Proust Questionnaire

I love minutiae.  I’ve answered the Vanity Fair Proust Questionnaire before, but that was two years ago.   I love it and wanted to do it again.  Clearly some answers will never change, while others fluctuate with the years of our lives.  I would love to hear any and all of your answers!

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

Where would you like to live?
Right where I am.

What is your idea of earthly happiness?
Kissing my children’s sleeping faces before I go to bed.  Being in my bed with a book at 8pm.  A cold glass of wine with ice in it on the porch of my parents’ summer home.  My annual weekend with my college friends.  The feeling when I come home after a long, good run in the rain or snow.

To what faults do you feel most indulgent?
The faults of people who doubt themselves, who stumble as they try to find their truth path, who have lost track of what they really want because the world’s input and affirmation is too loud.

Who are your favorite heroes of fiction?
Dumbledore.  He will always be number one.  Also, the Velveteen Rabbit, many of Raymond Carver’s stoic, hardworking heroes, Phineas in A Separate Peace, Harry Potter, and the butler in The Remains of the Day.

Who are your favorite characters in history?
Joan of Arc, Georgia O’Keeffe, June Carter Cash.

Who are your favorite heroines in real life?
Ina May Gaskin, Oprah, Anne Lamott.

Who are your favorite heroines of fiction?
Hermione (Harry Potter), Mamah Cheney (Loving Frank), Charity Lang (Crossing to Safety), Lyra (His Dark Materials), Eve (Paradise Lost), Mrs Ramsay (To the Lighthouse), Irina (Three Sisters).

Your favorite painter?
Helen Frankenthaler, Mark Rothko, Georgia O’Keeffe.

Your favorite musician?
James Taylor.

The qualities you most admire in a man?
Humor, calm, intelligence, and the difficult-to-define, difficult-to-find ability to make me feel safe.

The qualities you most admire in a woman?
Not taking herself too seriously, but not being flip either.  Willingness to say what she believes.  Ability to make her life reflect her true values.  Resilience.

Your favorite virtue?
Patience.  Positivity.  Constancy.

Your favorite occupation?
I am pretty sure I’ll never be able to pick just one.

Who would you have liked to be?
Someone more centered, more confident, more clear.


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11 Comments

  1. Posted March 26, 2013 at 4:44 am | Permalink

    What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
    Neuralgia (nerve pain).

    Where would you like to live?
    By the coast.

    What is your idea of earthly happiness?
    Being by the ocean. Surrounded by loved ones. The wind in my hair and sun on my face.

    Who are your favorite heroes of fiction?
    Spiderman because he always reminds me of my brother in his cute little spiderman outfit.

    Your favorite painter?
    Mark Rothko, John William Waterhouse.

    Your favorite musician?
    James Taylor.

    The qualities you most admire in a man?
    Strength but now afraid to show his softer side. The ability to make people feel comfortable and at ease.

    The qualities you most admire in a woman?
    Strength, perseverance, being herself, conficence.

    Who would you have liked to be?
    Someone slightly less emotional, defininitely more confident and able to vocalize what I feel.

    admin Reply:

    Love that we agree on musicians and artists … ! xox

  2. Posted March 26, 2013 at 5:01 am | Permalink

    I love this. Will get to work on my right away… Although I may have a cup of coffee first!

  3. Posted March 26, 2013 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Lindsey, someone just asked me some questions that were very similar to the ones that James Lipton asks of his guests on Inside the Actor’s Studio…took me 3 days to answer! I love these questions…and your answers. XO

    admin Reply:

    Would love to hear your answers! xox

  4. Posted March 26, 2013 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    I love when you post these!’

  5. Posted March 26, 2013 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Love, love, love this. It’s fascinating to me how these brief answers are such windows into deeper topics. I might have to borrow this idea myself! xo

    admin Reply:

    I hope you do!

  6. Posted March 26, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    This had me thinking today. Thanks.

    What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
    Fear and loathing.

    Where would you like to live?
    Somewhere remote and pristine where I look out at the ocean in my front yard and a mountain range in my back yard. My only neighbors: trees and critters.

    What is your idea of earthly happiness?
    Being truly connected to the people I love. Authentic relationships. A good book. A long walk. A delicious meal.

    To what faults do you feel most indulgent?
    Envy and greed.
    Narcissism.

    Who are your favorite heroes of fiction?
    Oskar Schindler (Schindler’s List). Atticus Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird). Aslan (Chronicles of Narnia). E.T.

    Who are your favorite characters in history?
    Jesus Christ, Buddha, Mother Theresa, Vincent Van Gogh, Ernest Hemmingway, Anne Frank, and Princess Diana.

    Who are your favorite heroines in real life?
    My Mom. Julia Child. Anne Boleyn. Katrina Kenison. Mary Oliver.

    Who are your favorite heroines of fiction?
    Charlotte (Charlotte’s Web). Jane Eyre. Jo March (Little Women). Scout Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird.

    Your favorite painter?
    Milton Avery. Pierre Bonnard. Marc Chagall. Raoul Dufy. Nicholas de Stael. Andrew Wyeth. Vincent Van Gogh. Camille Pissaro.

    Your favorite musician?
    Rickie Lee Jones. Jack Johnson. Joni Mitchell.

    The qualities you most admire in a man?
    Honesty, humility, kindness, confidence and authenticity.

    The qualities you most admire in a woman?
    The same.

    Your favorite virtue?
    Selflessness.

    Your favorite occupation?
    Writer.

    Who would you have liked to be?
    Someone more convicted of what I want and less concerned with what others think of it.

    admin Reply:

    Love these answers. LOVE. So happy to see Katrina Kenison on your list! :) Thank you for answering the questionnaire! xox

  7. Posted March 26, 2013 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    I love this questionaire, Lindsey. It’s so pointed, and gives me an instant feeling of who you are on a deeper level … I’m going to answer a few of these only because I’m single-mom-ing it and have only a stitch of time…

    What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
    Isolated in a Czech former-Soviet hospital, having done that, I believe it’s the worst experience I can imagine.

    Where would you like to live?
    coastal Italy, anywhere, with my man

    What is your idea of earthly happiness?
    Sharing a meal with dear friends and family.

    Your favorite painter?
    Monet, da Vinci, van Gogh, and I agree, O’Keeffe

    Your favorite musician?
    U2, Coldplay, Nichole Nordeman

    Your favorite occupation?
    Novelist

    Thanks for the thought-provoking questions, Lindsey! I’m going to have to do the full thing for my blog sometime, I think. xo

  8. Denise
    Posted March 27, 2013 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    Oprah is one of Lindsey’s heroines? Is she serious or just being obsequious in the hopes of garnering the “entertainer’s” attention.

    admin Reply:

    I am completely serious.

  9. Posted March 27, 2013 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    I love these kinds of questionnaires. I see some dinnertime conversation tonight. :-)

    Just wanted to say, that for my own selfish reasons, I’m glad you’re not more confident and clear. If you were, you wouldn’t be the writer that you are. People who are very confident and clear don’t spend much time asking questions and pondering alternatives and reflecting. (I think, anyway.) I’m glad you do all those things in abundance.

  10. Posted March 29, 2013 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Dearest Lindsey,

    I loved getting this little, differently-shaped glimpse into your heart. On a whim, I decided to fill out this questionnaire too (which I’d never heard of before, so thank you) after reading your answers here. I was surprised at my own answers to these thought-provoking gems! Here’s mine, should you be curious: http://esmewang.com/blog/2013/3/proust-questionnaire.

    Be well, be well.

    x
    Es

  11. Posted April 10, 2013 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    I just did mine!