I have, for my entire life.
- Remember Victoria magazines? I was obsessed. (SIDENOTE: Was there a mania for all things Victorian in the mid-90s? Was it just me? Can anyone confirm?)
- Growing up, our family would occasionally skip the evening church service on Sundays and watch Road to Avonlea and eat tuna melts on English muffins in the family room. One of my fondest memories.
- When I was 12, I wrote a letter to myself to open when I got engaged, and the letter contained “wedding ideas.” One of the ideas was to have an old-fashioned “Victorian” wedding. The 12-year-old me would be very pleased to know that I did!
- Some of my favourite movies growing up were Little Women and Ever After. They still are, actually. My first head-over-heels celebrity crush was Christian Bale as Laurie.
- When I was in eighth grade, I read both Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre and I’ve never recovered. They remain two of my all-time favourite novels.
- The Encarta Encyclopedia CD-ROM introduced me to David Bowie, Grandmaster Flash, and Creedance Clearwater Revival.
- In grade four, our teacher showed us Fiddler on the Roof. My friend and I would put handkerchiefs on our head and pretend to be poor and Jewish and Russian circa 1905.
- In seventh grade, our music teacher introduced us to Les Miserables. I wanted to be Eponine (even though she dies) and I wanted to marry a fiery revolutionary like Enjolras (in my fantasy, they both lived).
- In ninth grade, I got really obsessed with disco music, for some reason, and big band swing. That developed into an obsession with classic rock, and I’ve never recovered from that either.
- I still believe that if you listen to Tommy with a candle burning, you’ll see your entire future.
- Downton Abbey. Enough said.
In one scene, Gil tries to explain to Adriana why he’s so fascinated with the 1920s and she just doesn’t get it. To her, it’s the norm. There’s nothing special about her decade. It would be like if someone from the future came and tried to tell us why 2014 is so amazing. She idolizes the 1890s Belle Epoque, and when the two time travel to the 1890s and meet Gauguin, Degas, etc., the famous men of that time believe the greatest decade was the Renaissance.
Gil eventually comes to the conclusion that everyone feels nostalgic about an era not their own and it’s better to accept the present for what it is rather than completely romanticize the past.My best friend and I made a similar discovery recently while discussing our favourite show and shared obsession, Downton Abbey. We were talking about how we yearned to live in the 1900s-early 1920s … but with one caveat: we would have to be fabulously rich, like the Crawley’s. And we wouldn’t have been, realistically. She would’ve been in service in England and I would’ve been a farmer’s wife in northern Holland. No ball gowns and lady’s maids for us!
So yeah, I’ll still romanticize the past for its fashion, music, and manners, but then I’ll remind myself how much I love modern medicine, being able to vote, and having a career!