I'm reading Jane Eyre for the first time. I'm about halfway through and by page 10 I already love Jane. I know i'm supposed to love Rochester, but Jane's tendency toward emotionality and self-hatred speaks to me. Let me give you a taste:
'He is not to them what he is to me,' I thought, 'he is not of their kind. I believe he is of mine;--I am sure he is,--I feel akin to him--I understand the language of his countenance and his movements; though rank and wealth sever us widely, I have something in my brain and heart, in my blood and nerves, that assimilates me mentally to him....I must then repeat continually that we are for ever sundered;--and yet; while I breathe and think I must love him.'
Do you see what I mean? Don't you want to smooth her brow, give her some confidence and tell her that she should man up and go after what she wants? Or are you too much of a realist for that and want to shake her thoroughly, give her some therapy and tell her that she should be with someone who appreciates her? Either way, I know you love her, too. If Jane were alive to day (and not a fictional character), she would be what I like to call a "Purse-holder." I know this because I have been one myself. Being a Purse-holder can surely have it's benefits, but for a timid spirit like Jane and myself, purse-holding can be a handicap that cripples even the most perfect scenarios.
What is a Purse-holder, you ask? Imagine a group of young ladies out for an evening on the town. They decide to go dancing, which makes Purse-holder immediately intimidated. But, being the good sport she is, Purse-holder makes like she is up for anything. Upon entering the club, Purse-holder will always let her friends enter first. It may appear that she is being considerate by making sure everyone gets inside okay, but the truth is Purse-holder needs a buffer between herself and whatever unpredictable chaos is going on behind that front door. She will send a few friends in as sacraficial lambs first to scope out the situation, and if they arent spit out promptly or run screaming back onto the street, she will decide it's safe enough to proceed. (Don't ask me what Purse-holder is afraid of--that's a silly question because you are predesposing rationality. Purse-holder is scared of everything.)
Okay, Purse-holder and friends have made it unharmed into the club, where after doing a preliminary walk around the perimeter walls, they decide it's time to shake their bootys. (What is the correct spelling of bootys, btw?) A dilemma ensues, because there are no tables, and there's no way they'd leave their purses anywhere on the piss and beer covered floor. Quickly they look around at each other, sizing up who is the most outgoing, who isn't afraid to get groped by a stranger, who would be off the dance floor soon anyway to get another drink, etc... A hundred silent conversations happen in a matter of a few seconds, when out of conundrum, Purse-holder speaks a solution. This is where she shines.
"You guys go," she offers. "I'll stay here and hold the purses."
Now, there are benefits to being a purse-holder. For one, you are guaranteed a spot on the wall, a "post" if you will, where you must remain, lest your friends be lost in the abyss of gyrating hips. They need to be able to spot you at a moment's notice, come back to re-apply lipstick, and tell you how many weirdos grabbed their asses. Your necessary "post" position makes you indespensible to the group.
Another positive aspect of being a Purse-holder is that this automatically gives you an excuse as to why you can't a) hold someone's hair who is puking in the bathroom b) be pulled out into the sea of groping hands c) go hang out with some weirdo in the parking lot for drugs or d) leave with said weirdo.
Now, as Jane would attest, there are downfalls to being a Purse-holder. For one, you are usually surrounded by your friends, insulated from someone who may or may not be actually fun to talk to. The guy must work extra-hard to penetrate this layer of obnoxiousness to gain access to Purse-holder. Many guys, even worthy ones, opt instead for your friend whose perky nipples are bouncing around on the dance floor. I don't blame him either, your friend is practically wearing a sign that reads: Open for Business. Foreigners special discount. Drink-buyers get a blow job.
Also, being a wallflower lends to excellent people watching. Normally after the twentieth techno-trance song you want to shoot youself in the head. But if you have a plethora of people to observe, it makes the night more entertaining. On some nights it's almost as if the wallflower fairy came down and gave you a special present for getting to watch these strange beasts jump around in spastic moves charading as dancing.
Back to what i was saying...Jane was a Purse-holder before her time. Her intelligence and reserved nature make her a prime target for loneliness and insecurity. I really hope she steps up and lays her cards on the table or that Rochester admits to her that he loves her (which, it's a Bronte novel, i'm sure it's gonna happen). The part of me that believes in fairy tales wants them to get together in the end. The Purse-holder part of me says that he's gonna find some other chick and Jane will go insane pining over him for the rest of her solitary, tragic life. Either way, i think it's gonna be worth seeing.
The preceding was written for Studio 30+, a new community i joined this week. The prompt was RISK.