I often daydream about different time periods I wish I were born. I’ve thought about the Shakespearean time, and while this fantasy often revolves around hanging around with Shakespeare himself, the thought of the raw sewage that plagued the streets in England and the rampant diseases along with the high death rate among mothers giving birth (as well as their infants) has always caused me to end this fantasy rather quickly. Plus, I assume Shakespeare smells rather terrible (as would I), which is such a turn off (not to mention the lack of dental care).
I also think it would be interesting to have lived during the Wild West days, when going west and staking a bit of property of mine own, really being a homesteader, seems almost heavenly. But then I remember reading the Little House on The Prairie series, and honestly, those homesteaders did a lot of work. I’m not so sure I’m cut out to work on a farm from day rise to sunset, regardless of the awesome bonnets they donned or the fresh eggs they ate. Milking a cow in the frozen morning is not how I like to start my day.
The roaring 20s sound fabulous as well, and I see myself wearing a gorgeous red flapper dress hanging out with those characters from the Great Gatsby. But this outfit would have probably labeled me as a slut and that’s a term I find unacceptable. Furthermore, I’m pretty bent on women’s rights, and considering we really didn’t have any, this fantasy too becomes disturbing to even continue.
Lately, after reading Patti Smith’s amazing memoir, Just Kids, I’ve been wishing I could time travel back to the Chelsea Hotel, New York, circa 1968-1973. What an amazing place to have been. The people I could have met! The parties I could have attended! Perhaps I could have even influenced the time period’s poetry, music, or art scene. Unfortunately, I’m not one to love the poor, artist’s struggle, and after reading about how desperately poor they all were and how Robert Mapplethorpe was struck, at one time, with infections and impacted wisdom teeth, the whole scene just seemed a little sick. Plus, I’m not a big fan of LSD or uppers or downers for that matter. Yeah, I wouldn’t fit in. It’s just not me.
Today, however, I thanked the heavens that I live in the time period of today. Today, I had a small headache in the morning, which I ignored. The headache worsened until during my last class I could barely keep my eyes open because the light was bothering me. I felt nauseous and even like I might pass out. My small headache had turned into a slight migraine. Fortunately, as I walked to my car, I passed the University market and stopped in to buy a $5 bottle of Motrin. I took 3 and by the time I got to Luke’s preschool, my head ache was virtually gone. It’s not entirely gone even now, but I’m functioning and feeling much better.
Now, getting a $5 bottle of Mortin would not have been possible in Shakespeare’s time, The Wild West, or even the Roaring 20’s. Sure, those time periods may have provided me with some sort of opiate, but I prefer to not get addicted to my pain killers (and correct me if I’m wrong, but Motrin is not addictive). Even in the 1960s and 1970s, in the fantasy I have of the Chelsea Hotel, I pretty much would have been out of luck, for while Motrin was invented, I would surely not have the money to buy it.
For this one little reason–a cheap bottle of Motrin that works wonderfully on terrible headaches–I’m thankful to be living in 2011.