I know I’m not the only one who thinks about all the other eras in time I would fit into better. Some of us voraciously read historical fiction yearning for customs and attitudes that belong to another age. Some people think they would just look better in drop waist shift dresses and want to go back to the 1920s. Whatever the reason, when we feel out of place it’s somehow comforting to think that a flaw in the time space continuum is to blame. That we were born too late (or too early?) for the slice of reality fate dropped us into.
In all the best ways I have felt like, having moved to England, I was granted the sparkling chance to experience the best parts of connecting with people based on a set of rules that are typically only found between cardboard covers. When you really think about going back to your ideal time you then have to face the vagaries of the whole picture. Things like the plumbing situation. Classist, racist, sexist, etcetera prejudices present wherever you saw yourself. And the likelihood of your early and untimely death due to war, disease, malnutrition, tooth decay, and/or childbirth (okay, you might not die of tooth decay, but gross). These do not make for pleasant books or films though. Or daydreams. Though Outlander is making a good stab at it. So, while I will never be presented for the season, or painted in oils, I get to break up with my boyfriend for not respecting my political ideals without anyone batting an eye.
Luckily our appetite for wondering “what if…” can be satisfied through our usual forms of escapism- glowing screens- while still maintaining our superpowers of pause and microwave popcorn. Woody Allen reminded us that this phenomenon is not new, and it isn’t old, it simply is human to think of yourself sometime else when you’re not where you want to be in Midnight in Paris. Sometimes its just a matter of a little rewind within your slice, which has been gloriously granted to us in 90’s flashback Hindsight, and Life on Mars. We are not going to get into all of the immortal scenarios because I feel like that comes from a different psychological place, and the beauty and drama that comes with being a person somewhen depends on our fragility, our time limit.
Everyone who has ever made plans with me has waited the requisite ten extra minutes that it takes me to arrive. It doesn’t matter how insignificant or important the plans – I will be late, but only a little. My best friends have learned that the best course of action is to lie to me. Approximate time is the only way you can hope to be blessed with my presence when you actually require it. So, in the interest of trying to be less misleading I have started to utilize what I have come to learn is the beautiful irreplacability of the suffix “ish”. If I’ve promised to be there at noon-“ish” then it’s just barely permissible that I walk in at 12:24. With the hope that I was at least offending people less, I started to explore the further possibilities of these three amazing letters. It actually becomes theoretically feasible to avoid taking responsibility for anything with liberal application of “ish”.
“I said I’d be there at 3-ish.” “Two hours away is close-ish.” “I swear I was wearing a condom-ish.”
If you’re someone who really can’t stand to be nailed down to your plans, or anyone else’s then I can’t think you’ve been very successful at avoiding it without some “ish”-ing. “Ish” is also of great use when trying to explain something you know very little about. Like wine, for instance.
“There’s definitely a woodsy-ish note below the full-bodied apricot-ish flavor.”
No one can argue with you. All you’ve really said is that it tastes like red wine with a fruity flavor. It’s made of grapes, and you can see that it’s red. You’re in good shape.
Your friend asks just how hot your Flamin’ Hot Cheetos really are. “Spicy-ish.” Suddenly you absolved yourself of the responsibility for the third degree burns to their tongue but you still get the enjoyment of watching them run about with their tongue hanging out of their face. Or manfully tearing up. Also funny.
It’s like when someone tells you you’re stylish. They don’t really mean it, obviously.
There is also massive potential to get yourself into trouble, so make sure to use “ish” moderately. The word “ish” and I are not responsible for any negative repercussions of your use of the word because I am only telling you how useful-ish it is.
Happy New Year (ish)!!!!! I’ve now addressed all time zones at once.