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, 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 –

  • Writer.
  • Englishman.
  • Bald yet with long hair.
  • The Globe Theater.
  • Stratford-Upon-Avon birthplace.
  • Sonnets.
  • Star-crossed lovers.
  • To be or not to be.
  • Poison.

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, 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