5 Things To Do When, Not If, You Teleport Into a Ball In a Jane Austen Novel

It’s something which, at some point or another, we’re all gonna go through. It’s perfectly natural, yet it still feels scary to us, even wrong. But it doesn’t have to be like this; it’s just a matter of being prepared so that, when the time inevitably comes when you do literally just blink and then suddenly you’re wearing full formal dress in a glamorous ballroom surrounded by esteemed members of the gentry, you know what to do. So without further ado, here are some top tips for how to blend in with an Austen-style ball.

1. Clean up the vomit.

It is inevitable that the first thing you will do when you arrive in this fictitious universe, having been ripped from our reality in a moment of feverish madness, is to vomit profusely. This is normal. Don’t be embarrassed about it, but do be aware that you’re really stinking the place out and you should clean that up right away. Once you’ve done that, take a moment to adjust to your surroundings, have a mint or something (for God’s sake), and begin integrating into the shindig.  

2. Say the word ‘agreeable’ a lot.

One of the first things you’ll notice when you try to infiltrate any vintage Austen conversations is that everything is either ‘agreeable’ or ‘not agreeable’. Don’t panic about this, but choose which side you’re on carefully. Spend a few minutes calmly floating from one social group to another to try and find out who and what is currently ‘agreeable’ and ‘not agreeable’, and then attempt a dry comment of your own. Start with something simple and non-controversial like ‘these curtains are agreeable as f**k’. Everyone will nod and clap.

3. Play a card game.

When you walk into the games room you’ll be fascinated by the amount of card games going on. There’s Speculation, Piquet, Loo, Sh*thead, Whist. You’ll have no idea what any of these mean, but there’s no need to be alarmed. All you need to do is withdraw the secret deck of Uno cards that all us real-world 21st century people have duct-taped to the back of our thighs at all times, and you’re ready to show these snooty-booties a real good time. All the guests will marvel and cheer at your ability to reverse a reverse card with another reverse card!

4. Reject a marriage proposal from a well-to-do bachelor.

Now that you have established yourself as a person of culture with good taste in curtains, it’s time to be a real Austen character and reject a marriage proposal. Run up to the most dashingly agreeable looking bachelor in the room and say something like ‘I cannot marry you, Sir. I am perfectly serious in my refusal. You could not make me happy, and I am convinced that I am the last person in the world who would make you so.’ Wave away any attempt the gentleman makes at changing your mind, such as ‘I’m sorry who are you?’ or ‘You are covered in sick’. Stand your ground, and do not worry, this is all just part of the process.

5. Ask everyone how they feel about being fictional characters written by the hand of a woman named Jane Austen.

This won’t help you blend in. Quite the opposite, in fact. It’ll just be funny to sketch them all out before you leave.