Born in the Wrong Era

Jaime Coyne

I often feel like I was born in the wrong era. Maybe the most depressing part of that statement is that so many other eras would do. I think back to the 70s, and yearn for that kind of social awareness and determination to make a difference and be heard. And how amazing would it be to be alive while the Beatles were together?!

I look back through time, and the increasing dependence on technology worries me. Remember when people had serious conversations over the phone, or even in person? When people spoke in full sentences, and didn’t abbreviate half the words they said? When people wrote long, thought-out letters, in which they spelled things correctly, not in AIM-speak?

I read about the past, and wish I lived in a simpler time. I value my education, but whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed, I can’t help but crave to go back in time to the colonial or pioneer era. To be held in high esteem merely for completing grade school, when today nearly everyone is expected to go to graduate school, spending half their lives in school and seriously delaying starting a life of their own, seems wonderful in comparison.

And I would like to start a family before I reach the age most women seem to be aiming for now, where both the mother and baby are put in jeopardy by the pregnancy. But before you even get that embryo, you need the guy, and I honestly question how possible that is to achieve in this day and age. I think back to when young ladies were courted vigilantly, to chivalry, to when both the boy and girl would be hesitant to give the other the slightest touch, to romance. I remember the propriety in Pride and Prejudice, the careful wooing over a long period of time in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie series, and even Eric’s nearly unfaltering devotion to Donna in That 70’s Show.

A few years ago, I read Brave New World, a book about a futuristic dystopia. I was a little shocked to read that, in this story, children used sexual play on a regular basis, and an adult who did not desire to be promiscuous, but instead to have a monogamous relationship, was looked at as a true oddity. But I now realize that, in more subtle ways, this is what our society has become. Teenagers and young adults are constantly engaging in random hookups, to the point where the phrase “one-night stand” seems a needless description.

How can anyone expect to ever settle down if relationships become obsolete? Are we to become a society of single mothers with unknown, bachelor fathers of their children?

If you have your eye on a certain someone, take a trip to another era and ask them out. You might be nervous, you might act a little awkward and you might just find out that they feel the same way. You may have never experienced this or forgotten, but dates can be truly enjoyable. If one isn’t, is that not a preferable way to find out that you aren’t interested in someone, instead of regretting a hookup the next day?

Until someone lends me a time machine, I’m stuck in the new millennium. I’ll be honest, I embrace this era in plenty of ways. I like having my iPod, cell phone, laptop, medical advances and ample music and television shows that didn’t exist before my lifetime. But there are certainly trends of the past that I wish would resurface like fashion styles often do. I’m a big supporter of the theory that progress can be overrated. Some things should never change.