I always say that if I had a super power granted to me by a genie, it would be time travel. Or if the genie came to me and granted me any wish, it would probably be related to visiting prior eras and places… with the assurance that I wouldn’t get smallpox or be burned as a witch or something. Guys, I don’t know why a genie would come to me with these gifts, but I have to be ready just in case. These kinds of thoughts lead me to consider other genie-related time travel scenarios I may be presented with, such as which past era I’d like to go back and live in. Obviously I would have a lot of questions for the genie before I signed anything, like can I pick a new city or am I stuck where I am, or can I change any of my characteristics to increase my chances of survival in The Past. Or would I still know the things I know from 2017, when I live in The Past.
When I start to think about different times and places in history where I’d potentially live, I strike out left and right, if I can’t change anything about myself. I’m what they call the weakest link. Or… much helped by modern conveniences. Basically I really think I would struggle in The Past.
1717, Colonial America. Let me set the ugly scene for you. I have terrible vision, and in 1717 Colonial America I am pretty sure I couldn’t get my hands on my beloved super-strength Acuvues. So I’d be insanely nearsighted and tripping constantly over wild animals, stumbling upon annoyed Native Americans, and wandering off into unruly wild terrain. Sure, if I had enough support from my friends and family I could be like that girl in The Village, sweet and loving and full of personality. Except that I would never look that cute, because in their pre-orthodontia state, my teeth were gnarly. Now, I know there were far more men than women around here back then, tending fields and whatnot, but I think my parents would have a hell of a time finding a guy willing to take on a blind girl with bad teeth and no access to Aveda hair products. Not that I’d ever make it that long. I’d sit quietly and safely in a corner of my parents’ cabin for a few years, and I wouldn’t be able to draw or learn to read or darn socks or do much of anything useful. Circumstances of Death: Wild boar carries me off into the woods at nine years of age. Family is amazed that I lived until nine and grateful that they don’t have to try to marry me off in a couple years.
1817, America. Uh…Yeah… Okay, not much has really changed since the last scenario. I would still probably die of blindness and boredom. But let’s give me some slightly better odds. If I could somehow procure some spectacles, which is unlikely, I might be able to dodge the wild boar and while away some years sitting quietly in that corner of my parents’ house reading The Bible for like the hundredth time because it would be the only book available to me. I could possibly find a mate, because a man may be slightly more likely to marry me and my teeth if I could see. Plus, I’d be a champ at knitting and sewing and stuff. But he’d be so disappointed to learn that I can’t cook for shit. I’d be burning his porridge constantly, and I’d live long enough to begin enjoying my depression and anxiety that no drugs would exist to fix. Circumstances of Death: Irritated and hungry husband invites wild boar over for burnt porridge. Wild boar carries me off into the woods. Family is astonished that I made it to age 19.
1867, Victorian London. Let’s leap ahead 50 more years, give me vast wealth, and try a complete change of scenery. Maybe I’d be born into money and a kind soul would procure for me a charming little looking glass so I could see my many books, my art supplies for my painting lessons, and my embroidery projects. What more would I need? Sure, my teeth would still be jacked up and I’d still be less-than-desirous as a marital prospect because of my “nervous condition,” but I feel like I could completely slay it in 1867, if I was a woman of means. I could become educated, stay indoors to avoid the diseases I’d otherwise catch for sure, judge everyone, and ultimately become a quirky spinster. No one would ever expect me to be athletic or cook anything. Circumstances of Death: Die of natural causes at the ripe old age of 53 after enjoying a life of relative peace and contentment. Never know the love of a man but know many fine cats. Family is relieved that I am finally dead.