We kicked off our “Proust Questionnaire” project last week with re-visiting Damian’s answers to a bunch of questions that have been designed to make one deeply think about his/her thoughts, feelings and beliefs.
I vividly remember the day I grabbed a copy of Vanity Fair at an airport during a business trip and was pleasantly surprised to find Damian on the back page!
I giggled at some of his answers (What is your greatest extravagance? “Ice-cream sundaes with extra cream”). I nodded and smiled at others (What do you consider your greatest achievement? “My marriage”). I was surprised by a few (If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be? “An orangutan”) and strongly disagreed with one (What do you dislike most about your appearance? My smile).
While I read Damian’s answers, I found it sort of inevitable to think about myself, my life, my idols, my likes and dislikes… and so the moment Gingersnap suggested we follow Damian’s lead and fill out the questionnaire, I was in! And Gingersnap, being the “Hermione” that she is, has also added a few questions from James Lipton’s Inside the Actors Studio questionnaire as a nod to his retirement.
My dear Gingersnap, I know it has been your wish for Lipton to have Damian on his program. Now that it is not possible, I believe we should take this matter into our own hands and let Damian answer those 10 questions at some point! Are you game? 🙂
So… here you go, ladies and gentlemen, I am spilling the beans today about myself. And while most of our answers are quite different, Damian and I have a few answers in common. Can you spot them? Cheers!
What is your idea of perfect happiness? Good food. Good wine. Good company.
What is your greatest fear? Losing my loved ones.
Which historical figure do you most identify with? Susan B. Anthony.
Which living person do you most admire? My mother. The strongest woman I have ever known. I wish I had taken after her a bit more. A close second is Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The fun fact is both women I deeply admire are lawyers!
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? I am not a big fan of my inner control freak.
What is the trait you most deplore in others? Greed.
What is your greatest extravagance? Theater. Lots of it. I am afraid I may literally go broke if Damian decides to do Broadway one day 😀
What is your favorite journey? Long walks with no destination or schedule that clear the mind.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Honor. I am thinking of people who hurt themselves or others in the name of honor.
On what occasion do you lie? When I believe I can protect someone I love through a lie.
What do you dislike most about your appearance? My hair. It is very thin and frizzy.
Which living person do you most despise? All dictators that defy the rule of law in their respective countries. The list is quite long. Name your favorite!
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? “Really?”
What is your greatest regret? I should have spent more time with my grandma.
What or who is the greatest love of your life? My husband.
When and where were you happiest? I honestly don’t know. Can one really remember that? But I know one of my happiest moments was when Damian told me “I read you.”
Which talent would you most like to have? To play an instrument really well. I am totally hopeless!
What is your current state of mind? Overwhelmed.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? It would be great if I could think more positively.
If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be? Their pessimism.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? My marriage.
If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be? A person, I hope!
If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be? A person with a lot of power to end poverty in the world.
What is your most treasured possession? My memory.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Hunger.
Where would you like to live? New York. I am a part-time New Yorker but I cannot get enough of the city!
What is your favorite occupation? TRAVELING (yes, in caps!) and blogging is a close second!
What is your most marked characteristic? Loyalty.
What is the quality you most like in a man? Integrity.
What is the quality you most like in a woman? Integrity. This question shows how old this test is. I find the question sexist. Why would I look for different qualities in a man and a woman? Sincerely, a feminist 🙂
What do you most value in your friends? Care. And I am extremely lucky in that department!
Who are your favorite writers? Alice Munro, Orhan Pamuk, Philip Roth, Hilary Mantel, Jhumpa Lahiri, and recently, Elena Ferrante. Oh, and let me add a little trivia: I once gave Damian an autographed copy of Munro’s Dear Life. Why that book? I will tell you one day!
Who is your favorite hero of fiction? Nicholas Brody. If it has to be literature then it is Jo March – my childhood hero.
Who are your heroes in real life? Cancer researchers.
What are your favorite names? Names of people I love. It is the people that give names beauty and meaning.
What is it that you most dislike? Guns.
How would you like to die? In my sleep, without knowing, at an old age.
What is your motto? It was my motto way before the great Bobby Axelrod said it 😀 “You get one life so do it all.”
Lipton: What is your favorite curse word? “Allah belasini versin.” Well, I still curse in my native tongue 😀
Lipton: What sound or noise do you hate? Chalk scraping against the blackboard. Ewwww!
Lipton: What sound or noise do you love? A child’s laughter.
Lipton: If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? Everyone you love is waiting for you.