I Wish I Were British
On Sunday night, as I was watching the second season opener of Upstairs Downstairs, I began to have a miraculous moment of clarity. While I dissected the stylish dialogue, gazed upon the elegant satin gowns, and admired the outstanding archetypal set design, I realized I had a tenacious attachment to all things British. It’s no secret, my love for the English cinema, and consecutive television mini-series and half hour comedies. I’ve stated numerous times my devotion to such things. However, it wasn’t until that moment, I decided I was living the wrong life. I belonged amongst the hustle and bustle of London Town. I was supposed to be wearing the latest fashion, drinking tea at Harrods, and listening to Glen Miller on the gramophone. Yes, I was having a Midnight In Paris moment. After all, how many times had I watched the first thirty minutes of Atonement? Enjoyed the memorable mysteries of Gosford Park?
Countless evenings watching Masterpiece Theatre and my loyalty to British cinema had finally made me believe I was supposed to be living in the 1930’s. The perfected illusion of grace and grandeur has left its mark upon me. Nevermind how disastrous the time was, the fantasy was too hard to resist. The fictional narratives of unrequited love have made it so. The music. The classic couture. The always suited gentlemen. The accents! It’s all very appealing. That is . . . if life were an element of fiction.
I had come to my ultimate conclusion long before Gil had discovered his. These fictional lives we want so much to live are only of value if they stay fiction. We will always dream. We will always imagine another place, another time, no matter where we are. Life is not perfect. Even in fantasy, I’m sure Cinderella finds herself cleaning the bathroom every once in a while. We wouldn’t want our illusions fulfilled if they did not come with the all-inclusive happy ending. Would we?
I will always fantasize about a life I can’t have. I will always have one fictional boyfriend too many. That’s just how it works. Our fanciful desires may never be granted, but it doesn’t mean we can’t still dream. We need these illustrious daydreams to get us through reality. It might be a place, a time. A person, even. Everyone has a preferred destination to escape to. Mine just happens to be in 1930’s London.
By the way, I still wish I were British.
Have you ever had a Midnight In Paris moment? Are you addicted to British cinema and television? What’s your favorite Brit Drama? Favorite Brit Comedy? Have you watched Upstairs Downstairs? Are you in love with a fictional character? Tell me in the comments!