When I was a young and impressionable Rubi, I often contemplated the question “In which age should I really have been born?” While the Middle Ages were tempting (the headdresses! the Crusades!), their overall lack of hygiene eventually took them out of the running. That, and the whole burning-uppity-women-at-the-stake thing.

That's Amantine Aurore Lucile Dupin to you.

Instead, I settled on the Victorian age, drawn by the idea of being a really Eminent Victorian (Ha! English major joke!), and dressing like George Sand in her trouser-wearing phase most of the time.

As it turns out, I was right. How do I know? Because I’ve just diagnosed myself as a neurasthenic. And because the idea of a rest cure — six weeks or so in bed, being cossetted — as my treatment really, really appeals right now. Please note, however, that I’m not signing up for “having [my] will broken.” It’s more the idea of sleeping as much as I want to, being massaged, and eating lots of cheese that I’m keen on. No force-feeding required.

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