Today’s post is all about YOU. Why? Well, a) it’s Labor Day weekend and I’m feeling lazy (yes, lazier than usual!), and b) I’ve been cleaning out some of the many boxes of TBR books in my garage. And my hallway. And my office (which is actually a breakfast nook). Confession–I’m a booksale junkie. There isn’t a happier weekend of the year for me than when the Friends of the Library hold their annual sale. It’s heaven on earth–thousands of books piled into a warehouse and priced at .25, .50, and 1.00 for the really nice volumes. But thanks to my addiction to these blissful events, I have more books than I can ever read, and, I’m finding, lots of duplicate copies. I need to get rid of some.
So, here is the topic–dating. Or rather, the foolishness we mortals get up to when dating goes sour. In my cleaning-out, I’ve found a stash of old notes from high school, passed between my best friend and myself in AP English class. Many of these tearful letters detail the break-up with my boyfriend (my first “real” boyfriend–we dated all of six months–so the angst is extreme and very shrill). I tried many of the old break-up standbys. Hysterically tearful midnight phone calls, driving past his house, notes in his locker, etc etc. Yes, Gentle Reader, I even shoe-polished his car. Oh, the humanity!
Sadly, such things are not always confined to teenage girls who have read too many romances (remember the “dialing while intoxicated” scene in the movie Sideways?). I started wondering what our favorite lovelorn Regency ladies–such as, say, Caro Lamb, or Emma Hamilton, or Janet’s Perdita–would have done with such dangerous modern tools as the IM or text messaging. What delirious heights of romantic lunacy could they have scaled if, in addition to publicly burning poems and having meltdowns at Almack’s, they could drink too many Cosmos and start texting him about how he vowed he would marry her and now he has proved to be the most perfidious rogue in the world, and whhyyyyy didn’t he love her anymore???
Here is your assignment. Let us know what YOU think your favorite Regency lady would have done to get back at her faithless lover, if they were suddenly deposited in 2006. The best comment (or best 2 or 3–I really have a lot to get rid of) will receive a random packet of “vintage” Regencies from my booksale stash. Let the angst begin!
Our Regency melodrama queen would’ve worn unremittingly severe black, decorated her ballroom with black swags and purple black flowers, sent a black-edged invitation to the most influential members of the ton, including all of the perfidious lover’s closest friends and relatives, and then proceeded to entertain her guests with a play that lays every detail of their love story, including the lover’s unfaithfulness, thereby destroying his marketability as a husband forever.
Great ideas, Keira! I love the idea of the play.
Harriette Wilson said she used to stop in front of her lover’s house (I think it was Lord Tarleton)gazing at his windows. Caro Lamb, of course, disguised herself as a page and gained entrance to Byron’s rooms. She also wrote Glenarvon and made her maid help her in ritualistic burnings of his letters and gifts.
Well, Mr. Darcy would have emailed Lizzie with his letter instead of finding her. . .
Lizzie would have posted on her blog that she overheard Mr. Darcy calling her only tolerable, and why she refuses to every dance with him. . .
Should that scene actually have happened with a particular Mr. Darcy coming out of the lake while Miss Bennet was passing by, she would have snapped a pic with her cell phone. Okay, maybe not her. . . 😉
Lizzie should have googled both Mr. Darcy and Mr. Wickham to see who was who and whether Mr. Wickham was telling the truth. . .
Oh, then Lizzie would have blogged as to Mr. Darcy’s horrible first proposal. . .
Kitty and Wickham would have been easier to track, just follow his credit card trail. . .
Not sure who, but someone could have called Mr. Darcy to tell him to go to a certain place, then call Lizzie to get her to the same place and they could have gotten together a lot sooner than they did.
okay, so my imagination’s lousy. . . but those are my very quick 2006 possibilities! 🙂
I bet she’d do the equivalent of dampening her dress, wearing something insanely attractive (but with an Empire waist–no exposed tummy for her!) to make sure her guy knows just what he’s missing.
Me, I carried around a copy of Nabokov’s Despair for a month and wore very dark eyeliner.
Diane, have you seen the movie Clueless? It’s interesting that while that movie was loosely-based on a Georgian-era novel (and badly acted), they do include the bit about throwing mementos from the boyfriend in the fireplace after the end of romance.
Via Instant Messenger:
hope U are ok NOT LOL U shd know Im wrtg my memoirs & youll B real sorry if U dont pay 2kL asap. Cant txt msg U have U chgd yr #. U can pay another 2kL for yr emails 2 B del.
I did indeed see Clueless, a modern version of Emma. I’d forgotten that scene about the burning of the mementos. It worked, didn’t it? A timeless solution! It is in Emma too, I think.
I think Caroline Lamb made a whole ritual out of it with dancing around the fire.
Janet, I LOVE your Instant Message!
(I totally misread the task, Amanda! thinking it was to say what the Regency heroine would do without the modern communication devises. But it works both ways beautifully, as keira has shown!)
Actually, I love the movie Clueless, and I thought the acting was good! 🙂 And I thought the writing was fantastic. The first time I saw it I was fascinated to see which bits of Emma they kept, and which they jettisoned… And in a way, I think it’s truer to the real Emma than any other adaptation I’ve seen–in the character of Emma. She’s happy and charming and you can see why everyone loves her so! Whereas in the Kate Beckinsale version, I couldn’t see why anyone would care for that sulky creature…
But back to the topic. Ahem. I can’t equal some of the other very funny suggestions (particularly Lois’s & Janet’s — hilarious) but here goes…
JERRY SPRINGER: So today, we welcome Caro… and her boyfriend, George… his other girlfriend, Clare… and his WIFE… plus, his SISTER, who Caro thinks he’s a little too close to… But remember, George thinks we’re here to talk about the war in Greece, so don’t give it away! Don’t let on that the real topic is “Men Who Love Too Much: and the Women who Let Them Get Away With It”…
Well, it’s not about the breakup sort of melodrama, but I can just see Emma running an internet dating service. With just as much success as in the book, I imagine!
Harriet: Blog & B DAMD! DofW