This Week’s Top Five: Answers to the Proust Questionnaire

As we round up the year 2009, we here at Matterful thought we would take stock of ourselves with the age-old Proust Questionnaire. Named after Marcel Proust, the esteemed French writer who passionately answered these parlor questions time and time again, the Proust Questionnaire has been made popular by its back page inclusion in Vanity Fair magazine. Here are questions 1 through 5:

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Mariela:  The waves and a sunset

Mariola: Warm weather, a sunny beach, cocktails, all shared with people I love

Autumn: Half-awake on a Caribbean beach with sun on my skin and wind in the palms

Jenni: Watching a lovely sunset, be it in the Caribbean, Hawaii or Florida, with an ice cold cocktail in hand and family/friends close by

Jen Mae: Perfect happiness for me is being on vacation with my husband and daughter. It’s about 72 degrees outside, just brisk enough for a light sweater.  The sun is shining in a clear blue sky and we’re rolling around on a cool blanket of green grass under a blooming tree.  A Jacaranda or Saucer Magnolia would be nice. Something like this:

Lisa: Visiting a place I’ve never been with someone I love

2. What is your greatest fear?

Mariela: Losing a loved one

Mariola: Mediocrity

Autumn: My parents’ deaths

Jenni: Going grey, oh wait that’s already happening … I guess I’d have to say losing my son.

Jen Mae: I fear I’ll make the wrong decision.

Lisa: Developing a fear of death later in life

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

Mariela: Too quick to react at times when I should take a breath and think

Mariola: My inability to network

Autumn: I am an immediate and harsh critic.

Jenni: Lack of self-confidence

Jen Mae: My indecision. These questions are killing me. I have several possible answers and can’t decide which to declare.

Lisa: I bad at admitting when I’m wrong.

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

Mariela: Disrespect, in its many shapes and sizes

Mariola: Cowardice

Autumn: Willful ignorance

Jenni: Pompousness … or back hair, it’s a tough call

Jen Mae: The inability or lack of desire to see through the eyes of another

Lisa: Insincerity, not following through

5. Which living person do you most admire?

Mariela: J.K. Rowling

Mariola: Joan Didion

Autumn: Agnes Varda

Jenni: Anyone who overcomes huge obstacles in life, such as substance abuse

Jen Mae: There’s no indecision here. It’s my husband.  He’s the only person I know well enough to truly admire.  He’s strong, forgiving, patient, giving, compassionate, witty, and intelligent. He inspires me to be a better person and I’m pretty sure I do the same for him. Cheesy? Maybe. But, it’s the truth, Ruth.

Lisa: Our president: smart, graceful and someone I am proud to have represent America to the world

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One response to “This Week’s Top Five: Answers to the Proust Questionnaire

  1. 1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
    cathartic moments

    could be at a perfectly fantastic live music performance (intimate venue setting);
    could be on the beach, in front of the ocean, with a beach chair, umbrella, sunglasses, clear and sunny sky… ; could just be a walk in the park or sleeping in with no agenda; could be dancing to
    lively soul music
    [used to be witching hour strolls through River Park with Lucky dog ]

    2. What is your greatest fear?

    disappearing or getting stuck in a really small space

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

    the trait that drives the endless and faceted thinking and critiquing of every thing i
    take notice of – leads to lots of “hard” decisions and a lack of spontaneity

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

    cruelty [all levels and forms]

    5. Which living person do you most admire?

    Thich Nhat Hahn

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