Tuesday, February 20, 2007

If you have read (or watched) Pride and Prejudice, you'll get the reference

My Dear Mrs. Bennet,

It is with deepest sadness and regret that I must report to you that my lovely daughter (she who is well skilled in music, dance, art, cooking, writing, riding, conversation, needle arts, and is fluent in 16 languages) has come to the erroneous belief that she does not require my help, advice, counsel and word at every step of her life.

I cannot guess from what quarter she gleaned such a ridiculous idea. I can only surmise it must have been from one of those ill bred young 'feminists', as they call themselves, that one sees lurking about in public spaces. How my darling Beautiful could possibly have come into contact with such rubbish is beyond my power to imagine, but alas, it must have transpired . . .

You will be disheartened to learn that she has stated, directly to my face no less, that she--SHE--is responsible for the decisions which concern her life. Never if I lived to be 1000 years old would I have thought such a bold and insidious lie could proceed from my own child's mouth. A mere girl responsible for herself? What unspeakable nonsense is this? I am quite sure you can imagine the shock that followed so daring and flawed a suggestion. I tell you I was taken to my bed for a month after such an outburst.

Further, you will be dismayed to discover that not only does this inexperienced, untested youngster believe she is capable of making decisions on her own (the very thought of it!)--she has actually endeavored to do such already! This simple youth (I am so sorry to insult your sensibilities with this tale) has chosen a young man for herself. Yes! For herself. The audacity! The impudence! The sheer cheek of that child! Fresh. That is all I have to say about such insolent behavior. Fresh.

And can you even imagine (oh how it troubles my maternal heart to ponder this next question) what said young man must think of such a wayward girl? He must think her, well *sniff* (it pains me to use such verbiage regarding my own dear offspring)--common. He must think her common. Oh how could we have sunk to such a state?

As you have proven yourself to be most excellent and meticulous in the organising of your own dear daughters' lives, I sit in awe of your authority. The method by which you have chosen partners for your daughters, and in which you keep their pairings strong and vibrant, is an example to behold. Mothers the world over should take careful attention to patterning their own lives' work after yours.

With your unimpeachable reputation in mind, I am, therefore, writing to inquire of you, my dear Mrs. Bennet, on the subject of how to realign my errant daughter's thinking to my very own. How can I cause the child to understand that my every thought, my only thought, is toward her future position in society (and her happiness should that coincidentally follow)? Under what course shall I train her mind to recognise that she, an unproven sapling, has no business attempting the intricacies of formal decision making or, more importantly, matchmaking? And in what manner shall I convince her of the truth, which is, simply put, that my entire life of experience has led up to the moment at hand--to the task of choosing, and orchestrating, a suitable marriage for her?

My dear Mrs. Bennet, please advise on what action should be undertaken to correct the impudence straight out of this child. And, as a side note which has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with any unsuitable suitors which might be lingering about the grounds just waiting for a chance to deprive us of the company of our beloved daughter, would you happen to be acquainted with any sort of locally indigenous poisonous flora?

I trust in your impeccable judgment in such situations, my dear lady. I am willing to follow any guidance you might prescribe, no matter the difficulty or distaste of it.

I humbly await your counsel,
A Loving Mother, Coming Unhinged.

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