Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Victorian Era.

My daughter and I were recently invited to attend a Victorian Tea Party.   When I explained to her that  it meant we would get to wear frilly clothing and use the tea cups her grandmother had sent, her eyes widened to the size of the tea cup saucers.   Finding dress-up clothes at the thrift store is one of her favorite "sports", and she had a whole month to put our outfits together.

As I was helping her locate pictures of Victorian clothing, hats, shoes and hairstyles for ladies, I started wondering about a few things.   The most bothersome one being, "What if I really DID live in that era?"

Yeah.  I know.
I should have just had that second cup of coffee and left my fuzzy brain alone.

Instead, I continued to wistfully imagine myself as the Lady of the Manor.  Sipping tea and nibbling toast points.  Idly chatting with friends. Entertaining guests on the pianoforte in the someone to entertain my guests on the pianoforte in the salon. (There isn't enough coffee in the world to get my imagination to the point where I could be responsible for an evening's entertainment on an instrument...even the kazoo.)

Let's see.....what else.... oh, yes...the clothes....
Luxurious fabrics and flattering designs, sparkling jewelery, pointy shoes, lacy shawls...the works. 
Damsels in distress and dashing young men coming to the rescue, with happy endings for  one and all.
I realize that it sounds as if I read far too many British authors, or watch much too much BBC television, but the perceived romance of the period is very captivating.

Today was the day of that tea party.   My daughter and I spent the early afternoon putting the final touches on our outfits and completing our "toilets"  complete with curling iron and hairspray.  (obviously talked into this by my daughter...normally curling irons and my head are farther apart than our current political parties.)

We entered into our 21st century coach and four with visions of tea and crumpets and life in the 1800's dancing through our imaginations.   Then we were rudely hurtled back to the realities of life in 2012.   It seems the "horses" under the hood had died, and our coachman had taken the day off.
So I found myself at the crossroads of Lady of the Manor Avenue and Woman of 2012 Street.
As a Woman of 2012 I set the example for my daughter, popped the hood, grabbed a wrench and proceeded to make the diagnosis of dead battery.  Note the hair-do, shawl and jewelry still in place.

As Lady of the Manor, I promptly canceled the coachman's day of liberty..... called my own dashing hero, absconded with his smaller carriage and continued on to the society event only slightly past fashionably late.

Thankfully I am married to a man who indulges my flights of imagination into fictional worlds.  This Woman of 2012 is very thankful that he humored my inner High Society self, and fixed my carriage later in the afternoon.  Because while I didn't miss the class on car maintenance, and am very capable of changing a battery, it's not very often I get to play in the 1800's for the day.  :)

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