Thursday, February 02, 2006

Time Travel Reality

Thanks for the well wishes regarding the ankle. It's 100% better today. Oh, the miracle of Advil. I don't know how the world ever turned around without it.

Which always makes me wonder how people used to deal with pain back in the days before stuff like Tylenol and Advil and aspirin. I used to think about it a lot when I was a teenager experiencing cramps. I always wondered how the girls of the past handled their pain when they couldn't pop a Motrin. It must have been miserable.

Which then leads me to think about so many things that were different way back then. Things that historicals either gloss over or don't even mention because they sure aren't glamorous or romantic. Like going to the bathroom in what amounts to a glorified pit toilet. Those things are downright nasty. I suppose if you didn't know any differently, it wouldn't be a big deal to you.

Which leads to my problem with time travel romance. I love the idea of a modern day heroine having the chance to go back when men were manly, buffed specimens of untamed testosterone, where chivalry was actually practiced, and the clothes were just made for romance (chemises, anyone?). The concept is pure fantasy.

But I can never get over the humongous culture shock such a heroine would experience.

Like, what's a girl to do the first time she needs to shave her legs or armpits? No Daisy Disposable Razors at hand to tackle the job. Does she just accept her hairiness and assume the hero finds her sexy all the same?

What about bathing? I take a shower daily. If I was told I could have a lukewarm bath only once a week, I'd not be too happy. My shower wakes me up in the morning, but more importantly it washes away any funk I might have been sporting. Even if I can't smell it, I just don't feel clean until I've showered. We won't go into the fact that a lack of commercial deoderant would only add to the problem.

I wonder about the bugs that used to be so prolific in the past. Things like lice and bedbugs. Yuck! And not to imply that people in the past weren't clean, but without modern pesticides and cleaning products, I imagine they fought a losing battle against the tiny vermin. I'd have a darn hard time getting all sexy in a bed I was afraid to even get into for fear of bedbugs.

And these things are just the tip of the iceberg. What would I do without bookstores and libraries? Television and radios to entertain me. Modern sanitary supplies. Shampoo, and a washing machine and dryer? Lack of flush toilets? Charmin toilet paper, even.

How would I handle the food, which I always imagine to be bland and colorless or too-highly spiced in order to hide the taste of spoilage. The idea of eating meat back then gives me the willies.

Or, gasp, what would I do without my laptop? Can't even contemplate...

Really, the idea of time travel is cool. But given the choice, I don't know that I'd partake unless I was guaranteed 1000 and 10% that it was only temporary. That I'd get to come back home. Soon.

Because I'm a big, fat baby. When I'm a hurtin', I want my Advil.


Amra Pajalic said...

I so agree with you about time travel romance novels. Great in theory but so wouldn't want to experience it in real life. My main issue is lack of toothpaste and the fact that not many people would have had their teeth. We are so lucky to be born in the time that we are and I don't need a comparison to know this.

Lynn M said...

Oh, yeah, I forgot about toothpaste! And lack of modern dentistry.

Really, every time I'm reading an historical and the hero or heroine smiles with their big, wide, shiny straight teeth, I know I'm reading fiction. But imagining the reality is so totally gross. Imagine kissing a hero who hasn't ever used toothpaste? Ugh!

Again, I guess it's a matter of what you're used to.