Another year has also passed, meaning my birthday is upon us. The good news is that you all can now legally elect me to be the President of the United States. Truth be told, though, I am not in much of a celebratory mood. I am feeling a bit high-maintenance these days, so drawing more attention to myself seems like a lot to ask. The news also seems to be riddled with untimely deaths, which is kind of another downer.
Nonetheless, it is always good to think about one’s life in relationship to others. At age 35, what were other people doing?
If I were Mary Richards at age thirty-five, my closest friends, Phyllis and Rhoda, would move away to start
If I were Elvis Presley, my final film, Change of Habit, would have been released last year. I would have costarred with Mary Tyler Moore in it.
If I were John F. Kennedy, I would currently be serving in the U.S. House of Representatives. This would be the year that I would meet Jacqueline Bouvier.
If I were Jesus at age thirty-five, I would have risen from the dead two years ago.
If I were Cher, this would be the year that I released a duet with Meatloaf. It would be another year before I starred in Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean on Broadway.
If I were Oscar Wilde, this would be the year that I published “The Portrait of Mr. W. H.,” my first writings about romantic love between men.
If I were James Dean, I would have been dead for eleven years.
If I were Montgomery Clift, I would smash my car into a telephone pole and disfigure my face this year.
If I were Pancho Villa at age thirty five, I would be serving as provisional governor of Chihuahua in the midst of the Mexican Revolution. It would be another two years before I decided to launch an attack on New Mexico.
If I were Harvey Milk, it would be another 12 years before I became the first openly gay elected official in a major U.S. city.
If I were Saint Anthony of Padua, this would be my last year to live.
If I were either of my parents, I would already have three children. The youngest would be seven years old.
If I were Martin Luther King, Jr., I would become the youngest person to win a Noble Peace Prize this year.
If I were Paul Lynde, I would be enjoying success on Broadway as the father in Bye Bye Birdie.
If I were Francisco Vázquez de Coronado, I would be bankrupt from my failed expedition into New Mexico and would have been forced out of my governorship of Nueva Galicia this past year. I would also be very bitter.
If I were Marilyn Monroe, this would be the last year of my life.
If I were Pearl Bailey, this would be the year that I took the role of Frankie in the musical Carmen Jones.
If I were Manuel Armijo, I would serve as mayor of Albuquerque while enjoying my wealth from sheep trading.
If I were Walt Whitman, I would be finishing the first edition of Leaves of Grass for publication next year.
If I were Queen Isabella I, I would take the town of Loja this year in my merciless campaign to conquer and control the Iberian peninsula.
If I were Captain Kirk, I would have been commanding the U.S.S. Enterprise for four years. Unless I was the Captain Kirk from the recent film, in which case I would have skipped over all the hard work of earning that rank ten years ago.
If I were Popé, it would be another ten years before Spain’s religious authorities would arrest me for practicing “sorcery.”
If I were Truman Capote, this would be the year that I learned of the grisly murders of the Clutter family.
If I were Gore Vidal, I would have spent this past year working on the sceenplay for Ben Hur.
If I were the scholar George I. Sánchez, I would have just published my best known work Forgotten People, which drew attention to the poverty and unfair conditions in New Mexico.
If I were Anne Bancroft, I would be cast as the "older woman" Mrs. Robinson in the film The Graduate this year.
If I were GayProf, I would have finished (more or less) the Never Ending Research Project of Doom.
If I were Reies López Tijerina, I would travel to Mexico and meet with former president Lázaro Cárdenas this year.
If I were Wonder Woman, I would age another 2,456 years before joining Patriarch’s world to fight crime.