Thursday, July 28, 2011

7/28 - Miss Austen Misappropriated

With Homocentric August looming so near, today will be short.

Quick Thoughts:

L1:  Umm, curiosity killed the cat?  LW1 is hard to fathom.  In one question (s)he asks whether to "out" BF1 to all their friends, and then in another how to "unlearn" the disturbing fact (s)he discovered.  That's nicely all over the map, isn't it?  And there isn't anything resembling a sort of explanation why LW1 never made any sort of mention of this unsettling discovery.  If I liked LW1, I'd suggest torturing BF1 with the occasional mention of something in that line, just to see how he reacted.  Theoretically, at least, it's possible that he might just have been planning The Big Revelation for a bit further on in time - perhaps at the six month mark.  This might speed it up.  But, as I don't, I won't.

L3:  Oh, Prudecutor - why the bleep not?  Only, LW3, here's a much more fun idea.  Instead of grocery cards, send some gift cards for Barnes & Noble.

L4:  Apparently the Prudecutor has yet to hear of Slu*walk.  LW4, a little cross-examination:  Are you planning to raise your daughter to be a feminist?  Will she be among that wave of feminists who organized and brought about the seemingly interminable series of Slu*walks all over the world?  Reclamation, LW4, is the order of the day.  By all means name the daughter Lolita, and let her stomp all over anyone who dares to belittle her on that count.  Also, who and where are all these well-read adults the Prudecutor mentions?  They must be all the ones with good handwriting.  Bad psychology, Prudecutor.  Well-read adults are not the FNC-watching types who bully children or direct their children to bully others.  And her classmates?  Only the Asian ones raised by Tiger Mothers will be reading at that level, and they'll be getting bullied, not being the bullies - assuming, of course, that Zero Tolerance isn't at such a zenith that all interpersonal communications between students have to go through a school administrator.

Now for L2:

Four years and numerous discussions?  Well, it certainly sounds as if LW2 really had a whole avalanche of momentum heading into that hesitant proposal, doesn't it?  Getting her parents' blessing first?  How charmingly patriarchal, besides which, after four years, it rather seems as if the horse is crossing from California to Nevada while the cart is crossing from Tennessee to North Carolina.  Searching her phone for her parents' phone number?  Having no cellular telephone, I ought to recuse myself.  Evidently C2 does not have that thoroughly shared a life, or just aren't particularly good at planning for possible eventualities.  Befuddled attempts at upcovering?  Well, there's half the problem right there.  Relentless, vicious accusations of spying?  And this is someone LW2 wants to marry - well, clearly, not at that eagerly.  Profuse apologies?  Why do I suspect that that's been the pattern of the relationship all along?  Unmollified outrage?  As much as I want to admire a woman who is above the influence of Bright Shiny Jewelry (which, the gentle reader may well note, has the power to move even the might Ms Messy), LW2 might well know by now if he were such a good match for someone of such overreacting tendencies.  Reluctantly accepted?  What sort of woman marries someone she can't trust, or:  what sort of person wants to marry such a woman?  LW2's mistake?  How about wasting four years and still coming to the wrong decision about this woman?

Now for the Prudecutor:  Why on earth not call the movers?  Let STBXF2 see that LW2 is someone to be taken seriously who can't be bullied for the duration of the marriage.  LW2 needs to grow a spine, even more so if this pair actually does marry, and "starting discussions about how he feels that the punishment does not fit the crime and how worried he is about their untimely unhappiness" goes beyond the worst Alan Alda Strawman ever set up with which to mock the Sensitive Male of Today.

Even giving the Prudecutor a point for not liking the idiotic patriarchal convention of obtaining the parents' blessing (and I would dearly love to know if LW2 obtained a similar blessing before the couple began living together), I must put her permanently into the doghouse for her misuse of Miss Austen - and no, she cannot try to palm the misuse off on STBXF2.  I might let Ms Mermaid get away with such a thing, but not the Prudecutor.

I cannot imagine a good outcome for this.  Either STBXF2 is involved in something extremely shady, or she has just shown that she is Poor Marriage Material.  Of course, LW2 is entitled to marry poor material.  But even if so, move out first and let the Reluctant Fiancee have to make things up.


Catherine Morland:  Proposal first; her parents agree to the engagement only asking that General Tilney consent to it, even if he does not approve.

Elinor Dashwood:  Proposal first, although Mrs Dashwood has clearly indicated that she would welcome Edward as a son-in-law.

Marianne Dashwood:  Weirdly enough, the tempestuous convention-defier Marianne has the most traditionally arranged proposal from Willoughby, although his intention to propose is stalled before he can execute it.  Colonel Brandon's proposal much later is connived at by Marianne's entire circle of friends and family, her mother chief among the connivers.

Jane Bennet:  Proposal first; then Bingley speaks to Mr Bennet.

Elizabeth Bennet:  Darcy's first proposal occurs without anyone's consent, least of all his own.  His second is more like Bingley's to Jane, although at least he had obtained the disapproval of his aunt.

Lydia Bennet:  Elopes intending marriage but allows the wedding to drift until Wickham is found out and his arm twisted into the connection.

Fanny Price:  We are not told, but cannot imagine that the opinion of the Prices would count.

Maria Bertram:  Mr Rushworth's proposal occurs during Sir Thomas' absence from home and awaits his official approval on his return from Antigua.

Emma Woodhouse:  Proposal first, and then most of the end of the novel consists in the couple tricking poor Mr Woodhouse into liking the idea.

Harriet Smith:  Proposal first, then approval gained from her mysterious connections.

Jane Fairfax:  Engaged in secret.

Augusta Hawkins:  We are not told, but she had no parent or guardian beyond her sister and brother-in-law.

Anne Elliot:  First proposal first, met with coldness from Sir Walter and discouragement from Lady Russell.  Second proposal first as well, with at least acceptance by way of recdeption.

Mary Elliot:  We are not told, but there was no secret that her husband had wanted the year before to marry Anne.

Henrietta Musgrove:  Has "an understanding" with Charles Hayter that becomes a confirmed engagement when he obtains a suitable curacy and prospects of sufficient for the future.

Louisa Musgrove:  Proposal first, taking everyone by surprise.

Frederica Vernon:  A little similar to Marianne Dashwood in that Reginald de Courcy's proposal is largely a group project for his mother and sister.  She refuses the proposal from Sir James Martin that her mother has engineered, and her mother thinks it better not to force Frederica to accept but rather to make Sir James Frederica's voluntary choice by making her life a misery until she relents.

Lady Susan Vernon:  Being widowed, she needs no permission to accept Reginald, although he knows that his father expressly disapproves the match before he requests it.  She appears to have no difficulty in redirecting Sir James' proposal from Frederica to herself when it suits her.

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