The first time I heard of Pride and Prejudice, I was 13 years old. It was a boring weekend and I decided to watch TV. We didn’t grow up with cable and a million channels so it was PBS, my turn-to-trusted network! They were airing the 1960s black and white version of Pride and Prejudice. I was hooked! I went to the library in search for book to read it because I wanted more. It’s so different from the movie—but so much better. And that was the first time I fell in love. With Mr. Darcy—at the tender age of 13.
He’s not perfect. He’s far from it. In fact, he’s a snob, arrogant, rude, and oh-so-high-class. But he is awkward, shy, and horribly self-conscious. He uses a tough and aloof facade to mask these weaknesses. And unlike most weak men today, when he loves a woman, he begs for her attention to notice it. He lays it out there, albeit in a most inappropriate way. But his character changes in the book. He becomes more aware, perceptive, and modest after a stern lecture on his faults. His love never altered despite the fact the woman gave him a strike down. But he never pursued her, making her feel uncomfortable. He stood back and waited, hoping for a chance for her to change her mind if he changed his attitude.
I could fall in love with this man every day. Perfectly flawed. I mean, seriously, have you seen that estate?!
Is it then wrong that growing up, I love the British accent—wishing, hoping that I could have a British lover, rich and bounded with wonderful estates who loved me despite the fact that I came from a poor family and am not the most beautiful girl. But he would love me for my wit, intelligence, and liveliness.
After several strings of bad relationships in my twenties, I finally stopped dating ridiculous men and went through a period of celibacy. It was great. I wrote a list of 100 things I want and didn’t want in a boyfriend and proclaimed to the universe that this is going to be the man I will love.
But men don’t fall from skies. You got to go find them!
For several years, I made the same resolution to find a boyfriend but I never made any effort to pursue them, caring more about work and Ker Ai. So finally, 2011, I placed a challenge on myself. One date a month. Any guy. Any time. My friend told me, think of it as practice. I practiced flirting, talking, and just having fun. It was fun!
I made sure to give off the vibe that I’m looking but I’m not desperate. I won’t settle for just anyone. I wanted a man who was going to love me, have time for me, court and woo me, someone who was going to want to always pursue me.
Everyday, I cooked with the window open, hoping the smell of my food would lure the right man my way.
Everyday, I went through my list of men on eHarmony.
Everyday, I learned to let go of my past.
Everyday, I put myself in situations that had chances of meeting people.
And sure enough, less than 6 months, I found someone. Not just anyone, almost my ideal Mr. Darcy. Yes, Mister fucking Darcy! British accent, owns homes, European upbringing, world traveler, stable, secure, but not the least snobbish or rude! Imperfect. Shy, nerdy, but oh, when he speaks other languages; Italian, French, Spanish, and that wonderful British accent, I find myself swooning.
Hey, a girl can dream. But you know what makes the dream better? When it comes true.