December marks the birth month of Jane Austen, literary great, and queen of barbed wit. Whether she’s hailed as one of the cornerstone figures of English literature, or lamented as someone who authored simplistic novels in which Nothing Much Happens, you can’t deny her pulling power. The woman is everywhere.
And (not that I’m biased or anything), for good reason. Her books are full of amusing caricatures, realistic, intriguing observations into the intricacies of life, and wit so sharp that it’s a wonder the pages don’t tear.
Through my Austen-ian wanderings, I’ve come across many a pearl of wisdom. And this being the season of giving and all, I thought I would share them. Here are sixteen lessons to mark the sixteen days leading up to Austen’s birthday:
- Long, country walks are opportune moments for having an identity crisis, and questioning everything you thought you knew about the world and yourself.
- Obsessing about books is great and all, but be careful about exposing others to your madness.
- Communication is key.
- You must always have compassion on people’s poor nerves; you know not what they suffer.
- Muslin is always in.
- If your financially unstable parents send you off to live with your wealthy aunt and uncle, avoid falling for your cousin unless you want to spend your days pining in mute agony.
- Your parents are going to disappoint you.
- If a boy avoids introducing you to his family and then vanishes on you, chances are he probably wasn’t that into you.
- Just because someone is older doesn’t mean they’re wiser.
- Pining for an unrequited love isn’t nearly as fun as books make it out to be.
- If you’re going to be the type that takes on everyone’s burdens, a least keep a diary. Or a pillow to scream into.
- Meddling for the greater good is still meddling.
- Remember: if your compliments aren’t genuine, people will know.
- People will insist on being ridiculous and there’s nothing you can do about it. Except maybe laugh.
- Learn how to sing, or play an instrument; you never know when you might need to fill an awkward silence.
- Reading means you’re accomplished; not reading means you’re social. Walk the fine line.