Those of us fortunate to be children in the sixties saw a lot of changes happen on our watch. I still remember the first day girls were allowed to wear trousers to school. I, of course, remained clad in a dress but eagerly watched out of the school bus window as we pulled up that inaugural morning to see which of us was to be the first one to boldly step across the sartorial threshold. There stood Kathryn, the only girl in a pair of trousers, looking both proudly rebellious and extraordinary comfortable as she maintained her status as class iconoclast with enormous dignity and flair. Times had changed.
We saw a man walk on the moon. Well, I fell asleep on the sofa before those first historic steps, but “collectively” we saw a man walk on the moon. We’ve watched as computers took over the world, ever shrinking in physical size even as their domination of the culture grew. There are no record stores anymore. No more waiting for our holiday photos to be developed. No more running from store to store: we can order everything, from underwear to Bartlett Pears, online.
All this technology makes our lives easier, right? A to do list can be knocked out in short order, right? So what do I do with this amazing gift of additional hours afforded me by electronic progress? I waste time on the internet. Great grey masses of minutes - enormous, air-filled hours. I fall down the rabbit hole at Pinterest and get hopelessly lost in a world of dreamy pictures, knitting patterns, and recipes. Or I wander over to Twitter and find articles I’ve missed, following the links to read them all. There are the new photos of Prince George to see and new videos to watch. (I’m still in love with this one.) I check the weather in Lerwick; discover a funny picture of Prince Charles.
And then, Lord help me, I find the quizzes.
Now I’m not thrilled to admit this, but I’m a total sucker for quizzes and questionnaires. The Proust one is my favourite part of every Vanity Fair magazine. I answer each question and compare my answers with everyone from Maureen O’Hara to Tom Jones. I mean, how great is it that Catherine Denueve answered the question, “What do you dislike most about your appearance” by saying, “My left ear”?
Unfortunately for me, there is an alarming number of these little time thieves scuttling across my screen these days. Purely for fun and hardly scientific, they are hard to resist all the same. I blame Downton Abbey. “Which Downton Abbey character are you?” That was the first one I saw and of course, I just had to participate. Actually, there were several of these little tests on Downton Abbey and I took every one, finding out at the close of each that I was, indeed, the Dowager Countess. No lovely Lady Mary, no stalwart Mrs. Hughes. No, I was the Countess, always the Countess.
I spoke to several friends who all said, “Oh, yeah. I can see that”.
This was so revealing that I began to take more and more of these little personality tests. So far I’ve learned that my spirit animal is an Owl and the colour of my aura is blue. I will, apparently, be reincarnated as a dove and my mental age is twenty-five. (Really??)
Which Shakespearean character am I? Ariel.
Which Wizard of Oz character am I? Glinda.
And though, with her long legs and impeccable style, I was hoping to get the Duchess of Cambridge when I took the “Which Member of the Royal Family Are You” quiz, I was instead informed that I am, in fact, The Queen.
I am now seriously afraid a pattern is emerging.
At this moment, I should be making coconut cupcakes for book club. I should be scheduling a couple of train trips and finishing Chapter Eight. There are linen shirts that need ironing and a shawl I am determined to finish knitting before a big journey in the fall. Some birthday presents to wrap. Dinner to plan. And finishing Chapter Eight!
I need to find out which Dr. Seuss character I am before I do anything else!
See? It is a funny picture!
(and oh, by the way, I am The Cat in the Hat!)