I don’t know when I began to be suspicious.
Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig, the 23 year old 90 pound whirlwind with the mischievous grin, is suddenly ubiquitous. And I mean she is everywhere: scholarly journals, major magazines, obscure quarterlies, Facebook, Twitter. And when I say she is ‘on’ Facebook I mean that any time I write anything on her timeline, day or night, she instantly ‘likes’ it and usually comments.
I began trying to explain her, even as she dropped details about herself: five minute wedding during a daily Mass (breaking many nerdy hearts), Texan, Klan ancestry, epileptic, only received into the Catholic Church last spring. Oh, and studying for a doctorate. I told myself that she must sleep in only occasional five minute increments. That she must have a lightning fast mind and the metabolism of a tornado.
It was becoming increasingly difficult to believe that any human could do all this when Ms Stoker Bruenig overstepped: she asked readers to send her their street address so she could send them Christmas cards. And if this was not already too much, she then warned that she saw Christmas cards as an excuse to write letters.
‘Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig’ may or may not be the name of the cute fourteen year old with the impish grin who poses for the pictures. But whether she is or not there is no way in the universe that she can possibly do all that she does in any 24 hour period. And if I had typed that paragraph on my Facebook page ‘Ms Stoker Bruenig’ would have ‘liked’ it by the time you read this sentence.
I have a theory. Either Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig is real and also superhuman or she is real and has an ever-growing team of workers assigned to various tasks. Or maybe this is an elaborate hoax to see how gullible internet users are (‘can you believe they fell for handwritten Christmas letters? Idiots!’) Or perhaps ‘she’ is in fact some sort of highly sophisticated robot.
I know ‘Elizabeth’ will protest that she is indeed human. So I ask her: prove it. Let a team of people film you for 24 hours, never leaving your side.
Nothing else will convince me of your humanity, Miz Liz.