Thursday, 11 April 2013


So, what is up with all of these people saying they should have been born in a different era? You have the new-wave house moms (nothing wrong with being a house mom, btw), making clothes and puddings and cheese and bread and crocheted cozies for their SUVs from scratch. You have the hipsters, beating mothballs off of their great-grandad's clothes and lugging his typewriter out to the park to write poetry that reflects Poe at his worst (something great grandad would probably never have done, if you think about it). You have the fashion bloggers, dolling themselves up Victorian, or twenties, thirties, forties, fifties, sixties, seventies, or eighties and bemoaning the fact that if they had just been born a few decades earlier, someone out there would understand their fashion sense.  Pinterest boards covered in paraphernalia from past decades. People displaying nostalgia for things they never came close to having a chance to experience.

I mean, I get it. The present sucks. There are no jobs, we're all in debt. Life is hectic, expectations are high, and we've all got more responsibilities than we can shake a stick at. We're all drowning in a shitstorm of information overload, and people are longing for simpler, pleasanter times.

But . . .seriously.

So many people have blogged on this or started community discussions on this (you know, using the internet) its not even funny. Here are some examples. 

"  I often think I should have been born in another time and another place. Don't get me wrong. I have a wonderful family. I just like differant things and would have loved to have been around in certain times in History.   I love reading about the 1700's 1800's. I wish I could have been around during the Victorian era."

The author of this snippet was a woman, to contextualize. Really? REALLY? You would like to live in a time where, as a woman, you were expected to be seen, rather than heard. A time when you were not yet, fully, legally considered a human being. You couldn't vote. You couldn't really state your opinion. In the 1700's, especially, depending on your class, you may not have even been able to read those books you enjoy reading. Lets be real, here.

"Anyone else feel like they were born in the wrong time period. I mean don’t get me wrong I find technology useful but there is little room for adventure in this day and age.
If you could live anywhere in any time period where’d it be?"

Sort of encompasses the issue, doesn't it? The present is dull. Things were far more exciting in the middle ages when there were dragons and shit . .. Thing is, people have found life dull no matter what time they're living in. The problem isn't the time period. The problem is the people living in it. You will find excitement and adventure wherever you are, as long as you're looking.

"Yes, I often feel like I was born too late! I would've liked to have lived in the mid-to-late 1800's, in the Old West or in a wilderness. Live on a homestead in a cabin I built myself, raise my own food, ride or drive a horse everywhere, and be self-sufficient. Live without electricity and heat my house with wood. Live off the land. Of course, people do that nowadays, but I think it would be much harder today with the government telling you what you can and can't do."

Now, I like good hard physical labor as much as the next person, more than most . . .but the person writing this has obviously never lived on a farm. The payoff of having created something by yourself is good--if you can do it. A lot of homesteaders just gave up. A lot of them worked themselves to death. There's a great deal of isolation in that sort of a lifestyle, and while isolation can be good, it also tends to drive you a little batty if enforced over a long period. No such thing as a vacation--things always need to be done, even (though to a lesser extent) on Sundays. Constant. Grinding. Toil.

Also, this pinterest board entitled Renaissance/ Medieval- the time period I should have been born in :). Its a lovely board. Full of lovely things. Unfortunately, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance were not lovely times. People dumped shit out of windows onto the streets, and thought that wearing perfume was a good alternative to bathing. They also thought that leeches could save you from cancer, and that any outspoken woman was a witch.

I guess what I'm saying is, is its not really right to hold up any era in a golden light of idealism. People have always been people no matter what time they're living in. Beliefs change, daily activities change . . .but in the end, humans are just humans. Times change, but we stay the same . . .and because of that, time ceases to matter.  

This from the girl with a (soon) archival degree.


  1. I 100% agree with you.
    I like the present though, my new favorite store is West 49. I only went in there once (yesterday) but I've decided I love it. Very modern. ;)

    Whoa... dragons?????

  2. I too agree with you. 100%. It always bugs me when women are like, oh I love the 50s, they were such a romantic time. Oh really? So you would enjoyed being forced to carry unwanted pregnancies to term? Being forced to stop working after you got married? Have little or no access to birth control?
    Yeah, it sounds like a party.