You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.
Those words, spoken by Mr. Darcy to Elizabeth Bennet in Jane Austen's most well-known work, Pride and Prejudice, have become almost iconic; every Austen fan out there who reads or hears those words knows, instantly, who spoke them and when.
This morning my friend Terri gave me the mug you see above. It was ostensibly a birthday gift-- an early one-- but I suspect that it was a gift that my friend saw in her Etsy surfing and decided that it was something I, a lover of Austen, needed to own. She handed it to me outside Barnes and Noble, in the rain, where she and I, and some of our children, huddled under a lone umbrella.
We were there to pick up a copy of Artful Blogging, a magazine which a few months ago I had never heard of, and was introduced to because Terri's blog is featured in the current issue.
We stood there in the rain, exchanging "We need to get together soon!"s, quick hugs and this lovely mug that I will use and think not of Jane Austen or Elizabeth Bennet, but of my crazy, dread-headed friend, who has been my friend since we were seventeen years old and who still knows me well enough to see a mug that, had I seen it first, I would have bought. In a lot of ways we've grown up together and, ultimately, we've grown into very different people, but whatever that bind is that makes people friends, Terri and I have it. I have the magazine sitting beside me, a cup of hot coffee in my new mug and I am about to turn to page sixty-eight in the summer edition of Artful Blogging and read words that are unknown to me but that I already love.
Thanks again, T.