February 15, 2018

5 Favorite Married Couples in Literature

In years past, Valentine's Day has been one of my favorite "events" of the blogging world. It's a day (or month, if you will) in which us bloggers spam the internet with posts relating to our favorite couples in books and movies and tv, and that's just plain fun. If you don't think that's fun, then leave this blog immediately and don't come back; this blog isn't for you. :P

*cringe* That sounded way more harsh than I intended. Don't leave; you can stay! :)

I had planned on publishing this post on Valentine's Day, but when a silly idea for a different post came to me yesterday I decided to run with it. (Which by the way, if you read it, I hope everyone was aware that I was completely being sarcastic and poking fun at some attitudes expressed in certain period dramas. I wasn't in any way making fun of single girls. I am one myself. ;)) (Just wanted to be clear.....I tend to live in fear of hurting someone's feelings! :P)

This post will also be in participation of Cordy's Lovely Blog Party, going on now till the end of February. Be sure to check it out! :D

So today I want to talk about five of my favorite married couples in literature. I have so many favorite fictional couples, but only a handful of them are actually married earlier than the end of the book! Sometimes I find this lack of good married couples in fiction rather sad, because honestly the wedding is just the beginning of a couple's story in life. There's SO much conflict and joy that comes even after marriage, and I appreciate it when stories portray this in a realistic, admirable way.
There's so much that goes into making a good marriage (so I've heard; it's not like I have experience :P) and I think these five couples are wonderful examples of the dedicated love marriage requires. (And they're freaking adorable together. ;))

Gilbert and Anne Blythe from Anne of Green Gables
It's so easy to forget about all the joys and hardships that Anne and Gil go through, long after the days of slates-broken-over-heads are long past. But there's so much more to Gil and Anne's story than just "carrots" (as adorable as that is). They struggle with some very real and heartbreaking circumstances, from the pain of moving away from their very first home to the devastating loss of their first child. There's even a time, later on in years, when Anne worries that her husband no longer loves her. (Spoiler: of course he still does! Read Anne of Ingeside for the story.) And yet despite this, they only grow closer together in love and dedication. Their married life is never painted as easy—but no matter what happens, they always find hope and happiness down around another bend in the road of life. Of course, as the series progress, the story focuses more on their children than Anne and Gil themselves. I always found this a bit disappointing, but we still get snapshots once in awhile of Gil and Anne as they work together to mold their children's minds and hearts with love and tenderness.

All in all, I find Gil and Anne's marriage an admirable example of how a couple can face adversity together—and still come out of it with a love and trust unshakable by any storm they may face.
“But pearls are for tears, the old legend says," Gilbert had objected. "I'm not afraid of that. And tears can be happy as well as sad. My very happiest moments have been when I had tears in my eyes—when Marilla told me I might stay at Green Gables—when Matthew gave me the first pretty dress I ever had—when I heard that you were going to recover from the fever. So give me pearls for our troth ring, Gilbert, and I'll willingly accept the sorrow of life with its joy." -Anne”

Ike and Libby Galloway from Prairie Rose
Only recently, I read a trilogy by Susan Kirby consisting of three books, Prairie Rose, As the Lily Grows, and When the Lilacs Bloom. I started the first book VERY skeptically, thinking it just another lame CFR novel. :P AND OH BOY WAS I WRONG. This trilogy turned it to contain one of my favorite heroes ever (he may be on the top ten) and one of my favorite couples ever. Their names are Ike and Libby and I adore them and I really should write a review for Priaire Rose because more people to need to know of these awesome books! (Great, now I've committed myself to yet another blog post I'll never get around to. :P)

But anyways. About Ike and Libby. I love so many things about their relationship, one of which is that the books go on past their courtship to their marriage. The highs and lows of newly married life are played out, as they learn to work together and encourage each other amidst the daily trials of life. Their fortitude and faith in God are put to the test with different troubles, the biggest being their inability to have the children Libby so desperately wants. These books don't shy away from the difficulties Ike and Libby face together. But throughout it all, Ike and Libby learn to grow in their faith in God and their love for each other and it's just so special. <3 (I found the characters in this book refreshingly imperfect but still admirable. A rare thing in CFR novels, I think! :P)

Though I wasn't completely satisfied with how some aspects of this story ended less-then-happily-ever-after, I did appreciate how realistic it was. Ike and Libby found their joy and contentment in Christ, not in a perfect dream life here on earth. They learned how to be grateful and joyful even amidst life's disappointments. They learned contentment with what God had planned for them, not what they planned themselves. It's a beautiful and rare thing to find in fiction these days.

Jane Seymour and Anthony Andrews in "The Scarlet Pimpernel" [1982]
Percy and Marguerite Blakeney from The Scarlet Pimpernel
Now, it's been awhile since I read the book, so much of what I say here will be based on the 1982 movie. Despite that, I had to include Sir Percy and Marguerite, because I just re-watched said movie and goodness gracious I forgot how adorable and squee-worthy these two are! (yes, that's a word)

Unlike the previous two couples, Percy and Marguerite live a less-than-normal life, filled with espionage and secrecy and suspense. For most of the story, Percy and Marguerite live nearly separate lives, he, as the Scarlet Pimpernel, rescuing dozens of French aristocrats from guillotine in revolution-ravaged Paris, she, unaware of his alter ego, living a glittering life at the center of society. Much of the pull of this story revolves around the moment when secrets are revealed and decisions made. But underneath the drama, there is still much to be admired in the marriage between these two. Percy, always loving his wife, but unable to show it, works not only to protect her, but her brother as well. He shows his love by a steadfast devotion and protection, even when he has lost all faith in her. Marguerite, on the other hand, showcases faithfulness and trust, even when she is certain her husband no longer loves her. She never hesitates to rush to his side; he never hesitates to protect her. And eventually, their courage and devotion bring them together in a beautiful moment of truth.

For anyone who has read more of the Scarlet Pimpernel series, can you tell me if Percy and Marguerite are in the sequels? Because they may be bumped up on my to-read list if they are. ;)

"When Calls the Heart" debuted its special two-hour pilot on Saturday (Oct. 19), starring newcomer Poppy Drayton as Elizabeth Thatcher, a girl who leaves her posh family home in 1910 to teach in a frontier town.
Wynn and Elizabeth Delaney from When Calls the Heart
Yes, yes, you read that I right, I said Wynn Delaney. Contrary to the hallmark TV show (which I love, don't get me wrong), the Mountie that Elizabeth married in the When Calls the Heart books is actually called WYNN DELANEY NOT JACK THORNTON. (For the record, I like Jack better much more than Wynn, but for the sake of literary excellence I still had to point out this desperately troublesome inaccuracy. :P)

Wynn and Elizabeth get married by book two—unlike Jack and Elizabeth who are still unmarried though I've heard they already have season 5 out?!? I haven't even finished season 3!!!
knew I had to work a gif into this post, right? :P

'Hem. Let's try this again. When Wynn and Elizabeth marry, they are immediately thrown into a difficult time; Elizabeth especially.  They go through a LOT together between their first argument (about a pair of pants, no less) and the great strain of moving far away for Wynn's lonely posting in northern Canada. Elizabeth finds herself faced with difficulty after difficulty as she adjust to the life that the wife of a Mountie leads.

I hate to say this again, but it's been awhile since I read all four of the WCTH books, so my memory is a bit foggy. But I do remember loving the way Wynn and Elizabeth's relationship was portrayed in the books. Loving and gentle, but determined and steadfast.

(By the way, the Wynn and Elizabeth in the WCTH movie is pretty much exactly how I pictured them. Why couldn't that dumb movie have been completely about them like the book instead of about her niece or whatever she was??? :P)

Charles and Millie Landreth from the Millie Keith series
AGAIN, it's been awhile since I read this series (I guess this post is also called: A Bunch of Books Natalie Needs to Re-Read) but it's my very favorite from the A Life of Faith series.   (Or the Martha Finley spin-offs, whatever you want to call them.) Charles and Millie have a rocky relationship from the start, in which Millie turns down his marriage proposal due to him not being a Christian. But years later, when Charles is saved, they still find they love each other and begin their married life together.

When they feel called by God to serve as missionaries to Bolivia, they obey and have a series of ensuing trials and difficulties—some life threatening. I just love how Charles and Millie are dedicated to serving the Lord with their whole lives, regardless of the inconvenience to themselves. They work together as a true team, each respecting and believing in the other. Charles gently leads and protects his wife and Millie faithfully follows and supports. They are the pattern of a Biblical marriage, with each valuing the other and putting each other before themselves. And they're missionaries. That's just awesome. :D

Michael Fassbender & Alicia Vikander in "The Light Between   Oceans" (2016)
Barney and Valancy Snaith from The Blue Castle
How could I possibly write this post without a Barnery and Valancy reference? These two belong to my favorite L.M. Montgomery novel. Their story makes me so happy. Unlike all the couples above, these two didn't expect to stay married. Barney agreed to marry Valancy, knowing she was ill with a heart problem and likely to die within a year.

I just love their day to day life together. Every day is an adventure with them, or at least most of their days are. They have a wonderful time just being together, whether they're tramping through the snowy woods or sitting on the porch in summertime. They take care of each other and work together, in a very adorable camaraderie. Everything about their marriage and life together is unconventional, and yet it's beautiful and happy simply because of that very fact. And of course, when Valancy learns that Barney's tenderness is more than just pity for a dying woman...well. ;) It's just wonderful, that's all.

Happy Valentine's Day (again)!
Who are some of your favorite married couples in fiction?
Do you like stories that go past the wedding? 

February 14, 2018

Why You're Still Single

So, yesterday I worked quite hard getting a post ready for February 14th, and I had it all scheduled to go when I woke up at 4:30 last night with a certain quote in my head and thus a fabulous idea for a blog post sprang forth.

(Don't worry, the other post I wrote will still be published sometime soon. :))

Introducing, "Why You're Still Single", a blog post tailor made for all you single ladies (what did that make you think of, Jessica? ;)) who can't seem to catch a man and are at your wit's end trying to figure out why.

Watch this video. Is this you???

Well. Never fear. Today I shall reveal to you all the mistakes you have thus far been making in your single life. If I don't have you married by the end of this post, I shall eat my own bonnet!

#1 You're not looking
Before you can ever find a man, you must throw away this ridiculous notion that you'll just meet him sometime, somewhere. NO.  Good things come to those who SEEK THEM OUT and if you're not out looking for a guy every day at the grocery store, parties, church, everywhere than you're never going to get one. If all else fails, enter his house and pretend it was a mistake. There is no such thing as a too drastic step when it comes to getting your man.

Put yourself forward at every social function. Shout your singleness from the rooftops. Guys can't be interested until they know you're available and it's YOUR job to tell them. So go catch that bouquet, girl. And make sure there are plenty of guys around to see it.

#2 You're too nice
Once you gain the attention of a man you like, you're usually very nice and friendly to him, right? WELL, DON'T DO IT. WRONG WRONG WRONG YOU WILL NEVER GET A GUY THIS WAY. You must slap him in the face, metaphorically speaking.

Guys love a challenge and your rebuff of their attentions will only make them more determined to win you. Trust me. Resort to physical violence if you must.

#3 You're too picky
Goodness, you girls are so picky nowadays! You want a man this tall, this wide, eyes this shade, hair that shade. THESE THINGS DO NOT MATTER. If you want any chance at all at getting married, you MUST remember this: 
a man is not to look at, a man is to get. 
Physical appearance has nothing to do with anything, as long as he gave you a ring.
Right? Of course right.  Yente. Fiddler on the Roof. Because WHO DOESN'T need this meme.   You're welcome world. You're welcome.

#4 You don't Bye-Yum Pum Pum
I couldn't find a good video clip, but watch The Happiest Millionaire to know the secret to catching a man.

#5 You don't look in the right place! 
Remember what I said about looking for a man everywhere? Well, that's still good to do. But it won't help you at all if you don't go looking in the right place. I recommend Brighton. It's foolproof.
Jane Austen + Text Posts

#6 You're not naive enough. 
Girls, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If you don't act like a shy baby deer lost in the woods, you won't catch a man. Guys love girls who are ridiculously naive and innocent. Makes them feel strong and smart and protective, I've heard. (Unless they're actually a bad guy. Then they'll just take advantage of you. Science has yet to give a fool proof method for recognizing one for another. Just go with it and tell me how it works out.)

#7 You're not argumentative enough
In some rare cases, guys actually don't prefer their lady to be naive and stupid. It's up to you to figure out which tactic to employ, but if #6 fails, try this one. You're bound to succeed as long you argue his every point, stubbornly refuse to make amends, and never fail to remind him that you "don't need a man!!!!" (though of course you do lol who could imagine not needing one?!? :P)

It wouldn't hurt either if you could get your father to interfere with his career plans, too. *shrugs*

#8 You accept his first proposal 
Giiirrrlllls. Don't ever ever ever accept a man the first time he proposes! You need to increase his love by suspense, according to the usual practice of elegant females. He won't want you if you're easy to get.

It's better to make him think you hate him than to let him know how much you care. After all, if you accept him the movie won't have any plot left! I mean....that is...um.

Just don't accept him the first time. :P It's also really good if he gets angry and leaves. It means he's more in love with you than ever.

 (Don't let him have dinner at a neighbor's house, though. That's a bad sign.)

#9 You don't know where he lives
Girls, remember this: the house makes the man. Don't accept his second proposal till you know where he lives. (Knowing his annual income isn't bad either)

Lizzie sees Pemberley for the first time

#10 You're not desperate enough
At the end of the day, it all boils down to this: if you're not desperate enough, you won't get a man.
These are the best.

No man wants a happy female who is content in her current situation. No man wants a female who is independent or who enjoys something other than homemaking. So make sure the men around you KNOW that you want nothing more than to get married. That you're waiting for Prince Charming to come and sweep you off your feet.

I know I just finished talking about waiting till the second proposal, but if you're over 25 I wouldn't advise it anymore. Things are getting desperate and you have only one option left.

Get a man to propose—any man—and accept him. After all, there is no guarantee another offer of marriage will ever be made to you.

Congratulations! You now have all the steps you need to be happily married by the end of this week. Let me know how it goes!


(In case you missed it, this post is COMPLETE SARCASM. Please do not follow ANY of the tips that I gave. It was a joke post. :P)


If you want actually good advice for single girls, go read "Why I Love Being Single"  because it's AWESOME and I love it so much. Totally sums up my own feelings on the subject, though it was the lovely Naomi who wrote it, not me. :)
Happy Valentine's Day, my friends!!!!! Stay tuned for some serious Valentine's Day themed posts coming soon. ;)

February 10, 2018

Lovely Blog Party Tag

Hello, my friends! Cordy is hosting "The Lovely Blog Party" this month, honoring favorite fictional couples and other love-themed posts. :)

I'm hoping  to get some posts written in participation in her party (along with my usual Valentine's Day post), but meanwhile let's start the festivities with my answers to her party tag.

Ivanhoe and Rebecca: Name a couple that should have been together
Is this the moment to say that I never really shipped Ivanhoe and Rebecca? *cough* I don't know, I guess I just liked him with Rowena. And Rebecca deserved someone more faithful anyways; I can't say I'd want a guy who fell in love with two girls at once.

Anyways. My answer shall be...ooh, I have a few ideas. Allan and Kate from BBC Robin Hood is a classic answer. (Right, Olivia?) But Finn and Rey from Star Wars actually came to mind first. Because I have a feeling the filmmakers are NOT going to have them end up together as I first hoped and....and... *cries* They would have been so sweet........
(Shhh, Anna, I know you want Poe and Rey together. ;))

John Boyega & Daisy Ridley

Jo and Laurie: Name a couple that should have stayed friends...or did stay friends...
Captain America and Sharon Carter in the Marvel movies. Grrr. Don't. Get. Me. Started.
they're practically related. sick creeps in the comics came up with that and why the hell they didn't change the story? Weinstein and his ilk probably LOVED that. Older man and young woman old enough to be his child/grandchild get with it. Peggy would vomit all over you
Hayley Atwell gets us all when it came to Steve and Sharon
even Peggy agrees

Jane and Mr. Rochester: Name a couple that looked like the chances of a happily ever after were next to none!
Well. I recently watched a Hallmark TV movie and I was SO worried that maybe the heroine and hero WOULDN'T end up together!!! :O

Ha. As if. :P

I was actually pretty worried about Ginny and Harry's future while reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I won't say anything more though because of spoilers. :)

Jane and Mr. Bingley: Name a couple that is just sooo happy!
Phineus and Charity from The Greatest Showman. <3

Kit and Ella: Name your favorite fairytale couple
Awwww. Flynn and Rapunzel from Tangled.

Molly Gibson and Roger Hamley: Name a couple where the woman is basically ignored by the suitor until the end of the story (frustration at it's finest!! :P :P)
Edmund and Fanny in Mansfield Park. Ugh, it takes him forever to come to his senses!

(And yes, I agree!! Those kinds of stories make me so frustrated with the hero....and yet...I've found myself writing one. -_-)

Sarah and Jacob Witting: Name a couple that found love later in life
This one is stumping me....the only idea I have coming to mind is actually another couple from that aforementioned Hallmark movie. :P Oh! I have it! Miss Matty and Mr. Holbrook. <3 (Aww. But now I'm sad....)
Cranford - Judi Dench and Michael Gambon

Don Lockwood and Kathy Seldon: Name a couple from a musical
Jeremy Jordan being adorable in Newsies Live (annabethcnases on Tumblr)<--- I LOVE this part so much!!

Anne and Gilbert: Name a couple that didn't start out on the right foot
Seb and Mia from La La Land. ;) "What a waste of a lovely night."

La La Land (2016)

Faramir and Eowyn: Name a couple with the sweetest love story
Okay, the sweetest love story is a little difficult. But one of the sweetest love stories is definitely that of Rocky and Adrian from the Rocky movies. Gahh, I just love them so much. <3
"I was wondering if you wouldn't mind marrying me very much?" Awwww! Sweet rocky!
"I said, would you mind marrying me very much?" xD

Thanks for this blog party, Cordy!!!

(PS. The Lovely Blog Party runs till the end of February, so be sure to check it out! There's plenty of time to write your own post. :))