It’s all someone else’s fault and I’m grateful for that! It really takes the stress off…
1. Mr. Darcy
I’ll start with one that’s quite common. I hereby acknowledge that Mr. Darcy (or, really, I suppose, Jane Austen) is responsible for all my past failings in romance and also for the ridiculous expectations I continue to place on my wonderful, loving husband.
I grew up sighing and dreaming of the day my prince would come (you have to sing that like Snow White) – and no, technically, Mr. Darcy is not a prince, but he has that accent… Because of him (and Disney in general), I expected: tingling looks across crowded rooms, casual brushings of hands sending shocks through my veins, and of course, in the end, the absolute certainty that the man I chose to marry absolutely adored me to the depth and breadth of his very being. What did I get? Well, my husband does have the accent… And he sure is a prideful jerk sometimes…
Before my husband, I dated boys that stirred that Capital-R-Romantic vision in me: they wrote me poetry and stood below my window and sang me songs through their drunken tears. Keyword there: drunken. Yeah, I don’t need to talk about why those relationships didn’t work. Like I said, I blame Mr. Darcy.
I’ve been married now for 2 years to a man who has never contemplated writing me poetry in his life and who absolutely does not consider standing outside in the rain waiting for a glimpse of me, to be romantic in any way. To be honest, he’s got a point (Hello, stalker.). My husband is content, but he is rarely ecstatic. I’m pretty sure he would actually say that the entire concept of being ecstatic was made up by Americans. He might have a point there as well.
So, he’s never gloriously happy or joyful, but he’s also never in “the depths of despair”, to quote a girl who would know exactly what I’m talking about. He’s rarely moody, he never wakes up unable to get out of bed and he’s rarely unsure of himself, me or us.
What does that leave? Contentment. Day-to-day, it’s a wonderful concept. However, it’s also an emotion that I had never even conceived of before, as I gravitated between horribly depressed and deliriously happy both in my own life and in the relationships I chose. So here I am, with this amazing man and wonderful father who gives me something I’ve never had before: an easy (relatively speaking), drama-free, contended life. And what do I do with it? I pick him apart for not being like all those idiots I dated before; it’s as if while missing the adventure, I have forgotten all about the screaming and the fighting.
Here’s the thing I never noticed about the book, the film or the man himself: Mr. Darcy was exactly like that, too. It’s what drove Elizabeth crazy about him at the beginning, besides his generally being insufferable, a word one must use at least once when discussing Pride & Prejudice. What the story shows is that Elizabeth realizes she’s been silly and desires the substance over the image and then all is changed and they are happy. The end. In real life, I have to have this realization every day. Sometimes multiple times every day. Sometimes I don’t have the realization, and that leads to a fight, in which I scream, stomp about and gesticulate like a mad woman all the while my husband stays calm and collected and… content.
So maybe I’ve disproved my point? Hm… It’s still Mr. Darcy’s fault.
And just because, the final marriage proposal (Note: mine was in french toast):