Saturday, February 6, 2010

I Could Have Danced All Night


I once had to to pick another time period to live in for a college application essay (many moons ago). I wrote that I would have liked to live during the Renaissance. I thought it would be interesting to see how art, music and philosophy changed during that time. I think I also thought it would impress the admissions people.

But now I’m not so sure if I’d want to live in the Renaissance. They still had the plague, women didn’t exactly have equal rights, and there was definitely no indoor plumbing. There was always the chance that you would be born a servant, and end up breaking your back cooking and cleaning for nobles. No fun.

So what time period would I like to live in? I think the 1920’s in America. Just think of it: Prohibition, speak easies, suffragettes, flappers, political upheaval, a crazy stock market, and great jazz. I would have liked to have a Lulu kind of haircut, drink gin and tonics and dance all night. And they had indoor plumbing. Most places, anyway.


Sure, women didn’t have a lot of career choices then, but writer was definitely one of them. I can picture myself writing my books in long hand, and then pounding them out on an old manual typewriter while juggling a long cigarette (I've never been a smoker, but I think it was required back then). I’m sure I’d miss my laptop, but I wouldn’t really know any better if I lived before they were invented.

I know the 1920’s had gangsters, all the post-traumatic stress from World War I, and the depression was coming soon to a town near you, but if I lived then I wouldn’t know that the fun was going to end. I would just bet that the good times would go on forever, and keep right on dancing.

8 comments:

Meredith Cole said...

I'm down in Birmingham AL today for Murder in the Magic City--so I'll pop back in later when I can to respond to comments.

I'm very excited to be officially a part of Criminal Minds!

Terry said...

Fun post. I like this. The roaring 20's appeal to me too. The whole wild abandon thing.

Sophie Littlefield said...

Ah me too...i think the 20s, here in SF, could have been amazing. And I'm with you on the smoking. I think I'm a born smoker who knows better. Seriously if they ever invent a cigarette that doesn't kill you - oh wow if they could invent one that's got vitamins and smells like Chanel - i would smoke morning noon and night! Have fun today, Meredith!

Meredith Cole said...

Thanks for stopping by Terry and Sophie! I'm having a terrific time (Murder in the Menu is tomorrow) and I'm missing the snow (an added plus).

Love your idea for a healthy cigarette, Sophie. They've rehabilitated chocolate, red wine and coffee (sort of)--so maybe they'll do the same for cigarettes someday.

Rebecca Cantrell said...

I'd pick the 1920s in Berlin, but only the late 20s and only if I had American dollars. :) It was a time of times, and a great time and place to be a woman, provided you had cash.

I think they make electronic cigarettes that are supposed to be healthy actually. But it's probably a gateway device and before you know it you're smoking Camels and sptting up a lung someplace.

Shane Gericke said...

And hey, if you drank enough flapper juice, you wouldn't worry about indoor plumbing :-) The Roaring 20s would have been a great time to be alive.

Shane Gericke said...

Meredith, let us know how Magic City goes. I've never been.

Kelli Stanley said...

Cool, Meredith!! :) What a time that must have been, and what freedom in comparison to the teens and all those bustles and high collars ...

And think of the impact of immigration during the period, and the Harlem Renaissance and Dada and surrealism, and ...

Well, gee. I think I'd go with you! ;)

xoxo