Back to the Future – Quiz Style

by Katy McCaffrey on October 16, 2013

in LISTS, ME AND...

With Shea Magazine nearing it’s first anniversary, I was forced to consider the passage of time, cats in the cradle, saving time in a bottle and my own mortality. Blink and a month goes by. Yawn and a year has passed. Binge watch a marathon of “Orange is the New Black” and your baby is ten and your kindergartener wants the keys to the car. And all the while, it hardly seems like you’ve changed at all.

It’s at times like these, I turn to the literary greats to set me right, but since I don’t really read, I have to turn to the dumbed down, pop-culture bastardization of their legacy. Hence, The Proust Questionnaire! (Please note Marcel Proust had nothing to do with the questionnaire, he just took it once and like an internet meme it was passed around the world so arduously its origin and original meaning have been all but completely lost).

In the process of packing up my house to move, I came across a Proust questionnaire I took while I was in college.  Some of the answers seem so ridiculous.  But as I took the questionnaire again today, I could see somethings will never change, and some things make me long for a do-over.

Katy at a party 1996

Proust Questionnaire 1996:
What is your greatest fear? Peaking
What is your favorite occupation? Broadcast News Producer
Which living person do you most admire? Hillary Clinton and my mother
When and where were you happiest? Sitting with friends on my parents’ house boat.  Close second: the night my roommate and I danced on the lawn in front of the white house when Bush lost the election!
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? my height
What is your greatest extravagance? Diet Coke
What is your favorite journey? the last part of a flight home from school where you see the New York City skyline from the plane window.  Always sit on the left side of the plane.
On what occasion do you lie? When asked if I did the reading
Which words or phrases do you most over-use? Definitely not getting an A on this one.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? I know every word of Wayne’s World…
Where would you like to live? New York City
How would you like to die? not at all

Katy at a Party 2013

Proust questionnaire 2013:

What is your greatest fear? Anything wrong with my children
What is your favorite occupation? I know I should say mothering…
Which living person do you most admire? Hillary Clinton and my mother
When and where were you happiest? Three months ago the husband was at work, the kid was at school, and the baby was with his aunt and I was in the car alone and got to pick whatever I wanted to listen to on the radio. That was pretty awesome.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? my tendency to get in my own way
What is your greatest extravagance? Diet Coke
What is your favorite journey? The trip around the back of the car to the driver’s seat just after the rear doors have been closed on screaming children.
On what occasion do you lie? When my husband asks me if I remembered to pay the mortgage
Which words or phrases do you most over-use? Fuck-balls
What do you consider your greatest achievement? I know I should say my family…
Where would you like to live? In a house where no one has to sleep in the dining room
How would you like to die? On my terms

I don’t think I ever meant to get so domesticated, but I wouldn’t change my life now for anything.  Even though I seldom get to sit on my parents’ boat with friends anymore and I long for a time where the New York City skyline was simply a sign I was home and not also a reminder of horrible things can happen, growing up/old/on has it’s benefits too. For one thing, my mother can’t ground me for saying “Fuck-balls” at the dinner table.  I also had pie for breakfast.

What did that old turtle say in that cartoon kung-fu movie? “Quit, don’t quit? Noodles, don’t noodles? You are too concerned about what was and what will be. There is a saying: yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the “present.”

For more from me and to see my 5 year old’s responses to the Proust Questionnaire, come on over to the ol’ blog.

**You should like Shea Magazine on Facebook HERE!**

Katy McCaffrey (Contributing Editor, Los Angeles)

Katy is a mother, a wife, and a TV producer, mostly in that order. Once she wrote some sarcastic things next to some pictures a guy took with her stolen iPhone. She was then semi-well known for three days afterwards. If You Must Know is what’s happened to her since then.

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