02/13/2013 10:46 am ET Updated Apr 15, 2013

An Imagined Conversation With a 15th Century Farmer

Sometimes I think people of the 15th century would be disappointed in me.

15th Century Farmer: Today was a very productive day for me. I awoke at dawn, before the sun rose. I opted not to eat. I like to work on an empty stomach. I feel more alert that way. I tended all of my crops, flax, oats, hemp, tobacco, corn and potatoes. It took me up until lunchtime. Then it was time to care for my livestock. I milked the cows, fed the horses, hogs and sheep. I collected eggs from my hens. I was kicked by my horse, but only suffered a minor scrape. I recovered, but by the end of the day I was exhausted. Still, I found time to converse with the men and women of my community over a nice long meeting to discuss religion. It was invigorating. What did you do? I'm so curious about the future. People must've gotten stronger, faster, smarter and must be able to do so much work.

Me: Well, I'm not a farmer, so I don't think we can really compare our lives and occupations. So, just know that I'm doing me and you don't have to worry.

Farmer: But, I'd really love to learn about life today.

Me: I had the day off today, so it's not a fair comparison.

Farmer: No bother. Come on. Tell me.

Me: Fine. Here it goes. So I woke up... late. I picked up a bagel for breakfast, because I felt like I needed energy. I walked a block to drop off my laundry. Then I went back to my apartment to wait for it to get cleaned.

Wait, by dropped off your laundry, do you mean you merely dropped it in a river and cleaned the clothes?

Me: No. We have washing machines now to do that. And sometimes I don't want to walk back and forth from the laundromat, so I leave my clothes there and they clean them.

Farmer: Machines to do laundry, oh my word. But you don't like to use the machines yourself?

Me: It's not that I don't like to use them. It's just that I wanted to spend my free time doing something else.

Oh I see. You must've been hard at work. Tell me, what did the rest of the day?

Yeah... so then I went back to my apartment. It was really cold so I wanted to stay inside. I watched a couple episodes of Downton Abbey, a television show I've been meaning to watch. So cross that off my to-do list!

The farmer stares at me, dumbfounded.

Me: Then I got hungry.

Farmer: Did you spend the rest of the day cooking a glorious meal for friends? Did you hunt for your dinner? Toil in the kitchen?

Me: I didn't want to cook. And I didn't really feel like talking to anyone. So I ordered food online. And it was delivered to my door. I barely had to talk to the delivery guy, so it was a real win for me.

He is again dumbfounded.

Me: The laundry was also delivered to my doorstep.

His mind is blown with disappointment. He can't look at me and must walk away.