Somewhere in Liverpool, England an 18 year-old beauty named Jane Devin enjoys a life of parties, dressing up, and Lady Gaga. The British Jane likes to add extra letters to words, and occasionally makes up her own spellings. Her Facebook page shows her to be quite an effusive young woman, and very open about what she likes.
Good girls love rude Boiis, according to British Jane, who believes that “God is a DJ, and life is a dancefloor”. British Jane — (my lips like sugarrrrrr…) — is a proud member of the Facebook application, “I Heart Being in Bed“.
British Jane doesn’t get very deep on her Facebook profile, but she’s very friendly and sweet. She’s also got a killer tan, great hair, and a versatile wardrobe. If she were a doll, British Jane might be a PG-rated hybrid between the girl-next-door Barbie and a rock-n-roll Bratz.
In a couple of weeks, British Jane will be heading to Ibiza with friends. She lives a life like that. A life of bikinis, manicured nails, and Victoria’s Secret.
It would be easy to pick on British Jane for her youthful trendiness, boundless enthusiasm, and silly charm, but she makes me smile. I’d like to be more like British Jane. I’d like to trade lives with her for a year or so, and maybe come back to this one feeling refreshed and a little less jaded.
Besides our 27 year age gap, there are glaringly obvious differences between me & British Jane.
I like grrrls instead of boiss, have never been to Spain, hate crowds and parties, don’t like beer, and my entire wardrobe can fit inside one closet. I have unruly, unstylish hair and the beginnings of a second chin. I still have nice boobs, but it takes underwire now to mold them into cleavage.
British Jane looovvves her dad. Mine could be any guy who was in Yokosuka Japan around the 4th of July in 1961. (Dad, if you’re reading this, call me — I have some man-hands and cankles I’d like to give back).
I get anxious about ultimately inconsequential things like punctuation and spelling. My heart starts racing when Firefox underlines one of my words in red, even though I know that wouldn’t is indeed a real word.
I’m pretty much anxious and insecure about everything, from my thighs to the state of the world. My wired sense of guilt combined with an active imagination leaves me feeling somewhat paranoid. When I see a cop on the side of the road, it takes me 20 seconds to convince myself that I’m going to get pulled over, arrested, and spend the rest of my life in prison for a crime I didn’t commit.
I’d be afraid to go to Ibiza. Or Mexico. Or India. Or anyplace that has foreign prisons, where I’d likely end up working in the laundry room and servicing a sweaty, burly male guard in exchange for coffee and cigarettes. Because that could totally happen, and I would, because addictions are like that — particularly when there’s nothing else to live for except canned soup on Sunday and the infrequent letter from home.
If British Jane was a writer, I am sure she would handle rejection with a flip of her hand and a “waaa….? you wonnnkkyyy editorssss, you!!!”. She’d then put on a pair of thigh-highs and a garter and go dancing. By the time morning rolled around, she probably wouldn’t even remember that her work was passed over in favor of some guy who writes literary fiction from a monkey’s perspective. She’d just wash her hair with some fruity shampoo, spray on some Believe perfume, pick a pair of jeans up off the floor, and go meet one of her 854 friends for a non-fat smoothie.
British Jane wouldn’t mope. She wouldn’t drag out her old Janis Ian albums and listen to At Seventeen and In the Winter until she has convinced herself that she’s the worst writer and unluckiest person ever, and should probably just reconcile herself to a life of bi-weekly paychecks, Mallomars, and movie rentals.
When British Jane has a crush on someone, she probably just glances in their direction and gets a Friday night date. She likely doesn’t get nervous, avoid eye contact, and come off looking oblivious and disinterested.
Of course I’m projecting, but it doesn’t appear that British Jane gets nervous or worries about very much at all. Instead, she just spends her time being fun, looking for parties, or on the verge of some wylld happynesssss that can’t be attributed to youth alone.
I want to be more like British Jane. And I’m going to work on that as soon as I get my career in order, finish my degree, publish a bestselling novel, get my hair tamed, knock on wood three times, move to a beach house in California, and get over my fear of rejection, and/or heights, and/or snakes, and/or strangers, crowds, Minnesota, elevators, and manhole covers.
Update 6/11: I just found out that the British Jane is 18, not 19, and is studying English in college, as well as Spanish, psychology, and media. Here’s to hoping she doesn’t let the years dim her sparkling enthusiasm. After all, as she would say, “who gets out alive”?