in another life

 I like to think I'm a bit of an old soul. I grew up watching TV Land on the weekends instead of cartoons. In high school, I drove around listening to Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald. In college I learned to swing dance. Most of my favorite movies were filmed before 1960 and include at least one tap dance scene. I'm a bit of a curmudgeon when it comes to technology and social media. I may be a child of the 90s (well, technically the 80s), but my heart is in another era. Sometimes it's the Pride & Prejudice area. Sometimes I'm a hippie in the 70s. Sometimes I'm Lady Mary and this is my Downton Abbey. It all depends on my mood, and probably what book I'm reading at the time.

If I could pick any other decade to have grown up in, I'm not sure what I would say. A part of me is obsessed with the whole roaring 20s scene--the flappers and strands of pearls and bobbed hair and the architecture. But it's hard to pick the 20s knowing The Great Depression is right around the corner.

But if I had a time machine in front of me and I had to push a decade, I always come back to the 1940s. That's where I belong, and I know it. It fits me like a glove. The dresses, the hair, the end of World War II (have I told you about my obsession with World War II? Because I have a big one), and most importantly, the jazz. I would've swing danced my way in and out of every club in the 1940s.

And how perfect would that be? I would've spent my younger days dancing in and out of the arms of boys home from the war to the sweet sound of Benny Goodman's clarinet. Eventually I would've married one of them and eased into the 1950s (my second favorite decade) as the June Cleaver I've always wanted to be.

I mean, it's fate. The poodle skirt has always been a big part of my life anyway.
1950s day at school in 2nd or 3rd grade. Just a Joanie looking for her Chachi.

Wearing the same skirt (hey elastic waistband!) 10 years later in my high school production of Grease

We would've had kids, Wally and the Beav, naturally, but unlike June I would've been the cool mom to take the youngins to see The Beatles. A little June with a dash of Betty Draper. But just a little. You never go full Betty Draper.

Either way, life in a pre-internet era would've been the life for me. I will take slower days full of gardens and cooking and books and record players over this information-overload generation any day.



    I honestly believe that in previous lives, 1950s Alissa and 1950s Michelle lived next door to each other, traded neighborhood gossip, and played cards together.


    So, 2013 Alissa and Michelle need to get their acts together.

    1. And old drunk neighbor Tiffany with her cheating husband right across the street. I love it.

  2. Oh lady, I am WITH you! That sounded so dreamy as I sat here reading it on my laptop in my office while my phone rang with demanding students and emails flooded my screen.

    Ah... bliss. And yeah... you can NEVER go fully Betty Draper. That's insane.

  3. I'm not like a normal mom. I'm a cool mom! :)

    I was going to say the 20's as well, but was hung up on the Depression right around the corner too!! that thing had to ruin all the fun.

  4. I too have an obsession with the 40/50's and we literally have the SAME argument when I am asked that question! You and your cute poodle skirt... preshhhhh

  5. No joke, we are twins in this way. I've ALWAYS had a huge fascination for the 1940's war era. I don't know what it is...but I can't get enough! I LOVE to swing dance too, and literally my most played station on pandora is Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald! (and I have a secret obsession with the Andrew Sisters...) Kev and I just finished watching the mini-series Band of Brothers as we are getting ready to go to northern France and the D-day beaches. I've read like every holocaust memoir there is too. Girl...we are meeting when I come to Ohio...it's a date, ok? I'll even bring my 1940's outfit that I wore to my mad men birthday party and you can wear your poodle skirt, and we'll play some swing music! hahaha! Love you!

  6. I would have loved to been a flapper girl! ....people just don't seem to find that style acceptable right now!

  7. I would definitely live in the Pride & Prejudice era.
    But only if Mr. Darcy was my love interest. ;D

  8. Poodle skirt LOVE...always wished when I was a teenager that that was a part of the style, so fun!!! I agree with you on life pre-internet...left so much to be discovered! :)

  9. I would definitely pick the 20s. The style, the architecture, the opulence. But I agree, knowing the depression is right around the corner makes it hard. I read a book once about three people during the 20s and what their lives were like before, during, and after the depression. I wish I remembered what it was called. It was great.

  10. I knew you would say this. GRAMS FOR LIFE. I hope you still have that poodle skirt.

  11. Dude, poodle skirts were THE THING to wear on dress-up day when I was in 5th grade. I never had one. I'm still scarred.

    Betty Draper sounds like a hot mess.

  12. You really are made for the 40's. I could just see the perfect curls in your hair, and the simple elegance. YOU WOULD ROCK IT. And then I would move in next door, and we would spend our days gossiping and baking bread.

  13. the jazz! how exciting would it have been to hear that sound for the frist time.
    Did the show Dancing On The Edge make it to your neck of the woods? That was an awesome look at early jazz and it had Anthony Head in it.

  14. i couldn't find my picture of me in a poodle skirt :( I definitely agree that the 50's would have been fun to live thru...not so much the 40's for me and i have the same feeling about the 20's!!

  15. Oh man, that Betty Draper comment is my favourite. It's so true. You never go full Betty Draper.

    I don't think I would have done well in another era. I think I'm having a hard enough time in this one. There was too much war in the '40s for me, although I guess I wouldn't have minded being a stay at home Anna back then. I totally could have gotten away with it!

    Okay, sign me up for anything pre-women in the labour force norm.

  16. I went swing dancing earlier this week! And of course I love 40s and 50s fashion. I would wear 1940s pencil skirts alternating with 1950s full skirts with petticoats every day if it weren't for the fact that the kind of shoes you have to wear with dresses don't tend to be terribly comfortable. Oh for shoes that are pretty and comfy too....


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