I have been a bookworm for as long as I can remember. I am pretty sure that in the womb, I was pressed against the placenta straining to see through the stomach wall and read along with my mother. Books have been my constant companions. Literally. I carried them with me from morning until night. Picture Amy Carter, but with big 80s hair and neon leggings.
Now, this led to some interesting, or perhaps odd, habits. Whenever I read a book, I become very involved with the characters, surroundings and plot. For instance, before I went to Paris (ooh, la la!) I read an abundance of books about France in WWII. And after each and every one, I thought, “Damn, Germans! I really hate those guys.” Now, let me say that I am just two generations removed from relatives in Germany. My grandfather fought in WWII on the side of the Americans, against cousins that still lived in the old country. I also love sauerkraut, hefeweizen beer, and have an odd fascination with lederhosen. So, there is no great hate in my “real life” for Germany, but because I was fictionally in France during WWII, I have an antipathy for Nazis. And, seriously, who can really say they like Nazis? Oh, yes. Those misunderstood rascals. Yeah, no one believes that.
I also try to imagine what I would do if I were in those fictional situations. For instance, if I were to be invited to Hogwarts, I would be sorted into Ravenclaw and would most likely have dated a Weasley. I have a thing for men who are both rebellious and funny. Or, if I were cast into the dystopian Divergent world, I would be an Erudite because I am not even remotely tough, I lack agrarian skills and the thought of thinking of others (other than my kids) is not inherent in my nature. Also, the bookworm thing seems to be a defining trait.
See? That is way too much thought put into something. Do normal people wonder how they would fit into Tudor culture? Or, do they imagine how they would look in Regency attire? No! And worst of all, I have passed this along to my children.
After watching Captain America, my son decided that he wanted to play war games where he took on the evil Germans. I tried to use it as a teaching tool and explain how his great-great-grandfather emigrated from Germany, that his great-grandfather fought in WWII, and that war is something that can scar a human being. I don’t think anything sunk in. I was like Charlie Brown’s teacher. “Wa, wah, wah. Germans. Wah, wa wa. War.” He kept this up for a week and then was sucked into the world of Percy Jackson. I imagine that soon enough he’ll want to go on a quest for the Golden Fleece or want to know who his real parents are. Since he looks like me, I’ll tell him that I am his mother and his father is Hermes (I love me some Nathan Fillion), just to mess with his head. I might as well make this fun.
Currently, I am reading Mindy Kaling’s novel, “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns).” I can only assume this means I will imagine what it’s like growing up as an Indian girl trying to break into comedy. It’s a good thing I like naan and gulab jamun. I’ll fit right in.