Even the happiest marriages hit rocky ground at some point. Don’t hang around if he or she is just not that into you. Particularly if you’ve lost your “get up and go” down below because of the damned war, but your former girlfriend still encourages you to hang around, get “tight,” and follow her as she flits to various European watering holes and cavorts with bullfighters and (even worse) new-money Jews. Forgive infidelity, but only if you really love the cheater.
For instance, if your wife grows resentful because you moved back to your hometown, then suddenly goes missing and then there are all kinds of crazy clues around the house that weirdly implicate you in her death, even though you swear you don’t have a violent bone in your body — well maybe just, like, your right tibia — you are probably going to wish you had an easy way out. You made a vow, and you’ve got to stick with this not-so-cool girl for life. At this point, you should take look in the mirror: what you see is a lame, lame human being. Again, a lot of bumps occur on the long road of a relationship. For instance, what if your wife has been cuckolding you with her manager, and all day long you wander the streets of Dublin, reveling in various forms of mental expression, masturbating by the seashore, and taking a route that weirdly parallels the Odyssey? You’re a good dude, and she is perhaps just overfond of the word “yes.” 5.
Like maybe your sardonic, cruel, yet weirdly attractive employer/master has finally admitted that he loves you back and wants to make you his forever. Perhaps you’re feeling a little alone recently due to your time in prison, your perch on the scaffold and being consigned to a low hovel on the edge of the woods — not to mention and the giant red patch you have to wear each day. Life can be tough for a gal just trying to make her way.
You’re over the moon with happiness, but there is the matter of the frequent low laughter coming from the locked garret chambers (which often occurs just when you’re yearning most to be free). Your baby-daddy keeps swearing he’s gonna confess and share your inhuman burden but he’s delaying. He may have it gnawing, digging at his chest, but if he didn’t confess that he knocked you up initially, he’s never coming around. Now and then you might feel like you’re living in a dystopian future where women are relegated to biblical roles based on their reproductive capabilities. Yes, society is very fixated on finding “the one.” But isn’t pragmatism important, too?
Girlfriend, here’s a hint: you might want to check out the source of that laughter a bit more carefully before you walk down the aisle. Meanwhile your baby is acting preternaturally wise, almost symbolic. At this point, you just have to rely on your feminine strength. In the course of navigating this misogynist superstructure, there may come a time when a mysterious man comes into your life and starts making out with you above the garage, risking public flogging or worse. Let’s say you were raised with one aim: to do well on the marriage market. You’re attracted to penniless journalists while eligible bachelors are bewildered when you stand them up for church, and your friends get annoyed when you accept loans from their faithless husbands in exchange for your being “nice to them.” Now, you’ve even been thrown off a yacht!
It’s a dating advice book culled from the Austen oeuvre, with chapters entitled things like “Dress Up,” “Find a Man, Not a Guy,” and “Be Quite Independent.” This witty, brief new guide is part of an “Austen advice” mini empire, coming on the heels of Elizabeth Kantor’s rather conservative Certainly, there is infinite wisdom to be culled from Austen (she remains my favorite author).
But if we’re continually going back to only one Regency-era authoress for all of today’s dating advice, we’re neglecting the rest of the canon!