Last week I was watching the newest version of Pride & Prejudice and it made me laugh. Partly because I enjoy the version with Colin Firth a lot more, but also because of the way that people used to find their partners in life. These two people spend their entire acquaintance being antagonistic towards each other, and then suddenly one of them declares their feelings. He is rebuffed, so he runs away. Of course, that’s when she realizes that she loves him. There is the the requisite amount of drama to bring them back together, and then there is nothing that can separate them. After having spent very little time together they are suddenly determined to marry.
It makes me think about how that type of dating situation would be received in today’s modern world. Imagine running into somebody, perhaps having a bit of conversation with them for an hour or two. After you leave you realize that you’re madly in love with them and you must marry that person. Anybody would be horrified if they had heard a story like that today. I don’t think that I would be able to show my face to my parents if that were the case. And yet the marriages back then lasted for ever. Mostly because it was shameful to divorce and so that wasn’t even an option, but still. People had a lot more determination to make it work back then. There wasn’t any fancy illusion of true love or soul mates. Hollywood has ruined the concept of marriage for a lot of us. We want what we see in the movies. Or what we read about in the trashy romance novels.
I am under no illusion when it comes to romance and true love. Yes, it would be great, but there is no such thing as perfection. You find somebody who makes you happy, has the same values, and then you make it work. It’s not always going to be sunshine and roses. As Dolly Parton once said (and this is loosely paraphrased), “In order to see wildflowers you have to put up with a little rain.”
So, here I sit with my umbrella and sunscreen… waiting… *sigh*