I answer the Proust Questionnaire

Proust didn't invent this questionnaire - it was a popular parlor game back in his day. Nowadays, only the rich and famous do it. I wanted to do it too.

So I did.

.....

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Depends on my mood: If I’m feeling social, a cocktail party. If I’m not, a stay at a fancy hotel on somebody else’s dime.

What is your greatest fear?

Driving in downtown Boston.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

My incredible ability to procrastinate. I even procrastinate the things I want to do. It doesn’t make sense. I have to work on that.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

I have no patience for bullies of any age.

Which living person do you most admire?

My mom.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Organic food and cashmere.

What is your current state of mind?

Dreamy.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

The ability to multitask. I’d much rather have the ability to truly live in the moment.

On what occasion do you lie?

Rarely. Lying is hard work. But I am very diplomatic.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

My stretch marks. I know they’re supposed to be my battle scars and I should wear them bravely, but if I could erase them, I would.

Which living person do you most despise?

Anyone who knowingly hurts the vulnerable - unfortunately that’s a lot of people.

What is the quality you most like in a man?

Kindness.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?

The same - kindness.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

“On the other hand...“

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

My husband.

When and where were you happiest?

The first euphoric hours after giving birth to my kids. I try to recall that feeling whenever I need to remember how happiness feels.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I wish I was a ballet dancer. They do incredibly difficult things in the name of beauty, and make it look so easy.

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

There are many things I wish I could change. I’m always working on something.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

My education. I’m not afraid to try anything, because I know I can learn how.

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

Myself, but wiser.

Where would you most like to live?

Rome.

What is your most treasured possession?

My laptop. It holds everything. I should back it up.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Jealousy.

What is your favorite occupation?

Writing about frivolous things.

What is your most marked characteristic?

I’m terrible at returning emails and phone calls.

What do you most value in your friends?

Patience.

Who are your favorite writers?

Julia Alvarez, Sandra Cisneros, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Jeffrey Eugenides.

Who is your hero of fiction?

J. Alfred Prufrock.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

I’d like to identify with Coco Chanel. I love her fierce independence.

Who are your heroes in real life?

Parents.

What are your favorite names?

Easy: Lucas, Sebastian and Benjamin.

What is it that you most dislike?

Folding and putting away laundry. Ironing. Grocery shopping. But I like pretty clothes and I like cooking and eating, so they must be done.

What is your greatest regret?

I once had two job offers and I took the boring job instead of the one I really wanted because I thought it would be ”good for me.“ That was stupid and I will never make that mistake again.

How would you like to die?

At peace with my life.

What is your motto?

”In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.” (Thank you, Coco Chanel!)