The Proust Questionnaire has its origins as a parlor game popularized (although not created) by Marcel Proust. The French essayist and novelist believed that a person reveals their true nature in their answers.
1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Never having to set an alarm. Spending more time with my husband and my dogs. Regular naps. Reading. Writing. Perfect happiness sounds a lot like...retirement.
2. What is your greatest fear?
Although I joke that I have an irrational fear of dropping my keys down that space between the elevator and the floor where it's stopped, I have always had a real fear of being physically attacked. I take solace in believing that, if it should happen, I would just let loose all my pent-up anger and beat the ever loving shit out of them.
3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
My pent-up anger
4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
5. Which living person do you most admire?
The creativity of Lin-Manuel Miranda
6. What is your greatest extravagance?
7. What is your current state of mind?
8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
At first I was all, Wait...are there seven virtues that are the antithesis of the Seven Deadly Sins? So I googled it. And there's not. But there are 12 Virtues introduced by Aristotle. And 11 of them are pretty damn...virtuous. I'm apathetic to Temperance (self control and restraint) though.
9. On what occasion do you lie?
When I act interested in the pictures of someone's kid on their phone
10. What do you most dislike about your appearance?
That I'm getting jowls in my old age
11. Which living person do you most despise?
The current U.S. president
12. What is the quality you most like in a man?
Being an unapologetic feminist
13. What is the quality you most like in a woman?
14. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
"Well that's bullshit"
15. What or who is the greatest love of your life?
I know I'm supposed to say my husband but that's so cliche. Let's be honest, my real love is Musical Theater.
16. When and where were you happiest?
Memphis: August 30, 1993
17. Which talent would you most like to have?
Humble brag: I'm pretty happy with the talents I have, tbh
18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I'd be good at math
19. What do you consider you greatest achievement?
Graduating college at the age of 30 (This answer is never going to change)
20. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
I don't really understand this question. Is it an either/or A/B question? Like I should answer "A person." Or is it wanting more specifics? Because if I come back as a person in the future, that person isn't known yet, so how can I name them? So I'll just say that I would come back as a sea turtle in a world where sea turtles specifically and nature in general is appreciated and protected.
21. Where would you most like to live?
In a beach house
22. What is your most treasured possession?
My wedding ring originally belonged to Chip's paternal grandparents. It is inscribed "February 1, 1920." That is super special to me. It meant that, from the beginning, I was accepted as part of their family.
23. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
The throes of depression that feel like living at the bottom of a deep, black hole. I wouldn't wish it on...the current U.S. president.
24. What is your favorite occupation?
25. What is your most marked characteristic?
My sardonic wit
26. What do you most value in your friends?
Appreciation of my sardonic wit
27. Who are your favorite writers?
My favorite writers are southern non-fiction writers: David Sedaris, Julia Reed, Rick Bragg, Roy Blount Jr. And also Sarah Vowell, who doesn't write about the south but is still quite smart and witty.
28. Who is your hero of fiction?
(So cliche. At least I didn't say Laura Ingalls.)
29. Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Alexander Hamilton (he wrote his way out)
30. Who are your heroes in real life?
31. What are your favorite names?
Harper Lee and Shooter Jennings
32. What is it that you most dislike?
Hate. Prejudice. Misogyny. Xenophobia. Ignorance, which really is the root of the others.
33. What is your greatest regret?
Never seeing Tom Petty live
34. How would you like to die?
In a plane crash that results in a huge settlement for my surviving family
35. What is your motto?
"I mean, why the hell not?'
**I also like James Lipton's version on Inside the Actors Studio. Which, frankly, are a lot easier to answer.
1. What is your favorite word?
Grace. It's onomatopoetic really.
2. What is your least favorite word?
The N-word. Makes my skin crawl.
3. What turns you on?
A really good font
4. What turns you off?
Calibri (Comic Sans is way too obvious, right?)
4 What sound or noise do you love?
My dogs snoring. It sounds like contentment.
5. What sound or noise do you hate?
My husband snoring. It sounds like he needs a CPAP.
6. What is your favorite curse word?
7. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Tony award-winning Broadway Musical superstar
8. What profession would you not like to do?
Sales. God, I'd be awful at it.
9. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
"Oh hai. You're dad's waiting on you"