In honour of my birthday, I was going to post a memoir. An ode to the past 29 years of my life. (That’s the perpetual age for all women over 30, and as long as I can still pull it off, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!). So a history, rich in, umm, I don’t know…life stuff, I guess. “I Am Born”, etc., etc. But I’m afraid it wouldn’t make for a very stimulating read. The chronicles of a thirty something Financial Analyst with a completely normal upbringing aren’t exactly going to have them rolling in the aisles. And Mum, if you’re reading this, it was a wonderful and fabulous upbringing, but also a normal one. Normal is not a bad thing, it’s just, well, normal.
So rather than regale you with tales of mediocrity, I thought I’d do something edgier. It’s not really edgy, I just like to think of it as edgy so I don’t come across as so completely ordinary. Anyway, something that will detail who I am now.
In the 19th century, a confession album was a series of questions similar to the email questionnaires that we’ve all seen pop up repeatedly in our inboxes. What did you have for breakfast? What time did you last move your bowels? Things that should be filed under T.M.I.. They may be fun the first time, but one can only answer “A bagel with cream cheese” so many times. But the earlier versions that gained popularity in Europe in the late 1800’s were a little more in-depth, and were believed to reveal details about the facets of one’s personality, not one’s bodily functions. The most well-known of these is the Proust Questionnaire, so named because French novelist, Marcel Proust, filled it out a couple of times. Ok, so the answers he gave at such a young age were profound and insightful, but still, he just filled it out. It’s not like he invented it! Henceforth, the Canada Census shall be known as the Jenn Questionnaire.
I should note here that, after some research into the origins of the confession album, I am not, in fact, going to be the one to resurrect it from antiquity. Apparently Vanity Fair’s last page showcases the Proust Questionnaire as answered by celebrities. Yeah, like anyone cares what they have to say. (It turns out that people actually do care and they’ve compiled them into a book, available on Amazon for the low price of $17.24 CAD). However, given that I’d be in such illustrious company as the luminaries over at Vanity Fair, (yes, I am available to freelance), AND starting from scratch is not in my list of things to do today, I’ve decided to enlighten you all with my answers anyway.
I was going to kick it old school here and answer the original Proust Questionnaire, however I found I was answering all of the questions in an old-fashioned manner and with an English accent. And then I was going to answer the Vanity Fair version, but there were just too many damn questions!
So, in order to keep things short(er) and sweet, I give you the bastardized, yet no less brilliant, adaptation of the Proust Questionnaire, care of Bernard Pivot and James Lipton, of Inside the Actors Studio fame, who also took their version from Proust. (I know they did other stuff, but I watch the show). And truth be told, Pivot took it from Proust. Lipton took it from Pivot.
So, without further ado…
What is your favourite word? Mom. It was Mommy but I just can’t seem to get my 17-year-old to call me that any more.
What is your least favourite word? The “C” word. If you don’t know what that is, here’s a hint: C U Next Tuesday. (Now you’ll question every time someone says that and wonder whether they do actually mean to see you next Tuesday, or if they’re just insulting you with a really disgusting word. You’re welcome!)
What turns you on? Good conversation. I also have this thing with my…No, not going there. (Sighs of relief all ’round).
What turns you off? Stupidity. If you don’t know something, ask. Knowledge is simply a question or a Google away. Oh, and FYI, common sense and stupidity are not synonymous. If you don’t have common sense, don’t ask. Just go away.
What sound or noise do you love? Laughter. It’s more contagious than airborne Ebola, and much better for you.
What sound or noise do you hate? The sound of my cat knocking something over in the middle of the night because gets his jollies wreaking havoc on his scratching post while scaring the crap out of me at the same time! (His appointment with the vet is Monday).
What is your favourite curse word? Fuck, and the derivatives thereof. There is no other word in the English language with so much potential. It’s a noun – “I don’t give a fuck”. It’s a verb – “Fuck you”. It’s an adjective – “That’s fucking awesome!” It can even be injected into a word to create an entirely new word that conveys oh so much more that the original. “Un-fucking-believable!” It also communicates emotion. Anger, lust, awe, to name a few. Use it fucking freely, I say. (See, passion).
What profession other than yours would you like to attempt? I would love to be a doctor. I know, what am I 4? And not just for the obvious reasons; the cars, the mansion, the paid sabbatical. They help people too sometimes.
What profession would you not like to do? I wouldn’t want to be the guy who has to clean the bathrooms after a concert or sporting event.
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? “Surprised?”
So there you have it folks. Me, in a nutshell. A very small nutshell, but a nutshell nonetheless. Apologies (but not really) if in the end it wasn’t, in fact, a stimulating read, but I can’t please everybody. Maybe tomorrow will be your day.
If you’re from Vanity Fair, call me. The rest of you, extrapolate. Discuss. Feel free to answer the questions yourselves. Just don’t tell me about it because I don’t really give a fu…