In celebration of 200 years of Pride and Prejudice – I thought I’d mark it with a classy game of ‘snog, marry or push of a cliff’ of Jane Austen heroes. Now before I start, I’d just like to state that I am a legend at this game and can play it for many, many hours in pubs or on long car journeys. As a game it is up there with top 3 cartoon characters you would definitely do (that are obviously 1. The human version of Shrek 2. Wolverine in the Xmen cartoon and 3. Panthro from Thundercats). But I don’t just play it straight – that’s too easy - I like to bend it to my will. My favourite version of the game is to have to choose between a snog, a quick shag but everyone would know about it, or lastly, a long sweaty shag but no-one would know about it’. You then pick three of the most vile people from wherever you work, study etc and force other people to choose which they would rather do with who. Today – as this is ostensibly a parenting blog – we’ll do ‘snog, shag or father of your child’.
We are obviously leaving reality at the door here, which is just as well as I’m asthmatic, allergic to most things and probably would have been one of those ‘sickly victorian children’ and not made it past my teens. I also have the kind of english rose (i.e. red and sweaty) complexion that a couple of dances in a heated ballroom would have most sensible gentlemen running to their carriages. But obviously in my Austen fantasy they are all panting for me and I have the liberty of choosing.
Right, first – Snog. This for me is Mr Darcy. I know most of you would have plumped for him to be the father of your children or for some hardcore soggy breeches action (BBC programme reference there not an incontinence issue). Mr Darcy is after all the most ‘Mills and Boon‘ of any Austen hero – all rich powerful arsehole gets redeemed by a poverty stricken woman whilst she gets to have a blowdry a week for the rest of her life. But he’s not for me. It’s a no to being the father of my child as, though he is obviously working to shake off the shackles of his traditiontastic upbringing, it would still be tricky to break the mould of seeing his children for only one hour after dinner and then sending them off to school before they can walk. And I don’t think he’ll be my shag either. Don’t get me wrong I’m sure Lizzie would have eventually warmed him up over years of married bliss but we don’t have the time here. It’s one shag! Just the one! and he is far too straightlaced and sensible to have any fun in the sack for ages. And so he’s my snogee and I will admit (just to you) that I would probably enjoy it.
Second – the Shag. This would have to be Mr Crawford. This may leave some of you mystified who are not quite as all over Austen as I am. Mansfield Park is by far Jane Austen’s most po faced book and as such is not as widely read, but I quite like it. And for anyone who hasn’t seen it I highly recommend you watch the ‘Mansfield Park’ film with Frances O’Connor and *sigh!* Alessandro Nivola. I’m not quite sure how it manages to get lesbian overtones in, but it is a hot bed of Austen sin. Anyway Mr Crawford has most definitely ‘been around’, he’s funny and charming and apart from picking up a nasty case of syphilis I reckon a good time would be had by all.
Finally father of my children (lucky bugger) is Mr Knightley. The reason for this is that he really loves Emma a lot and she, to be quite frank, is a real pain in the arse quite a lot of the time. This kind of poor judgement is essential in a long term partner of mine. He doesn’t really care about how he looks or comes across to people and likes people mostly for who they are. And most importantly he spends lots of time with his nephews and does a fair bit of wrestling and throwing around. This is pretty much the epitomy of good fathering to me – the ability to have a decent wrestle at any time.
I would like to make a formal apology to Jane Austen.