The Proust Questionnaire

Kaarina Dillabough (a clever business consultant I hope to utilize someday) recently posted a link on Facebook that directed me to the Proust Questionnaire.

The French author and essayist Marcel Proust asked guests to “fill out” this questionnaire as a parlor game.

What follows is my quick (and as candid as I can comfortably be) completion of the questionnaire.

  • What is your idea of perfect happiness?  Being free enough to try to be the best version of myself that I can be. 
  • What is your greatest fear?  Emotional pain following loss.
  • Which historical figure do you most identify with?  Joan of Arc.
  • Which living person do you most admire?  Jon Stewart.  He gets to go to his awesome job, deliver truth, and still do all the homemaking stuff he really enjoys.
  • What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?  The tendency to waste time and talent.  And then condemn myself for that.  And then condemn myself for condemning myself.  It’s multiple layers of condemnation, and I deplore them all.
  • What is the trait you most deplore in others?  Arrogance.
  • What is your greatest extravagance?  My nails.
  • What is your favorite journey?  My life.
  • What do you consider the most overrated virtue?  Patience.  It’s the only virtue I can think of right now.
  • On what occasion do you lie?  When it’s necessary to spare someone’s feelings.
  • What do you dislike the most about your appearance?  My nostrils.
  • Which living person do you most despise?  I try not to harbor hate in my heart.  I suppose if I had to despise anyone, it would be the folks that have hurt me in my life.  Also, Hitler.
  • Which words or phrases do you most overuse?   Some would say the “f” word.  But I disagree.
  • What is your greatest regret?  The waste of time and talent.
  • What or who is the greatest love of your life?  If I say my husband, my son will get upset.  If I say my son, my husband will get upset.  If I say Maine Coon cats, subversive anti-government activities and that old game “Password”, well, maybe that’s best.
  • When and where were you happiest?  I’ve just decided I don’t want to do this questionnaire anymore.
  • Which talent would you most like to have?  The ability to do backward crossovers on skates.  Hockey skates.
  • What is your current state of mind?  Quite sane and painfully aware.
  • If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?   I’m trying to be nicer to myself.
  • If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?  For my dad not to have died so young.
  • What do you consider your greatest achievement?  Besides my kid and my blogs, a drawing I did of Princess Diana, which is framed and hangs in my home.

Diana close up

  • If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?  If I moved up a rung, I’d come back as a talented, productive, benevolent person.  If I moved down a rung, I’d hope to come back as a cat, or maybe a bird.
  • What is your most treasured possession?  Possessions are meaningless to me.  But I do like my new bike.
  • What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?  Feeling violated and without any control or hope.
  • Where would you like to live?  I would like to spend my time in different settings throughout the year, if possible.  I need both an urban and rural fix.  Definitely lean more toward the rural.
  • What is your favorite occupation?  I should have become an orthodontist.  It’s all positives….you’re a doctor.  You get to work with your hands.  Your patients are generally affluent.  And they usually don’t die.
  • What is your most marked characteristic?  My good intentions.
  • What is the quality you most like in a man?  Ditto.
  • What is the quality you most like in a woman?  Kindness.  And a proper bra.
  • What do you most value in your friends?  Non-judgemental-ness.
  • Who are your favorite writers?  Mark Twain, David Rakoff, Jeffrey Eugenides, Tina Fey.
  • Who is your favorite hero of fiction?  The protagonist of the “Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” series.
  • Who are your heroes in real life?  Kind people.
  • What are your favorite names?  I’ve always been a big fan of “Naomi”.
  • What is it that you most dislike?  Arrogance and cruelty.
  • How would you like to die?  In the very distant future.  Hopefully with some awareness and little pain.
  • What is your favorite motto?  “People Likes Me!”  This was frequently said by a beloved old relative.  (English was her second language.  And, people liked her.)


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One Response to The Proust Questionnaire

  1. I will help you out of that “multiple layers of condemnation” spiral: whenever you’re ready 🙂 Good for you to complete the questionnaire. You made me think, smile and think some more…all good things! One of the highest compliments paid to me and said about me is “you never judge anyone”. I take that in highest honour, and I hope that includes me then as one of your friends 🙂 Thanks for the lovely tip of the hat, and thanks for playing! Cheers! Kaarina

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