Good Moanday morning, FYA-land! It's gray and drizzly here, perfectly matching my mood. I know you've all popped over here in a flurry of anxiety to see what new adventure we have on offer, since last week we either delighted or disgusted you with our/Tabs' calling shenanigans on her family and checking out to the regular world. And as much as we'd love to get rolling on another adventure of our very own choices this week, we're taking a wee break and letting someone else do the plot twisting and character development for a bit. That's right, we're reaching into our bag of tricks and pulling out last summer's sleeper hit, the readalong, where we take turns rewriting a beloved classic novel from the viewpoints of the non-narrating characters! This time, we're treating you to a rendition of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, which we genuinely love and really, REALLY hope we don't end up hating by the end of this little game (although you know we have Marianne in our crosshairs. And those odious little Steele sisters. And dear old Willoughby, although Erin's warm for his form). Ready? Away!
Sense and Sensibility, Chapters 1-5
In today's episode of Real Housewives of Sussex County ...
MRS. DASHWOOD: Oh, hi! God, this week has just been awful. So first of all, my stepson is here with his awful wife, and you guys already saw what a major bitch she is. Oh, can I say that? I can? Ok. She's a total bitch. I don't know how my late husband's uncle managed to be charmed by their hellion child and leave all his fortune to him, instead of to our own daughters, but whatever. My husband made John promise to take care of us, so I'm sure he will. We're going to stay here for a while, since I just love Norland Park and can't bear to think of that whore getting her claws on it yet. Besides, where would we go? We only have a few hundred a year to live on, so that means we'll be POOR. Like, we'll only have a couple of maids, and we've already sold the horses! But the girls are still happy enough, and Elinor is helping me find a place. But she's so SENSIBLE all the time, you know? Have you noticed she disses every possible house? Too big, too expensive, too far away. I'm sure I'd be lost without her, but I really hope this experience teaches her how to live a little. I mean, after all, I'm only on this show for my girls. It's so hard, and no one understands that I just want to see them happily settled.
MRS. JOHN DASHWOOD: Can you believe it? John and I FINALLY get Norland Park as our own, and he can't get rid of that wrinkly old stepmonster of his, and his half-sisters. Honestly, why he even bothers calling them sisters is beyond me -- it's not like they have the same parents. Just the same father, and don't get me started on him. He's the whole reason we're in this mess to begin with. He made John promise to take care of those hangers-on, and now the idiot thinks that meant to give them, like, thousands of pounds! As if! Look, you and I both know ALL he's supposed to do is make sure they're not, like, dragging the Haymarket to make their rent, you know? He's not required to give them enough money to buy husbands or anything. So I finally talked John down from thousands of pounds to just a dead rabbit or two, when the mood strikes, and GOD was it difficult. I swear. Men. Anyway, he had to think it was all his idea, of course, and it took forever. God love him, I didn't just marry him for his money, no matter what those bitches might say. Who said that? Did you get her name? Because I'll totally take her out at the next ball, you just watch.
* * * * *
In the drawing room. Marianne and Mrs. Dashwood sit together. Mrs. Dashwood is embroidering a fireplace screen, while Marianne flips through a book of poetry.
MRS. DASHWOOD: Oh, Marianne, it won't be long now before Elinor is married!
MARIANNE: What? You've got to be kidding me. To Edward Ferrars? He's so freaking boring. I mean, he's nice enough, but the way he reads! I swear, he has no taste.
MD: Taste is in the eye of the tasted, my dear. Besides, it's always the quiet ones who surprise you in the bedroom!
M: Mama! I could never believe that, anyway. Ugh, EDWARD. She might as well marry the local parson. Whatever, Elinor has always been the practical one, anyway. But he can't even draw. What is up with that? Drawing is, like, her LIFE.
MRS. JOHN DASHWOOD is hiding in the production trailer, watching the video feed and overhears M and MD.
MRS. JD (shocked): What the
FUCK? You have got to be kidding me. First those little wretches want to get their hands on MY John's money, and now they're after Edward? Bitch, it is ON.
Later. Drawing room. MARIANNE is at the piano, ELINOR sketches by the window.
MARIANNE: So, Edward, huh?
ELINOR: Edward what? What are you talking about?
M: Whatever. I know you want to marry him.
E: Wants and reality aren't always the same thing, Marianne. Papa dying should have taught you that. Besides, why do you care? It's not like you want him for yourself.
M: True, but Elinor! He's so ... well. He's super nice, and I'm sure he's great.
E: He is, but we're not engaged. So seriously, cut it out or his horrible sister is going to lose her shit.
Enter MRS. JOHN DASHWOOD
MRS. JOHN D: I'll what? No, don't answer that. I heard everything. Let me tell you ---
Enter MRS. DASHWOOD
MRS. DASHWOOD: You'll tell them what? Say it to my face.
MJD: No problem, you old cow. Let me tell you about my brother. He's going to be famous one day. Famous AND rich, unlike you bitches, so don't you even think about getting your claws ---
MD: Claws? I'll show you claws!
Slapping, hair pulling, scratching ensue.
ELINOR: Mama! Marianne! That's enough!
MD: We are SO out of here. Come on, girls.
MRS. DASHWOOD: Ok, so I lost it earlier today. I won't say I'm sorry, though -- that bitch had it coming to her. Anyway, we got a letter from a friend today, and he has a cottage he'll let us have for cheap. Elinor's not letting us take much, but at least we get the plate and linens. Mrs. John Dashwood is so pissed, but it serves her right.
MARIANNE: I'm so desolate. I can't believe we're moving so far away from our lovely home. And only going to have three servants! Mama, Elinor, Margaret and I will have to share only two maids among us! At least Elinor's not fussy, so she won't need much, and Margaret's just a child still. And I do have my dear piano. No way was I letting that bitch keep it, and let her horrible child ruin it by banging on it day and night.