(as published on The Philippine Daily Inquirer’s Young Blood column today, 8 March 2020)
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that a girl who grew up surrounded by stories of dashing knights in shining armor or brooding Mr. Darcys would have unrealistic standards in love.
A tad unfair to real boys who can’t hold a candle to dreamboats that pop out of the page, you might say, but there’s no bit of jest in this. My 13-year-old self once swore she wouldn’t settle for anyone who wouldn’t love her the same way Mr. Rochester loved Jane Eyre. These teen years, really, they’re an era of folly, of giggles at the smoldering heroes of Austen and the Brontë sisters. More than Disney and its sanitized happy-ever-afters, these authors have ruined real guys for me.