Much of my day is spent imagining how my life would be better if I were born in a different time period. I’ve said before that I would’ve been a hot piece of ass in Jane Austen times (the Regency Period?). I’m also fairly confident that I could’ve done really well as an Antebellum Southern belle (though I know I would’ve complained a lot about almost everything: heat, corset’s, farm smells, etc.). When I was in high school I was convinced I should’ve been a teenager in the late 60’s (presumably so I could smell like patchouli, listen to Led Zeppelin and smoke weed all the time without judgment…because those were my teenage ambitions). Lately I’m into picturing how sweet life would be if I were an actress in the 30’s or 40’s.
If I were a movie starlet in the 30’s or 40’s and had a studio contract somewhere solid (I'm talking MGM or Warner's...none of that risky RKO bullshit), I would have it made in the shade. I’d get paid every week whether I worked or not, I could take the trolley all over LA (yes, LA had decent mass transit once upon a time and long, long ago when it didn’t matter because only 50 people lived here anyway), and I’d get to wear hats all the time.
I love the idea that I would never feel bad about not having a tan (or being capable of getting a tan) and I’d get to wear exclusively high waisted clothes, covering both my gut and my butt crack at all times (and here I'd like to add a quick "screw you" to modern pants). I would have my hair marcelled, so I wouldn’t have to worry about finding new and inventive ways to style it all the time (my present lack of hairstyling skills has led me to rock a ponytail nearly every day for the last 4 years), and "exercise" would consist of massages and steam baths. Sounds good to me. And I don’t think anyone would care too much about the junk in my trunk, because it would be a lot more socially acceptable (and a lot easier to hide).
|My headshot from the 30's. Fake eyelashes and painted-on lips.|
As a star of the silver screen, I would frequently get to call people “wise guys” and kiss my costars really hard (notice how they kissed really hard in those movies?). If I were lucky enough to be in a film noir-type movie, I would talk really fast and keep an tiny, elegant lady pistol in my clutch and frequently break into tears and throw myself on a chaise longue.** I would be good at that, too, because I often break into tears and throw myself on my couch or bed in my current life, so it’s basically the same thing, but I’d be getting paid.
I would probably have to marry every dude I dated, but that’d be okay, too, because most of the guys I would be dating would be other movie stars and very handsome and rich (though most likely a fair number of them would be closeted homosexuals, but I’m also okay with that). It would be fine if I wanted to drink and smoke all day long because everybody else would be doing it and I would want to fit in. And I’d probably be good at dancing in nightclubs like The Trocadero and The Mocambo because I’d be there every night with one of my (potentially gay) husbands. (I’m not good at the current dancing styles because they don’t seem to have any rules. If there were some rules, or if everyone danced like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, I’d be really into it. I’m just not very good at gyrating my crotchal*** area, and furthermore it makes me uncomfortable. And it looks somehow less elegant than the styles of the 40’s.)
There would be drawbacks (aren’t there always?). I would probably have to sleep with Louis B. Mayer once or twice a year to keep my job and I would find ways to complain about the pictures the studio was casting me in and I would probably have to tell outrageous lies about my personal life. But I’d be okay with all of that because I’d probably win an Oscar because my acting would be so outlandishly over-the-top that everyone would think I was a crazy genius and I think they sort of handed them out to everyone back then. And I’d also have tried really hard to be BFFs with Bette Davis and she’d probably be always trying to kill me because my acting career was threatening to her.
And then I’d die at 42 from lung cancer or drowning mysteriously in a hotel pool.
But I’d be a legend.
And that’s all for the moment because (sadly) I have to go back to living in the now (it's bed time).
*The quote is from one of the best movies of the 30's: The Thin Man (W.S. "One Take Woody" Van Dyke, 1934).
**Just found out this year that the term for this furniture item was chaise longue and not chaise lounge. I mean, that makes sense. It means "long chair." But I always thought they were trying to say it was a chair you could really lounge on. But this is further proof that I am at least a tiny bit dyslexic. Maybe I can blame some of my problems on this?
***Crotchal = not a word, but used in this context to denote the crotch region of the human anatomy.