who are you being?


Fifteen years ago, I worked as a personal assistant in the home of a little girl named Nunny (don’t ask) who loved reruns of Full House. Every afternoon, Nunny would clamber up onto the cushy velvet couch while I tapped away nearby on her mother’s computer. “Who are you going to be today, Amy?” she’d ask. “Hmm, I’m not sure, who do you think I should be?” I’d hedge. “Well, I’m Michelle,” she’d say (she was always Michelle, which is who I suppose anyone would pick, if they got to go first). “Then I’ll be Uncle Jesse,” I’d respond.

“No,” she’d say, “you should be Kimmy,” and although I don’t think anyone would freely choose to be Kimmy, Nunny saw a resemblance between us I could not deny.

Still, I loved this curious idea that while watching a show, you could “be” one of the characters. It’s kind of a “Blue Skidoo, you can too,” kind of thing, and those of you in the know will know what I am talking about. And I’ve been waiting for six and a half years for one of my children to play this game. In fact, I’ve even asked, “Which toy are you going to be?” when putting Toy Story on for the seven hundredth time. “Are you Mr. Potato Head?” In return, blank stares. I thought maybe it was a girl thing.


Then, this morning, I put on a show for my boys I had never seen before–Bigfoot Presents: Meteor and the Mighty Monster Trucks. The title is less than promising, to say the least, so I did not have high hopes for the programming, but as soon as it came on, Cooper and Fergus went nuts.

“I’m Bigfoot!”
“I’m Meteor!”
“I’m the blue monster truck!”
“That IS Meteor!”
“No, I mean the other blue monster truck!”

and so on.

I have nothing to offer in terms of the larger significance of all this. I just think it’s really, really cute. And all too fleeting.

I don’t remember ever doing it at all, except that when I watched Say Anything, I was totally Ione Skye.