a woman of seven and twenty

Re-reading Sense and Sensibility, as I just saw it at the Guthrie with Open Call last night, and happened upon this oh-so-charming passage in the first few chapters: 

“A woman of seven and twenty,” said Marianne, after pausing a moment, “can never hope to feel or inspire affection again, and if her home be uncomfortable, or her fortune small, I can suppose that she might bring herself to submit to the offices of a nurse, for the sake of the provision and security of a wife. In his marrying such a woman therefore there would be nothing unsuitable. It would be a compact of convenience, and the world would be satisfied. In my eyes it would be no marriage at all, but that would be nothing. To me it would seem only a commercial exchange, in which each wished to be benefited at the expense of the other.” 

To which I say: 

a. Screw you in all your seventeen-year-old "wisdom," Marianne. 

b: Some days I do feel that I can never hope to feel or inspire affection again...isn't that great? 

c: Can you even really believe this, though? I know there's a pretty huge time and societal gap between Regency England and millennial Minneapolis, but just wow. The ease and frankness with which women are written off for their age is leaving a continual bad taste in my mouth, especially as I sit around being assaulted with a Facebook feed full of wedding albums and tiny fresh newborns. 

I'm not saying I want a wedding album or tiny fresh newborn myself, thank you. I get my fix on those through friends, and I'm quite content with the way my life looks these days. That said, holy shit, dating is really hard and unpleasant in this age of Tinder and Bumble and all the dot-coms. Maybe life would be easier if I just considered myself over the hill or past my prime or basically ready to enter into a relationship as a "commercial exchange, in which each wished to be benefited at the expense of the other," as seventeen-year-old Marianne so charmingly utters. 

Ranting aside, the play was exquisitely fun. SO well-done, and inspired so much excitement for the upcoming season. Jane A is still my homegurrrrrl, despite her moderately pessimistic views on the hope that those of us past our prime can have for finding love. (FYI, in the play, the passage quoted above was amended to give us poor single ladies a whole three extra years...our charms expire at thirty on the stage versus in print.) I think I'm just much more of an Elinor than a Marianne...too pragmatic and reserved for my own good. 

So I guess the moral of the story here is if anyone knows a man on the wrong side of thirty-five who may or may not suffer from rheumatism and has a thing for flannel waistcoats, send him my way, I'm happy to strike up a mutually beneficial relationship...