Feeling Vainly Proustful


It makes sense now. We can all blame Vanity Fair or, more accurately, Marcel Proust for those astoundingly repetitive social media meme questionnaires that refuse to die.

This time though… I’ll blame
Finn. Following in the footsteps of the icons who have answered these questions on the back page of Vanity Fair for seventeen years, Finn posted her own answers over at A Life Less Ordinary (required blog reading) and invited us to play along. I think I shall. I feel, vainly so, that I am iconic. Vanity Fair, are you listening?


What is your most marked characteristic?
Undeniable bipolarity. Even medicated it’s quite obvious I am a creature of bizarre moods.

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

What is the quality you most like in a woman?
A man’s distaste for drama.

What do you most value in your friends?
Tolerance, understanding and quick wit.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
I am the master of botched good intentions.

What is your favorite occupation?
Mom. Motherhood was accidental, but I am Mom. I am Mommy when they are sick or Mother when they are angry. Most of the time I am quite contentedly… Mom.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Films. Trust me, on my budget, movie going is a hefty extravagance.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“Indeed.” “May the force be with you.” “Dude!” “Bloody hell!”

When and where were you happiest?
Consciously: Kenya, 1991-1992.
Subconsciously: In any airport or airplane going anywhere.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Is there such a thing? I hope, someday, that I can say I am happy enough. “You ask a serious question, I'll give you a serious answer: Happy enough. I don't expect much. I don't get much, I don't give much. I generally enjoy whatever comes along. That's my answer for you, summed up for your feminine consideration. I'm happy enough.” ~Waitress, Film (2007)

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Staring at my own eyes in a mirror only to realize that I’ve all but lost my own sense of identity is about as miserable as misery gets.

In which country would you like to live?
May to September: England.
October to April: Kenya.

Who are your favorite writers?
Dead: William Shakespeare, Ernest Hemingway, J.R.R. Tolkien, & Jane Austen.
Alive: J.K. Rowling, Neil Gaiman, Bernard Cornwell & Gregory Maguire.

Who are your favorite poets?
William Blake, Robert Frost, William Butler Yeats, Sylvia Plath and, dare I say, me.

Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
Hamlet: The most brooding, tortured and alluring soul of all Shakespeare’s creations.

Who is your favorite heroine of fiction?
Éowyn of Rohan from Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien: The greatest of literary tomboys.

Who are your favorite composers?
Then: Tchaikovsky & Beethoven.
Now: Howard Shore & John Williams.

Who are your favorite painters?
Vincent Van Gogh, Salvador Dali & Jackson Pollock.

What are your favorite names?
Girl: Sydney. Boy: Cameron.

What is it that you most dislike?
Those who choose ignorance over knowledge & enlightenment.

Which talent would you most like to have?
It would be lovely to carry a tune and have the lung power to back it up.

How would you like to die?
Quietly. I think I’ve made enough noise already. Should I die tomorrow or fifty years from now… I owe the world a silent departure.

What is your greatest fear?
To be paralyzed.

What is your current state of mind?
Slightly melancholic and a wee bit annoyed.

What is your motto?
My job is not to impress people. It’s to intrigue them. (A phrase I first quoted in my senior year high school yearbook. It still stands today.)

Ah, I’m done. In retrospect, perhaps only my children view me as iconic. That is enough… for now anyway.

8 comments:

  1. I LOVE that quote from Waitress. This makes me like you even more!

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  2. I answered the Proust questionnaire on my blog awhile back - it was sort of amusing to do right? I read them in VF all the time and like how different the answers always are. The one I answered was off the web and slightly different. I like that you picked Hamlet, a great character indeed!

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  3. Kerri ~ Glad you popped by and LOVE the title of your blog. Good stuff.

    Lis ~ Thanks for letting me know this is you! I'm in love with Hamlet... secretly. =)

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  4. I've enjoyed reading this post quite a bit, in that I've gotten to know you all that much better from your responses. And intrigue is indeed a quality that you are profoundly capable of generating and maintaining...

    But I have to say, I find this Proustian style of endless social media questionnaire just absolutely excruciating! I usually avoid these like the Black Death whenever my FB friends circulate them around. And if, anything, the format only re-iterates, of course, the importance of...Summarizing Proust...

    "Good evening, and welcome to the Arthur Ludlow Memorial Baths, Newport, for this year's finals of the All-England Summarize Proust Competition! Remember, each contestant this evening has a maximum of fifteen seconds to sum up 'A La Recherche du Temps Perdu,' and on the Proust-o-meter over here, you can see exactly how far he gets. So let's crack straight on with our first contestant tonight..." (from Monty Pythons Flying Circus) :-)

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  5. John ~ So... if I go back and read my answers will I get to know me all that much better for having written them?

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  6. Perhaps. But will you manage to intrigue yourself in the process? That, my dear lady, 'tis the question... ;-)

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  7. I can't possibly intrigue other people if I don't already confuse the shit out of myself... which I do.

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  8. I suppose what I actually meant to say (in not so many words, of course), is that, in those fleeting, rarefied moments when one briefly catches a glimpse of how they might be seen through the eyes of another...if what you find pleases and intrigues you...then, by all means, feel no guilt about being pleased and intrigued!

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"Stranger, if you passing meet me and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me? And why should I not speak to you?" ~Walt Whitman

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