Soo, I was looking through the fat “fashion” magazines in the library the other day, trying to imagine myself in the spring and summer styles. Er, don’t try that at home, kids, you might get hurt. As it was I put the glossy tome back on the shelf and resumed my hunt for the elusive old-n-rare history book that the computer swore was still on the shelf. (Found it three shelves down, one over.) I’m coming to the conclusion that my entire life is out of fashion, not just my closet.
For whatever reason, probably because He needed to do something with a bunch of leftover parts, my physique is, well, kinda working-class Victorian. Broad shoulders, very large triceps and biceps, a narrower waist, and quads that make the body-builders go slack-jawed in admiration. Which stinks if you are trying to buy modern clothes. Officially I should wear a 6. My shoulders need at least a 10 and my arms can be up to a 14. OR I get leg-o-muffin sleeves. Straight skirts? Nope. Dirndl skirts or full 19th Century skirts? Perfect. And believe me, in winter? Those styles let you hide flannel petticoats and/or long-johns much better than does a modern women’s suit.
Likewise, my personal preferences for conduct lean closer to the 1890s American West than to the 2010s. I believe in helping neighbors if they need a hand, and in quiet charity to local organizations. I prefer modesty in dress and speech, more or less, and really don’t care to see people’s underwear no matter how lovely the pattern may be. If I open the gate, I’ll shut it. I believe in stewardship of resources but not in depriving someone of their livelihood or impoverishing people for the good of “nature.” I believe in meeting people’s eyes and trying to smile, to say “thank you” and sir and ma’am as appropriate. I believe in respect.
As I’ve written elsewhere, I’m fortunate to live in a place where people open doors and offer a hand. Word is still deed for many people out here, although we’re not saints by a long shot. The regional “elites” such as they are traditionally score social points though charity rather than big houses and trophy spouses, and it trickles down. Yes, there’s still trouble, crimes of passion and foolishness and greed, bank robberies and beatings, people who play stupid games and win stupid prizes, political divides and a few simmering family fights that go back almost a hundred years now. But the social contract remains pretty firm even so.
I’m sure it shows in my writing. My characters try to do the right thing, even though their standards and society may be a wee bit different from mine. They also take the consequences of their actions, with a few exceptions (who usually end up serving as horrible warnings). They also tend to be religious, or not, but have codes of morals either way. They discriminate based on action and creed rather than color, again within the bounds of their societies. (Let’s face it, Elizabeth von Sarmas has a very good reason for her allergic reaction to anyone who follows Selkow or who wears yellow in her presence.) My work is old-fashioned in that way. As for the steamy passion bits, well, sorry folks. My few attempts at NC-17 or X rated scenes were more laughable than titillating.
I think I’m stuck wearing clothes that cover everything, mostly, with manners and habits that belong in a different century. Maybe I should market myself as a “vintage author.” After all, vintage is kinda trendy again. 🙂