02-26-2013   Leave a comment

Last week I casually mentioned my fascination with Victorian women and some of the responses I received were interesting to say the least.  Still, the more I read the more interested I became in that time period.  That resulted in further research to satisfy my  strange yet engaging Victorian fixation.  I realize that I’m taking a real risk in ruining a life long sexual fantasy but what’s life without a little risk.

As I’ve always been told by friends and family alike, "be careful what you ask for".  My research into the Victorian age revealed some of the downsides of the era.  The social intercourse of the time had many strict rules for behavior including rules for just visiting someone. Here’s a quote from a Victoria Domestic Manual explaining the rules of "calling on someone".

"Those who mix in society are in the habit of reminding one another of their existence, either by personally calling on each other during certain hours, or by merely leaving their cards at the door."

Those visits were normally made by single women and idle men between the hours of  1-5 pm  in the city or between 12-4 pm at the country house. A call was to last no more than fifteen minutes and was made twice a year and on certain special occasions.

1. After the birth of a baby – either in person or by a servant
2. On the marriage of a daughter – usually the day after the wedding
3. After a death – no calls were made until the lady of the house had sent round her cards "to return thanks for the inquiries" made during the time of
mourning.
4. Prior to a long absence  from home – ladies then called on their friends
When a lady making a call is married and her husband is too busy to call, she may leave his card for the master of the house.

In leaving cards for a married couple, a lady is to leave one card and the man should leave two.

Formal calls on certain special occasions should be returned within a few days. If not a formal apology is required and expected.

Refreshments are not required in town visits but in the country they should be made available if a caller comes a long distance.

Could you imagine having these sorts of rules in place now.  All of our younger generations would be required to drop a card when they visited anyone.  I can only imagine what those cards might look like.  It would break out into individual groups like everything else seems to do.   You would have Hip-Hop cards, Nerd cards, Artist cards, Sports Cards, and Designer Cards for every occasion.  The look of the card would become another peer pressure item with competition making their costs skyrocket.  Plain old black and white print would no longer be cool but gold embossed print with an accompanying  graphic or photo would the next step.  It would be the next new old thing for the 21st century.  What will come after that? A return to bell bottoms, mullets, or my all time favorite, girdles. 

People need to realize that something stupid a hundred years ago is still stupid today.  I hope we haven’t just run out of new and original good ideas.  It’s too depressing to ponder, so I won’t.

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