I suspect I may have been born in the wrong era.
This is often said about people, but it is usually, for example, young people who dress in the style of the 1940’s or young men who are particularly chivalrous and gentlemanly. I suspect it is less common, however, for someone to think they should have been born in the Victorian era.
Now, I have seen my fair share of Jane Austen and other period dramas (although usually only because I can’t be bothered to change channels) so I know many of those Victorian women were delicate little flowers susceptible to palpitations and the vapours at the slightest provocation. These poor ladies would then have to be administered smelling salts and go lie down in a darkened room away from any source of conflict or unhappiness. Personally, I think a lot of their problems came from having their corsets laced too tightly – all those organs crushed into a tiny space wouldn’t allow much room for your heart to beat or to breathe normally, after all.
So, you wonder, where am I going with this? Why do I think I should have been a Victorian lady?
Well, I too suffer from palpitations. I get them if I combine strong coffee and chocolate. I get them if I am feeling anxious, for example in a confrontational situation (which I don’t like). I get them if my bath water is too hot. Heck, I get them if I lean over funny sometimes!
This alone would not lead me to feel I had missed my true time on this earth and I don’t think anyone who knows me would describe me as either a delicate flower or prone to the vapours (if they did, I would probably lamp them with the nearest running shoe).
I have always wanted to learn to play the piano; a skill shared by every self-respecting Victorian lady. Again, this alone is insufficient evidence of my being born at the wrong time.
I love to read, I enjoy sewing and other more genteel pastimes. Again, not conclusive proof.
But, and here’s the clincher, I now have a 23” waist.
This has occurred through my current running obsession and is a massive 7” less than it is used to be and, more interestingly, at the lower end of the 21” to 26” ideal goal waist measurement for Victorian ladies towards the end of the 19th century …. and they were achieving this with corsets! A young, fashionable woman in that time would be aiming for 16” to 20” with a corset, but I think I fall squarely into the mature lady bracket. In fact, at 37 years old, my life expectancy would only have been another 5.2 years according to the 1841 Census!
So there you have it. Irrefutable proof that I am actually a Victorian lady born 100 years or so too late.
Oh, and did I mention I can ride a horse too?