Do you ever get drawn into reading the little blurbs of “news” and “entertainment” that the home page of your computer distracts you with as you are on your way to your e-mails? They catch your eye while you are actually in a hurry and thinking of something else. For instance, how a major star “died on the operating table” — and was brought back to life by a gifted surgeon. Then, “the upset of the season” of a tennis favorite. You move on. But now comes this: (just a quick thumbnail, but enough to trip you up). Edie, a well-known model, tells her favorite things: “Edie,” asks the reporter, “in New York, what’s your favorite restaurant?” (Babbo’s) “Who does your shoes?” (Manolo) And her “favorite thing in all the world?” “Walking the beach with my dog Muzzle, and just being alone. And her favorite automobile? Couturier? Rock band?

I’m momentarily hooked. “Brickman’s does my shoes!” I holler, having gotten irritated at Edie. “Takemmy does our rugs,” says my husband, becoming interested. “We get our cats at the SPCA. And our towels at Shirley’s Hardware.” I’ve momentarily forgotten why I turned the computer on. We can’t stop being idiots. “Our collection of old pewter comes from half-off-housewares day at the Thrift Shop,” says Ted. Our “Large Black Spanish Olives in Sea-salt Brine are imported for us by Ocean State Job Lots,” say I.

We too like vintage automobiles and are the resigned owners of a 1996 Olds compact station wagon. It’s a depressing tan, the kind of color that makes kids think you don’t know how to park. We can’t get rid of it — apart from the money — because of the patina of bumper stickers, Steamship privileges, and Sierra Club-type decals that hold it together.

The questions for Edie are the same questions (almost), that were asked of whomever was so fortunate as to be “most popular girl of the month” in my high school newspaper in the late forties; the chosen one would be asked her favorite colors: “purple and gold” or “red and white” were the usual answers. If it was purple and gold, it meant she dated a boy from a certain school. Red and white were the colors of the rival boys’ school. (We were a girls’ school.) “Aaahh, she goes with Coleman,” or Barry, or Louie, said the knowing ones. Favorite song? Night and Day. Frenesi. String of Pearls. Favorite place to eat after a movie, or a dance? The Toddle House. Favorite sport? Tennis, or baseball or basketball. Or whatever the boyfriend of the “girl of the month” was currently involved in. A lot of girls liked hockey, and I was on the basketball team. But the girls’ sports were not the point. This was about boys. Such was my girls’ school of the forties.

The questions for Edie and her answers had a familiar ring. Clothes, boys, music, restaurants . . . 50 years separates her from me and my classmates, but I felt as I read about Edie, that the only thing different from her and my friends and me was the number of zeros in her allowance.

Back to the home page. Besides the entertainment there are the animated ads at the bottom of the screen: balloons, chipmunks, raccoons and clowns all trying to sell me something: a car, low-rate mortgages, a cruise. There’s a way to delete “animated icons/ads” from your screen, if I could just find it. Having caught up on a little news of the Royals and seen Prince Charles looking up disapprovingly at a ghastly high-rise in London, (he has made an effort), I woke up. I left the home page, escaped it rather, only the loser by about 10 minutes. But I kept thinking about Edie; she would have made a good most popular girl of the month — she was pretty, she liked nice things, she had the vocabulary of a 15-year-old. And if she had been asked the right questions, I can almost hear her say her boyfriend played basketball at Male High, and so purple and gold were her very most favorite colors.

Jeanne Hewett is a freelance writer and fabric artist who lives in Vineyard Haven.