Jane Austen is responsible for some of the worst romantic decisions of my life. In her most popular book Pride and Prejudice she gives readers Mr Darcy to fall in love with. He is handsome but not a pretty boy. He is wealthy, dashing, and noble. But he is rude to our heroine Elizabeth Bennett. He repeatedly insults her and her family. If Lizzy was one of my girlfriends I would've told her "He's Just Not That Into You." But in the end he is. REALLY!?!?!?!?! And therein lies the programming. No matter how much of a jerk a guy acts ,I think I can win him over with my awesomeness, the same way Lizzy landed Mr Darcy. But I will forgive Sister Jane because we Merry Spinsters need to stick together.
Jane Austen wrote the outline for every romantic comedy you've ever seen and most that you've ever read. The woman has been dead for nearly 200 years and is still one of the most widely read authors in English literature. And conventional wisdom says that was achieved at the cost of her ever getting married. She managed to write six novels before dying at age 41. It is unlikely she could've written with a husband and children. And she was smart enough to know that, and despite offers of marriage stuck to her guns.
I have no doubt that Jane, like myself, endured a shitload of teasing about being a spinster. It is not for sissies. And in her time an unmarried woman was even more of a joke because a woman's sole occupation was to acquire the best husband possible. In the eyes of her family and friends she must have seemed like a failure. But if she cared, I've never seen any evidence of it. And isn't that amazing? To be so certain of yourself and who you are, and what you want, that no one can convince you that you're wrong. I don't plan to die anytime soon. But if I do, I will run up to Jane Austen in the afterlife and ask her how she did it. And I promise I will find a way to get the answer back to you.