Apparently, I have a lot in common with Barbara Walters.

For Christmas this year, my ex-roommate (Ex because we graduated from college and now live in different states, not because we had a falling out) Liz gave me Vanity Fair’s Proust Questionnaire, the answers of 101 celebrities to my favorite magazine feature. It’s pretty awesome, so everyone should be really jealous and then go buy a copy of their own. (Thanks, Liz!) I’ve answered the questionnaire before, but after reading all of these responses, I’ve been inspired to respond again. Side note: I plugged my answers into Vanity Fair’s interactive version, and had my answers compared to actual celebrities. Apparently, my answers are 95% like Barbara Walters, 87% like George Carlin, 72% like Joan Collins, 59% like Martin Scorcese, 38% like Nora Ephron, and 10% like Arnold Schwarzenegger. I’m now concerned about my view on life.

  1. What is your idea of perfect happiness? On a mountaintop, surrounded by people I like, looking out at the world around me.
  2. What is your greatest fear? Disappointing people. And that I will never meet Michael J. Fox.
  3. Which historical figure do you most identify with? Nellie Bly.
  4. Which living person do you most admire? Kindergarten teachers.
  5. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?  Bossiness.
  6. What is the trait you most deplore in others? Rudeness.
  7. What is your greatest extravagance? As a graduate student, sleeping seven hours a night. As a normal person, having multiple bottles of shampoo in my shower.
  8. What is your favorite journey? To Portugal. But if we’re talking about a journey I’ve actually taken, I-65. If I-65 were the Appalachian Trail, I would be considered a section hiker, but if I’m on that road, I know I’m headed to somewhere I’ve thought of as home.
  9. On what occasion do you lie? To protect someone’s feelings.
  10. What do you dislike most about your appearance? My left earlobe.
  11. Which living person do you most despise? Whoever decided grape flavored medicine should be a thing.
  12. Which words or phrases do you most overuse? “Oh fudge.” “Yay!” “The thing is…”
  13. What is your greatest regret? I honestly can’t think of anything.
  14. What or who is the greatest love of your life? Hmm…
  15. When and where were you happiest? Louisville, Christmas, 1996. The American West, Summer 2004. New England, Summer 2011. Alabama, May 2012.
  16. What talent would you most like to have? To dance like Ginger Rogers.
  17. What is your current state of mind? Distracted, but content. I’m also wishing I could be a production designer on “The Hunger Games” movies.
  18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I’d tell better bad jokes. And I’d procrastinate less.
  19. If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be? They would live closer. And Libby would still be here.
  20. What do you consider your greatest achievement? My parents each separately told me they were proud of me recently. That was pretty awesome to hear.
  21. If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be? A squirrel. Or the Singing Nun.
  22. If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be? Katharine Hepburn. She seems like a cool broad who had lots of adventures.
  23. What is your most treasured possession? Indiana Jones James Bond. My childhood Teddy Bear.
  24. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Not being myself. Or being stuck in the rain and being soaking wet.
  25. Where would you like to live? In a New England museum.
  26. What is your favorite occupation? Kindergarten teacher. Working with old historical-y stuff.
  27. Your most marked characteristics? Scrunching up my eyes when I smile, and talking too much.
  28. The quality you most like in a man? Kindness and a sense of humor.
  29. The quality do you most like in a woman?  Kindness and honesty.
  30. What do you most value in your friends? Kindness, compassion, and a sense of humor.
  31. Who are your favorite writers? Jhumpa Lahiri, Ann Patchett, Chaim Potok, Jean Little.
  32. Who is your favorite hero of fiction? Peter Pan. Jo March.
  33. Who are your heroes in real life? Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Abigail Adams. The Vlogbrothers. Kindergarten teachers. Paramedics.
  34. What are your favorite names? I used to make lists of my favorite names out of the back of my grandmother’s dictionary, but Christopher, Susannah, Phoebe, and Lee have always been favorites.
  35. What is it you most dislike? Being bored. According to Eloise, it’s not allowed.
  36. How would you like to die? On my 90th birthday, after a hot air balloon ride.
  37. What is your motto? “ I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning how to sail my ship,” or “Hope and keep busy,” both by Louisa May Alcott.

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