The Secret Diary of Marcel Proust, age 16 ½

If I find something mildly amusing, I don’t chuckle, or giggle, instead it’s a highly unattractive Mrs Krabappel ‘Ha!’ And Proust (okay, okay, his nameless character that we all know most of the time is really him) is making me do that quite a lot at the moment. Because of this, my usual scorn of his delicate ways is softening a little.

Oh bless him, he’s just young, and stupid. And we’ve all been, or currently are, young and stupid.

He loves Swann’s daughter, Gilberte. Gilberte takes pleasure in flippantly telling the obsessed boy that her parents don’t like him, and so no match between them will be approved. This crushes his already eggshell spirit. So, he sets to work writing a sixteen page letter to Swann, to detail his merits and plead his case. Yep, that’ll do it. Nothing like a sixteen page letter from a teenager to make a person change their mind. Or, prove their misgivings to be utterly true, which is exactly the conclusion Swann comes to.

Proust later lets us know the perfect way to deal with unrequited love.

…rather than seeking a logical explanation, it is better to assume, in the face of a wilful mistresses’ resolve, that Destiny wishes to crush him and make him die of a broken heart.

I agree. Chasing is not the way to win someone back. Just ignore them, (Well, I can’t forget this evening) and for a while, wrap the shards of broken heart up in the blanket of self pity (Or your face as you were leaving), cheesecake, ice cream, snotty-tissue-mountains and sad films (But I guess that’s just the way the story goes), and assume Destiny wants us to be miserable (You always smile but in your eyes your sorrow shows). Forever. Blackness from here on in (I can’t liiiiiiiive if living is without yoooooou).

Then, like, totally get over it, because there’s bills to pay, a new season of Game Of Thrones to watch.  Have you had to fight a bear recently? All your limbs still attached? Are frosty zombies coming your way? No? Well then, things could be worse. Plus, romantic martyrdom is overrated and puffy eyes unattractive.

Or, if you are Proust’s *ahem* character, get ill. So ill, you have to stay in bed for weeks, and a strange doctor prescribes a diet of milk and bed rest. Then when Gilberte doesn’t see you around, and realises you’re not going to chase (or maybe you would if you weren’t weakened by illness), just when you think she doesn’t care any more, she will write to you and invite you to tea, and you’re weak, battered heart will soar. Just like in Bridget Jones and Colin Firth gets her out of the Thai prison.

Proust. Hanging with his homies, back when tennis racquet guitar was cool, as well as standing on chairs.

Proust. Hanging with his homies, back when tennis racquet guitar was cool, as well as standing on chairs.