F. Scott Fitzgerald on The Great Gatsby
(cheating on Jane Austen for a while)
Dear Miss Austen,
How are you doing? I hope this letter finds you well.
With this letter, I am pleased to inform you that one of my good friends, who is also a member of The Virginz, had finally ‘graduated’ from her single status.
Oh right, I need to tell you about The Virginz first, I suppose, so that you can understand why it is such a pleasure for me and my other friends to hear about the ‘engagement.’
So, Miss Austen, as you know, I’ve been single my whole life. I thought it was an embarrassment and something that was only happened to me. But then in my first year being a student in the university, I found these beautiful and wonderful girls whom – after several months of being acquaintance – I discovered, too, have been single their entire life. So there we were, in my room, taking a break in the afternoon, after sharing some stories related to our disappointment and aspiration of love, we found that we share common identity and, generally, common goals. With that, we decided to make an organization, with a name that signifies our ‘virginity’ in the realm of love relationship (or what the society here called as ‘pacaran,’ which I already explained to you before in my previous letter). Thus, we named the ‘organization’ as The Virginz (or can be referred to as TV).
What started as a joke, turned out to be a real and serious friendship. Yes indeed we are bounded by the zero experience in the realm of love relationship, and that we generally have the same goals (to have, ideally, only one love for the rest of our life, and that the love relationship is not a game but a serious business to determine our future life. Two things that have been almost entirely ignored by today’s generation, as most of them seek relationship only for temporary pleasure). But as time goes by, the friendship remains mostly because we care each other. We can accept each other’s defect and able to agree to disagree. But if necessary, we do inter-friend-tion in order to tell one of us if one has gone too far. We are blatant toward each other, and we never fake our kindness to gain self-acknowledgement or interest. But of course, there will always be that one special thing that can unite us: the singleness, the virginity of love relationship. However, as there are some of our good friends that actually already had love relationships, we did not make our ‘organization’ exclusive, as we develop friendship as the main base of TV, and then we gave special membership status called Sahabat The Virginz, or Friends of The Virginz for those who had been in relationship.
What a coincidence that we can come together in this department of the university and gathered that afternoon in my room. A beautiful coincidence, indeed.
But Miss Jane, one thing needs to be clear about me and my fellow TV. We are not a group of girls who are desperate to have the relationship. Please, not at all. If we want to, we can easily get any type of men and already have like five relationships in our life. I do not mean to brag, but we indeed have the qualities of respectable women in our own specific characteristics. Well, that’s what I thought. These girls, generally, are smart, independent, know what they want, pretty (of course), have good sense of humor and have standout personality. We have the ability to differentiate genuine gentlemen from fake-good-for-nothing-playboy (which probably is the reason why we are still single, because the population of the gentlemen is shrinking and they are like hiding in other parts of the world). If I were a gentleman, I want one of them as my wife. Seriously.
We are not desperate, nor pathetic. We have learned a lot, and wise enough to tell whether a man is worth having to distract or risk all the life planning that we’ve made, or is it better for us to stay single. Indeed Miss Jane, we will be so pleased to be in a relationship. But it’s not a priority. We still have a lot to chase, to do what we want for our self, and we know it’s much more important than having a relationship, especially when the man is not worth it.
Oh, if only you are here too, Miss Jane, we will be much honored to have you as our Honorable Chief Advisor and, of course, most valuable friend. We are all single, and we are all happy to embrace it.
Anyway, back to the story I am about to tell.
As I mentioned before, Miss Jane, one of our TV member has finally ‘engaged’ in a commitment with a gentleman. Well, to be honest, I can’t see the gentleman quality of this man when we were first introduced. But as we become friends, I can see that he’s honest, a family-man, smart and firm. And there was this feeling, Miss Jane. The feeling that you feel when you see two people and you know they’re just fit to each other and, somehow, will end up together. It’s like what Emma probably feel when she saw her sister with the older Mr. Knightley, or it’s the feeling when you see Elinor Dashwood with Edward Ferrars. I feel it every time I see this new couple together, before and after they declare their commitment.
When I heard the news, I was so pleased. I know that the relationship is worth having, not only because their feelings are mutual and serious, but also because they complete each other. I know this isn’t a stupid mistake because the girl is wise enough to know that the man is determined and worth having, and the man is too wise to fool and trampled the girl’s heart. I wish them long and happy relationship.
I don’t know why, Miss Jane, but I’m really happy to see them together. Well, not only me, most of TV members are happy to know this. Maybe it’s because she was the first member to ‘graduate’ from her single status in TV. Or maybe it’s because we’ve been expecting them to end up together. I don’t know. All I know is that we’re happy to see our friends all happy and full of love.
‘Don’t you envy them?’ – You might ask.
Well, if this happened one or two years ago, and then you ask that question, I probably said yes.
Ummm, I don’t know, Miss Jane, I don’t think I am. It feels like I’m a place right now where relationship is not my priority. I just want to finish all my deadlines, graduate from the university, try to apply for scholarship to study abroad, medical perhaps, or write a book or find a job with good money. I don’t know if it’s because I haven’t found the right gentleman yet, or is it because that lingering thought in my head saying ‘you’re so good at being alone, you afraid someone else might ruin it.’ I really don’t know, Miss Jane.
But I don’t care.
All I know, and I need to care, is the fact that I’m happy and grateful for the presence of my good friends around me, I’m still okay, and that I still have sooo many assignments to be done. I don’t want to crowd my mind with useless wonderment and ugly unimportant things that happened around me. As I wrote you in my previous letter, carpe diem, Miss Jane. Carpe diem. I will do it.
Oh, one more thing before I forgot.
I have this book that I bought from a bookstore in Melbourne city titled ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies - Dreadfully Ever After.’ Based on the synopsis, the story is about Eliza and Mr. Darcy, who at the honeymoon was bitten by a zombie, and their dreadful journey after the happy marriage. I haven’t read it, so I can not yet make any judgment whether this book is a blasphemy or a unique celebration of your work. I’ll let you know when I finished the book.
Hope to hear from you soon.
Your happy friend,