Dreaming of Jane

Portrait of Jane Austen, from the memoir by J....

Today I have a cold.  And I am way worse than any man when I have a cold. I moan, I grunt, I demand copious amounts of attention.  Generally, I want to babied and cosseted the way that I was when I was a kid and didn’t feel well.   However, as an adult, this has proven to not be the case.  In fact, not only am I no longer babied and cosseted, I am expected to continue doing all of the things that I normally do during the day.  Because, like all moms, I no longer have the luxury of a “sick day”: young children don’t care if I feel like playing LaLaLoopsy for four hours or not.

So this afternoon, while suffering through my illness, I found myself fantasizing while folding the laundry (as one does).  Only instead of something hot and involving Jimmy Fallon (don’t judge – he is my number one Celebrity To Do), I fantasized about Jane Austen.  Or, more specifically, what it would be like to be one of Jane Austen’s heroines with a cold.

I know.  Just follow along.

See, in “Pride and Prejudice” when Jane Bennet takes ill (I love the phrase “takes ill”. I love any and all British expressions) while visiting the Bingleys, she doesn’t just tromp home and keep going about her day.  She doesn’t need to do laundry, cook meals, chase after small children like, ahem, some of us do when sick.  No, she gets to lay around in bed for a FULL WEEK while servants bring her trays of broth and her doting sister sits by her side, reading her books.  Not to mention the dashing man pacing the library floor anxiously until she’s fully restored.

That doesn’t sound too bad to me.  Frankly, it sounds pretty awesome.

Sure, if I lived in Regency England I’d probably have no property to my name, very little say in who I married, and essentially be dependent on either a husband or a male relative to provide for my financial needs.  Not to mention corsets – yuck.  And no epidurals, reality TV, Amazon.com, or iPhones.  And –gasp – no “Phineas and Ferb” to distract my children so that I can cook dinner in five minutes of relative peace (yes, I use the TV as a babysitter when I need to cook, go ahead and judge me).

I guess being a Jane Austen heroine wouldn’t be that fantastic, really, in the long run.  Oh well.  Doesn’t mean that I can’t still fantasize about Mr. Darcy while I do a load of whites……


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