Monday, February 21, 2011

Proust Questionnaire

This questionnaire, tagged to me by Desperately Seeking Seersucker, was a marathon, not a sprint. I tried to answer the questions as truthfully as possible, but some of these were tough. I won’t lie, a nice bottle of wedding wine was opened for this occasion and supported me to the last drop (now that is a lie, it was maybe…maybe two glasses, my tolerance living in isolation out at the cottage is not what it once was.) I apologize for my somewhat long-windedness, as I explain throughout, I tend to overanalyze.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? 
Relocating all of my favorite people to one city block, with all my favorite things a short walk away and unlimited funds to travel unlimitedly (which includes my own plane, not to be materialistic, just for logistical purposes. I mean, if I can travel unlimitedly, would I really be doing it commercial?)

What is your greatest fear?
Losing my loved ones or putting my loved ones through losing me.

Which figures do you most identify with?                                   I have been around academia for so long that I gravitate towards university campuses and graduate students. A lot of the museum work I’m looking at is actually at university museums and galleries. I like being around an atmosphere of learning and art.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
My over-analytical nature. Sometimes I wish I could go back to simpler times when I went with the flow better and thought less. I guess there are two traits. I also hate that I am my own worst enemy and typically have sabotaged friendships and relationships in the past. I love that I don’t do that anymore.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Judging others to the point of thinking they are better than others. I hate that people can’t realize that we are all just the same (that sounds very up with people, but it’s the truth.)

What do you most value in your friends?
Understanding and reliability.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Balls. It’s true. I say “balls cold” or “balls hot” or “balls exhausted” or “balls, it’s balls crowded in here.” Really, it needs to stop.

What is your favorite journey?
This question could go many ways. It could mean journey of spirit, like walking on a beautiful day while lost in thought, I love doing that. Or it could mean journey as in destination. That would be tough. I’ve loved many destinations. I love Lake Placid, I grew up there and got married there. I love St. Eustatius, I met The Professor there. I love Scotland, it’s one of the most beautiful pieces of land I’ve traipsed. I love Germany. I feel the most at home there, sometimes even more so than here. But this could also mean actual journey. I love the train connecting Fort William to Mallaig. It might just be the most beautiful stretch of track I’ve experienced. The day I rode this line was one of the happiest and most fulfilled of my life.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
This would depend if we were talking about the four western virtues or the more Christian seven virtues. As a Catholic, I was hard pressed to learn them all. Temperance overlaps them both, and is sort of overrated in terms of alcohol. My friends have a philosophy, to always say yes to a drink due to too many of our friends growing up too young and becoming too boring. I do like temperance as a virtue, however, in terms of restraint. Sometimes enough is enough and it is virtuous to know when to stop, at anything. Trying to uphold the virtue of chastity has caused many problems throughout history, generally due to unrealistic expectations. Thus I deem it the most overrated.

What is your favorite occupation? Due to my current holding pattern this is hard to answer. In the past my favorite occupation may have been the museum consultation I did in the Caribbean, because, come on, I went snorkeling every day after work and subsisted on bad beer and Chinese food. It was an awesome life.

What do you dislike most about your appearance?
I’ve had weight problems on and off my whole life. Currently they are on and I’ve been working since our return to America to lose the extra pounds. It always seems when I leave this country I lose weight very quickly. Apparently my body rejects America. Being overweight always makes it just a bit harder to leave the house and feel comfortable with myself.

What is your greatest regret?
This took me a long time to think about. I generally live without regrets, because there was a reason for doing something at the time that I did it, and while cliché, I think most every experience has taught me something (even the first “regret” to come to mind, living with 11 other girls in a house during college. Worst decision ever, but I learned how to be a better roommate in the future.) I suppose if I have any actual regret, being something that I could have controlled myself and not something bad that happened to me, it would be … alright, busted, I don’t actually have one.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
The Professor, hands down, easiest question ever. We have a deep love, a love that I can barely explain to myself. I always thought love like this would be a cage, but it is the most freeing feeling. I fall in love with him everyday. (Cue the bad 80s song this most likely resembles.)

When and where were you happiest?
In January, 2009, The Professor and I spent the longest, consecutive time together we had to that point. We spent 15 days in a row together, both of us in the same place. It was like magic. We had met on an island, had only 14 days to get to know each other. He left and we decided to do the long-distance thing. I lived in New York, he over 1,000 miles away in Georgia. We made it work for a year, finally moving in together. During that year apart we never spent more than a quick weekend together until January when we made it to 18 days, celebrating the 15th as the longest thus far. How did we celebrate? I made a blanket fort and dinner, which we ate next to a beautiful fireplace under a fabulously constructed blanket fort.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I wouldn’t be so anxious or worried. I get worried about very irrational things, and while I may not show it (most people think I’m adventurous and whatnot) I scan every situation for its possible horrible outcomes. I’m currently working on changing this.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
It’s something I brag about less and less as time goes by, but I really was bad-ass in college in terms of being an undergraduate student. Junior year I sat with my course sheets and determined that I wanted to double major, and keep my minor, and successfully complete a capstone project within my minor, while writing a thesis for each of my majors. I seriously grew more determined each time a classmate or friend bitched about their one thesis or paper. I took 6 classes one semester and completed hours over the summer. Looking back I was probably trying to prove something to myself. Whatever it was I proved it, kicked major academic ass, and graduated Magna cum Laude and was picked as the senior class representative at graduation for the German department. Major nerd answer, but it’s the truth.

What is your most treasured possession?
Again, due to this holding pattern, quite difficult to answer given the standard, “if there was a fire, what would I grab” as all my possession are in storage. Obviously my animate most treasured possessions would be my funny little family, The Professor and the Pet Trifecta. Then I thought, what possessions did I keep from storage and bring to Georgia with me? And what of these are treasured (seeing as what we mainly kept was technological: computers, cameras, electronic cords galore.) This returns the thought process to the fire scenario. As a child I was always told if there was a fire and you happened to be the sole survivor, grab the family Bible. For our wedding my parents gave us a similar Bible, within it a letter written by my father, which is a copy of a letter written by his father, which was a copy of a letter written by his father, contemplating growing old and having a child get married. My instincts would probably lead me to grab this possession. So long story short: The Professor-Defunct Curator family Bible.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Losing all my friends and family, roaming the earth alone without any connections, and sitting in a sad pool of self-pity while I eat all the girl scout cookies this pathetic version of myself stole, due to my sadness and utter state of dismay.

Where would you like to live?
We used to ask ourselves this question after any lengthy holiday, always switching which destination or city was our favorite in which to make a home. I stand by Scotland. I can deal with the isolation (which has been proved here) and icy winters for the beautiful skyline of mountains and lochs. But then I return to Germany, and each time I fall in love again and miss it like a comfortable old sweater.

What is your most marked characteristic?
I had no idea, so naturally I asked The Professor, as he has to be with me the most. He replied, my determination, which actually made me love him just a bit more. Apparently, according to him, I am a very determined young lady and will go to great lengths to achieve things (which I suppose included when he became mine.)

What is your greatest extravagance?
Probably my wedding dress. It was the most expensive single item I have ever bought that was not a car or a loan. I don’t feel bad about it for a number of reasons, including the fact that The Professor’s wedding outfit, which we had specially tailored in Edinburgh, was much more expensive.

What are the qualities you most like in a man?
Humor, understanding, thoughtfulness, and the rugged good looks only possessed, in my opinion, by The Professor.

Who are your favorite writers? In my experience I have generally read only non-fiction, because I am a nerd and am in constant need of continued education. But I have dipped into fiction, specifically with Joyce Carol Oates, who, in my opinion, is one of the greatest writers of our time. I also love falling into a Bill Bryson book, any of them.

How would you like to die?
Surrounded by those who love me and who I love, comfortable, happy, and content.

Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
Probably my favorite classic novel of fiction is To Kill a Mockingbird, and while, depending on your interpretation, there could be many heroes spotlighted from this tale, Atticus Finch always stood out in my mind as a hero of fiction. He stood up for justice and giving everyone a fair shake, which is something I look up to in my literary characters.

Who are your heroes in real life?
Almost anyone else is braver than me, and when I see such bravery as that practiced daily by those put in the face of danger, I am in awe. This includes, but is not limited to, soldiers, policemen and women, teachers in dangerous areas, firemen and women, and rescue workers.

What is your motto?
Today is the youngest you will ever be.

I’m not sure if any have been tagged by other bloggers, but I’d like to tag my followers in this round of questions.

Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong @ How I Met Your Father

PaddyGirl @ If you’re a bird, I’m a bird

Beth’s Blog

The City Dreamer @ City Dreams, Suburban Schemes

I hope you all find this, as I did, a reason to introspectively drink wine.


  1. awesome, thanks for the tag. i will respectfully wait until i am at home and can consume wine alongside my reflections :p have a good afternoon!

    hope your menagerie is doing well and they are finding their way, however slowly, to homes...

  2. thanks for the tag! As soon as I finish my grad paper (using your blog as a distraction) I will complete the survey!

  3. I am sooooo glad you did this. Here, let me tell you why:

    1. I drink wine when answering most of my "tags". It's hard to think without wine sometimes :)
    2. I want to change my "perfect happiness" answer. I want to copy you. Excellent answer.
    3. I think I am in love with your love story. Wait. That sounded creepy. Anyway, the fort...and the fire...and's just all so sweet. My story is so boring. Yawn.


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