I’ve been reading Little Women to my girls nightly for several weeks now, and tonight I read a passage that positively made me laugh aloud in appreciation. I want to note it here before I forget. It perfectly sums up what I’ve shared before of my ideas about reading idealistic romance novels as a teen (also here and here).
When Laurie first went to college, he fell in love about once a month; but these small flames were as brief as ardent, did no damage, and much amused Jo, who took great interest in the alternations of hope, despair, and resignation, which were confided to her in their weekly conferences. But there came a time when Laurie ceased to worship at many shrines, hinted darkly at one all-absorbing passion , and indulged occasionally in Byronic fits of gloom. Then he avoided the tender subject altogether, wrote philosophical notes to Jo, turned studious, and gave out that he was going to “dig,” intending to graduate in a blaze of glory. This suited the young lady better than twilight conferences, tender pressures of the hand, and eloquent glances of the eye; for with Jo, brain developed earlier than heart, and she preferred imaginary heroes to real ones, because, when tired of them, the former could be shut up in the tin kitchen till called for, and the latter were less manageable. (chapter 32, “Tender Troubles”)
This was one of those moments of self-recognition that we sometimes get to experience while reading the best books. What a treat!