Sunday, May 10, 2009

Uh Oh - More Preaching from Ken!

I have found that my 21st century self is quite a bit different than my counter-self of the 19th century. But, I am beginning to see that my two worlds are beginning to mesh.
For example - - -
While "in" the 19th century, I call my friends by their surnames (i.e. Mrs. Cook, Mr. Morgan, Mrs. Schmidt, etc.), and, in following proper etiquette, I will try to address the unmarried young ladies as Miss Weakland (the eldest daughter in her family) or Miss Emily (the second eldest daughter of her family - her older sister, if she reenacted, would be Miss Veneri).
Here in the modern world, however, it's Jeanne, Steve, Jennifer, Ashley and Emily.
But, I must say, my wife and I find ourselves, while in the modern world, referring to our friends as 'Mrs. Cook' or 'Miss Emily' more and more.

In the 19th century, if...ahem... 'mother nature' calls, I may say (privately, of course) "I have to use the necessary." The term 'outhouse' was a more turn of the 20th century term and a bathroom as we know it today was non-existent.
But, in the 21st century I usually say something like, "I gotta hit the bathroom!"
However, I have found myself in the habit of saying 'necessary' while in this modern era and people seem to know what I mean.

In the 19th century, saying "Good Morning," "Good Afternoon," "Good Day," etc. when greeting others goes without saying, as the term "Hello" was rarely used as a greeting until after the invention of the telephone. And "Hi" is most definitely a turn of the 20th century invention.
Now, I find myself in the 21st century greeting folks in the same manner, although I usually say "Good Morning" no matter what time of day it is. Just because to me it's always morning.
Don't try to figure it out - it's just the way I am.

I have found that I have gotten out of the habit of swearing - I don't use foul language NEARLY as much as I used to, due, in no small part, to my reenacting the Civil War era. Of course, my 19th century counter-part never swears, even though cuss words were around. As a middle-class family man, it would have been far beneath me to use such language.
In the 21st century, it's a bad habit that, thankfully, I am breaking. I don't care how acceptable it is.

Modesty: I cannot believe the change I have made in myself about the clothing women wear today. Whereas I used to look at the ladies dressed skimpy as often as I could, I have found that after six years of reenacting - spending much time in the mid-19th century - my 21st century self does not like the lack of clothing the females tend to wear in our modern times. Walking around in public wearing bikini tops, short-shorts, and all tattooed up has become, believe it or not, a turn off for me. The young ladies (and the not so young ladies) look very sluttish in my eyes in the way they dress and carry themselves.
Am I prudish? I don't think so...

In the 19th century, men were men - women were women - no androgyny, that's for sure.

I personally enjoy seeing females dressed more like women - is that sexist? If it is, so be it. At least the sexes looked the part, if you can understand what I mean. Nothing 'turns me on' more (to use the 1960's slang) than seeing my wife dressed in her period clothing. She just looks so...feminine! And, my wife has told me repeatedly she prefers seeing me in my 19th century clothing as well.
People in general just looked so much better in the 1860's.
As for my style of dress in the 21st century, let's just say I look much better 19th century.
By the way, my daughter is not allowed to play with the whore-ish Bratz dolls. Even though they are just toys, I feel they add to today's problems.

There was a respect in the 19th century - and even through most of the 20th century - that is no longer prevalent. There was a ma'am and sir attitude that children do not have these days. Even in my own youth there was a true respect for others and their properties. This is only going back to the 1960's and 1970's.
What happened? Why is today's society so awful?
Well, I know what some may say to me, so let me answer before they make their predictable statement:
No, I don't necessarily mean that we should all live a 19th century life. But, many of the values of the 19th century are truly missing today. The "my values are not your values" attitude that reigns here in the 21st century is bringing our society down. Values are values. Morals are morals. Anyone that wants to argue that point is only fooling themselves. A strong statement, but, I'm sorry, it's true. I get sick and tired of today's ridiculous notion that we can all survive with differing values and morals. We can't - that has already been proven over the last 25 years. Our country, because of the "variety" of values and morals, is no longer united. It's dying, and I don't believe it's because of the financial crisis. I feel that unless we pull together and have a common respect, moral, and value system, it will die.
So who's values and morals do we follow? Well, I personally have always believed in tradition...
OK - I'm off my pedestal now.
Thanks for letting me air my feelings.



Rebecca said...

I totally agree with you Mr. Ken. I have also expressed this many times to my father and my little cusin, who wears the short shorts. Im not sure about the attitude of the youths, but I do know that through my research, every now and then the clothes become shorter, with less layers, and the fashions become risque. As far as 1755, when Marie Antoinette was reaching her death, she changed her style to a natural easy flowing, without the hoops and many petticoats, ect. The fashion finally reached the middle class around 1812. Then around 1830, big sleaves and petticoats were "added" on, which leads to the Victorian age, which the Civil War occured durring. The shifts in length of clothes, later was the Jazz Age (1920's). Women cut their hair, Skirts went higher than ever (literally), and they created flashy dance steps. Eventually the fashion becomes lengthy and decorous. I belive that we are up to a reaching point where womens fashion is to short to cut. I really hope that modesty will come back. thanks for addressing this situation.

Mrs. G said...

I agree with what you stated about gender roles, it's one part of the 1860's culture that should never have been thrown away. Why anyone would want a boyish daughter or a girly son is beyond me, vive' le differance'!