Tiger Woods, Eat Your Heart Out
The day after Christmas, I was well into my third plate of London holiday dinner fare, when someone at our table suggested that we go around the assembled group and reveal what person we'd each like to be reborn as.
Along with inadequate dentistry, the Brits have a penchant for philosophical discussions, most likely a throwback to the days before Sportscenter and Tivo, when English families actually had conversations during meals, while waiting for us Yanks to come up with something decent to watch on TV.
Should it turn out that reincarnation is actually possible, not just something cooked up by Shirley MacLaine when her career ended, I know I want to be prepared. Fortunately, I only had to give my answer two seconds' thought, since I have known for sometime I would rather be ANYONE other than a 66-year-old woman with new hips. In fact, I'd be willing to make the switch now, while I'm still alive, but you can't have everything.
Meanwhile, with my answer at the ready, I listened patiently to my ten dinner partners' lofty dreams of returning from the dead as people you could Google and find on Wikipedia.
It probably comes as no surprise that persons with power and fame were getting a major share of reincarnation votes. Prime minister, musical comedy star and professional athlete were mentioned at the outset. I zoned out as the list continued to climb with people who performed important or lifesaving jobs -- judges, doctors, scientists. Clearly, idealism, education, financial stability, historic relevance, and extraordinary skill sets were at at the heart of most selections.
And then it was my turn to share. Since I knew fairly quickly who I wanted to be in my postmortem comeback, I was dying to tell everyone by the time they finally got to me.
So, Mrs. Linklater, whom do you want to return as? [They use better grammar over there.]
Me? I'd like to come back as Gerard Butler's girlfriend. Whatever flavor he likes.
I was expecting a feminist backlash for my politically incorrect choice. Being someone's girlfriend is so 1950's, unless that someone were say, Rosie O'Donnell, and then the selection takes on a whole different dimension.
But, instead, people asked, "Who's Gerard Butler?" As if being his girlfriend would be okay, as long as he turned out to be famous and/or powerful. [What? You don't know who Gerard Butler is?] Once we sorted out that he was the famous abs in The 300 and the heart-throb of P.S. I Love You [not mentioning that in real life, he's a man-whore on a scale Tiger Woods can only dream of], the ladies understood. I got the feeling that if we made our selections over again, the females might have dumped their aspirational choices for someone who was good in bed, or at least, looked good in bed.
Which got me to wondering how people would answer, if the question were posed this way, "Who would you rather be -- a person who was rich, famous, and powerful, or that person's one true love?"
I'm thinking love wins. Happy New Year to you, too.