I love Lucy Maud Montgomery books. Passionately. And of course on that list is the Anne of Green Gables series. Now I’m not really a kindred spirit with Anne but I am madly in love with Gilbert Blythe. He is just so insanely perfect it hurts. And yet he’s flawed. Which of course makes him more perfect. Look if you haven’t read the books, its hard to explain so just go read them.
Anyway, the story of Anne & Gilbert in its simplest form, reads a lot like the story of Dan & Blair on Gossip Girl. This is something that I hadn’t realized until recently. I have been loving the story of Dan & Blair, in fact it’s really the only reason I watch. And I was talking to a good friend the other day about them. She pointed out, quite rightly, that there isn’t really a romantic spark between Dan and Blair. I think there was at one point last season but this season that hasn’t really happened. Oh Dan certainly has shown his love but on Blair’s side, he’s just a good friend. Even that, the friendship, was only recently acknowledged by Blair in a way that was meaningful. But there is definitely more a friendship there rather than a mutually reciprocated romantic love.
That’s where my Anne and Gilbert thing came in. Because I was trying to tell my friend about this quote that I love from Anne of Avonlea. See, Anne and Gilbert started out as bitter enemies. He called her “carrots” at school and as Anne’s red hair was the bane of her existence, she broke her slate over his head and assured him that she would hate him forever. Anne is damn good at holding grudges too (she and I hold at least that in common). So for years, she hates him. And then one day, she realizes that maybe Gilbert is worth having as a friend. There’s no romance on Anne’s part. She just sees that Gilbert is dependable and cares about her and is someone she can count on. Gilbert however has been in love with Anne since the day she broke that slate and his love just grows as time goes on.
That sounds a lot like Dan and Blair to me. Two people who have hated each other, teased each other, and more, who somehow, against all odds, have become friends. Dan has romantic feelings towards Blair but her feelings are platonic. While Anne knew how Gilbert felt, she pushed the idea away, certain that her true love was a tall, dark and handsome man. Kind of like how Blair has long been obsessed with this idea of a prince, or her Audrey Hepburn fantasy. Interesting isn’t it, that most of Audrey Hepburn’s movies involve her falling in love with the normal guy, hell the writer half the time, and Blair wants to be all of her characters? *
*HOLY CRAP. Another tangent. Most of Blair’s favorite Audrey Hepburn movies have her falling in love with a writer. Screw it. I’m calling it right now and saying that the Gossip Girl endgame will be Dan and Blair. Not because I want it but because it fits so ridiculously perfectly.*
Okay anyway, Gilbert keeps trying with Anne and she has this idea that romance starts as romance while friendship stays friendship. And then one day she realizes that maybe she was wrong. The quote, which I love, is as follows: “Perhaps, after all, romance did not come into one’s life with pomp and blare, like a gay knight riding down; perhaps it crept to one’s side like an old friend through quiet ways; perhaps it revealed itself in seeming prose, until some sudden shaft of illumination flung athwart its pages betrayed the rhythm and the music; perhaps . . . perhaps . . . love unfolded naturally out of a beautiful friendship, as a golden-hearted rose slipping from its green sheath.”
And as I was trying to tell my friend about this quote, I was struck by how similar Blair and Dan are to Anne and Gilbert. I’m now fascinated to see if this continues.