When the main character from my novel, seventeen-year-old Abby, is thrust back in time, she must learn to conform to the exemplary (and to us, antiquated) rigid manners and customs of that time period - or be hidden away as a delinquent - away from the prying eyes of the people who live in the 19th century.
Her life in the 19th century is SO VERY different from her life in the 21st century, just like it would be for all of us.
Here's a short list of just HOW different, and what makes Abby an object of ridicule upon her arrival in 1867 -
She's wearing pants.
Her hair is styled in neither an updo, ringlets nor braids.
She raises her voice when she's upset, in an unladylike fashion - and OMFG! - she has been heard to curse.
She requests her needs directly, without so much as even the slightest appearance of delicacy, or demure forethought.
She lacks even the most basic knowledge of church hymns.
She doesn't smell like a flower, which is terribly disgraceful - most conspicuously during celebratory gatherings.
She sets her elbows on the table during dinner and clinks her spoon against her teacup during afternoon tea.
She plops her bottom when settling into a chair or settee, rather than the acceptable slow, well-bred recline.
It is an impossibility for her to deliver even the most simplest of graces before meals.
She remarks she is "okay" with walking outside alone - most appallingly, she is even "okay" walking alone when nightfall has arrived.
Her speech is littered with unacceptable conversation such as the distasteful, "okay".
She verbalizes first names without asking permission.
She has not the slightest ability regarding musical instruments, most surprisingly of course, the piano.
As improbable as it seems, she lacks the essential knowledge of how to properly mount a horse or step into a horse-drawn carriage.
***By the way, the word, "okay", according to Smithsonian.com, was invented over 150 years ago. At a time when abbreviations were all the rage, OK first appeared as an abbreviation for "Oll Korrect". And now you know.