Sarah Morgan

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YWTT: The Proust Questionnaire

This post is part of the You Write the Title series – title submitted anonymously.

The Proust Questionnaire was popularized with a version on Inside the Actor’s StudioI did that a long time ago, but the full version is different, so here goes.

Favorite virtue. Honesty.
Favorite qualities in a man. The conversational ability to surprise me into a laugh. The physical ability to be powerful, to dance, to move and run and live. The social ability to befriend anyone. The mental ability to get lost in books, to quiet my hamster wheel of a brain, to teach me things and ask questions and explore the world. Scruff. Chuck Taylors. A well-used passport. Strong hands. Broad shoulders. Nice eyes. Good hair. An excellent backside. Passion. Courage. Honesty.
Favorite qualities in a woman. Many of the same as the above.
Chief characteristic. Mine? I think most people would say “cheerful.”
What I appreciate most in friends. Understanding.
Main fault. I answered this in another post years ago and I’m afraid it’s still true: “Glib, distractible, forgetful, judgmental, prone to the sulks.”
Favorite occupation. Proust said “Loving.” I concur.
Idea of happiness. Proust said “I am afraid it be not great enough, I dare not speak it, I am afraid of destroying it by speaking it.”  That seems like a cop-out. My idea of happiness is being safe and loved, challenged and appreciated, living with joy and given the chance to adventure and make a difference. To matter. To be home.
Idea of misery. Being left out. Stared at. In the cold. In shorts. And bowling shoes.
If not yourself, who would you be? It’d be quite nice to be Kate Winslet. But I’m okay with me.
Where would you like to live? I love where I live. I guess to be perfect, I wish it were a. where everyone dearest to me also lived and b. a suburb of London.
Favorite color. White.
Favorite flower. Gardenias.
Favorite bird. Who has a favorite bird? Robins, I think. They make chubby tummies work, and you’ve got to respect that.
Favorite prose authors. Shakespeare. If the plays count. If not, Arthur Conan Doyle. And Austen. And Wilde. And….
Favorite poets. I could say Shakespeare here too, but that’s pretentious. (Says the person taking the Proust questionnaire. That train left the station.) How’s this. Shakespeare for Sonnet 130 and Whitman for To a Stranger and Wordsworth for The World Is Too Much With Us  but mostly Merwin for ‘Separation,’ which I read on a Tube station wall and which was my realization that poetry can become tattooed on your soul.
Favorite fictional heroes. Lizzie Bennett, Jason Bourne, Anne Shirley, Lucy Pevensie, Hermione Granger.
Favorite painters. Monet, Van Gogh, Seurat, Matisse, Magritte. I am pedestrian.
Favorite musicians. A tough one. I like individual songs, and I have a short attention span for music. Ed Sheeran. Of late, Ella Henderson. Most of the UK pop chart.
Heroes in real life. People who have achieved a great deal, yet love helping others who have a harder time accomplishing less. I know a lot of people like this.
Characters you most dislike. Dolores Umbridge.
Historical figures you most dislike. Well, obvious answers like Hitler aside, Hemingway was kind of a douche.
Favorite food. Vanilla ice cream.
Favorite drink. Water, or a fabulous red wine.
Favorite names. James and Anna. I also like people getting two middle names.
What I hate the most. Feeling unsure (unfortunately I feel that way often). Being cold (ditto).
Military event I admire the most. Bill Pullman’s speech in Independence Day? True, but it may not count. How about this. Deeds done by volunteers to protect the innocent, and which bring the doers home safe. Broad but true.
Reform I admire the most. Equality movements.
Talent I wish I had. I wish I could sing. I would also like to remember more.
How I want to die. Painlessly and unawares. Desperately cowardly for those I leave behind, but 100% true.
Present state of mind. Introspective. Not unusual.
Faults for which I have the most indulgence. Those that come from a desire to do good.
Motto. You can do anything for ___. Fill in with whatever length of time I have to do something.

If you’re keeping track, here are the YWTT archives: 

You Write the Title IV:

You Write the Title III:

You Write the Title I and II:


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