Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Proust Questionnaire

Since the trend of memes hit blogs and Facebook a couple of years ago, I think I've done my fair share of soul-searching and public self-exposure. But I have to say that this one was tough. The Proust Questionnaire-- popularized (though not devised) by Marcel Proust in the late 19th century-- is supposed to reveal an individual's truest nature. James Lipton often gives an adapted version to his guests on Bravo's Inside the Actor's Studio and periodically, there's a section devoted to celebrities' responses to the questions on Vanity Fair. I always feel as if I should be clever or witty when answering these types of questions but for this one, I've really tried to be as honest as possible, which I think is also what made it so hard.

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Shared love, genuine laughter, and good food.

2. What is your greatest fear?
That I won't be a good mom.

 What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
My need to be liked.

4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Not so much deplore, but I get impatient with people who only like to talk about themselves.

5. Which living person do you most admire?
Aung San Suu Kyi

6. What is your greatest extravagance?
A good haircut.

7. What is your current state of mind?

8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Being nice.

9. On what occasion do you lie?
When someone asks me if they look fat in an outfit. So don't ask me.

10. What do you most dislike about your appearance?
My feet.

11. Which living person do you most despise?
I don't think despising someone is a very healthy attitude to have.

12. What is the quality you most like in a man?
The absence of chauvinism or machismo. And the courage to cry.

13. What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Self-assuredness, the kind of confidence that makes you so secure about yourself that you don't need to be mean, catty, or unkind to other women to make yourself feel better.

14. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
"I'm sorry."

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

 When and where were you happiest?
Sometime in 2001 when I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with #15.

17. Which talent would you most like to have?
Self-control. And to play jazz piano.

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

19. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I'd like to think that it hasn't happened yet. It gives me hope and makes me work harder.

20. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
I kinda like being me, so I'd like to be me again, please.

21. Where would you most like to live?
Anywhere where I'd be surrounded by my family and loved ones.

22. What is your most treasured possession?
My health.

 What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
To not be surrounded by people whom I love and who love me.

 What is your favorite occupation?
Making lists. Grocery lists, Things-To-Do lists, baby names lists, etc...

 What is your most marked characteristic?
That I smile a lot.

 What do you most value in your friends?
Honesty and loyalty, which I realize can be mutually exclusive.

 Who are your favorite writers?
Shakespeare and Shel Silverstein. And the people who write for The Today Show.

28. Who is your hero of fiction?
Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird.

29. Which historical figure do you most identify with?
I really wanted to have a good answer for this, but as of right now, I really don't have a clue.

30. Who are your heroes in real life?
Anyone who spends their lives bettering the plight of others.

31. What are your favorite names?
Chloe, Eliot, Emma, Liam, Noah, Sophie

32. What is it that you most dislike?
Cruelty and bigotry.

 What is your greatest regret?
Every occasion when I did something I knew beforehand I shouldn't but did it anyway.

 How would you like to die?

 What is your motto?
"This too, shall pass."


the terrible child said...

that put a smile on my face- honest, raw and definitely truthful- i can almost see the cogs of your brain chugging out a "real" as opposed to fake/witty answer. and no.15 made me go gooey inside. JUDE YOU ARE A LUCKY MAN.

Dark Orpheus said...

Love your motto.

That said, yay on #28! and applauds on #32.

I can actually *hear* your voice as I'm reading your answer. :D

serene said...

@Terri- make sure you remind him of that the next time you see him! :)

@Stella- Thanks! Might this inspire you to try it out too? ;)

Dark Orpheus said...

okay, will try it