I wanted to tell you about my recent visit from Mrs Bennett from Pride and Prejudice. I saw she’d become a Dating Coach and my interest was piqued. It was pricey having her to come and live with me (essential to her way of working) but how could I resist. Things however took a turn, and what follows became our last conversation.
Mrs B: “Claire, Claire, your phone is making such a racket I can scarce hear myself think! Have you no care for my nerves!? How they are stretched by the constant pinging and zinging of that phone of yours.”
CP: “I urge your forgiveness Mrs Bennett for I do believe I’ve found favour with a suitor who likes the way I play the ukulele and take a turn about the hallway. We are to meet at the Rising Sun Public House on the over-morrow and it’s all I can do not to begin choosing the font on my wedding invitations.”
Mrs B: “But what happened to the gentleman from the bicycle shop, or indeed the Rasta in the corner shop, I felt sure that both were smitten by the diversion of your character. I wouldn’t normally support the union of gentlemen from such unknown lands, but as I’ve explained to you, you are no longer in a position where you have many options and must be satisfied with what comes your way.”
CP: “Sadly things have not progressed as I would have hoped, indeed as you would have hoped my dear Mrs Bennett. Though he also enjoys my ukulele playing, and admires, indeed encourages my consumption of chocolate from his fine selection, Rasta is married to his free-spirited Rasta ways and won’t be tied down.”
Mrs B: “Good lord, what a scoundrel! And what of the bicycle shop man. You can do no wrong in his eyes; he even admires your uneven temper and short attention span. A perfect suitor surely?”
CP: “The man from the bicycle shop indeed adores my every move. But after ill-advisedly showing him my ankle in public, he mis-used the glove I gave him as a token of my affection and I can no longer look him in the eye.”
Mrs B: “Oh my dear girl, I told you if you don’t lower your expectations, others will fall in line where you fail. You are more than 9 and 40 and cannot afford to be so selective anymore. This new man you are meeting, you must learn to bend and sway to meet his ways and not be so quick to turn him away.”
CP: “But I am on the internet now, which means I can pursue as many gentlemen as I please, it is allowed.”
Mrs B: “You! Pursue a gentleman! Now you really are trying to vex me. Is your character so very determined to ruin your reputation, not to mention that of your family? You! Pursue a gentleman? It cannot be so. You must only be pursued.”
CP: “But the gentlemen who pursue me are all 30 and 39. Rotund and over-eager. They admire all the wrong things about me and talk enthusiastically of “cuddles” which quite undoes me, and not in a good way. Must I settle for one of these?”
Mrs B: “Settle you must my dear! Do you want to endure the false praise and genuine pity a spinster must? When you haven’t got a roof over your head, you’ll be glad of any gentleman with an eye for an ample bosom, no matter how over-eager. Do your parents know of your resistance?”
CP: “To speak plainly Mrs Bennett, father would see me off with anyone with a pulse and seems to find some amusement in my position. Mother feels I’m just a little too much like Kylie – unlucky in love, (‘Unlucky, lucky, lucky’).
Mrs B: “Well, I’ve never understood the amusements of men. Mr Bennett vexes me on a daily basis with his gentleman ways. As for unlucky, there is no such thing, even if this Kylie – whoever she is – happens to wax lyrical about it!”
You see how it went on Dear Lucy. I thought her old-fashioned council would be invaluable, but all she did was criticise and screech about the house. I told her that it wasn’t going to work but she refused to leave, her contract harder to get out of than an online dating membership (which is harder to get out of than a gym membership). In the end, I simply had the fainting couch removed and she was gone before lunch.
As for the suitor I mentioned earlier, it was not to be. Not only had he lied about his age and marital status, but he also confessed to not enjoying the gentle strum of the ukulele. In the past I may have taken to a nervous eclipse, but instead I heartily recommended Mrs Bennet’s services to him as I bid him adieu.