The Complete Jane Austen "Pride and Prejudice" by Kristen Hammond
As I lounged on my couch watching Pride & Prejudice for probably the 200th time, I suddenly noticed the similarities between Jane Austen's characters and the men I met during my online dating heyday. I don't know why it never hit me before today. Not that Pride & Prejudice is full of losers, or anything.
What catches your eye when you receive his email is that you and he are from the same small town. Somehow from your profile he has figured this information out. You check out his profile picture which is very, very fuzzy and out of focus but he doesn't look too awful. You wonder about the fuzziness of the picture since it is 2008 and every single camera has auto focus. You email him back and wonder of all wonders, it turns out your mothers were sorority sisters in college.Odd thing is, Mr. Collins lives 100 miles away. Apparently he is taking the wide net approach to online dating. You would normally blow him off but now you feel obligated because of your mother's connection to his mother. You two finally meet when Mr. Collins comes into town for a Subway franchise manager's conference. Mr. Collins makes a decent enough living owning a Subway franchise and according to his district manager who has his back, he may even get another Subway soon. He is having difficulty getting over a 10 year long distance relationship with a lovely girl from Russia whom he never met in real life. By the end of the date, he asks you what kind of engagement ring you would like. You tell him that you are commitment-phobic, you never really intended to find a meaningful relationship through online dating and that you have to go home and shampoo the cat. He offers to help. You can't seem to shake him. You finally excuse yourself to go to the restroom. The last thing you hear as you are lowering yourself out the bathroom window is Mr. Collins telling the coffee shop girl about his troubles. You overhear later that they ran off to Vegas that weekend to get married.
Mr. Bingley is that trust-fund baby from Connecticut who is now working on Capitol Hill. His dating profile suggests that he is blue blood, but you decide to respond to his email anyway. On your first date, you realize he is altogether too accommodating and cheery. You pawn him off on your sister who falls madly in love.
Wickham lists his occupation on his profile as "self-employed." Having done the online dating thing for 2 whole months, you realize that means he is unemployed. When you meet, he is 30 minutes late but is so attractive and dressed so nicely that you don't even care. Sure he mentions during the first date that he once dated two sisters at one time but even that can't sway you from his beauty.
A pattern begins to emerge. It's not Wickham's fault that he got kicked out of Harvard for that silly prank he and the rest of the frat brothers played on the dean. He used to be a volunteer firefighter but after an incident involving a fire truck and a firehouse party, he is no longer allowed to volunteer. His last job? His boss was a jerk who was jealous of him and got him fired. Always drawn to the bad boys, you are drawn like a moth to the flame. When you get together, you can talk for hours.He talks about how much money he has but he never actually asks you out to dinner. When you do go out, he always arrives late and leaves promptly at an earlier agreed upon time. It only takes you until the second date to realize that he is "stacking" you with at least one other girl. You figure him out and realize that even with the good conversation, you aren't that interested. You begin to stack him as well. He gets annoyed and is suddenly very, very interested in you. Not a week later, a mutual friend tells you that Wickham and his best friend ran off to Mexico to work at a beach resort. You feel an emotion that can only be described at relief.
You are tabbing through the eligible bachelors in your area one day when Darcy's bio catches your eye. In his profile picture, he is sitting in front of your most very favorite cafe in Paris on the Left Bank. You draft a pithy email and send it on its way. Not 10 minutes later, you get an email back, apologizing for your time. Apparently Darcy's friends decided to put his bio on the online dating site and now he is getting what he terms "unsolicited" emails. He explains that he does not "DO" online dating. His explanation leads you to believe that he thinks anyone who "DOES" online dating is a lesser person.
Not three weeks later, your sister tells you that she has the perfect person for you to meet. He is a venture capitalist and just sold his first business for $114 million. She tells you he is friends with Bingley. You two meet at a party and you realize he is Mr. I'm-Too-Good-For-Online-Dating. You blow him off. He is intrigued. You don't care. You proceed to spend the rest of the party flirting with everyone who is not Darcy.
You continue to see him at parties all summer long. He doesn't actually speak to you but you feel him watching you all the time. You can't be bothered with him ever since you heard he outsourced all his work to a foreign company, resulting in layoffs for 50 employees.
Then your sister calls you to tell you how Darcy drove 100 miles to help her after she had a car accident and she couldn't reach anyone else. You realize that he just MIGHT have a soul. Then someone tells you that those 50 employees he laid off? They got a year's severance. You begin to feel slightly bad about being so judgmental. At the next party, he tells you that he can't stop thinking about you. You realize that you really can't stop thinking about him either. You two fall madly in love.
Do you end up living happily ever after with Darcy? Uh, no. You end up marrying the really nice guy sitting down the aisle from you in law school and you have two beautiful baby boys.
The soon to be infamous Jane Austen quote from Miss Austen Regrets... "the only way to get a Mr. Darcy is to make him up." What would you have done with all that money anyway?