Monday, November 21, 2011

Guest: Mary Bennet

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by Kathleen McKenna
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"Hello, hello anybody oh my you seem firm."

"Oh Mary there you are good heavens Mary why you are positively CARESSING this pillar, what has gotten into you child?"

"Oh hello mother, is it a pillar? I did tell you that not wearing my spectacles to this affair was going to leave me blind. What's that mother I cant hear you properly when you whisper." Mrs. Bennet gives out a gusty long suffering sigh and then.

"What I said Mary was that I only wished you might meet a gentleman this evening who had also left his spectacles behind."

"What do you mean mother....oh I see." Mary drops her head blushing furiously as Mrs. Bennet stares at her with exasperation and little affection.

"Well Mary we must look at the situation squarely and the situation is as follows, two of your much more attractive sisters have made brilliant marriages and-"

"Lydia not being one of them." Mary interjects sullenly.

"Lydia is at least married Mary which is a great deal more than can be said for you my dear." Mrs Bennet responds with thinly veiled menace and then continues her voice holding a vague but defined threat. "This ball for the glorious Georgiana is one of the precious few social opportunities to which you will be invited this season and it is my hope that-"

"But mother even though I am nearly blind without my spectacles even I can see that this dress will frighten small children."

"It was cheap Mary and at times like these one must ask oneself is it the dress or the girl inside which will draw attention."

Uncomfortably Mary fingers the ghastly green material and then steeling herself asks of Mrs. Bennet.

"Mother wasn't this the gown Aunt Hortensia was buried in?" Mrs. Bennet sniffs indignantly.

"Well obviously Mary she wasn't BURIED in it otherwise it would be impossible for you to be wearing it on this lovely evening." Mary bows her head in resignation and proceeds haltingly into the ballroom, despite her careful steps she immediately collides with the buffet table spilling foodstuffs all around.

Three hours later Mary Bennet finds herself intoxicated for the first time in her thirty seven virginal years. Unbeknownst to poor Mary a young vixen from another more risque book than any Miss Austen has ever written had earlier appeared and spiked the punch. Still Mary does not find her state altogether unpleasant. In point of fact she found the liquor both invigorating and emboldening and for this one short evening has indeed placed her worst fear on the shelf (that she will always have to live at home with her mother and that Mrs. Bennet despite her professed delicacy might live to be a centurion unless Mary can find the courage to bludgeon her to death first).

Instead Mary danced for hours in a haze of bliss feeling herself for one brief shining moment to be the belle her more fortunate sisters have always been. Poor Mary is unaware that her divine partner is one of the potted palms which abound in the Darcy ballroom, or that she has been the cynosure of every eye for most of the night. No for this one enchanted evening it is Mary Bennet who is the sister to look to with admiring envy at least it is so in the recesses of her whiskey addled mind and in the end dear reader is that not all any of us can ask in the way of happiness. Goodnight Dear Mary in Vino Veritas.


Guest post created for Pemberley Ball event by Kathleen McKenna, author of The Wedding Gift
© 2011. All rights reserved.

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by Kathleen McKenna
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The Wedding Gift
by Kathleen McKenna
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* image source gown for Mary Bennet, potted plant

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