Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Monday, November 12, 2007

An Affair to Remember

I have to confess to an illicit love affair. The object of my desire is not a human being, for no mere man could inspire such profound devotion.

No...my love affair is with the past. Specifically, the fifties. Sometimes I want desperately to step back in time and become part of that elegant era.

It just seems as if it was an infinitely more civilized time though of course, intellectually, I know that we have made huge strides since then in terms of human rights, equal opportunity, and a multitude of other social issues.

I guess, realistically, the fifites of which I enamored is the one which has been portrayed by Hollywood, where the woman are all elegant and the men debonair.

Ohhhhhh, I want to be Deborah Kerr and I want to have a shipboard romance with Cary Grant. And I want to visit his Janu in Nice and inherit her beautiful lace mantilla.

The paralyzation thing I can do without.

So maybe, I will be Deborah Kerr as a prim young schoolmarm who falls in love with Yul Brynner and dances with him in a lush garden while wearing an immense gown of satin and lace.

SIGH.

Back then yhey wore white gloves and aprons; bowler hats and slender black ties. They said "good day" to one another and they addressed one another as Mr. and Mrs. or Sir and Madame. People beleived in courtesy and respect. They believed in ladies first and giving up their seat to the elderly. They went to church and they dressed for dinner.

Things from the fifties were built to last. It was not a mentality of disposability that era. From cars to furniture to evening gowns, all of it was meant to withstand the ravages of time.

How can I possibly feel nostalgiac for an era before I was even born? It seems silly, but I am.

I want to put on a day dress and do my housework in heels. I want to go to the market in white gloves and a pill box hat. I want my husband to look dapper in his grey serge suit and his sleek crew cut. I want him to mow the lawn in pleated pants. I want to get dressed up to go the movies. I want to bake cakes from scratch in a turquoise kitchen. I want to go for Sunday drives in a big gleaming car made of metal and chrome. I want to get my hair done every week and go to bed with Pond's cold cream on my face.

As daydreams go, it's fairly impractical. And I know that the fifties ideal of my daydreams was not a reality.

But still, it's a romance I'm powerless to put an end to. I cannot bring msyelf to break up with this bygone paramour.

So I collect 50's ephemera with a passion. I have hats and aprons and vanity items and cards and dresses and shoes and ordinary household items. I have books and china and christmas ornaments and tableware. I have bed linens, handkerchiefs and tablecloths.

I love them all and I actually use quite a few of them. When I do, I feel that I have a connection to this coveted past, this make believe used to be, this wish I was then.

Sometimes, life now strikes me as terribly tawdry. Dirty and cheap and poorly constructed. Our homes are built hastily out of laminate and particleboard. Our belongings are made of resin and plastic. They are not beautiful, there is no pride in their making. There is no mastery in the creation of these objects. They are utilitarian and cost effective. They are cheap and ugly.

And oh....the people we have become. People who go to the grocery store in sweat pants and tank tops with our bodies on display. People who are unkempt and unclean. I grow weary of seeing these indiffirent dispirited people day in and day out. I grow weary of the apathy that seems to afflict rich and poor alike.

Where has our pride gone? Why have we allowed our lives to be littered with cheap things from faraway lands that poison our children and ourselves? Why do we allow others to see us in public as our private selves? We don't need to show the world our uncombed hair and our sleep wrinkled faces. Why do we?

Maybe my love of the past really has to do with dissatisfaction with my present.

Maybe my perspective has changed, now that I am older, and I see all the faults where before there was only that special brand of youthful magic.

Maybe then, it is not the past that I love so much, but the ignorance of my youth that I miss so deeply. I want the world to seem perfect and elegant again.

I wonder if it ever will, or if it just grows uglier with the truth that each new day brings.

Yeah. Maudlin much B.A?

I need some high heels and a frilly apron, stat.

12 Comments:

  • At 5:16 PM, Blogger flutter said…

    I am so completely with you. I have a love affair with the 30's that doesn't even make sense. But I look back to eras past and the gentility that seems to have been, the pride of craftsmanship, the sense of etiquette and I miss that we don't have that now.

     
  • At 6:58 PM, Blogger Amy Y said…

    I am just trying to picture you in a hat and white gloves... or doing your housework in heels. :)

    I don't have an era that I'm nostalgic for... but I love going to antique stores and looking at treasures from the "olden days"... I think it's important to see where we've been and how we got to where we are today.

     
  • At 8:57 PM, Blogger bubandpie said…

    You know, I think one of the best times to be born must have been around 1935. The Depression wouldn't have much meaning to a kid - it would be all you've known, and mostly over by the time you got old enough to be aware of it. Same for the war - at age 10-15, you wouldn't be personally affected by it. You'd grow up just in time to enjoy the peace and prosperity, with a nice long curve of improving social conditions to last you through retirement.

     
  • At 9:06 PM, Blogger painted maypole said…

    there are things about the world you described to me that i long for, too, and yet I do cherish being able to don a pair of jeans and go hiking in the woods. I wish we could find a happier medium.

     
  • At 9:15 PM, Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said…

    Any time without Paris Hilton or Britney Spears in the 'real' news sounds pretty good to me.

     
  • At 9:53 PM, Blogger slouching mom said…

    Like flutter, I dream about the thirties and forties. But that is with a huge caveat. It's easy to romanticize that time, but it was really only wonderful for a fraction of the population -- those white, and rich, or at least solidly middle class.

     
  • At 11:33 PM, Blogger jen said…

    does a love affair with free love, the 60s and Dr. King count?

     
  • At 8:27 AM, Blogger Jenn said…

    The 20's for me.

    I would have been the best flapper girl ever.

    I just know it.

     
  • At 10:01 AM, Blogger URBAN PEDESTRIAN said…

    I'm right in there with you and the '50s. It was really the last decade before all hell broke loose. For women, though they ostensibly had less "freedom", they nevertheless had a solid and valuable place in society. They were expected to be good wives, mothers and homemakers. Women who didn't want that did have careers. Today women are expected to do everything - have a good education, a great career, earn a lot of money, take care of the kids, the house, be a good partner to their husband; look skinny and 25 forever. Men still have pretty much the same role they've always had. The '60s shook things up and they've never settled. It seems everything has been chaotic ever since.

    Women who choose to stay home with their children are a minority. They don't get the respect they're due for their decsion. They have a pretty lonely time of it. In the '50s they had all the other moms to have coffee with, run errands with, compare husbands/kids/households with. Its a sad world where the most important job you can have (raising your kids) is valued less than pretty much any other job a woman chooses to do.

     
  • At 12:10 PM, Blogger Sensitiva McFeelingsly said…

    I completely sympathize! I too, have a love affair with that era through my favorite TV show, "I Love Lucy." My husband makes so much fun of me because I can honestly sit and watch it all day long. I own all seasons on DVD and I have watched them front to back many many times.

    For me, it is definitely the simplicity of the time that appeals to me. It awakens a similar longing in me that directly relates to my wish for life pre-cell phone again (God, I hate that thing!)

    Keep up the great writing! Your blog is definitley one of my favorites!

     
  • At 12:54 PM, Blogger Natalie said…

    I can see the love for the idealized 50s vs the actual 50s. If we look at how the 50s is portrayed in the media it looks like a happier and simpler time. There are some days when that sounds nice to me.

    However, I am a 60s girl all the way and always have been. I like the unrest, the change, the liberation and the revolt against established practices. The music of the 60s speaks to me in a way even the music of my own generation can't. Just the idea that you were living on the cusp of something huge (albeit something that never fully worked) would be so incredibly exciting. The fact that so many people were actually able to unite and effect change is so beautiful. I fear it is something that may never happen again.

     
  • At 8:38 AM, Blogger the mad momma said…

    I am with you. While I love the unrest and the churn and the changes the 60s brought, I often rant on my blog abt a more genteel time. I think that is it. Nobody is genteel anymore. we're all crass. And I think the fact that we blog abt our private lives says more than anything else possibly could. sigh.

     

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