Don’t mention the war

ice cream

There was a teeny bit of internet outrage a few weeks back over a question at the Miss Italy pageant. Apparently a contestant was asked in what year she would most liked to have lived and she said 1942. Her great-grandmother had told her stories of her time during the war and she thought it sounded interesting. Needless to say she was piled upon by the twitterati who told her she didn’t know what she was talking about.
No one doubts that WWII was a horrible time for most of the people involved. But you do hear stories of people, mostly on the home front which is where I assume this woman’s great-gran would have been, who had the time of their lives during WWII, and who found life quite boring and stifling once the war was over. Who is to gainsay this woman and say she didn’t enjoy her war experiences? And clearly she passed her interest and enthusiasm on to her great grand-daughter
To be fair, I doubt that there’s any time and place she could have chosen that wouldn’t have pissed someone off. There is literally no good answer to this question as by any measurable standard people, especially women, have never had it so good as we do now. Any period would involve a diminishment in lifestyle, and certainly in lifespan. My bestie is a huge Jane Austin fan and frequently waxes poetic about how great it would be to live back in Regency times. She is not an idiot. She knows that women were utterly at the mercy of the men in their lives and bartered like cattle, and even that limited world portrayed in the Jane Austin novels only applied to a certain class of society. But still she wants the unflattering dresses and competition for her very own Mr. Darcy. For myself, despite my consuming interest in the middle ages, there is no way you could induce me to live back then.

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