Thursday, October 27, 2011

proposals gone wrong: the one with the life ruiner

There's nothing more disturbing to me than a woman turning down Richard Armitage. Richard Armitage (who I've affectionately nicknamed Rawrmitage) is my life ruiner. Allow me to share a list of things that really get to me: sultry voices, accents, strong hands, smirks, angry eyes, height differences, jaw lines that could cut diamonds... I could go on. This tall glass of water encompasses all these things and I will, therefore, never be satisfied by another man. Forever alone. Thanks a lot, Rawr. It's his voice in particular. Ugh. Especially after I've got a little red wine in my system, it's just an unfair assault on my senses. And there I am waving a white flag every time. I surrender to you, Rawrmitage! I may or may not have a running list of my favorite voices and his, dear readers, is number one. Hnnnnng! I won't elaborate. 
It was my undying love for Rawrmitage that led me to watch North & South and, oh sweet goodness, my life has never been the same! He's perfectly cast as John Thornton and I can legit say this since I've read the book (10 points to Ravenclaw!) and my copy naturally falls open to the page with his first physical description, which always leaves me urgently reaching for a folding fan. And now that I've mentioned it, I have to share it with you because I'm that crazy (in love)! Taken from Chapter 10:
Now, in Mr. Thornton's face the straight brows fell low over the clear, deep-set earnest eyes, which, without being unpleasantly sharp, seemed intent enough to penetrate into the very heart and core of what he was looking at. The lines in the face were few but firm, as if they were carved in marble, and lay principally about the lips, which were slightly compressed over a set of teeth so faultless and beautiful as to give the effect of sudden sunlight when the rare bright smile, coming in an instant and shining out of the eyes, changed the whole look from the severe and resolved expression of a man ready to do and dare everything, to the keen honest enjoyment of the moment, which is seldom shown so fearlessly and instantaneously except by children. Margaret liked this smile; it was the first thing she had admired in this new friend of her father's; and the opposition of character, shown in all these details of appearance she had just been noticing, seemed to explain the attraction they evidently felt towards each other.
... Congratulations! Now you're all in love too. What's that? Your sky-high standards just raised a little (lot)? You're welcome.


Margaret's family has recently relocated to the North of England where everything seems contrary to their life in the South. It's dark, changeful, cold, and the entire welfare of the industrial city of Milton is inseparably linked to factories. Mr. Thornton, the master of a successful cotton mill, is a pupil of Margaret's father, trying to educate himself on the classics now that he has the means to do so. Margaret struggles to view him as a gentleman, despite the facts that he's well respected and far wealthier than her family, because of his Northern ways and the conditions of the workers in his mill. Thornton, while aware of the difference in social class, sees that she holds herself like a lady and is very much drawn to her even though she can get quite haughty with him. It's not until a riot breaks out at his mill and Margaret makes a scene trying to save him that he allows himself to believe that she might care for him in the same way that he cares for her. There he is, bright and early the next morning, in all his cravat-and-stern-look-wearing glory to propose. But my life ruiner has his own life ruiner...
Are you blind, Margaret? Are you? ARE YOU?! Because what you just did there is not okay! Hell hath no fury like a gentleman scorned... Edit: hell hath no fury like Rawrmitage scorned. Come on! Don't you love how easily his eyes flash between soft and reserved to fiery and incredulous? Don't you love that he looks kind of wicked, but is actually exceedingly good? Don't you love how his intense stare- pardon my boldness- melts your petticoat? Don't you love his furrowed brow? Doesn't his husky voice warm you on a winter's day? Don't you just want to jump him and have his babies? BECAUSE, HOLY SHIZZ, I DO! Anyway...
One more just for good measure... Also, adding crinkly foreheads to my list.
Thornton: Miss Hale, I didn't just come here to thank you.
GUH! YOUR VOICE! *FAINTS*
Thornton: I came because... I think it very likely... I know I've never found myself in this position before. It's difficult to find the words.
MMM, TAKE YOUR TIME. THE LONGER YOU SPEAK, THE BETTER.

Thornton:
Miss Hale, my feelings for you are very strong.
MR. THORNTON, MY FEELINGS FOR
YOU ARE VERY STRONG.
Margaret: Please, stop. Please don't go any further.
NO, YOU PLEASE STOP!
Thornton: Excuse me?
YEAH! WTF, GIRLY?!
Margaret: Please don't continue in that way. It's not the way of a gentleman.
AND YOU, MISS, ARE NO LADY!

Thornton: I'm well aware that in your eyes, at least, I'm not a gentleman.
*SHIVER DOWN THE SPINE* OOOOOOOOO MMMMMM AHHHHHHH! BUT YOU ARE!!!
Thornton: But I think I deserve to know why I am offensive.
AGHHHHH!!!!!!!!

Margaret: It offends me that you should speak to me as if it were your duty to rescue my reputation!
WITCH, PLEASE!
Thornton: I spoke to you about my feelings because I love you! I have no thought for your reputation!
OOOF! YOU ARE SO PRETTY, I WANT TO CRY!

Margaret: You think that because you are rich and my father is in reduced circumstances that you can have me for your possession? I suppose I should expect no less from someone in trade!
MISS HALE! IF YOU DON'T HAVE ANYTHING NICE TO SAY, DON'T SAY ANYTHING AT ALL!
Thornton: I don't want to possess you! I wish to marry you because I love you!
I DON'T WANT TO POSSESS YOU! I WISH TO MARRY YOU BECAUSE I LOVE YOU! 
Margaret: You shouldn't! Because I do not like you and never have.
OH YEAH? LET'S PLAY A LITTLE GAME CALLED YA SAVED HIS LIFE YESTERDAY!
Mr. Thornton: One minute we talk of the color of fruit, the next of love. How does that happen?
BABYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!

Margaret: My friend, Bessy Higgins, is dying.
... AND THIS HAS TO DO WITH MY DREAM MAN BECAUSE-??
Thornton: And that of course is my fault too.
UGH. COME HERE, MR. THORNTON! I WILL BAKE YOU COOKIES AND WE WILL CUDDLE IN OUR VICTORIAN NIGHTGOWNS AS WE WATCH MASTERPIECE CLASSICS RERUNS ALL NIGHT LONG! ALL NIGHT LONG!

Margaret: I'm sorry.
I AM NOT IMPRESSED.
Thornton: For what?
FEISTY!!
Thornton: That you find my feelings for you offensive?
CREYES FOR EYES!
Thornton:
Or that you assume because I'm in trade I'm only capable of thinking in terms of buying and selling? Or that I take pleasure in sending my employees to an early grave?
*SOBS*
Margaret: No! No, no, of course not. I'm sorry to be so blunt. I've not learnt how to- how to refuse, how to respond when a man talks to me as you just have.
I DO NOT LIKE YOU AND NEVER HAVE.
Thornton: Oh there are others? This happens to you every day? Of course. You must have to disappoint so many men that offer you their heart.
SLKDFJWOWOIWEW SOMEBODY'S ANGRYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!! "I'M PACKING YOU AN EXTRA PAIR OF SHOES... AND YOUR ANGRY EYES, JUST IN CASE!"
Margaret: Please understand, Mr. Thornton.
*FINGERS IN EARS* DOOT DOOT DOOT DOOT DOOOOOO NOT LISTENING!
Thornton: I do understand. I understand you completely.
ZING! TAKE ME NOW.


More than any other proposal, this is the one where I really want to have a full-out brawl with the leading lady. Listen, Marge, I know you think the South is all that and that the North is full of heathens, but... This is the John Thornton! The first one to show kindness to your family up there. The one who's more content watching your bracelet fall up and down your wrist all evening than listening to the ramblings of your father. The one whose self control completely dissolved the moment you threw your arms around his neck in the face of that mob. The one who's going to defend your honor from start to finish. But no. She doesn't care to understand the North. And Thornton is the living breathing embodiment of the North; striking and "uncouth." Margaret won't warm up to him till she warms up to this region of England he's so proud of; till she realizes he's the greatest man she knows, that they're stronger together, and their relationship has changed her so much that she's ruined for all other men i.e. he's the only one for her. Lucky for her, he's always been a dedicated and hard worker, and he's going to keep fighting for her respect even when it's painful just to be in the same room. But Thornton's own ideals need to shift a bit as well so they can meet in the middle and when they do... THE FEELINGS, YOU GUYS, THE ALL CAPS FEELINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
P.S. When I first moved in with my new roommates, one of the first things they knew about me was my love of period pieces (you don't say). One of them asked me to educate her, so I left her with North & South and went off for drinks with friends. Two hours later, she had just witnessed this proposal gone wrong and was texting me like crazy to get back there and share the magic. This behavior would be more impressive if you knew her, but it was a big deal! We were screaming over the second half of the mini-series with passionate fervor and squeeing with every piercing glance from Mr. Thornton. According to her, "This is like Pride & Prejudice times a hundred... Misunderstandings, love, death, love, death, cotton." I'm not saying, but I'm just saying! You need it (read: Mr. Thornton/Rawrmitage) in your life. Don't make me say I told you so.

2 comments:

  1. I HAVE BEEN WAITING avidly for this installment of Proposals Gone Wrong, because HELLO it's RAWRMITAGE and you know I share your feelings as to his petticoat melting-self. Can we just move to a commune with Mr. Thornton, Mr. Darcy, Mr. Rochester, and all of our other men. Because I'm thinking that would be the perfect way to spend the REST OF OUR LIVES. Margaret isn't invited though, you know how I feel about her.

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  2. Confession: sometimes I favor this one over "The Big One"... *gaaaaaaaaaaasp*

    And yeah, Margaret, who invited you? Your voice is annoying. Especially next to Rawrmitage's silky smooth zap-fest of a voice.

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