Experiment: Quiz Night

During those formative preteen years, I'd stay up late and sneak my oldest sister's YM and Teen magazines into my room and (after reading every line of copy in the whole publication) would get excited upon reaching the interactive portion - the quizzes.

You know the kind - "Does He Secretly Like You?" "What's Your Summer Style?" "Does He Secretly Like Your Friend?" and "Does He Secretly Want to Hold Your Hand and Listen to Your New Collective Soul Album With You?"

The answer, it turned out, was a disheartening "no" most of the time.  It also taught me that if boys had one defining characteristic, it was that they were unquestionably secretive. And thus they remained so. The prophetic voice of YM magazine (unbelievably, no longer in print).

These tween-tailored questionnaires didn't exactly disappear. Rather they became more sophisticated, banking on the fact that all humans are A) interested in themselves, and B) have too much free time.

Fulfilling my self-interested-American duties, I was compelled to continue taking them as they evolved.

Color Code Test née Hartman Personality Profile (Yellow).

Meyers Briggs (INTP).

Proust Questionnaire (Various, unsurprising).

These were grown-up versions of the old Teen and YM 3-answer quizzes. Slightly more open-ended, requiring slightly more pondering. Still solipsistic. Still kind of a waste of time, even though endorsed by Proust. Yet, somehow, quizzically irresistible. Like a giant piece of flourless chocolate cake just sitting there.

Cut to.

Weekend date. Killer work week. 8pm Friday. Husband and I both too exhausted to be social, or to do anything besides lay around and try to think of something to eat. Nothing sounds good. Not even Nicolitalia. Too creatively drained to think of something fun to do. Oddly, bowling sounds attractive, though the energy can't be mustered. Mustard. Hot Dogs?

Stroke of genius. I pull out my laptop and head to Seventeen.com.

"QUIZ TIME!" I say, for the first time in my adult life.

Jared is skeptical, but trusting. Tolerant, more likely.

We're in luck - the quizzes are the same superficial junk they were 15 years ago. We take turns quizzing each other.

Who Is Your Celebrity Boyfriend? (Corbin Bleu. Maybe they meant Cordon Bleu?)

What's The Perfect Trend For Your Body? (Channel Your Flirty Fashion Sense With a Bold Scoop Tank!)

Could You Date Justin Bieber? (Yes. A girly girl to the core, the perfect date for you and J.B. would be something that allows you to spend serious quality time together (slow dancing, anyone?)

Addicting. It's like they're almost more fun to take now than they were at age 11. And let's be clear - of COURSE I could date Justin Bieber. He would be so lucky.

We went foraging for more. We came across the best/most ridiculous quiz site in the world. "Best" if you're 12, a terrible speller, and into Twilight, Jo-Bros, or Anime, and "most ridiculous" if you're a 27-year old married couple who's usually watches Woody Allen movies for fun.

There were so many to pick from:

How Will You Die? (Water. One day when ur [sic] 40 you develop a deadly allergie [sic] to water and after having a drink ur [sic] throught [sic] closes up n u [sic] die)

How Many 5th Graders Could You Take in a Fight? (100)

Penguins From the 1920s?

What Will Your Husband's Name Begin With? (S.)

The Grand Fat Quiz - What Level of Fat Are You? (*Average. Fair.)

Who is Your Perfect Anime Boyfriend?  (Yumichika Ayasegeuwa "Bleach." If you say so, internets.) 

and finally

What Do You Want For Dinner? (Enchiladas. Right on!) 

Thank you, Seventeen magazine online, for offering unintentionally amusing quizzes. Thank you, Quiz Night, for being way more weird and hilarious than most other activities.

And most importantly, thank you for helping an exhausted married couple figure out dinner.

*An Average Fatty
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Experiment: Zumba

Of the few trends I've fallen prey to (pagers, myspace, pixie hair), Zumba has definitely been the most unexpected. I know it's not by any means a new trend, but I'd never even heard of it before a few months ago when my Beehive girls expressed interest in doing it for a class activity. I just thought it was something weird 13-year-olds were up to. Like tamagotchis or something.

Outside of soccer, I'm not an "aerobics class" kind of gal. I like my exercise like I like my charming Star Wars smugglers. Solo.

So what inspired me to Zumba? (That can be used as a verb, right?) Who knows. Cabin fever? More likely because it was one of the classes offered through my mini-gym membership.

Maybe if you're here you already know about it or have tried it. Maybe you watch So You Think You Can Dance. But I'm guessing many of you don't know anything about it. And you really should know.

I want to tell you about it, really I do. I want to write a long DFW-inspired essay all about the hip-shakin, booty-makin craze that's sweeping mountain America. How weird and comfortable it is.

But the thing is, I'm too tired. Zumba is exhausting. It's taken the skip out of my step, while putting it back in.

Instead, I exhort you to read Alison's entertaining post. I've had a similarly strange and wonderful experience as my copywriter friend. I sort of fell in love.

Maybe it's because I was obsessed with Latin America for a few years in college. Maybe it's because I grew up in the most dance-party-friendly social circle in the Midwest. Maybe it's because I speak in made-up Spanish to myself at times.

More likely though it's because Zumba, though new news, is actually old news. Turns out, what the world calls "zumba" I call just a regular ol'late-night kitchen dance. I've been doing it for years.
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