I think I was born in the right time to be nagging about being born the wrong time in history.
Think about it.
I often find myself daydreaming, over unfinished tasks, about living in a different era. I would love to have been born at, let’s say, the peak of the industrial revolution, to be a member of the elite, shamelessly gaining wealth from child labor. I would be parading in the salons of the intellectuals, amazing gentlemen with my wit and beauty, cheering ‘To Industry!’.
Now, knowing my luck, chances are I would be one of these children, working my fingers off inside a Dickensian factory.
See, it’s all fine and dandy (what?) when I think about it while I’m sitting in my living room, playing Assassin’s Creed, sipping my soda and enjoying the (admittedly occasional, I’ll get back to this) central heating.
I think it’s a harmless form of escapism, this wishful thinking. When an aspect (or the whole thing) of my life sucks, it’s easy to imagine I’m somewhere else where I would thrive and life would be oh! so much easier and simpler.
Ha! Imagine being a woman back then. There was a book, Flatland, written by Edwin Abbot Abbot (seriously) in 1884. In this book the world, similar to ours, is occupied by 2D geometric figures. The narrator is a square named A Square, who has triangular servants (the butler is the biggest triangle and the footman are smaller) and sons who are smaller polygons. The shapes with the higher status are polygons (our hero is a square, his sons are smaller polygons etc). You’d expect women to be circles, or at least a rhombus, what with fertility and general roundness.
But no. Women are depicted as, wait for it, LINES. Yes.
Lines that actually wiggle their end around when they move (think of swinging crinolines and whatnot). Fucking lines.
I’m not saying that the book is bad, I haven’t read it (although it’s currently burning a hole in my Amazon basket). All I’m saying is that, considering Flatland is a metaphor for that time, it would have sucked if I lived back then.
And don’t get me started on hygiene.
Escapism works with job aspirations as well. Another daydream of mine is that one day I will own a flower shop, or a small repurposed furniture shop (hipsters around the world are throwing up right now – are there any left anyways?). In this shop I will have a beefy assistant to swoon at while I ask him to do the heavy lifting. Needless to say, I have zero knowledge, practical or theoretical, on how to repurpose furniture, apart from throwing a coat of paint on ‘em. Oh, and while we’re at it, in this daydream I am also wearing high heels without being in excruciating pain all day.
Of course, it’s easy to escape.