Here’s why dating is absolutely SHIT today and it’s not Mr. Darcy’s fault (I’m looking at you Dolly Alderton)…
For the next two days I was pretty incognito at the office. I kept my head down, avoided eye contact, did my work to a mediocre level, left at 5.30 on the dot and took the long way out of the office so I’d avoid seeing any of the Four Big Ds.
I thought about calling in sick but I got worried that it might be obvious to everyone that I wasn’t sick but that I was ashamed that I fed them all arse cupcakes. I just can’t wait until the weekend to clear my head (by getting absolutely drunk) and figure out what to do next – if anything.
I got home after work and chatted with Amal on Skype for a bit, which was nice. She needed my thoughts on fabric choices for the bridesmaid dresses as well as centerpieces.
I could tell she was asking questions carefully, like she didn’t want to offend me by planning her big day, like her happiness would be some kind of insult, like her wedding was a slap in the face to my current “situation”.
‘Are you OK Sarah? You know you can tell me to shut up if this stuff is getting too much.’
‘Don’t be stupid,’ I told her, ‘the last thing I ever want to do is get married. Don’t tell Bibi though, we don’t want her to get a heart attack.’
Amal laughed but I could see her in eyes that she didn’t believe me. But I believe me and that’s all that matters.
I spent the rest of the evening making tweaks to my pistachio cake recipe. I’ve been making one pistachio cake a week, making changes to the recipe to get the right balance. Its a bit sad cause all I do is have one piece for myself to taste if it’s perfect (it hasn’t been so far) and give the rest away to the security guys downstairs.
Last week, the cake I made had more butter than usual and it came out moister but in a greasy way. Also, the type of pistachios I used (Turkish Antep pistachios) gave the cake more of a lime green colour, which I didn’t think was appetizing. The cake wasn’t bad though – it just wasn’t perfect.
Anyway, I was online looking up recipes and researching all the different kinds of pistachios available when I came across an article in The Guardian that nearly knocked me off my chair.
(it would be good if you read the article before you continue – it’s a short one I promise)
WTF. Like What the ACTUAL fuck. Is this real? Is she mad? I re-read the article until I was cross-eyed, then considered doing what is normal of my generation by finding Dolly Alderton and Sebastian Faulks online and trolling them. Then I remembered that I’m not a maniac (debatable) and decided to write this blog post instead.
Apparently, Dolly Alderton wrote a book called Everything I Know About Love. I bet it’s stupid. I’m going to read about it on Good Reads. OK. It sounds good. OK. I just bought a copy online. I’ll read it later.
Anyway, she’s still a fool (a fool I say!) if she believes that Mr. Darcy has had a bad effect on dating culture.
“Him being held up as a romantic hero is a myth which has had a really insidious ripple effect on dating culture right up until now.”
OK Dolly, have you ever been on a date? Cause if you had, then you’d know that dating has had a really insidious ripple effect on dating culture right up until now and not Mr. Darcy. In the words of the SJW (Social Justice Warriors) of my generation – HOW DARE YOU?
Why Dating is Shit Today
New Age Confused Thinking:
I identify as a feminist (most of the time). Most girls I know do (most of the time). But what does being a feminist mean when you’re a kind of Arab girl interested in Arab guys some of which are just as confused as us about what it means to be Arab, modern and traditional all at the same time without spontaneously combusting? It means an absolute fuck fest of ridiculousness. Not Mr. Darcy’s fault.
There are practically no rules anymore and we’re all confused (Arab or not). Does he pay? Do I pay? Is it leading him on if he insists on paying and I don’t like him? Do we both drive? Does he pick me up? Should we text? Talk on the phone? Ignore each other? When do we follow each other on Instagram? Should I follow him first? What if I like him then we kiss and he’s the worst kisser. What if he gets a hair cut and turns ugly? NO ONE KNOWS ANYMORE. Not Mr. Darcy’s fault.
Given the fact that most of us have been dating since our teens, we have an equal amount of experience and baggage, wrapped up in wildly unrealistic expectations or pessimistic skepticism. How do we look at the person sitting across from us and give them the benefit of the doubt? It’s bloody impossible! Not Mr. Darcy’s fault.
Dating culture has become fucking culture except with emojis thanks to dating apps, which have ruined life. It started with My Space and it’s been down hill ever since. Not Mr. Darcy’s fault.
You can get to know someone and flirt all day through your phone. Then you meet them and realize their photos were from five years ago and all they want is sex when you were already imagining your wedding. Not Mr. Darcy’s fault.
Thanks to the abundance of women on online dating apps, men can literally meet a girl for drinks and a bit of fun without accidentally falling in love with her in the process of trying to woo her. Not Mr. Darcy’s fault.
Thanks to the abundance of men on online dating apps, women always assume that something better is out there – someone better looking, someone who has more of his shit together, someone richer, stronger. Better is just a swipe away so why waste time with the man in front of you? Not Mr. Darcy’s fault.
Dating apps are perfectly fine if you’re looking for a little bit of fun. But I will serve you my right arm on a silver platter garnished with sprigs fresh rosemary and slices of lemon if 98% of women on dating apps aren’t looking for The One who also goes by the name of Mr. Right. Not Mr. Darcy’s fault.
Un-fucking-fortunately what you’ll most likely find on dating apps is a bombardment of The Brothers Grimm. Who are the Brothers Grimm? Well there are three of them and they go by the names Mr. Not the Fucking One, his elder brother Mr. Right Now and their younger brother Mr. Never Ever in a Million Years. Not Mr. Darcy’s fault.
What’s scary is that the Brothers Grimm are well educated in the techniques and jargon to make you believe that they are JUST what you’re looking for. Believe me, THEY ARE NOT. Not Mr. Darcy’s fault.
Whose fault is it then? Read the next sub head.
Pop Culture Crap:
Bad Boys: Brad Pitt in Fight Club, Tom Huddleston as Loki, Tom Hardy in everything he does, Luke Evans as Gaston, Peter fucking Pan, Colin Farrell… (in some movie or my imagination I don’t know) WHICKHAM – hello?! Charming, handsome, not wanting to commit, liars that we think we can change but actually can’t, are plentiful in a hundred and one fables in our collective culture starting with Cain and Abel. Not Mr. Darcy’s fault.
Good Guys: Ryan Gosling in The Notebook (OMG), Leonardo Dicaprio in Titanic (tear), Tom Hanks in Sleepless in Seattle (sigh), Hugh Grant in Four Weddings and a Funeral (Awww) Macaulay Culkin in My Girl (I can’t). Charming handsome, wanting to commit, don’t need to change, will do anything for you perfect guys that don’t actually exist in real life that have given us false hope since time immemorial! Not Mr. Darcy’s fault.
THE WHOLE OF DISNEY (I really don’t need to elaborate on this do I?) Not Mr. Darcy’s fault.
Sex and the City: That biatch Carrie Bradshaw made dating look like so much fucking fun. Like it’s easy to clock in and out of a date and not be invested in every guy you meet while looking cute all the whole time being obsessing over an emotionally unavailable monster. I’m not a fan of Mr. Big – at all. Who didn’t want to be CB when they were growing up? I’m pretty sure she had a pretty damaging effect on dating culture. Still love that show though . . . I know I’m effed in the head. Not Mr. Darcy’s fault.
Although Mr. Darcy has peed on the populous of pop culture crap, he in fact doesn’t fall under either camp of Bad Boys or Good Guys. He’s a HUMAN man. You could make the argument that he fits into one of those categories but it comes down to the projection women place on him and NOT how Jane Austen wrote him in Pride and Prejudice. Not directly Mr. Darcy’s fault.
Why Mr. Darcy is Good:
“Conceited, bullish and rude snob who, as my fellow millennials would say, needs to check his privilege”
I almost fainted when I read that. Did Dolly read the whole book? Did she watch the whole BBC series starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle or watch the movie version with Keira Knightly and Matthew Macfadyen? How could she actually say that with convection?
I think one of the main reasons why Mr, Darcy can be seen as a (possibly THE) romantic hero most women would want is for several simple reasons. Even though he might have been damaged or had a pessimistic, snobbish perspective at the start, through his feelings for Elizabeth he either, depending on your interpretation:
- Changes for the better
- Becomes enlightened
- Gets over himself
- His true character is revealed
I think it’s a combination of all of those. Because aren’t we all intrinsic being in this vessel of skin constantly evolving and changing for the better based on our experiences with others and the world? Come on, you’ve seen Shallow Hal right?!
Think of all the things Mr. Darcy did for Elizabeth to help her and her family without her knowledge (in fact, he doesn’t want her to know that he’s helping). Mr. Darcy attempts to do right for someone he has feelings for and expects nothing in return – not even a thank you! Isn’t that the most romantic thing ever? Most guys I’ve met expect a million thank yous and an ego massage, a photo on Instagram with a glowing caption or a blowjob.
Isn’t that what we all want though? Not a blow job… I mean no matter our gender or star sign, don’t we all want someone who would do things for us even if we never find out about it? Don’t we all want to be loved from afar?
Yes it’s cliché that I’m a die-hard Mr. Darcy fan but that doesn’t mean I’m blind. The man has his faults. I’m not writing this in an attempt to “preserve the romantic mysticism of Mr Darcy” or apologies for his behavior. Actually, despite being a fan of the book and TV and movie adaptation, I’m not sure why I’m so passionate about this. I’m sure I’ll figure out why by the end of this entry.
Dating is like a bottle of 7up. You shake it and its all fizzy and over flows but when you taste it, it’s just flat.
Anyway, to state that Mr. Darcy is terrible because he “negged” Elizabeth by giving her a back handed compliment when he said “she is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me” is sort of irrelevant. Mr. Darcy’s “negging” in that instance is another one of his flaws that eventually come back to shame him.
Side Note: Doesn’t the word negging sound dirty? Like not in a good way.
What I’m trying to say is Mr. Darcy’s flaws are human flaws that he learns and grows from. His flaws aren’t evidence of toxic masculinity fueled by careless or bad intentions like every bad boy in history (something that unfortunately, sometimes makes them sexy AF).
In the article, Dolly also says that the narrative where Elizabeth “cracks” Darcy and love prevails is a dangerous one.
“The idea that a man is there to be cracked or is hard to get or something to be won I think is very, very damaging. It should not be that difficult. Elizabeth is the prize to be won.”
She’s right – Elizabeth is the prize to be won. And Mr. Darcy does a lot to get her. Elizabeth isn’t the one chasing after Mr. Darcy, trying to “crack” him. She isn’t like Mr. Bingley’s sister Caroline Bingley (total bitch), who wants Mr. Darcy for herself and attempts to “crack” him by reminding him of the class difference between them and the Bennet family.
Side Note: we all know a Caroline Bingley – if you can’t think of one, then it’s probably you. You’re Caroline Bingley, bitch.
Dolly Alderton also says that there’s no excuse for Mr. Darcy’s “ghastly” behavior toward Elizabeth. Yeah there is – he’s bloody human. They all are. If anyone is turned on by the fact that Mr. Darcy was up his own arse at the start of the story, it just means that they are a bit of a masochist who actually enjoyed reading Fifty Shades of Grey. Ew.
Other people who acted “ghastly” were Lydia Bennet, Caroline Bingley, Whickham and gross Mr. Collins. The difference between them and Mr. Darcy is that he redeems himself by getting off his high horse and realizing that he’s been “the most unmitigated and comprehensive ass.”
And then to add to ludicrousness to sheer insanity, Dolly states that Mr. Darcy is a:
“conceited, bullish and rude snob who, as my fellow millennial would say, needs to check his privilege”
OK first of all, I’m a millennial and I hate telling anyone to check their privilege. That would mean I’d have to check my own privilege. Just because I’m an Arab woman doesn’t mean I don’t have a lot of privilege. Cause believe me, despite my woe is me antics, this bitch is privileged.
To say that Darcy is “conceited, bullish and rude snob” who “needs to check his privilege” is ridiculous. In that same vain, Elizabeth Bennet should have been cast as one of the girls shaking their booty and doing a duck face on Kanye West’s music video for the track Gold Digger. Because when she first sees Mr. Darcy’s massive fucking mansion that has it’s own name (Pemberly), an estate that you can actually take a tour of (WTF imagine your house was just open to the public like that) the following is written in the book:
“…and at the moment she felt that to be mistress of Pemberly might be something!”
I don’t think Elizabeth is a gold digger. But I mean… I don’t care what your politics are, when you meet a guy who despite everything, you are attracted to, he only gets more attractive when you realize that he has shit together. And when I say he has his shit together, I mean that he’s rich. Or in the words of Nene Leaks “very, very rich.”
Now, this last point is what pissed me off the most.
“He probably was not good-looking, either – less handsome Firth and more powdery grey hair, pink face and short, with fat calves”
First – what’s wrong with fat calves? It means he has strong legs to carry me across the threshold. Second, are we seriously sitting here today, at the age of hyper political correctness when we attack each other for judging each other discussing the point that Mr. Darcy was most likely unattractive and so that makes him less of a romantic hero? Such bullshit – can I point all of your attention to Harry Goldenblatt? The bold, hairy, short, loud, romantic, sweet, wonderful husband of beautiful and proper Charlotte York? I hate that this is the second Sex and the City reference but, fuck it, I don’t care, I love Harry Goldenblatt!
I know this is going to seem like utter lies but a man’s looks never matter to me. I don’t think they matter to most of us actually. Literally this morning, Dana sent a link in our Whatsapp group to a Vogue article about the Top 10 Male Models of All Time. They were all good looking but I really didn’t give a fuck.
None of my exes were super good looking in the conventional sense. In fact, one of them (sorry Bilal from school) was pretty uggs. But he was handsome to me, cause he used to make me a card from scratch for my birthday. He ended up being a graphic designer and illustrator. I follow him on Instagram actually – he looks like he’s over the fact that I broke up with him while I was drunk and then threw up all over him right after. Such a bad night . . .
One of the themes in Pride and Prejudice which plays out in Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth’s relationship is the dangers of first impressions. People whether they are bad, good or indifferent, no matter their gender, all eventually reveal who they are in the end.
I just read over this blog post and I know what you’re thinking. You’re probably wondering how I know so much about online dating when I was in a relationship with Omar for almost four years. I didn’t even realize that I knew so much about it until now.
After we broke up I was living in a wormhole of YouTube videos and re runs of TOWIE and The Real Housewives of Atlanta. I was also on a strict diet of all things fried, and lived in my pineapple t-shirt that’s three times to big for me. Intervention was needed. Dana and Amal made me shower and go on dates.
They set up an account for me on Tindr. It was a giant waste of time but also enlightening. We swiped for guys together and it was funny. But I would match with a guy I’d get freaked out. Then when they would message I’d almost get a panic attack. Dana and Amal forced me to go out and meet some of those guys. I suppose it was good for me but I realized on the forth date with the forth guy that it’s all bullshit. This whole dating culture thing is fucking crap. Dating is like a bottle of 7up. You shake it and its all fizzy and over flows but when you taste it, it’s just flat.
I was frustrated, heartbroken and tired of trying. And while my date (can’t even remember his name) was telling me about his start up (I think it was like making t-shirts or something hipster) all I kept thinking was why find a man when I can hang out with my girlfriends? Seriously.
Think about it. Why find a man when I can watch Netflix? Why find a man when I can go to the beach and get a tan? Why find a man when I can read a good book? Why find a man when I’m supposed to be becoming a big baws lawyer? Why find a man if I have a vibrator? Why find a man when modern medicine, new wave feminism, and The Pussycat Dolls in their song actually called I Don’t Need a Man tell me that I don’t need a man? And just like that, I closed shop in there. I mean in my heart you filthy bitches… but yeah down there too.
I texted Dana when I got home from that date and told her “love don’t live here no moe. Stop setting me up with guys” I think I slept for two days straight after that.
So, why do I care so much about protecting Mr. Darcy’s reputation if I’m a cold-hearted robot bitch? Because, maybe, if you crack through the fried food gunk that has created an armor around my fluffy pink, mushy heart I’m just a girl who wants someone to do something for me without expecting anything in return. Maybe I just want to be loved from afar.
Wouldn’t that be the most romantic thing ever? Being stuck in my high rise flat, never leaving, watching all the reality shows in the world and never getting out of my favorite pineapple t-shirt, unable to get over the most fucked up thing that could happen to someone all the while someone out there is madly in love with me? Fuck, maybe I’m turning into Miss Havisham. Well, if I am turning into Miss Havisham, its NOT Mr. Darcy’s fault. It’s Omar’s fault. I’ll never forgive him
In case you don’t know who Miss Havisham is, you can meet her in the video below