Tag Archives: Jane austen

I Love You. See? it’s easy!

Love. It really is a nice little word that rolls off the tongue, but to a girl dating a guy for a grand total of two months and two weeks it can stick, trapped somewhere between the teeth, stubbornly refusing to come out. You might easily tell him that you LOVE that meal he took you to, or that you LOVE his jumper. Casually telling him how you love spending time with him? Easy peas. But actually saying that you love him is, well, sometimes impossible.

Spoilt by a childhood of Disney films, teenage dreams of Dawson and an adulthood of Austen (and OK….I admit it Twilight,) the big declaration represents a moment of validation; you’ve made it to the finish line, you’ve won. Getting there becomes something like a challenge, and there is little to do but wait, because a girl has to wait for it. Right?

Even the most rules sceptic girl would agree that saying it first is never an option. It’s just not the done thing but more so, half the fun is the delivery and like reading the last page of a book, you risk missing out on the entire plot.

Still. If I felt it, if I really felt it, there should be no problem saying it. And therein lay the problem; how do I know if this is the real thing?

After the very first night I spent with Number Six, I marched into my best friend’s flat, threw my arms up and declared; “That’s it, I’m in Love.”

“You’re not in love.” She replied, rolling her eyes.
I have a habit of being ‘in love’ with anything; shoes, miso dishes, but more dangerously, men.  Let’s not forget the incident with Prince Charming; it took me a whole 48 hours of knowing him to go from mild interest to full blown passionate delusions.

Could it be that I was in love? So soon?

The Oxford Illustrated dictionary defines love as “A virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion, and affection; and “the unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another”.
I’m not sure I entirely agree.

If love is in essence a challenge, there has to be an element of selfishness; a need that leads to that hook, be it sexual or emotional dependence.

Anthropologically speaking, the study of ‘love’ is divided into categories – biological, psychological and evolutionary.  Within these, the general consensus is that love has three stages; (because as a rule of thumb academics feel the need to divide everything into three…)

• Biologist Helen E. Fisher, categorised love into lust, attraction and attachment
• Psychologist Robert Steinberg, came up with the ‘triangular theory of love’ which divides love into intimacy, commitment and passion

A linear timeline for falling in love which begins with animal chemistry and ends with a sibling- like dependence, implies that not only are the two mutually exclusive but that the term ‘love’ is valid for even the basest of animal magnetisms. Ergo qualifying my ‘love’ for Number Six, Robert Pattinson and the guy I had a crush on in year 7.

If falling in love is really that easy, when then is the right time to say ‘I love you’?
My first boyfriend told me he loved me by writing 143 on a piece of paper (something about the number of letters in the word ‘I love you’.) He did it about two weeks in, and I later discovered he’d declared his love in the exact same way to his ex.

Golf Boy waited an excruciatingly long amount of time. But when he said it, I felt the entire world fell away like a smashed snow globe leaving just us in the middle.

Number four (or the one I never really talk about) said it at just the right time, and I don’t remember feeling anything at all, but then, I never felt much for him anyway.

And then there was Number Six. I’ve been telling him I love him silently in my head for about a month. He told me he likes me, that he really likes me, that he really really likes me.  And then, it happened.

“I really like you.” He said.
“Me too.” I replied for the hundredth time
“No, I REALLY like you.” He said again
I smiled.
“I would even say, maybe falling in love with you?”
Say it you coward. Just say it.

Then he paused. “How…do you feel?”
Seriously? You’re making ME do it?! I’ve never been a very patient person, and it was clear it needed a nudge. I rolled my eyes “You know I love you, you idiot!” I replied.

I’ll admit it was a bit of an anti-climax. I was expecting him to have thought of the right time, the right place, I wasn’t expecting an epic Notebook style declaration, but I wanted to at least be sure he meant it. Now that it was said, now that it was out in the open, I felt the words sit uncomfortably on my lips.

“Well, I’m glad that’s out the way,” he said, sighing “It’s like a weight’s been lifted. Wow so we’ve gone through another relationship landmark.”

I suppose we had, but we rushed through it so quickly I didn’t have time to stop and enjoy the view. Maybe hearing the words ‘I love you’ isn’t about winning at all.

And so I carry my ‘love trophy’ awkwardly, and return the words with  embarrassment because it feels like we’d jumped the queue into a club where we didn’t quite belong… yet.


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Fan Airmail

Today I received the following e-mail from my friend… I include it because firstly it made me chuckle profusely. (‘A’, you should REALLY start your own blog) but mainly because I sometimes worry about writing my silly little stories about dead dogs and such is…well, silly. I respond to ‘A’ advice about topics I should write about in future below his e-mail (probably the funniest plane letter I’ve ever read)

I’m emailing you from my Flybe plane. Doubt even the Wright brothers would have risked getting on something this rickety. Added to which, I’m so glad I let them screw me out of an additional £13 for the luxury of being able to choose and reserve my seat (2B) on this plane jam packed wiith 4 crew and 6 passengers.

None of that matters to me now though. I’ve got my two bottlettes of Cab Sav for £7, so I’m happy, or I would be if my mexican bean and cheese wrap hadn’t just leaked red juice all over my otherwise pristene black shirt. Still, I shouldn’t let it concern me too much. After all, I’m on my way to Germany where they invented the whole ‘black shirt with a dash of red’ colour scheme.

I’m flitting between reading Bates’ Pocket Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking and the latest edition of The Spectator, on my Kindle. The former isn’t on my Kindle, it’s an actual three dimensional book, you know, made out of tree. I took as it’s the only medical textbook I own that alone wouldn’t take my luggage over the limit.

Actually, I paid for 20kg but my checked bag weighed in at only 10kg. As soon as I saw that I instantly wished we’d stopped at a church enroute to the airport so I could have stolen some lead from its roof to line my bag with, to get my monies worth. Technically, I could have taken Nancy Caroline’s Emergency Care on the Streets, but realistically it would never have squeezed it’s 1600 hard backed A4 sized pages into the bag. I ended up despatching xxxx’s belongings to her work in a cab a year ago following our breakdown in relations, in my bigger and better bag, and never got that back. Buh, humbag.

I love The Spectator. It’s like having intelligent friends who actually share my own views, unlike in the real world, where most of my friends are well-meaning idiots who believe in all kinds of bunkum, because they’ve never actually elected to think for themselves. Yes, it’s a magazine for right wing Conservatives, and even though I don’t agree with every viewpoint it pushes, it’s just endlessly intelligent, whereas left wing magazines are always just a little too wet and humourless to make them at all palatable. Realistically, as someone whose embarking on a career working for the NHS, I should probably be championing the Labour party or go all out and become an actual socialist, but really, I’d rather stick chopsticks under my fingernails whilst listening to Michael Bublé’s Christmas album alternating with The Pogues Fairytale of New York, which if nothing else, serves as an annual reminder that life really is God’s joke, when we remember that Kirsty McColl is long dead but Shane MacGowan is still alive and well, in spite of having drunk EVERYTHING.

I only started this email to you because I wanted to tell you this: You write what you write because it’s what interests you and what’s important to you, and you are brilliant at it, but I do wish you wrote about more. When I was growing up I wished that I lived in interesting times. I lived in a time of contemplation, a time of looking back at what had come before us. Nothing really happened in the eighties or nineties. That’s why those decades are remembered more for the clothes and the music than anything of real substance. I was born 33 years after the second world war ended. The world was still recovering from it in 1978, it didn’t really get over it till the wall came down more than a decade later than that. Now, it’s the most turbulent it’s been in 60 years. Read about it Amelia Brightside. Then, write about it.

p.s. As a guy, you know you’re on a budget airline when you wouldn’t do either air hostess, even if they paid you.

A – You’re right, I SHOULD be writing about the Berlin wall, the Iraq war or the problems in Palestine. In fact I remember the first time we ever spoke we got into a row about gas chambers in the war and you called me something horrible which made me very angry! Actually, Palestine/Israel has been the focus of many an argument with people I consider family, and actually some that are family… I found that I don’t know enough about these subjects, it’s depressing to talk about and never amounts to anything.

You however, do know these subject enough to not embarrass yourself when you talk about them (apart from the gas chambers argument, I maintain that was ridiculous). Don’t lazy out by trying to get me to do the work you’re clearly destined to do!

Anyway, in answer to your request, I write what I know, which unfortunately isn’t a lot!

Though I don’t completely agree with Jane Austen’s response to the Prince Regent’s librarian (who suggested topics which may help her make a name for herself among the ‘respected’ literary world) I include it below

P.S I am in no way comparing myself to Austen. Madam would have considered the practice of ‘poking one’s dead dog’ an abominably inappropriate offence of capital magnitude. And straw face? One could not HEAR of such a thing! ;op

December 11th 1815, Jane Austen to J.S Clarke:

“I am quite honoured by your thinking me capable of drawing such a clergyman as you gave the sketch of… But I assure you I am not. The comic part of the character I might be equal to, but not the good, the enthusiastic, the literary. Such a man’s conversation must be on subjects of science and philosophy, of which I know nothing; or must occasionally be abundant in allusions and quotations which a woman who, like me, knows only her mother tongue, and has read very little in that, would be totally without the power of giving. A classical education, or at any rate a very extensive acquaintance with English literature, ancient and modern, appears to me quite indispensable for the person who would do justice to your clergyman; and I think I may boast myself to be, with all possible vanity, the most unlearned and ill-informed female who ever dared to be an authoress.”

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