I’ve often wondered if perhaps I had been born in the wrong time – the wrong century. This begs the question, of course, when do I think I should have been born? That, my friend, is a sticky wicket, for there are several choices.
The Middle Ages, England
Well, sure. It’s just like a Renaissance festival, only with a bit more plague, right? Alas, no. Much worse, and given my distaste for camping, I’m willing to go out on a limb that I would find most accommodations incommodious, if you will. Not to mention the fact that given the odds (and total lack of royalty in my background), I would most likely be a peasant. The life of a peasant is not for me. Plus there’s all the persecution and witch-hunting. I probably wouldn’t know how to read and my future prospects would mostly depend on who the blacksmith’s son was.
Mid to late 19th century, London
Healthcare was a bit better – Louis Pasteur had developed the germ theory of disease, so less chance of dying there. Serfdom had been abolished almost everywhere (even in Russia by 1861!), so I wouldn’t live that wretched life. In fact, I might even be lucky enough to be born into a middle class family, so I might not have to work in a factory. Victorians prided themselves on their rational thinking, so I probably wouldn’t have to worry about accusations of witchcraft. Phew!
Except… no suffrage. And, frankly, I enjoy having the right to vote. I like being able to have some (some!) say in who makes decisions about my life. And there’s that pesky education thing again. It would be unlikely that I’d have a higher education. And middle class women were expected to remain in the home. In London?! How boring – what with all that London had (and has) to offer, shouldn’t I have the chance to explore? What do you mean it’s not safe? Jack the Ripper, Shmack the ripper. What, no? Stay in the house, huh?
Ok, so how about the 20th century? Well, if we’re making our way closer to the present, then why wouldn’t I want to live in a time period where I have access to technology, education, the right to vote, freedom of choice…
I kind of feel a bit like Donald Duck at the end of “Der Fuehrer’s Face.” (starting at about 7.16)
Oh, it’s good to be in the good old 21st century…
So, how about a time machine, then? I could certainly visit.