of our friends already getting married, some already having kids, we look at the clock and start to feel panic. Many of us don’t want to just court any man or woman available; that would be improper. But we want relationship, and a stable one at that. Preferably one that leads us to the aisle with a fluffy dress of our colour choice for ladies. So we start courting a guy or a girl with the hope that he or she is REALLY the one, this time around.

Approaching the 40s, we would fine-tune our search engine. We meet a guy or a girl we are attracted to, and immediately, in practically a nano-second, we wonder if it is possible for us to be with them. Forget if they like us or not. If they don’t, then end of story. But if they do like us too, what are the chances of us walking the isle with him or her? Or at least, doing a co-habitation, for those who choose not to believe in marriage? 

As I quote one of my female friends, ‘I’m looking for a husband, not just a flirtation.’ Point.

So, Mr Darcy’s words are still applicable here. “A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony, in a moment.” A lady’s imagination can be very rapid indeed. And for modern gentlemen over 30, it might also be the case nowadays.

I learned two days ago when I was watching Al Jazeera, that it takes a huge leap from that first flirtation to a 50 years of happy marriage.  Agree. But still, we have to take the first step.

May you have your first steps taken correctly, my dear friends. Belated Happy Valentine. Love yourself first, and then love others! (but it’s okay to share the chocolate with them; you don’t have to eat all the chocolate by yourself)


Linda Fern said...

WOW, Icha, you've done it again! So true about romance. Amazing how Jane knew about all the things she did. I guess the old adage that says "things never change" is correct, because what you said applies to my generation of the 50s is true.

Also, I had no idea what you were referring to when you mentioned "Al Jazeera" so I had to Google it. WOW again! I love reading "other" points of view, so now I can see what they are saying in the Mid-Eastern world. I already have some British newspapers bookmarked. So Thanks for educating me - again.

Yrs aff'ly,
Linda the Librarian

Icha said...

Hi Linda,

Thanks a lot for the comment, and sorry for the late upload.

Just finished watching PP 2005; brought back sweet memories... - or Al Jazeera is my new fave news channel, adding to BBC and CNN International. I also like watching Channel News Asia, because it gives me update to what happens in Asia. But for US viewers, I think Al Jazeera gives quite a lot of balanced coverage these days.