The good old days…

GRIN # 8

Do you know someone who was born in the wrong decade? You know,  maybe he or she loves Dean Martin movies or hippie hair or mullets? (Of course, some people are simply TRAPPED in a past decade but that’s another GRIN). I have a very good girlfriend who was born in the wrong century. My dear friend Shelley is fascinated with the Civil War period–the 1860s, that whole Gone with the Wind thing.

Myself and countless others have tried to talk her out of this to no avail. A while back, we went on a fantastic trip to Nashville, a girl’s weekend. As soon as the plane landed, my other girlfriend’s parents picked us up at the airport and we went straight to Lightning 100, a top Nashville radio station for which my friend’s brother, Dan Buckley (Lieutenant Dan) is a D.J. We got to record promos and see all kinds of cool stuff, and he landed us some great seats at a concert that weekend. It was awesome. Then it was time to leave. For some reason, the hallway of the historic and renovated building was not air-conditioned. In Nashville. In August. I was leading the way to the car when Shelley stopped.

“Oh, my God guys. Look! These beams were salvaged from an old railway station in 1888.”

“Uh, huh. Come on.” (That’s me).

“But, wait.” She spied another plaque. “Did you know this building used to be a textile factory in 1861? It supplied uniforms for the South during the Civil War.”

I sighed. Here we go.

“How can you not find this absolutely fascinating? It’s amazing.”

Not as amazing as a cold beer would be.

Finally, back in the car I tried again. Really. The good old days weren’t always good. Billy Joel said it himself in Keepin’ the Faith. And we all know Billy Joel is God. Or is that just me? Anyway, what about slavery? Not good. What about having to churn your own butter and hand-wash EVERYTHING? And then there were corsets, petticoats, crinolines and pantaloons. I’m hot just thinking about it. I haven’t worn pantyhose in seven years.

“But it was so romantic,” Shelley said. She always says this. “It was a different way of life. It gives me chills just thinking about it.”

“Have you thought about the fact that you’d probably already be dead if you were born back then?” I asked grumpily. The heat was getting to me. “Childbirth wasn’t a a walk in the park and you do have three. And, there were no TAMPONS!!! What did they do about that?”

She sighed dreamily: “But there were love letters and fortnights and horse-drawn carriages.”

Me: “And marriage at 14, no air-conditioning, no toilets and horse poop everywhere.”

She just sighed. And to be honest, that sigh kind of deflated me. Who was I to rain on her passion? A passion is a passion. Like a dream, it should be protected. If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me what my real job is, I wouldn’t need to write anymore. But I still would.

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7 Responses to “The good old days…”

  1. That was too funny! I just had a band on my show called The Civil Wars. I bet Shelly would think they’re great! LOL! j/k It is probably just because I know you and can hear you reading these words, but that really was hilarious. PS I am a lieutenant!

  2. My dad was a civil war buff and he was absolutely unbearable within 100 miles of an historic battlefield. Of course, now I drive my husband nuts with trivia about France and knitting (not usually related).

    • France and knitting, huh? See, everyone has a passion, hobby, interest that they just think is fascinating. Good for you for humoring your dad. It’s really hard if you’re not into that stuff. I’m going to try to be more open-minded.

  3. No, it’s not just you. Billy Joel is God.

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