That’s the light and the dark of “Choose Your Quarantine House,” a meme traversing social media in which you’re given several houses full of people, real or fictional, and must choose in which one you’d like to spend quarantine. The popular online meme library/encyclopedia Know Your Meme suggests that an early celebrity-focused version on Facebook got the ball rolling.
The meme’s primary asset may be its versatility. It works equally well with sports commentators (whose opinion-laden rants would you rather be stuck with, Bill Simmons and Dick Vitale or Stephen A. Smith and Jim Nantz) or pop stars (do you want to be trapped with the dulcet tones of Beyoncé and Ariana Grande or the teeth-smashing bars of Nicki Minaj and Cardi B?).
Plus you know it’s a trend when the brands, such as museums, Us Weekly and the DC Defenders XFL football team, have created their own.
Maybe you’d love to hang out with Will Smith (presumably the “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” version) and Lizzie McGuire but then you’d also be stuck with the sociopathic Walter White and the nasally cartoon Peter Griffin. In which case, maybe you’d rather a neurotic Larry David, stern Ron Swanson and aloof Homer Simpson.
It’s a special type of math.
If “Choose Your Quarantine House” looks familiar, that’s because it’s in the vein of “Where Y’all Sitting / Lunch Table.” Popular last year, it presented an image of a cafeteria, each table populated by different things — be they bands, catchphrases, celebrities or sports teams. Where would you sit, and why?
(Which, of course, is itself essentially an updated online version of the old Kiss/Marry/Kill game.)
The biggest difference is that in the cafeteria meme, maybe you’d pick a table of “cooler” bands rather than the ones you actually listened to as a means of upping your social status. The quarantine house meme, on the other hand, invites more practical reasoning. After all, you’re not just munching on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for an hour a day with these people.
More than anything, it’s simply another way to pass the time after we’ve streamed all the concerts we could find, re-watched every available show and tried out every socializing app we can think of — or maybe just for those who never liked socializing via video chat in the first place.