Proust questionnaire

I love minutiae and questionnaires.  I have a whole category on this blog for “meaningless minutiae.”  It’s not a secret that I don’t think all minutiae is that meaningless, actually.  I’ve answered the Vanity Fair Proust Questionnaire before, but not for several years.  Clearly some answers will never change, while others fluctuate with the years of our lives.  I would love to hear any and all of your answers!

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Where would you like to live?
Cambridge, Massachusetts

What is your idea of earthly happiness?
Evenings and weekends when all four of us are at home, puttering around peacefully.  Getting into bed with my book.  A cold glass of wine with ice in it on the porch of my parents’ summer home.  My annual weekend with my college friends.  Having run. Shavasana at the end of a yoga class.

To what faults do you feel most indulgent?
Over-sensitivity. The faults of those who doubt themselves.

Who are your favorite heroes of fiction?
Dumbledore.  He will always be number one.  Also, John Ames in Gilead, Harry Potter, and the butler in The Remains of the Day.

Who are your favorite characters in history?
Marie Curie, Joan of Arc, Georgia O’Keeffe, Anne Frank.

Who are your favorite heroines in real life?
Ina May Gaskin, Oprah, Anne Lamott.

Who are your favorite heroines of fiction?
Hermione (Harry Potter), Cora (The Underground Railroad), Charity Lang (Crossing to Safety), Lyra (His Dark Materials), Eve (Paradise Lost), Mrs Ramsay (To the Lighthouse).

Your favorite painter?
Mark Rothko, Georgia O’Keeffe, Helen Frankenthaler.

Your favorite musician?
James Taylor.

The qualities you most admire in a man?
Humor, calm, intelligence, and the difficult-to-define, difficult-to-find ability to make me feel safe.

The qualities you most admire in a woman?
Not taking herself too seriously, but not being flip either.  Willingness to say what she believes.  Ability to make her life reflect her true values.  Not complaining.

Your favorite virtue?
Patience. Faith. Commitment. Resilience.

Your favorite occupation?
I am pretty sure I’ll never be able to pick just one. When I was a child, I wanted to be a doctor.

Who would you have liked to be?
Someone more centered, more confident, more clear.

7 thoughts on “Proust questionnaire”

  1. I love these types of interviews, as well!

    1. Grief
    2. Sonoma, CA
    3. A beach house filled with books and family – and excellent health.
    4. Over-sensitive as well@!
    5. Atticus Finch
    6. Queen Elizabeth, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt
    7. Oprah, Jennifer Weiner, Anna Quindlen
    8. Vivian Schuyler (The Secret Life of Violet Grant) Jillian Westfield (The Time of My Life)
    9. Claude Monet, Georgia O’Keefe, Pino Daeni
    10. Jon Bon Jovi
    11. Humor, patience, loyalty, self-deprecation
    12. Kindness and loyalty
    13. Patience and honesty
    14. Writer, News broadcaster, interior designer
    15. Someone a bit smarter, with more patience and whole hell of lot more confidence!

  2. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
    Never-ending pain. Say, riddled with cancer, being tortured, and knowing my family is undergoing similar treatment and I’m unable to help them.

    What is your idea of earthly happiness?
    I do love lying in bed with my kids, under a warm duvet, and reading Harry Potter.
    I also feel lucky to have found true love when I was 18.
    And saving lives/making people feel better as an emergency physician.

    The qualities you most admire in a man or woman?
    Intelligence, kindness, curiosity, laughter, generosity, courage, wisdom, honesty, and daring. I also feel connected to people who read widely and like to explore.

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