Thursday, April 30, 2009

I've Gotta Get Back in Time

Remember those people who kinda-sorta-maybe lived without some technology? If they want to go a little more hardcore, they could take a tip from these ladies.

Except these ladies scare me, too.

I love stuff from the 20s--50s. Movies, clothes, music, whatever. I wish fedoras would come back in style. I wish people dressed up to get on a plane. I wish I could do my hair like those chic ladies did. I wish I could see Audrey Hepburn or Cary Grant or Bing Crosby in a movie. Lots of fun cultural touchstones there.

But I also like having a college degree, being able to pursue the career of my choice, and having a partner who considers me an equal.

Women like Joanne Massey, Debbie Cleulow, Diane Rowlands might be taking things a bit too far. From their dress to their homes to their cars to their relationships with their husbands, everything is either 30s/40s/50s. It's like they're at a Renn Faire, except they forgot that when you hit the parking lot, you can drop the whole Rennaissance thing.

But it might be a defense mechanism, too. Massey says:

"I admit I am in retreat from the 21st century. When I look at the reality of the world today, with all the violence, greed and materialism, I shudder. I don't want to live in that world...I only recently realised that Tony Blair is no longer Prime Minister as I don't read newspapers - they are just too distressing."

I know life is tough today, but it was also tough in the 50s for a lot of people. (Hello, segregation.) Even though these women think that the 30s/40s/50s were a more pleasant time--and maybe they were--it's also a fantasy version of what these eras were actually like. Especially the 30s and 40s in England. Did they miss the whole Depression/WWII thing?

I think it's fun to take bits and pieces from these eras and apply them to contemporary living. For example, ettiquette really is lost today. So is appropriate dress. But that doesn't mean you have to retreat into an old-timey fantasy world to get at a sense of gentility. An iPod isn't going to mess with your view of the world.

Of course, that doesn't mean I would mind seeing what kind of cool home accessories and outfits these women have collected.