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Question of the Week - Pick an Era

I actually went out to the movies with my sister on Saturday night. I KNOW! I didn't think it was possible either, but events worked out in a way that we were both able to make it to a late show. And the stop at Starbucks for coffee made it possible to stay up to watch it.

We saw Midnight in Paris, which was a really good movie. Not only did I enjoy the plot and acting and directing and all that, but the movie focused quite a bit on the main character's (Owen Wilson) love of the 1920s (in Paris, no less).

I fell in love with the 20s back when I was in junior high. It wasn't just that the whole literary and artistic movements caught my fancy, but I became fascinated with the breaking away from traditional Victorian conventions to more progressive ideologies. Women were fighting for the right to vote, to wear short skirts, to be treated more equally with men. Automobiles were becoming a normal part of life, and changing every aspect of day-to-day life, from making traveling more convient to providing a private place for young women and men to make out. Speak easies, flappers, gangsters, partying all night, going about without chaperones, defying proper conventions... And on and on. This era had a vibrancy to it, a feeling of the world on the verge of big changes.

I enjoy history, and there are many eras that I really like. The 60s would have been a fascinating time to live in. The Regency era would have been intriguing. Heck, ancient Greece would have been thrilling! But there is something about the Roaring 20s that speaks to me.

So this week's question of the week is:

What era are you drawn to? And in any particular location?

The 20s in Paris is obviously what I am drawn to. But would I actually live then? No, I don't think I'd pick any other era to live in (at least in the past--a future era however...). I really enjoy the modern conviences of today's world, like the internet. I really appreciate all the rights and abilities I have as a women, considering how women have been so limited in the past. I am able to have a wonderful family with an equal partner, work in a job I enjoy (and make good money on par with the men in my position), travel to locations I want to visit, read, write and enjoy other hobbies as I want to.

And most importantly, I am totally in love with my wonderful husband and fabulous children. Who knows what my situation in another era would be. Would my chilren be this healthy? Would I be able to care for them as well as I can here, now? Would I have even been able to get pregnant, considering our need for fertility treatments?

After all, we weren't all Cleopatra in a previous life. Someone would have had to have been the village lunatic and all the serfs working the land.

What about you? What time period do you love? Would you want to live in a different time? And would the location matter? Do you think you could adjust to any time, any where, or are you happy right where you are?

And does anyone else love the Jimmy Buffett line from Boat Drinks, "You pick the century and I'll pick the spot"?

Comments

Becoming Mommy said…
I don't think I could've lived in an earlier era. I would have ended up stoned or something.

However I do have a fascination with Egyptology--probably the only middle schooler who thought it cool to pass notes in class written in heiroglyphs. Unfortunately, I was also the only one who could read them, LOL. I'd love to *visit* that time to experiance it. Live...no.
Jan said…
I have always thought I would have thrived as a pioneer. I don't know how to describe what appeals to me without sounding like I've completely romanticized it, but I like the idea of being so physically present in nature, the land, the weather. I'd have loved to raise crops and animals and children and have my days filled with concrete tasks without ever wondering whether my life had any real purpose. The simplicity (not ease, I realize) appeals to me.
paola said…
Colonial subcontinent or Dutch Indonesia circa 1900. But as one of the colonialists, not as a local. And as a woman. Something romantic about sipping a gin and tonic in the cool tea plantations of Batavia or Darjeeling.
SarcastiCarrie said…
Almost any time in the United States - even as a woman. I don't think I would do well in another country (maybe UK, Canada, Australia) but I just dig on political freedom and free speech (and atheism) too much to live in Saudi Arabia or even France.

As for health and well-being, I will say that PCOS appears to be somewhat condition of the modern world, so it's possible I could've had children in an earlier era, but some or all of us would have died.

My first c-section could have been avoided if I had been willing to deliver a dead baby (or one who had both collar bones broken to get him out), the second one was for placenta previa (not a good track record of live birth for the baby but I could have lived, maybe since I didn't have excessive hemmorhaging), and each child has had sepsis and the ensuing antibiotics required to prevent death. So, you know, maybe I'll just stick with USA after 1945 or so.
mom2boy said…
I'm with @SarcastiCarrie on the no childbirth without modern science. Without that, being a woman anywhere was too perilous for me. I'm sure I'm spoiled and could adapt but there aren't any other eras where living as a regular person really appeals to me. I want to be able to say no without risk of losing my life. Quite thankful to be living where and when I do.
hush said…
I'll take the future, please. As a practical matter, I definitely couldn't live in any time or place without antibiotics, contact lenses, flonase, and a large selection of birth control options. And without the invention of Rhogam, my DD wouldn't have made it out alive.

Not to mention I need to remain in an era where women and people of color have full and equal rights. I find it challenging enough to live in today's world where members of the LGBT community don't even have basic human rights in the USA.
MommyEm said…
I am fascinated with Japan and China and would love to experience the beauty of their past. As a student of their history, I am fully aware that being a woman in this era would not be completely pleasant when compared to the freedoms I have as a woman in this time. But I am intrigued by the pageantry, the detail that was put into the clothing, buildings, art, and I find the roles that women played during these times interesting.

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