Welcome to Beverly Hills
By Beverly Hills
Louisa May Alcott and Emily Bronte are two of my favorite authors. One thing they both have in common is that neither used their real name to write their novels. During their era, female authors had a tough time being themselves, as historically they had to use male names to conceal their gender in order to combat gender role stereotypes. So, just as my favorite authors, and as a new columnist for the paper, I too shall use a pen name.
My pseudonym is derived from my alter ego, Beverly Hills, which stems from an inside family joke. The fact is that I am stuck in a generation of technology and fast paced life, and whenever I feel overwhelmed I like to convert to my alter ego Miss Beverly and with my last name being Hills, it quite fits.
I am the frustrating girl who gets the copy machine at work jammed or cannot figure out how to transfer a phone call, so instead of pressing a button I have to stand up and walk down the hallway to relay a message on the phone (whatever happened to the party lines?). In fact, my coworkers have come up with the term “Time Capsule” to describe my away-from-modern-society home life where I do not even own a TV or a laptop. Instead, I love the finer and older things in life. It took me almost half a year to find my Smith-Corona 1957 typewriter (and yes, I was so frustrated to find that the office store no longer carries ribbons).
I enjoy walking around the McDonough Square finding trinkets or little odds and ends that reflect life from 1920 to 1950s. My favorite treasures are the older papers or magazines that display advertisements for “healthy” cigarettes or wonderful washing machines that will “save your marriage.” Yes, I am the quiet girl who loves to read about the avante-garde fashions of the roaring twenties or how milk glass was made (very dangerously, by the way). I am the girl who loves to learn about different eras and wars from the families I interact with at work. I enjoy speaking to elders and day dreaming of living during their times. I enjoy crocheting and needle point, and of course a good cup of hot peach tea all while sitting in my gossip chair. I have found that social media keeps us interconnected and yet creates the shallowest of friendships. I prefer snail mail and conversing with random people and going back to what works best, because if it is not broken, then don’t fix it.
After years of being part of the social media band-wagon, I realized after closing my accounts that those friends who messaged me every day or “liked” a photo no longer would keep in contact. Now, after over a year away from social media, I have found going back to the slower pace of life a little easier. It brings about a sense of calmness with not having what my dad calls an “electric leash” pulling at me all of the time. You won’t find many millennials without a social media website or not taking a selfie with their food at every meal, but I like to think of myself as different from my time era, just like the authors mentioned above.
Call me old fashioned or out of touch, but I prefer a slower and more connected sense of life. Perhaps look up every now and again from the cell phone while sitting across the dinner table when eating with your family (one day you won’t have that privilege anymore). Or perhaps don’t take a selfie everywhere you visit, and instead just take a mental screen shot and savor the moment. After all, who remembers their best days watching TV or playing video games at the end of their life? Enjoy life and let technology go a little sometimes. Yes, I did it, just turn the phone off. As a writer somewhat out of her era, I am Beverly Hills.
Beverly Hills is a graduate from Clayton State University with a BS in Law. She is a former paralegal now working within the funeral business. She enjoys writing and is currently seeking type-writer ribbons.