You are not Elizabeth Bennet. Christ. That’s the only reason you clicked on this, isn’t it? You misunderstand yourself entirely. You have never been Elizabeth Bennet. No one in your entire acquaintanceship – in your entire life – has for even one second considered you to be the Elizabeth Bennet of your social circle. No one thinks of you at all.
You think that because reading Jane Austen makes you feel understood that she would have approved of or even liked you; nothing could be further from the truth. You are not playfully impertinent, you are coarse and often intentionally cruel. You say unkind things about friends who are not there to defend themselves and pretend you do not mean it; worse, you say kind things about people who are there to think well of you and you do not mean that either.
No one has ever called you “plucky” and no one will ever silently admire your good qualities while you play the piano. You should have been shot into the vacuum of space on your thirteenth birthday.
Perhaps you are silently congratulating yourself for setting your sights on a less obvious target. Stop it now. “I’m really more of an Elinor, or even a Fanny –” No. You aren’t. You are not even a third as reserved as you think you are, you have never suffered in silence, and what you consider to be “good earthy common sense” is in fact garden-variety self-absorption. You think of yourself as being practical and restrained because you are incapable of admitting you have ever behaved selfishly. Your nature is not passionate, it is self-indulgent. You are barely Caroline Bingley, and Jane Austen would have shot you with a handgun after ten minutes of playing whist together.
My God, I hate you. You barely deserve to be set on fire.
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.