How a smart dead man makes me vow to get smarter
This post is a part of a collaborative project for the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, called happybirthdayshakespeare.com, where bloggers worldwide wish the Bard a Happy Birthday! and reflect on his impact on their lives. @ShakespeareBT // #happybirthdayshakespeare
Last year, I penned a post, How Shakespeare Made Me Feel Thin, about the time in elementary school when I was a lead role in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and its illogical, perhaps sad, long-lasting impact on me.
This year, with a mushy-brain leftover from curating Saturday’s Fear Experiment [750 people watching non-dancers dance and non-improvisers improv] and a weekend hosting Boyfriend’s parents, I found myself at a loss for a way to celebrate Sir William save for a Big Willie Fist-Pump. I also found myself woefully unable to conjure up facts about the man past surface, every eight-year old knows this trivia -
- Bald yet with long hair.
- The Globe Theater.
- Stratford-Upon-Avon birthplace.
- Star-crossed lovers.
- To be or not to be.
Other than that amateur-drivel, Shakespeare is like NAFTA, annuities, blanching, and the Louisiana Purchase. I don’t really know what you’re talking about, let alone have anything to contribute, and should know more. Thus when trying to think of a way to celebrate Romeo & Juliet’s creator, I had a How am I a thirty-three year old Boston College English/Sociology BA celebrating eight years of successful self-employment yet don’t have any prolific Shakespearean-knowledge moment. The kind of horrifying moment when you realize you can list Macie, Amber, Caitlyn, and Farrah as the original cast of Teen Mom but can only muster a fake-genuine nod of concern (or is it excitement?) when someone brings up Myanmar.
That got me thinking — what would I really want to know about William Shakespeare? What would remain in my brain, ready to be recalled at a stuffy gathering with sparkling water and mini-quiches to dazzle Mr. Potential Investor or Mrs. Potential Client?
Shakespearean Tidbits I’d Like to Know -
- What were Shakespeare’s pet peeves?
- What was his favorite meal?
- If he rode a bike, would it be an upright cruiser, a mountain bike, or a speed racer?
- Whom would he invite to an intimate dinner party?
- What dating services would he use? Is he more a Match.com, speed-dating, or get set-up kind of guy?
- What would be in his RSS feed?
- Who would be on his Pandora station?
- Would he too be diagnosed as ADD or needing to maintain a gluten-free diet?
- Would he find Twitter suffocating or liberating? Whom would he follow?
- Mac or PC? Cubs or Sox? Creamy or chunky? Taboo or Apples to Apples?
Because I would hate for you to read a post on a literary-genius without learning anything of substance, here are some facts for you to share at your next mini-quiche outing -
- Shakespeare’s dad was a glove-maker
- Shakespeare had three children, two of whom were twins. One of the twins died of unknown causes at age 11.
- He married an older-woman, at age 18 (she was 26, and three months pregnant). His wife’s name is the same as a modern-day actress. No, not Whoopi Goldberg. Anne Hathaway.
- He invented over 1700 new words and phrases in his lifetime, such as cold-blooded and skim milk