Darcy Envy

Darcy Envy

My husband and me at a Regency Ball. Isn't he a good sport to wear a cravat?
My husband and me at a Regency Ball. Isn’t he a good sport to wear a cravat?

I’m sure my husband is not the only man who’s watched all the movie versions of Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, Emma, and Sense and Sensibility—some of them multiple times. He was a good sport to wear a cravat at the Jane Austen Society Ball. (In case you’re wondering, he has informed me that cravats are even less comfortable than ties.) And he only rolled his eyes a little bit when I bought my “I Love Darcy” shopping bag.

Last month, on Valentine’s Day, he penned a love letter worthy of a Janeite. In one paragraph he wrote, “I know I don’t have a huge estate and servants and no one wants to see me in a wet pirate shirt after I have a little swim in my concrete pond. (Of course, it’s easier to have those things when you’re a fictional character and someone can write 200,000 pounds a year as easily as writing 5,000 pounds a year. It didn’t come out of Jane’s pocket. And you never see Darcy in the weightroom.)” As I read his words, I laughed until I cried. He had a clear case of Darcy envy, and he was justified!

When you consider Darcy’s limitless supply of cash and his vast estate, it’s hard for any modern man to compete. What we need to remember, though, is that Elizabeth didn’t love him because of his wealth. At first, his high class status was a turn-off for her. His personality was what finally captured her heart. She came to admire his devotion to his family and friends. She loved that he could keep Mr. Wickham’s story a secret when doing so damaged his own reputation. And, she loved that he could overlook her embarrassing family because of his love for her. For Elizabeth, Darcy’s wealth was simply a bonus.

I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the lives of the rich and famous. Occasionally, though, when I forget to bring a book to a doctor appointment, I end up paging through a People magazine–Gah. So far, I have not found anyone like Mr. Darcy in that magazine. It’s not like we need rich men anyway. We women can make our own money now. (Don’t tell him I told you, but when I married my husband, I had more money in the bank than he did. And I was okay with that.)

When we take Pemberley out of the picture, it’s easier to find a modern-day Darcy. Right now, mine is running a load of laundry. He also puts up with my crazy family and does dishes. Occasionally, he writes me love letters or naps beside me while I watch another version of Mansfield Park. Like Darcy,my husband can come across as a little gruff sometimes, but he’s really a gentle giant.

I like to think that men like Darcy are hiding all over the place. Take the policeman who gave you a ticket. Some day, he may help you change a tire. Then there’s the guy down the street who performs audits for the IRS. Maybe he’s really a hero in disguise. Granted, some guys who come across as shy and aloof really turn out to be jerks. I suppose it’s the same way with women. Not everyone can be as clever as Elizabeth Bennet, but then again, she’s a fictional character.

What do you think? Have you met a modern-day Darcy?


33 Responses to Darcy Envy

  1. I think those of us who fell in love with Mr. Darcy find elements of him in our significant others. My husband has some of the same characteristics, and now I realize my late father was the same. Still waters can run deep.

  2. I don’t have a Darcy or Bingley in my life but I’m still looking so if anyone has any recommendations feel free to refer them over… 🙂 I agree that wealth would be a nice bonus, but it’s more about character, loyalty, compassion, etc… in a person.

    I love that your husbands watches Austen inspired movies with you, dresses up in Regency costumes, and writes you love letter! He’s definitely a keeper!

  3. Hands down, YES, I have my Mr. Darcy. He can make me laugh and make me blush (something I did not know I did). He love long discussions on EVERYTHING,from local or national politics, current events, or anything we think about. He is sexy and adorable. I found him very late in life but am grateful every single day. ??

  4. Oh wow, you were there at the RRB ball too! Next year we should plan ahead and at the very least get a group picture or if not that, a group hug! You look lovely, and cravat-wearing husbands get big-time bonus points for it!

    My DH is a bit of a Darcy – he doesn’t like to dance and he isn’t good in a crowd, but those who know him well love him dearly. My eldest son on the other hand, is TOTALLY Darcy in an INTJ sort of way. So far he hasn’t met his Elizabeth Bennet yet, so he persists in a state of bachelorhood, but it’s bound to happen some day.

  5. I had to sit here and think about this for a few minutes. I don’t think I know any Darcy’s…including my husband, though he has Darcy tendencies. He doesn’t like gatherings unless they are of those very closest to us and even then he is prone to sitting or standing off to the side in a “stupid manner” because he is not a fan of crowds. He will go to bat for those he loves and allows me pretty much anything my heart desires. He will never wear Regency clothing or sit through an Austen movie though. LOL Bless your sweet hubby for suffering through the cravat! 🙂

    • I do have to add: we had a conversation the other night regarding the various versions on P&P I was choosing from for a short watch. He couldn’t imagine why one was so much shorter. I said Look at it this way, What would happen if they tried to put Star Wars into an hour and a half? He said they’d leave a bunch of good stuff out! I said, right. It’s fun for you because you can mentally fill in what they didn’t but if you want the full experience, you have to put in several hours. Thus, we have a short P&P and a long… He understood that logic perfectly. LOL

  6. Great post! I think a lot of people think they don’t measure up to the heros we read about. No I don’t know a Darcy but I would say that no one has the whole package and Austen knew it! He had his faults but his strong passion spurned him for self correction and making those weaknesses strengths! So for any man who feels weak, at least when comparing him to the great Darcy’s that are around, without his desire to be better, Darcy could have missed out on the love of his life. If you want something, make the correction and change, I read a quote that said something like “don’t expect different results by doing the same thing as you have always done.” This rings true to me this week.
    P.s. I went to the ball in Salt Lake on Valentine’s Day too. Next time I’m bringing a date though! 😉 what a blast ! Wish we could have met!

    • I wish we could have met too, Jeanna. I actually went to it 3 years ago. Maybe we can meet next year. Last time I had to bribe my husband by agreeing to watch a bunch of Star Trek episodes. The quote about expecting different results by doing the same thing is one of my favorites.

  7. I’ve always said that my husband is more Bingley than Darcy but I’ve recently decided that he also has elements of Mr Knightley and Captain Wentworth in him as well. I’m the one who has ‘Darcy’ moments at social and work gatherngs when faced with a roomful of people I don’t know! We celebrate 38 years of marriage this year and have been a couple for 41.

    He recently built me a bookcase out of a broken bureau for my growing collection of JAFF. And Benjamin Whitrow is his favourite Mr Bennet as well, though overall he’d much rather watch sci-fi or Game of Thrones but as I enjoy them as well, it’s not too much of a problem.

    • Aniji, I have Darcy moments too! I decided lately that I need to work more on liking people and worry less about whether they like me. Congratulations on 38 years. I bet that bookcase looks great.

  8. AWW! That letter was beautiful. My DH is really good with cards, candy and flowers… Got to love those guys! Thanks, Jen Red

  9. Thank you for sharing your story with us. My Mr. Darcy would be very quiet if he did not know anyone in social gatherings. He was like Jane’s Mr. Darcy in so many ways. Family was important, his love to everyone especially family came first. He was always willing to go out of his way for anyone and cared deeply for his home, job and responsibilities. Basically he was a homebody in many ways but would go to social obligations for my job with me. I had him for almost 50 years minus 10 weeks. Ladies enjoy your Mr. Darcy because there aren’t many out there!

  10. What a wonderful wonderful post, Becky! So warm and such fun! I’m very happy for you, it’s so wonderful of your husband to wear a cravat for you, and write such a lovely letter! I haven’t managed to get my husband into Regency clothes yet, but he has put up with everything else, from watching the 6 hour-long P&P TWICE (admittedly with a couple of years’ gap in between) to me being lost in Bonnetland, while he does the dishes 🙂

    • Now I want to know what Bonnetland is, exactly. The 6 hour long P&P is my husband’s favorite because he likes the Mr. Bennet actor. He just wishes it were shorter.

  11. I have to agree with some of the ladies that my Mr. Darcy is actually a Mr. Bingley– talkative to a fault, outgoing and never meets a stranger! But he is a keeper just like your Mr. Darcy. I love that your husband was willing to put up with the regency dress to please you. I fear that not many men would do that. 🙂 Lovely post. Thank you for sharing a little of your life with us.

  12. I have my Mr. Darcy — although he has always been more like the happy-go-lucky Bingley. No one is a stranger and everyone is a friend. And he will do almost anything for me without complaint.

  13. Love your post Rebecca. Your hubby is a gem. Reminds me a lot of mine. I couldn’t help but laugh at the sweet and very romantic note he wrote. Long live our very own Mr Darcys. My hubby and I celebrate our 32nd wedding anniversary today and I couldn’t have picked a sweeter passage to read.

  14. My hubby is my Mr. Darcy. He is not good socially, but, I wouldn’t trade him. He introduced me to Jane Austen a few years ago, he does the laundry and dishes, and just loves doing things with me even if it’s me reading a JAFF book and him watching a TV show…at least we’re together.

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