Living Like Jane Austen

So, to celebrate Mother's Day, I took my mom to Glen Eyrie for tea. Which is so fun. What's not to love? Sitting in a fun castle, drinking tea and eating really delicious scones, and being with your mom? It was a good time. But I started thinking about Jane Austen and how I relate so much of everything to something she wrote a long time ago. My mom and I were talking about what makes Austen's novels so loved and timeless--and I really think a big part of it are the happy endings she gives us. Life doesn't really have enough happy endings, so indulging in a few fabulous ones (like Mr. Darcy) is just good for us. So I love immersing myself in all things Austen. But I do know that living when she lived would never work for me. It's unbelievable the way women were treated back then (and throughout most of history for that matter). And life without air conditioning and Diet Dr. Pepper? Seriously? I like comforts. Small comforts will do, but I gotta have them.

So anyway, my mom and I had this delightful afternoon tea on a really beautiful day. Lovely. Back to Jane. The thing about Jane Austen is that she delivered. I'm not the kind of person who enjoys movies where everything is left up to interpretation, or weird directors who think they are being extremely philosophical and brilliant when they're really being . . . well weird. Basically, I like happy endings. They don't have to be perfect. That's one little issue I have with Breaking Dawn, Bella gets everything without giving up anything. Things just keep working out for her until you start to feel a little annoyed by her perfect life. But in the cases where our hero or heroine has had to sacrifice, but still comes out without a completely ruined life--yeah, that's more my speed.

But the cool thing about Jane Austen is that she wrote these six novels--romance for that matter!--and people never get tired of them. (Maybe just women.) Because every now and then we just really need a happy ending in our lives. Regardless of what century you live in, we want to feel that satisfaction at the end of a movie or a book--that feeling that what should happen, happened. So while I would never want to have to live when Jane lived, I so appreciate how incredibly brilliant she was--enough so that she still connects with people. And I just love that this relatively young, single woman wrote only six books in her short life, and in a way, changed the literary world. I love that. So living like Jane Austen, in that sense, is something to work toward. Well, my mom is back in Virginia and we're back to life as usual over here. In other words, I was reading Glass Houses this morning and doing laundry. Ashtyn continues to be adorable and yet not listen to anything I say. She now insists on sitting on a regular chair at the table, rather than in her booster seat. Which I wouldn't mind, except her nose barely comes up to the table so this doesn't really work.

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