Saturday, July 3, 2010

The "Jo" Proust Questionnaire...

One of my favorite magazines is Vanity Fair, and the first section I always read is the Proust Questionnaire.  It's fun to find out about people -- not what is their favorite color, or what kind of dog do they have -- but the really concrete things in their psyches.  People are so complex, and so different from one another in many aspects, and so similar in many others.  Often when I read the Proust Questionnaire, I am amazed at how similar I am to the particular individual being interviewed.  So, for absolutely no reason whatever except that it's fun, here is the "Jo" interview of the Proust Questionnaire.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A beautiful summer day, great company, beside the ocean or a lake.

What is your greatest fear?
Not leaving my mark in the world, and being forgotten.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Impatience.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Egotism.

What is your most marked characteristic?
My laugh.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Books.

What is your current state of mind?
Hopeful.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Meekness.

On what occasion do you lie?
To spare someone's feelings.

What is the quality you most like in a man?
Strength.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Strength.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Omigawd.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
He knows.

When and where were you happiest?
Right now.

Which talent would you most like to have?
To play the piano.

What is your most treasured possession?
My father's books.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Worrying.

What is your favorite occupation?
Artist.

What is your most marked characteristic?
I don't suffer fools gladly.

What do you most value in your friends.
Understanding.

Which living person do you most admire?
My friend Lulu.

Who is your favorite hero of fiction.
Doc in Cannery Row.

Who are your heroes in real life.
Volunteers.

What is it that you most dislike.
Anger.

What is your greatest regret?
Not going to university.

How would you like to die?
Being hit by a bus at the age of 100 while riding my bike.

What is your motto?
"Lighten up..."

Now ... if you would like to do the Proust Questionnaire too, I would love to hear your answers.

20 comments:

Jennifer D said...

That was so much fun. I really want to hear your laugh now!

We have many similarities and differences. ;-)

Sam Liu said...

Brilliant post, Jo, it was a really fascinating read. I agree with your biggest fear, being forgotten is something I often contemplate. And I agree with Jennifer D, I really want to hear your laugh :D

KrippledWarrior said...

I've never read "VANITY FAIR" so this was all new to me. And yet it interested me greatly, despite the lack of testosterone. Thank you Jo.
Kurt

Kathryn said...

Yes, record a laugh track! :)

I so much appreciate these answers:

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A beautiful summer day, great company, beside the ocean or a lake.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Egotism.

What is your current state of mind?
Hopeful.


What do you most value in your friends.
Understanding.

You are so thoughtful in all you do, Jo. I so appreciate you & enjoy your writing.

ρομπερτ said...

Dear Jo, hopefully you are fine. Way too alluring not to reply to. Great entry indeed. So these would be me replies:
1. Spending time together with friends and family, looking at them being happy.
2. Not being good enough for others.
3. Fear.
4. Egoism.
5. Honesty.
6. Books.
7. Peacefulness.
8.
9. My wishes.
10. Being real.
11. Being real.
12. "scheisse" - German for merde.
13. Me son.
14. Being together with my son.
15. Playing an instrument.
16. Memories.
17. Poverty.
18. Reading.
19. Knowing what I want.
20. Honesty.
21. My parents.
22. Don Quichote
23. People that make a change.
24. Money.
25. (tough one ;) giving in way too many times
26. (even tougher one ;) alone in a desert probably
27. Somewhere upon earth there's always sunshine.
Thank you for this exercise, indeed.

daily athens

HAPPY IN NEVADA said...

Very fun - your answers are much like mine on a number of the questions.

Mine?

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Being at the sea-shore in Monterey, CA with all my children and their children and close friends enjoying a picnic.

What is your greatest fear?
Losing the use of my limbs or eye-sight or hearing.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Impatience.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Egotism.

What is your most marked characteristic?
The way I laugh and how long I often do when I'm tickled by a remark or event.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Musical CD's.

What is your current state of mind?
Confident.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Meekness.

On what occasion do you lie?
To spare someone's feelings.

What is the quality you most like in a man?
Strength.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Strength.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
"That's immaterial".

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
He knows.

When and where were you happiest?
1973 when all my children were young and still at home with me.

Which talent would you most like to have?
Well I do play the piano, write, paint, draw, sing, so I'm pretty lucky there because I can also dance which I enjoy. I guess playing the harp would be something I'd like to learn.

What is your most treasured possession?
My father's books and his trumpet as well as my grandfather Reese's memorabilia he gave me before he died.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Suffering from a terrible illness; handicap or poverty.

What is your favorite occupation?
Playing the piano.

What is your most marked characteristic?
I don't suffer fools well at all.

What do you most value in your friends.
Understanding and loyalty.

Which living person do you most admire?
My husband.

Who is your favorite hero of fiction.
Rhett Butler.

Who are your heroes in real life.
Volunteers.

What is it that you most dislike.
Anger.

What is your greatest regret?
Not getting my degree in music.

How would you like to die?
In my sleep at 110.

What is your motto?
"If it's worth doing, it's worth doing right".

Carol E. said...

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
a sunny, cool fall day near a lake, wrapped in a quilt, chatting with my family/friends

What is your greatest fear?
that my parenting mistakes might have messed up my children

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
being judgmental

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
poor listening skills

What is your most marked characteristic?
generosity

What is your greatest extravagance?
fabric

What is your current state of mind?
hopeful

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
patriotism

On what occasion do you lie?
to spare someone's feelings

What is the quality you most like in a man?
gentleness

What is the quality you most like in a woman?
compassion

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
fabulous

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
my sweet husband

When and where were you happiest?
any time I'm laughing with friends or family

Which talent would you most like to have?
ability to draw well

What is your most treasured possession?
quilts and camera (they tie)

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
being completely alone

What is your favorite occupation?
education

What is your most marked characteristic?
(this is a repeat question.. this time I'll say my silliness)

What do you most value in your friends?
shared values

Which living person do you most admire?
Kelley Rae

Who is your favorite hero of fiction? Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird

Who are your heroes in real life?
grassroots people who accomplish enormous things

What is it that you most dislike?
fights

What is your greatest regret?
parenting mistakes

How would you like to die?
surrounded by family

What is your motto?
Love one another

DJan said...

This was really fun! Any time I get to know more about you, Jo, it's a good day. Today is a GREAT day!!

lakeviewer said...

Wow! I too love Doc in Cannery Row!

June said...

Vanity Fair is the only magazine that I actually read. I'm proud of that because it has the world's longest articles. :-P I don't recognize most of the people about whom I'm reading, but so what.

The Proust Questionnaire is something I pore over as well...and I've thought many times of doing a post about it. (Of course I'll have to postpone that now for some time, since I wouldn't want to be a copycat.)

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Peace of mind.

What is your greatest fear?
That I won't appreciate everything enough.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Fearfulness.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Lack of self-knowledge.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Books.

What is your current state of mind?
Gelatinous.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Ambition.

On what occasion do you lie?
Truly, I try not to lie.

What is the quality you most like in a man?
Persistence.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Interest.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
@#%$! and variants thereof.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Husband.

When and where were you happiest?
Almost the entire year of 2008; I was having my cake and eating it too.

Which talent would you most like to have?
The ability to do tasks step by step.

What is your most treasured possession?
My home.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Abandonment.

What is your favorite occupation?
Reading, especially material that inspires me to write something.

What is your most marked characteristic?
Noticing details, often at the cost of overlooking the big picture.

What do you most value in your friends.
Kind humor.

Which living person do you most admire?
Today? Billy Mac, a friend who I would have sworn would never get sober, and is.

Who is your favorite hero of fiction.
I don't know.

Who are your heroes in real life.
Happy old people.

What is it that you most dislike.
Passionate insincerity.

What is your greatest regret?
I can't think about regrets. I must believe that if I am happy now, that happiness comes as a result of everything that I've done.

How would you like to die?
With as little pain as possible.

What is your motto?
It is what it is.

June said...

Vanity Fair is the only magazine that I actually read. I'm proud of that because it has the world's longest articles. :-P

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Peace of mind.

What is your greatest fear?
That I won't appreciate everything enough.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Fearfulness.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Lack of self-knowledge.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Books.

What is your current state of mind?
Gelatinous.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Ambition.

On what occasion do you lie?
Truly, I try not to lie.

What is the quality you most like in a man?
Persistence.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Interest.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
@#%$! and variants thereof.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Husband.

When and where were you happiest?
Almost the entire year of 2008; I was having my cake and eating it too.

Which talent would you most like to have?
The ability to do tasks step by step.

What is your most treasured possession?
My home.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Abandonment.

What is your favorite occupation?
Reading, especially material that inspires me to write something.

What is your most marked characteristic?
Noticing details, often at the cost of overlooking the big picture.

What do you most value in your friends.
Kind humor.

Which living person do you most admire?
Today? Billy Mac, a friend who I would have sworn would never get sober, and is.

Who is your favorite hero of fiction.
I don't know.

Who are your heroes in real life.
Happy old people.

What is it that you most dislike.
Passionate insincerity.

What is your greatest regret?
I can't think about regrets. I must believe that if I am happy now, that happiness comes as a result of everything that I've done.

How would you like to die?
With as little pain as possible.

What is your motto?
It is what it is.

Indian Pundit said...

What is your most marked characteristic?
My laugh.


i would love to see you laugh.

Amazing post.

DUTA said...

My greatest fear, and I believe most people's greatest fear, is of becoming ill and having to depend on others.

ivan said...

Jacque Brel, too intense an intellectual, rails, "If I could just make a fool of myself in a silly-ass way."

Well, I can, and all the time. And that's about all there is to say.

Pauline said...

This took a long time! Thanks for the fun, Jo.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Having all four of my far-flung children with me at the same time.

What is your greatest fear?
Intense and unrelenting physical pain.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Reluctance.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Cruelty.

What is your most marked characteristic?
Tip-tilted eyes atop high cheekbones.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Food.

What is your current state of mind?
Content.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Cardinal virtues? “Religious” faith. Heavenly virtues? Chastity.

On what occasion do you lie?
When not to lie is more of a lie.

What is the quality you most like in a man?
Kindness.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Kindness.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Jeepers!

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Children and grandchildren.

When and where were you happiest?
As a child at home with family.

Which talent would you most like to have?
Musical.

What is your most treasured possession?
I can’t pick just one.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Hopelessness.

What is your favorite occupation?
Teacher.

What is your most marked characteristic?
I can string words together.

What do you most value in your friends.
Constancy.

Which living person do you most admire?
Wendell Berry.

Who is your favorite hero of fiction.
Pa Ingalls.

Who are your heroes in real life.
Firemen.

What is it that you most dislike.
Ignorance.

What is your greatest regret?
Not staying with my Mama as she was dying.

How would you like to die?
Preferably in my sleep.

What is your motto?
"Keep on keepin’ on..."

Deb said...

Jo, I love this questionnaire...I'll probably use it in the upcoming week...

Your greatest extravagance and your most marked characteristic surely would make us bestest friends in the real world as I love both of those traits as well.

Have a Happy, Happy Day up North while we celebrate our Country's birthday and my husband's birthday as well!

pilgrimchick said...

Those are all such wonderful answers. I was particularly intrigued by your comment about "meekness"--it really made me think.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I'd forgotten how much I always enjoy this questionnaire. Some of your answers could be mine as well, especially "impatience" and not leaving my mark on the world. Besides my children, of course. I have always wanted to be an artist of some kind and leave behind wondrous works when I die, which hopefully will be well past 100, with all my loved ones around me.

@ly said...

Very nice. I can relate to many things including the laugh. I am always being told how my laugh stands out. Keep laughing.

A.M. said...

I love this and it was fun to do. I found myself agreeing to a lot of your answers. Check out my answers :o)

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

For everyone to give unconditionally and to love unconditionally

What is your greatest fear?

That my daughter will grow up without me there.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

being judgmental (working on it though)


What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Egotism.

What is your most marked characteristic?

Forgiveness


What is your greatest extravagance?

spending money on my daughter

What is your current state of mind?

That life does have a purpose :o)

On what occasion do you lie?

If I know it will hurt somebody

What is the quality you most like in a man?

A Godly man, one that has faith.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?

Confidence ( I wish I had more)

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

O man

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

My husband

When and where were you happiest?

Right now.

Which talent would you most like to have?

To be an accomplished runner.

What is your most treasured possession?

I don't really put that much value to things, but I guess my Aunts watch that she passed down to me.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Not being motivated for life

What is your favourite occupation?

Nurse

What is your most marked characteristic?

That I always go for my dreams

What do you most value in your friends.

Understanding.

Which living person do you most admire?

Johanna and my twin sister

Who is your favourite hero?

God

Who are your heroes in real life.

People who do good in this world

What is it that you most dislike.

Overly-confident people

What is your greatest regret?

Not leaving my last job sooner

How would you like to die?

with my family by my side

What is your motto?

"That everything is obtainable if you try"