So. My Northern alter-ego, Layne over at Layne Street, tagged me in a blog survey. However, I was already halfway through this post, so since I think it covers both a post and a survey, it’s going to work for both today.
Each month, Vanity Fair uses the following questionnaire for their back page. Lest you think I am fashionable enough to read Vanity Fair, I stumbled onto this in a random series of events that began with John Cusack. Here is what Vanity Fair says:
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.
Have I explained well enough that I did not write this? Vanity Fair wrote this? Good.
1. What is your idea of perfect happiness? I’m not quite sure. Pete, Disney World, a big fat novel and fried dill pickles would play a part in it, though.
2. What is your greatest fear? My credit score.
3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Also my credit score. And my total lack of willpower.
4. What is the trait you most deplore in others? Self-Importance. Not confidence, but diva-like behavior.
5. Which living person do you most admire? Is it bad that I can’t think of one? All the people popping into my head are dead. I need a new hero.
6. What is your greatest extravagance? Books. Not in monetary cost, but in time spent indulging my addiction.
7. What is your current state of mind? New York. What? You don’t like Billy Joel?
8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue? An overabundance of virtue. You have to be a little bad to appreciate being – well- virtuous.
9. On what occasion do you lie? Okay. Sometimes, but not often, I use The Todd’s well-known aversion to parties to get out of ones I don’t want to attend.
10. What do you most dislike about your appearance? Baby Sister and I have both inherited Aunt Marian’s unfortunate linebacker ribcage.
11. Which living person do you most despise? Oddly, unlike #5, I had an immediate answer…which I won’t share.
12. What is the quality you most like in a man? Staying away from the obvious….a really great vocabulary. Beat me at Scrabble and I am yours forever. The Todd reads faster than me and I find it WAY hot.
13. What is the quality you most like in a woman? A love for overanalyzation and a hint of sarcasm.
14. Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Either “Rock my face off” or “waste of flesh” depending on my mood.
15. What or who is the greatest love of your life? You would think The Todd, but you would be wrong. It’s the Incredible Hulk. First love never dies.
16. When and where were you happiest? Over this past weekend the girls and I went to Callaway Gardens to the beach. It wasn’t too hot and there were geese roaming the crowd. That was pretty stellar in itself.
17. Which talent would you most like to have? So. My friend Tessa learned how to play the cello while we were all taking piano. Tessa won much of her college tuition playing the cello. Tessa makes bank playing for weddings and symphonies. Tessa has recorded at a renowned studio, randomly sat-in with bands in Atlanta, and plays with some local bands regularly. And she loves it. Who’s teaching my kids the cello? Tessa.
18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? Um, I would play the cello.
19. What do you consider your greatest achievement? I finished my untenably long quest for a diploma and started taking Zumba in the same year. What else do you require?
20. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? A library book. But it would have to be a library, as opposed to a bookstore book.
21. Where would you most like to live? Hey, I have a brand spanking new diploma. I can live wherever the wind blows.
22. What is your most treasured possession? The Land of Cheese. (It’s a painting my folks had in their living room. It’s wonderfully hideous.)
23. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? The point where misery becomes the status quo and you don’t realize there are other states of mind.
24. What is your favorite occupation? The chick who swims with the dolphins at Sea World. That would rock. Also - a children’s librarian, for one that I would actually pursue.
25. What is your most marked characteristic? Overanalyzation.
26. What do you most value in your friends? Laundry Rooms. Just kidding.
27. Who are your favorite writers? Pat Conroy and Maud Hart Lovelace. And Audrey Niffenegger.
28. Who is your hero of fiction? As a child, Betsy Ray (The Betsy-Tacy Series – Lovelace). As an adult, Clare DeTamble (The Time Traveler’s Wife – Neffenegger – and I highly, HIGHLY encourage you to read it.)
29. Which historical figure do you most identify with? Madeleine.
30. Who are your heroes in real life? Little old people at the grocery store that still hold hands and Mr. Calvin, my boss’ father.
31. What are your favorite names? How long do you have? Have we covered my love for Jemima?
32. What is it that you most dislike? Peanut Butter and granddaddy-longlegs.
33. What is your greatest regret? The amount of money I have wasted on overdraft fees in my lifetime.
34. How would you like to die? In my sleep, after having a great supper, finishing a good book, then kissing my man goodnight.
35. What is your motto? Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. (I Peter 4:8) Also – “What goes around comes around” because my mama said so.