Wednesday, February 9, 2011

An 85 Year Old Woman Trapped in a 22 Year Old Body

Sometimes, I complain about “kids these days.” You know, like an 85 year old grand ma reminiscing about the good-old times? And though I’m certainly not technologically inept like most elderly people, I often find myself shaking my head at the inundation of technological devices and websites provided to supposedly make our lives simpler. In short, I’ve always thought that I was better suited for another era. On one special occasion, my family even helped me forget the unfortunate timing of my birth by throwing me a Pride and Prejudice themed birthday party, complete with costumes and a Mr. Darcy.

More recently, I had the chance to be transported to a simpler time when I visited the National Portrait Gallery’s Norman Rockwell exhibit. His paintings took me back to an idyllic and magical world through his masterful portrayal of ordinary people and ordinary scenes. They depict a kind of America that evokes the phrase Garrison Keillor quotes at the end of his Prairie Home Companion show: “Lake Wobegone, where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.”

Walking through the exhibit I began to wonder what Norman Rockwell would choose to paint if he was alive today. What would be the simple moments that capture and encapsulate today’s society? I tried to imagine a painting with three little girls crowded around a computer with Facebook on the screen… charming, to be sure. Or maybe a girl and boy sitting across the room, texting one another secret messages like: “u buzy 2niteletz hang” or “my frend sayz u lyke me.” With these images swimming around in my head I began to feel even more convinced that not only would I be better off in Norman Rockwell’s America but maybe we all could stand to spend a few days in that charming and lovely world.

But I’m not so naïve to think that Rockwell’s America was all peaches and cream or that I would even make the switch if given the choice. But I am quite sure that despite all our virtual “progress” we’ve somehow managed to disregard the simple moments that make living so real. So in honor of Mr. Rockwell and in the absence of time travel, I’m doing away with the infamous and ubiquitous Facebook in hopes that my extra minutes and hours over the next two weeks will be spent away from the computer in more honest, ordinary, and intimate pursuits.


  1. Another worthy cause! Though I'll be sure to miss you on my own facebook newsfeed!

  2. Christo will be SO proud of you! I bet you'll find that FB is much easier to live without than chocolate ;)

  3. AMEN!!! Here's to reclaiming creativity, privacy, boosting productivity, and developing real social interactions. Cheers to you!!