Marcel Proust made these questionnaires famous. On the back page of Vanity Fair, there’s often an adapted “Proust Questionnaire” given to some famous person. I’m never going to be Marcel Proust or on the back page of Vanity Fair, so here’s mine. (The questions that Vanity Fair uses vary, so I’ve taken a sampling.)
1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Finally being able to relax. I’m convinced it’s impossible.
2. What is your greatest fear?
Death. Dying with a lot of regret.
3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
My ability to procrastinate and not actually live my life.
4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
5. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Dropping out of law school.
6. Which living person do you most admire?
7. Which living person do you most despise?
The greediest one.
8. Which historical figure do you most identify with?
9. What is your greatest extravagance?
I’m poor, so I guess my rent.
10. What is your current state of mind?
11. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
12. On what occasion do you lie?
To protect other people from themselves.
13. What is the quality you most like in a man?
Empathy and Silence.
14. What is the quality you most like in a woman?
15. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
‘I don’t know.’
16. What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Dark Chocolate. It has never, on any occasion, ever done me wrong.
17. When and where were you happiest?
The summer after I graduated from high school back in Indiana.
18. Which talent would you most like to have?
19. What is your most treasured possession?
Probably my computer, sadly. Or, rather, the hard drive.
20. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Giving up when you don’t want to but can’t stop it.
21. What is your favorite occupation?
Of occupations I’ve had? Starbucks Barista.
22. What is your most marked characteristic?
I’ve been told I’m ‘weird’ more than anything else.
23. What do you most value in your friends?
24. Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
Holden Caulfield. Tyler Durden. Jeffrey ‘The Dude’ Lebowski.
25. Who are your heroes in real life?
26. What is it that you most dislike?
When we forget to laugh at all of this.
27. What is your greatest regret?
Not asking for help when I have needed it.
28. If not yourself, who would you be?
A drag queen.
29. How would you like to die?
Exactly how and when I choose to.
30. What is your motto?
“Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming.”