When I think of Elizabeth Taylor, I return to my grandparents’ house in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. I visited there when I was very young, and the furniture, the decor–everything now seems to me to represent that time of the 1950s and early 60s so epitomized by actresses such as Taylor.
It’s like what George Costanza on Seinfeld said about affairs, which to him brought to mind cocktails and William Holden. That time did seem like a more adult version of America, when writers like Cheever were probing beyond the suburban facades.
But it likely was no different than now, perhaps even worse, as young men and women struggled with the expectations that once in their twenties, they would assume the roles held by their parents. Today, we have more leeway in that regard.