How to waste time and other lists

The Proust Questionnaire

Here are the thirty-five questions Proust originally answered in 1890. And this is me in 2021 because I have a ton of work to do but I’d rather be doing this. The last time I did this, I was the same. So nothing’s changed fml.

  1. What is your idea of perfect happiness? Waking up early to drink French Press
  2. What is your greatest fear? Having the same fear year after year
  3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? How easy it is to not write
  4. What is the trait you most deplore in others? Putting energy to make others miserable
  5. Which living person do you most admire? Asha Kowtal
  6. What is your greatest extravagance? Making time to do things I love
  7. What is your current state of mind? Gas
  8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Punctuality
  9. On what occasion do you lie? All the time
  10. What do you most dislike about your appearance? My tooth gap but after I read Wife of Bathe, I don’t mind it so much
  11. Which living person do you most despise? Tejaswi Surya
  12. What is the quality you most like in a man? Laughter
  13. What is the quality you most like in a woman? Laughter
  14. Which words or phrases do you most overuse? “As the French say”
  15. What or who is the greatest love of your life? Detective Inspector Sarah Lund
  16. When and where were you happiest? Morning after great nights
  17. Which talent would you most like to have? Waking up early
  18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I wish I wasn’t in a hurry to respond to people
  19. What do you consider your greatest achievement? Moving on
  20. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? The Banyan Tree at St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore
  21. Where would you most like to live? Bombay
  22. What is your most treasured possession? Capacity for small joys
  23. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Squashing other people’s joys
  24. What is your favourite occupation? Plants vs Zombies
  25. What is your most marked characteristic? Cracking knuckles in my sleep
  26. What do you most value in your friends? Desire to drink
  27. Who are your favourite writers? Students
  28. Who is your hero of fiction? Alice Munro
  29. Which historical figure do you most identify with? Jackie Chan
  30. Who are your heroes in real life? Razia-Razzak
  31. What are your favourite names? Rumlolarum and Disco Shanti
  32. What is it that you most dislike? Having time but wasting it
  33. What is your greatest regret? That I didn’t put kai when I should have
  34. How would you like to die? In bed with a book on my chest
  35. What is your motto? Live quietly, drink tightly

This is Joan Didion answering the questionnaire when she was 69.