Ahhhhh Mr. Knightly…..
BUT! Before I get ahead of myself, allow me to explain.
Tonight I watched BBC’s newest version of “Emma”. I love ALL their productions, with Pride and Prejudice being the top of the list. However, Emma has worked its way into my heart. Any subject matter I encounter in my life that would lead to a good blog, I eagerly snap up. Emma practically handed me a topic to write about. A topic that I know impacts me, AND quite a few of my young lady friends. The topic of finding our life’s partner.
Today’s fictional world is full of the “everyday heroine”… the girl “just like us”, who finds the oh-so-perfect-in-every-way-except-for-a-few-romanticized-flaws-like-loving-to-a-fault-or-turning-into-a-where-wolf-or-vampire- hero. We, understandably snap this up! All of us want to be loved unconditionally… by a faultless yet conventional lover. Conventional because he MUST fall in love at first sight and know his heart instantly, unconditional meaning previously programmed, and flawless… yet with a sprinkling of romantic acceptable flaws that don’t interfere with their undying adoration. Why would we wish for anything else? Why are there so many disappointed young ladies?
The story of Emma and Mr. Knightly struck me as beautiful and surprising, refreshing and inspiring! Jane Austen had a soapbox for unconventional lovers, but I really do believe she struck gold with this story. I am not sure however, that the revelations I am taking from this story are what she intended.
We first perceive Emma and Mr. Knightly’s relationship as one of old camaraderie. They are not afraid to offend one another, for they know they shall soon make it up afterwords. He knows she has frivolous and mindless tendencies and she respects him as one would respect a well-loved, yet sometimes meddlesome older brother. You soon ascertain that they have known one-another for a long time. Regardless of all this, or maybe partly because of it, we find ourselves forgetting about Emma’s own love life as she does herself!
Enter Frank… oh Frank. Honestly, I found myself gravitating towards him. When we look at him, he has much about him to gravitate towards. Consider; he is open and amiable, attractive and kind, spirited yet not empty minded. The man rides a “great black steed”… Hello! It is not hard to like Frank, to root for Frank. I, who even knew the story before I had seen this movie, could not muster any dislike for his person. Here is one of many places I can understand and relate to Emma. She liked him… she liked him so much she wanted to love him. She had every reason to, no sane person would have any reason to not fall in love with Frank Churchill. This may seem silly… but it is a real dilemma. When one has no feelings to compare it with, one wonders if a strong regard or “like” is really all love is. Fortunately for Emma, doings beyond her control draw Frank away… allowing he feelings to sort out and fade.
Mr. Knightly however grows increasingly jealous and wary of what he thinks is a strong attachment between Emma and Churchill. Which, when we do take a look at the situation, is somewhat well founded… and proven when we learn that Frank is not what he seems and when Emma makes a rude comment to Miss Bates.
Knightly finds Emma alone shortly thereafter and reproaches her, “Badly done, Emma!”
I was smitten at that moment. I was struggling with feelings of wanting to cry in remorse with Emma, yet justify her, but at the same time wanting to throw my arms around Knightly. I knew as Emma knew later on, her love for Mr. Knightly.
At this point, all of you are probably once again thinking I’m insane. “This girl finds love in a strong reproaching?” But honestly, at that moment, all I have ever been waiting for in a suitor made sense. Knightly knew Emma better than she knew herself. He knew her faults, even corrected them, but then found himself loving her anyway. Not instantly, no love at first sight, but a deep mutual love that could only be grown from the time they spent learning each-other. Emma KNEW, she didn’t have to try to make it real. It’s truly unconventional, truly magical, and truly fault-filled!
I want so much a man who can say, “Badly done, Hayley!” and instead of being outraged or hurt, I can throw my arms around and feel a slight sting, remorseful, then madly in love, because I know we have built a relationship that will outlast all the happy manners in the world. I will know that no matter how “badly done”, he will continue to love me anyway. This true, unconditional love beats any pre-programmed adoration any day.
So in conclusion dear friends, be on the search for true love (the real kind) and always keep those heads in the clouds~