I’m so grateful that Brettne pointed me to the Vogue video of Anna Wintour answering the 73 question challenge. She’s hilarious, and, as Brettne said to me, I totally covet her office. I was also fascinated by how the specific questions come together to provide a compelling portrait of a person. I’ve often written about this, about how small details can tell us a lot. In this case each question reveals a singular facet of a person and the 73 come together into a revealing kaleisdoscope. I thought it would be fun to answer them. I’d love it if you wanted to too! (I’m going to change New York to Boston for my purposes).
1. How long have you been in the area?
I was born here, but we moved around a lot, and I came back for good when I graduated from college in 1996.
2. What’s your favorite season in Boston?
3. What’s your favorite activity in Boston?
Running along the Charles at sunrise
4. Would you ever leave Boston?
I don’t think so
5. What are three words to describe living in Boston?
Seasonal, bookish, manageable
6. What’s your favorite movie?
Hard to say – not a huge movie person. But first reactions are: Stealing Home, all the Harry Potter movies, Old School.
7. Favorite movie in past five years?
Truthfully I have barely been to the movies in the past 5 years. Maybe Where the Wild Things Are. Though that may have been more than 5 years ago!
8. Favorite Hitchcock film?
I haven’t ever seen one!
9. Favorite TV show that’s currently on?
House of Cards
10. What’s a book you plan on reading?
11. A book you read in school that positively shaped you?
To the Lighthouse
12. A book you read in school that you never think of?
13. On a scale of one to ten how excited are you about life right now?
14. iPhone or Android?
15. Twitter or Instagram?
Close call, but Twitter
16. Vine or Snapchat?
17. Who should EVERYONE be following right now?
On Instagram, my friend @averdiroach, whose shots of where she lives take my breath away with their beauty. On Twitter, Book Quotes (@ao_BookQuotes) and Mary Oliver Poetry (@MaOlPoetry) for beautiful snippets of prose and poetry.
18. What’s the coolest thing in this room?
The view out of the window
19. What’s your favorite Boston restaurant?
Probably the bar at the Harvest
20. What’s your favorite food?
French fries, chocolate chip cookies, a perfectly ripe peach, brie with fig jam
21. Least favorite food?
22. What do you love on your pizza?
White pizza with arugula
23. Favorite drink?
Coffee in the morning
24. Favorite dessert?
Gooey chocolate chip cookies
25. Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?
26. Weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Brain, maybe – as a baby I was looked after by a French woman who fed us very authentic foods
27. What’s the hardest part about being a mom?
Not doing anything well enough
28. What’s your favorite band?
Literally, this stumps me. Pathetic. Cool about music, I’m not.
29. Favorite solo artist?
30. Favorite lyrics?
Waiting for my Real Life to Begin by Colin Hay
31. If your life were a song, what would the title be?
Be Here Now
32. If you could sing a duet with anyone, who would it be?
33. If you could master one instrument, what would it be?
34. If you had a tattoo, where would it be?
On the inside of my wrist
35. To be or not to be?
36. What’s Oprah like in person?
I wish I knew
37. What number of question was this?
38. Dogs or cats?
39. Kittens or puppies?
40. Dolphins or koalas?
41. Bird-watching or whale-watching?
42. What’s your spirit animal?
43. Best gift you’ve ever received?
My engagement ring, from my husband
44. Last gift you gave a friend?
45. A person you want to have coffee with?
46. A historical figure you’d love to have coffee with?
Joan of Arc
47. How do you like your coffee?
With milk and sugar
48. Can I play a note on this piano?
49. What’s your favorite curse word?
50. What’s your favorite board game?
51. What’s your favorite country to visit?
52. What’s the last country you visited?
53. What country do you wish to visit?
Chile – Patagonia
54. What do you see in this image right here?
55. Can you write down your favorite word that starts and ends with the same vowel?
56. What’s your favorite color?
57. Least favorite color?
Don’t have one
58. What color dress did you wear to your prom?
59. Diamonds or pearls?
60. Cheap shampoo or expensive?
61. Blow-dry or air-dry?
62. Heels or flats?
63. Can you give an impersonation of someone?
64. Can you do the same impersonation with a British accent?
65. My friend outside this window would love to ask you a question?
66. [Holding two different colored dresses] Which should I give my girlfriend?
The one on the right
67. Pilates or yoga?
68. Jogging or swimming?
69. Best way to decompress?
Read in bed
70. If you had one superpower, what would it be?
71. Can you describe an experience you felt most nervous?
Speaking in front of a group (giving a toast or reading at my grandfather’s funeral)
72. What’s the weirdest word in the English language?
I don’t know why, but “ooze” and “unctuous” come to mind – clearly I have onomotaepia on the brain.
73. Last question: Is this the strangest interview you’ve ever had?