You know you’ve read too much Pride and Prejudice when…
Is there such a thing as too much P&P? Is it possible to be so sucked in to the novel that you will date no one but Mr. Darcy, thus ruining your chances of ever achieving romantic happiness? I really doubt it is, however just in case this is, actually, true I’ve compiled some of the warning signs for you. Indeed, sometimes friends (and even family, third cousins, mere acquaintences, random homeless people etc) advise that maybe it is time to give Austen a rest and focus on “real people” in the “real world” as if Miss Austen’s novels just fell out of some time-capsule from another dimension. To many, Austen’s books are the ultimate, honest representations (and shamelessly mocking ones at that) of human nature.
However despite this fact here is my new, continually revised, list of what is borderline “too much”* Austen:
1- You have the Pride and Prejudice (2005) and BBC (1995) soundtracks on your iPod. On their own playlist. Which is the only playlist you regularly listen to.
2- You slip phrases such as “There is, I believe, in every disposition a tendency towards some evil” into everyday conversation, believing it to be a completely original thought.
3- When packing for a holiday you cram your toiletries, jewelry and perfume haphazardly around in your luggage, but your copy of Pride and Prejudice has to be wrapped in two towels and placed between the layers of clothing, because the “throwers might damage it”.
4- You have different copies of the book for different occasions. One of them is for the beach, one you bought because the “pages were pretty” and you even bought a mini-handbag edition so you would never be without.
5- Somehow you never have enough time to cook dinner, study, work or vacuum the carpet, but there is always time to watch the 6-hours-long BBC mini-series.
6- You sometimes stare at your wardrobe and wish that everyone wore floor-length dresses and corsets, despite it being 40 degrees C in the shade. It is also a given fact among male friends that wearing a top-hat will make them irresistable in your eyes.
7- Sideburns somehow seem incredibly hot to you. Even those terribly elongated ones. In fact this is a desirable trait.
8- Your boyfriend/brother/husband/male friend bought you a Pride and Prejudice related joke book such as: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and your eyes welled up because it was so thoughtful.
9- Your ideal 18th/21st/40th would be a full regency-styled ball, complete with costumes, earl gray tea and formal dancing (that you already know the steps to).
10- You find yourself seeing similarities between your own life and Elizabeth’s, despite the almost 200 years time period difference and social, financial and moral differences.
11- When asked who your all-time hero is you immediately say “Elizabeth Bennet”, and when told that they need to be a ‘real’ person you stare at them blankly.
12- [Courtesy of Manda Diaz] You spend “hours spent arguing with friends over who gets to have Darcy (and which version) if ever he becomes a real person.”
This is a work in progress. Any suggestions will be most gratefully received.
*Debatably so. And I refuse to accept liability for any stress incurred as a result of fitting this list.