At a New Year’s Eve party Best Friend and I hosted, the subject of everyone’s “Freebie 5” came up. It’s pretty simple: every person gets a list of five people with whom they can cheat on their partner and the partner can’t be mad (I said it came up, not that it wasn’t juvenile).
My friend Miss C. included a fictional character on her list, something I didn’t know you could do. This of course started up a conversation that lasted for a good hour or two, and since then I’ve still been pondering.
I’m definitely not the type who has affairs. I am, however, totally the type to drool over fictional hotties. So after much consideration (as well as thumbing through several novels), here’s my list of five fictional characters with whom I’d love to…um…“hang out.”
Fitzwilliam Darcy (Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen)
Obstinate and obnoxious, but intelligent, kind, and willing to do anything to help the woman he loves. Darcy was the first man I fell in love with, and he will always hold a special place in my heart.
Melt-my-heart quote: ” ‘If you will thank me,’ he replied, ‘let it be for yourself alone. That the wish of giving happiness to you, might add force to the other inducements which led me on, I shall not attempt to deny. But your family owe me nothing. Much as I respect them, I believe, I thought only of you.’ ”
Sir Percival Blakeney (The Scarlet Pimpernel, Baroness Emmuska Orczy)
A romantic, swashbuckling, brave, wily Englishman with a witty sense of humor — what’s not to love?
Melt-my-heart quote: ” ‘I don’t know whether you’re mad, or–‘ ‘Desperately in love? ‘Tis all the same. Tell me, if you can, that you do not feel it too. … You must tell me all about yourself, in every detail, but oh, so slowly, so very slowly, so that it takes a very, very long time.’ ”
Edward Fairfax Rochester (Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte)
Okay, so Mr. Rochester wasn’t really on my list until I read Jasper Fforde’s The Eyre Affair. In Bronte’s novel he’s very brooding and silent, and occasionally unpleasant. But Fforde’s novel showed the moody man in a more loving frame of mind. I don’t think Fforde added anything to the character that wasn’t there before — I think he just managed to tell more of Rochester than Bronte was able to do in her original tale. And that “more” put him on my list.
Melt-my-heart quote: ” ‘I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to you–especially when you are near me, as now: it is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated in the corresponding quarter of your little frame. And if that boisterous channel, and two hundred miles or so of land come broad between us, I am afraid that cord of communion will be snapt; and then I’ve a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly.’ ”
Colonel Christopher Brandon (Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen)
Patient and calm, willing to fade quietly into the background when the object of his affection loves another. Colonel Brandon never gives up on his lady love, and is a surprisingly passionate man, despite all his formality.
Melt-my-heart quote: [While pacing outside Maryanne’s sick room] ” ‘Give me an occupation, Miss Dashwood, or I shall run mad.’ ”
Theodore Laurence (Little Women, Louisa May Alcott)
The only man on my list who is young, impetuous, and more violently passionate at the beginning of the story than the end. I’m too much like Jo March to get along with Laurie all the time, but he’s on my list anyway (and would be higher on the list if I knew he looked anything like Christian Bale, who played Laurie in the 1994 film).
Melt-my-heart quote: ” ‘You’ve gone and got married!’ ‘Yes, please, but I never will again;’ and he want down upon his knees, with a penitent clasping of hands, and a face full of mischief, mirth, and triumph.”
Who’s your Freebie 5? Did you know you could have fictional people on the list?