Home Writing Expertise Publications Domain Expertise Career History Education References Pricing Contact Me

Quizzes Iíd Like to Take

by Stephanie Sides

I think Iím just too old.

Hell, I know it.

But Iím not that old... Just mid-50s. If someone were to ask my age, Iíd tell. I would.

The fact is I just donít get this social networking stuff.

Well, the Scrabble game, maybe. Except that I keep losing to my high school friend across country. That gives me a lower rating than people who never play... What's that all about? No points for effort? Life is unfair. I already know that.

But whatís with the silly five favorite thises or thats -- or those inane quizzes? Who cares? Apparently many of my friends do. Some are seriously addicted. But theyíre mostly under 30.

So I think, maybe we should trust them, and I get drawn in. That quiz especially about I.Q. when I got every question right! I could only get the results by text message. And that gets expensive! It ended up costing me $57 last month! Just to impress my friends!

But then I realize thatís exactly it: It's a generational thing. Iím not of the instant-gratification generation. Iím not one of those young people who canít have a thought in her head without instantly communicating it to the entire universe through all possible electronic media, preferably simultaneously. (As if any of the recipients really cared. And donít even get me started on Twitter.)

Their emphasis is on I AM.

If I'm not among them that AM, then I must be of those that ARE NOT.

And then I wonder: If I AM NOT, what AM I AM?

But then I start to sound like Popeye, which dates me even more...

OK, so if Iím backed into a corner, letís play: What kinds of quizzes would MY generation want to see?

Here are some examples...

Song lyrics I never could make out but just mouthed what I thought were the words, hoping no one would notice... (Mercy on the Muzzy comes to mind...or was it Muzzy on the Mercy? Being a teenager was really hard.)

Five things I hated about Barbie but was too embarrassed to admit (besides the fact that, growing up, I was conditioned to hate dolls and love horses. Ours was a fairly traditional family-dysfunctional type of story.)

The various reasons Ė physical, psychological, and spiritual Ė why those ruby slippers wonít ever really fit... (The answer here will probably require a narrative.)

Five things I should love about the recession...starting with #1 Ė It starts with an R and not a D. (People younger than 30 will probably not care about this unless they've just been laid off, know someone else who has, or are just graduating from college with an engineering degree and can't find a job. Any kind of a job.)

The top ten people to blame for screwing up my life... (We all know what those family members are capable of.)

Five nasty things I want to say but have been trained not to. If I donít have something nice to say, I donít say it. But does it count if I type it?

What my name in Base 6 is...I remember having to learn this in 6th grade - was that a coincidence: Base 6 and 6th grade? - It sounds like a justification for torture. It was supposed to provide a explanation for Base 10. But we all figured out pennies, dimes, and dollars on our own way before then. When inflation took root, we gained an even greater understanding. So what was the point about teaching Base 6? Maybe it was a Michigan thing.

Tattoos Iíve decided not to have...

Which, in deference to my 15-year-old daughter, causes me to wonder about the best way to explain myself without using any vowels. (Though this one really bugs me because Iím convinced text messaging will be the end of civilized language as we know it; forget about the imminent demise of the newspaper and publishing industries; the demise of language is way more c-re-s.)

And, finally, who is my favorite gay, Chinese, Catholic, born-in-India, good-looking-in-a-thong, professional-basketball-player, TV-reality star...

OK, so this one I just made up. It sounds stupid, right? I realize it will take a bit more effort (it requires a scoring matrix, after all). But I'm up to the challenge. I know I can deliver. You just watch my Facebook page.

I mean really.