I watched Jane Eyre last night and it disgusted me.
I quickly came to the conclusion that (A) vulnerability in the hands of the wrong person can be like poison, and (B) I am way weaker than I thought I was.
How can that be? I’ve done plenty of things in my life that require emotional strength. And I succeeded at them. I’ve quit jobs, dumped guys, fought with friends, held heads over toilets, woken up on the bathroom floor, watched parents cry, walked out on someone, walked in on someone, been rejected, gambled, gained weight, lost weight, went to funerals, went to weddings, analyzed hundreds of potentially harmful emotional situations and gave sound advice on all of them. Life should be aces high for me. And it was, until last night when someone showed me who’s boss. Jane, who will only ever exist bound within hardcover or pressed into celluloid, had her way with me and pervaded my thoughts through a sleepless night. I awoke confident in my assessment that I am emotionally strong. But disappointed in the reality that I can easily be bought out if you have the right currency.
The coles notes story of Jane goes like this:
Orphaned, she is taken to live with her bitch aunt who hates the shit out of her. Her cousin tries to stab her everyday and the local priest pretty much tells her to her face that she is the devil. After that incident she is sent to a boarding school where Nuns beat her senseless, she becomes a slave to chores and her only friend dies in her arms of tuberculosis. This series of unfortunate events, including the curse of never having felt loved, all occurs at a tender young age. Eventually Jane finds herself working for this rich dude who owns a castle. He’s an asshole at first, but Jane is witty and at this point pretty much has nothing to lose so she quickly becomes his brazen match and subsequently the object of his awkward affection. Initially she plays hard to get, but then after a while she totally gets into it and agrees to be his wife. Then of course, as all good dramas unfold, tragedy ensues. Jane finds out that the Castle Dude actually keeps his first wife locked up in a closet, but it’s cool, because she is crazy anyway. So obviously the wedding is off, and Jane is fuckin pissed. The Castle Dude feels pretty bad about the mix up and begs for Jane’s forgiveness explaining that it’s all a complicated mess.
But Jane wants no part of it. Jane is done.
Jane is done? I wouldn’t be. I would totally give this guy a chance if he had a believable explanation. And this is where my existential crisis begins because I realize that Jane - who has never felt the warm hand of love - has standards and I - who has only ever felt loved - don’t. I measure through characteristics.
My must haves usually are as follows: Must have beard, must have creative interests (art, music, film, literature, design, writing, woodworking, mechanics, etc.), must drink coffee, must be able to dress himself, must love Christmas. Although Castle Dude does have a beard to which Jane is probably very attracted to, it doesn’t really matter because Jane only has one must have. Must be able to maintain self-respect. She can’t do that with Castle Dude, so she is done.
Running through my rolodex of must haves, I seem to be missing that index card on self-respect. I’m pretty sure I had it at one time. I just don’t know where I put it. I know I didn’t give it away, and I couldn’t have lost it.
I must have sold it to anyone who had the right currency.
That is why Jane is stronger than me, and I am weaker than Jane. And I will never mix Neo Citran and Charlotte Bronte ever again.