Monday, March 23, 2009

The Proust Questionnaire

Aw, shucks. I can't think straight tonight. I'm trying to catch up on TiVo. I am THAT superficial. Deal. With. It. (I started writing fragmentary sentences a few weeks ago like Shatner... Can't. Stop.) I am not thinking well enough right now to write about this past weekend at the State Mock Trial Championships, or the fact that the show for my dance company is this weekend.

So here comes another questionnaire. I know. I'm beyond help.

This one's from Vanity Fair.

The Proust Questionnaire has its origins in a parlor game popularized (though not devised) by Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist, who believed that, in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature. Here is the basic Proust Questionnaire.

1.What is your idea of perfect happiness?

It's a toss up between scuba in calm, warm water with lots of marine life, or a good nap. Depends on the day.

2.What is your greatest fear?

Loss of control.

3.What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Lack of confidence in confrontations.

4.What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Dishonesty and lack of integrity. Oops, that was two. I have a lot of deploration.

5.Which living person do you most admire?

Hmm... again, toss up. Kitty, and my Grandma Lila.

6.What is your greatest extravagance?

Massage therapy and assorted spa treatments.

7.What is your current state of mind?

Cautiously optimistic.

8.What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Blind adherence to the idea that life is black and white.

9.On what occasion do you lie?

I never lie. Never, ever, never. Well except for right now. See, that was another one. Man, I have such a guilty conscience. But I mostly lie to cover my undesirable qualities. Like right now. Don't judge me. I probably lie a lot when it comes to not wanting to hurt people's feelings too. Dang. I'm such a liar. But I feel really bad about it. Does that help?

10.What do you most dislike about your appearance?

My sausage fingers. Or my giant, wonky nose. The fact that my eyebrows awkwardly have no pigment. Or if we're talking about right this very minute, the jeans I'm wearing that I wore all weekend (they are very saggy in the rear) and my dirty ATTICUS t-shirt with a hole in the left pit. But let's get back to unalterable physical traits. And let's leave it at my BRILLO PAD HAIR.

11.Which living person do you most despise?

Nobody. Also, see #9 for clarification.

12.What is the quality you most like in a man?

Another tie. Integrity and humor.

13.What is the quality you most like in a woman?

Probably the same as #12.

14.Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

Lately, Peace out, Nerds. But I have a whole list. I basically live by a really lame set of mad libs and I just adjust based on each day's plot.

15.What or who is the greatest love of your life?

Gluten-free E. Dang, love is work, but it can sure be wonderful too. At this point living without him is about as successful as living without an essential organ.

16.When and where were you happiest?

Immediately following the birth of both children.

17.Which talent would you most like to have?

After this past weekend, full knowledge of the law and the credentials and confidence to use said knowledge.

18.If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

My lack of confidence in high school and college. It kept me from traveling when I had the freedom or moving away from home and actually enjoying school.

19.What do you consider your greatest achievement?

There are different categories, you know? The monkeys are pretty amazing. But that's a biological imperative expressing itself, so it probably doesn't count. Dancing for a professional company was a realization of a childhood dream, so that was cool but not really defining. I hope that one day I can say somebody thought I made a difference as their teacher. But not yet. I'm not really one of those teachers yet.

20. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

Do I get to know what the thing is first? Because with my luck, I'd come back as a mold spore buried in a garbage heap. Probably living on a dirty diaper for all of eternity, next to a Twinkie. Pass.

21.Where would you most like to live?

Probably here, if we're talking long-term. But there are a lot of places I'd like to stay for a while.

22.What is your most treasured possession?

I like a lot of things when they're around, but I'm not really about them. It would have to be something symbolic. It would probably take me too long to think of anything I have that's symbolic and "most treasured" because the part of my brain that wants to be right would take over. So I'm going to just say my photos of the kids from the last 6 years. That's a good one. (And it's not even a thing--it's data.) I'd also have to say I treasure words--I hold on to the loving ones people have said or written to me. See? Deep.

23.What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Wow, awesome question, Survey. You used to be so cool. Now you're a total buzz-kill. I'd have to say losing a child. My miscarriage was the worst thing I've ever been through, and I can't even IMAGINE losing one of the two kids I am blessed to have now. Don't want to, really. While we're on the subject of misery, you nosey survey, being separated/thinking you're headed for divorce is pretty craptastic too. Geez. Moving on now.

24.What is your favorite occupation?

Out of the very few I've had so far, I really liked being a Barista. Except for the whole subservience thing. Barf. I don't really do subservience. While being a teacher is good in the independence realm, most of the time it's a giant pain in my patoot and not at all the Freedom Writers-style utopian occupation I imagined.

25.What is your most marked characteristic?

I usually have a lot to say. But I won't necessarily want to say it--I'd rather write it. Then look out people. Also, it's really important to me to have incredibly loving and loyal connections to people. This means I tend to value quality of relationships over quantity. Oh crap. That wasn't one. Oh well. See, I'm still writing. Get me off this crazy train.

26.What do you most value in your friends?

Honestly, I just value my friends. I'm always kind of pleasantly surprised that they really like me. I don't really trust it.

27.Who are your favorite writers?

Barbara Kingsolver, the Beowulf poet(s?), the guys writing for John Stewart, Tina Fey

28.Who is your hero of fiction?

Hiro Protagonist

29.Which historical figure do you most identify with?


I got nothing. I can't think of a way to answer this one that doesn't sound pompous.

30.Who are your heroes in real life?

Teachers who have crossed that line and really do make a difference. Also, the people who put away child molesters.

31.What are your favorite names?

Adele and Henry

32.What is it that you most dislike?

Bad TV shows. Books that are written poorly. Insensitivity or lack of gratitude from people I make an effort to care about.

33.What is your greatest regret?

I figure I can't regret any of it. It all made me who I am right now, which I dig. I figure it can only go up from here. I hope I continue to both fail and succeed, and learn from both.

34.How would you like to die?

Not now, I'm busy.

35.What is your motto?

alis grave nil

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