Tuesday, 10 March 2009

My answers to the Proust Questionnaire...

I originally saw this over on Darwi's blog and thought I would answer it too, one day, when I get time. Well, today Rosie was unwell and so she slept all evening, which means now, at 1am, she is lying in her moses basket totally wide awake! So I'm going to answer some of this. It may take me more than one visit to blogger to get it finished.

"Since July 1993, the back page of Vanity Fair has been devoted to the Proust Questionnaire, in which a noteworthy person answers a series of personal questions. The questionnaire has its origins in a parlor game popularized (though not devised) by Marcel Proust (1871–1922), the French essayist and novelist, who believed that, in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature. Click on the archived questionnaires below and decide for yourself." To see the answers of famous people who has completed this questionnaire on Vanity Fair click here.

Answer the Proust Questionnaire!

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Perfect happiness doesn't exist!
I guess perfect happiness is something akin to the feeling a mother has when she has been through nine months of pregnancy, a painful labour, and then she is handed her new born child for the first time. That moment of intense happiness and relief is something you never experience any other way.

2. What is your greatest fear?

Undoubtedly my greatest fear is losing my children and husband in some tragic pain filled accident. I find it too painful to even think of a life without them. But to think that their last moments would be terrifying and painful is too horrific to contemplate. How does anyone carry on after something like that? This is for sure, my greatest fear.

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

My sensitivity. I am far too sensitive to make it through this world without a lot of heartache and pain. I take negative comments very badly and feel awful if someone doesn't like me. I wish I had thicker skin. I'm not just sensitive about myself, but others too. I can't watch the news at times because all the human suffering and evil upsets me. If I watch a film about the holocaust I can't sleep for weeks and cry a lot about it. I wish so much that I wasn't as sensitive, as life would be so much easier. But at the same time I believe it makes me a better person in some aspects.

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

I have two traits that I deeply deplore in other people. Selfishness and lying. I can not comprehend nor forgive either of these traits. Dishonesty is a close third. Although that's close to lying. But outward lying is just wrong. Full stop. And selfishness is an ugly characteristic in anyone.

5. Which living person do you most admire?

I don't need to think about this for a second. It has to be my husband. I have never met another person like him. He is truly kind, unselfish, thoughtful, helpful and always thinks of everyone before himself. I have never met a less selfish person. He works so hard to keep others happy that he often goes without himself. He is everything that I aspire to be, and so much more. If more people were like him, the world was undoubtedly be a much better place to live.

6. What is your greatest extravagance?

I'm not a very extravagant person. But I have spent a fair bit of money over the years on books. Not novels, but educational books about nutrition, gardening, self sufficiency, international adoption, cooking, un-cooking and more.

7. What is your current state of mind?

Severely depressed. Deeply saddened and numbed of any other feelings or emotions. Occasionally angry. But this is not the norm for me. Just a passing phase I hope. I'm usually pretty upbeat and strong.

8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Beauty. Is that a virtue? Lol. Perhaps not. I think most virtues are worth having.

9. On what occasion do you lie?

I would lie to my kids if it would save them hurt or heartbreak.

10. What do you most dislike about your appearance?

I'd like a nice long neck and better facial bone structure. Weight is easily changeable, but bone structure, well that's tougher!

11. Which living person do you most despise?

I don't despise anyone that I know personally. The person I like least at the moment is the woman who made up lies about me and turned my dear friend against me.

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

Respect for women. I like men to treat women as equals, whilst also maintaining respect for them. There is nothing worse for me than when I need to use a mans services for something I know nothing about, say a plumber, electrician or mechanic, and he treats me as if I am just a stupid woman and wouldn't know any better. For a man to treat a women as equal is important, but with care and respect as well. I like men who open doors for me!

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

The ability to remain calm and patient when everything around her is in chaos.

14. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

"Have you done that yet???"
"I'm sick of telling you this over and over!"
"I love you"

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

Steve of course! (And Ville Valo a close second!) I new I'd spend the rest of my life with Steve within moments of meeting him. If, however, I ever meet Ville Valo, Steve's history!

16. When and where were you happiest?

White Sands Desert of New Mexico, March 2008. I felt a moment sitting on the pure white sand dunes, watching the sun go down, of pure peace, contentment and happiness. Marty had gone for a walk, the kids were playing in the sand, and we were half way through the trip of a lifetime. I've never felt such serenity or pure fulfillment. I believe that was my happiest moment. I had everything I ever wanted, and more.

17. Which talent would you most like to have?

I'd love to be an amazingly talented singer. Wouldn't anyone? Either that or the ability to get myself out of bed at a reasonable time!

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

My slowness. I'd like to be able to complete more in a 24 hour period. Actually, scrap that... I'd like to change my right inner ear and swap it for one that doesn't have pulsatile tinnitus. Then I could enjoy a moment of silence.

19. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Giving birth.
Or the trip across America.

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

A tree. One of those big old redwoods or some sort of huge tree that lives for centuries. Just think of all the things you'd see.

21. Where would you most like to live?

In a forest, with a stream near by. I love forests. There's something magical about them. I love the way they smell, and all the wildlife. Perhaps a huge forest in Canada or New Zealand. As a child I was addicted to the Enid Blyton books about The Enchanted Forest. Perhaps that's where my love of the woodlands came from?

22. What is your most treasured possession?
Gosh, tough one. My most treasured things are my family, but I guess that's not a possession. I'm not a very materialistic person. But I guess I'd be heartbroken if I lost my re-engagement ring. The ring Marty re-proposed to me with a few years ago. I do treasure that. There's a blog post about that here.

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

Being suicidal. Being in so much physical or emotional pain that one can bare life no more.

24. What is your favorite occupation?

I'm not sure if by occupation it means something to pass time, or a career?
For passing time my favourite occupation is writing. Couldn't you tell?
As a career I've always wanted to be either a midwife or a paramedic.

25. What is your most marked characteristic?

Caring for others.

26. What do you most value in your friends?


27. Who are your favorite writers?

Maya Angelou , Edgar Allen Poe, Jeanette Winterson, Virginia Andrews

28. Who is your hero of fiction?

Hmm, pretty sure I don't have one.

29. Which historical figure do you most identify with?

I dont think I have an answer to this one. I dont really identify with anyone from history.

30. Who are your heroes in real life?

Anyone who devotes their lives to helping others. Doctors who work with orphans in Africa when they could instead be earning large amounts of money at home.

31. What are your favorite names?

Timeless names. I don't like these stupid new-fan-dangled names after cars or cities.

32. What is it that you most dislike?

That's a pretty broad question. I could answer it with anything from 'having the runs after a really hot curry', to 'people who abuse children'. I guess the thing I dislike most in the whole world is pedophilia? But I also don't like it when my kids are sick and suffering. This is just too broad to answer.

33. What is your greatest regret?

Introducing my dear friend to that woman. No, honestly, it is. I don't have many regrets. Maybe growing up in the church, but that wasn't my fault. Or some of the hurtful things I've said to people I love over the years. But introducing her to him was definitely my biggest mistake.

34. How would you like to die?

Doesn't everyone want to die peacefully in their sleep at a good age? I don't want to drag on till a ripe old age, living every day in pain. I'd rather go before it gets too bad. As long as I don't burn to death. I'd quite like to just walk into a warm sea and drift off into the sunset. Actually I think dying whilst under anesthetic has got to be the most peaceful way to go. I've been anesthetized twice now and I can honestly say that if I'd died during the operations, I wouldn't have known a thing about it!

35. What is your motto?

"You only live once"
I'm a real advocate for doing the things you want to do with your life. What is the point of missing out on your dreams just because you don't have enough courage or gumption??


Darwi said...

Lovely answers. And gosh, one can really say you're mum! :D

fresca said...

Hooray! I'm tickled you answered this too--I am really enjoying reading people's reflections--everyone's being so thoughtful and interesting. It makes me want to write in depth in response to almost every single point.
Odd things strike me--e.g., I too thought "I don't want to burn to death," but then thought, naw, I won't mention that. So I'm glad you did. : )

Reading other people's answers also make me want to change or add to my own. When you mentioned forests in New Zealand, I thought yeah, I'd really like to come back as a giant fern in a New Zealand forest (a protected one).


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