I don't know if these 36 Questions work for falling in love, but I know that technology has really gotten in the way of how we organically do it. I'd prefer sitting down, talking and exploring each other. I wish it would make a comeback. I'd even take encountering awkward moments and stumbling over not knowing how to tell all of our secrets in person over the accelerated intimacy technological connections foster.
I'm an open book, and if you know me, you know I don't shy away from sharing most things, but I'm not going to answer Set 3, and I've marked some of the answers as 'Omitted.' If I answered them, the moments you'd find them out in real life would no longer be intimate ones. I recently met up with someone who I had known something pretty personal about via their Facebook page, and it was so personal that I resent the fact that I didn't have the chance to hear it for the very first time from him, and never will. When he did tell me, I don't think I even responded with the appropriate amount of emotion that I would have if I hadn't already known it.
But, for the sake of this post, I decided to answer some of these questions. If nothing else, I hope you learn a little bit about me. Having read over the questions many times, I don't think it's all-inclusive, and I don't think you'll be in love by the end of the exercise. Unless there's some value in the 240 seconds of eye contact it ends with. Shudder. It skips the little details and experiences that really help you fall in love, like the moment at the movie theater you both reach into the popcorn bag at the same time, the moment in the car you absolutely cannot settle on a radio station to listen to, the time you learn about the most painful goodbye they ever said, and the day you realize there are fireworks even in the moment you are watching SNL together in sweats.
1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
Dead: Walter Cronkite
Alive: Monica Lewinsky
2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?
I've long said I'd like to be famous enough to require a baseball cap and concealing sunglasses to get my morning coffee so as to not be recognized. I've often said this situation takes place in San Francisco (it's a place I can see making home and raising babies.) I've also said since being an intern who re-made a cup of tea for an executive, that I'd never be too busy or too famous to make my own beverage. I'd rather forgo the beverage altogether. I'd also like to be famous enough to be stopped for selfies. I hear they're replacing autographs.
3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?
Rarely. If it's a professional phone call, I like to have an idea of what I'll say going into it. If it's a personal phone call, I like to spend the next few minutes freaking out over the possibility we'll have nothing to talk about.
4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?
Not particular on what the mid-day entails (a picnic, a family birthday party, a sporting event?). Prefer waking up with someone I love, making breakfast (I make a great omelette, can be easily convinced to expand my recipe book for a special man) and drinking coffee. Hope the day ends with wine and Italian food, a movie musical (favorites include The Pajama Game, Guys and Dolls and My Fair Lady), sensible amounts of cuddling, and sleep.
5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
Often, in the car, to whoever is with me. Surprisingly, rarely in the shower.
6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?
I don't know if I'd want either. I was going to say mind, because with proper skincare and plastic surgery you can probably always look younger, but I don't know if I'd want the mind of a 30-year-old without the experience that informs the mind I'll have at 90. Those 60 years of memories and experiences are valuable.
7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?
8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.
That we're single currently. (1) And will someday hopefully find each other. (2) And that we will like each other once we do. (3)
9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
My family. I happen to have the most kick-ass, loving, smart and funny people to call mine. I feel lucky for them every day.
10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
I wouldn't. That might read as a cop-out but my parents got divorced when I was young, did everything in their power to stay close friends, and it shaped me into the compassionate person I am today who is capable of great love and great friendship (and great friendship even with those I have once greatly loved.) The older I get, the more I appreciate and respect what they did so our family remained a unit. I don't take it for granted.
11. Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.
12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?
Probably the ability to play a musical instrument. At different times in life I dabbled with flute and piano and didn't stick with either. If I could go back, I'd choose the saxophone. It's the sexiest instrument there is.
13. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?
If I'm being really honest with myself, part of me wants to know every detail of the future - the whos, whens, wheres. But I've learned something recently that I wrote about here, which is that life is just not as fun to live when you know these things from the start. The point in living it is to enjoy and embrace every single scary and exciting moment in which you get to find out the answers.
14. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
Most of the things I've dreamed of for a long time I'm not old enough to do. Someday, I'd like to celebrate a birthday in Napa Valley with ample vineyards and spas, but my friends aren't able to just pack up and take a vacation yet. When we are, we will. Someday I dream of having children. Someday. Not yet. Not soon.
15. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
I think my little accomplishments culminate. Professionally, when I was in high school I committed to the idea of going to the University of Miami and worked really hard to get there, obtain two wonderful internships and graduate early. Most recently, getting my first job is an accomplishment I'd only dreamed of until it happened.
16. What do you value most in a friendship?
17. What is your most treasured memory?
18. What is your most terrible memory?
19. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?
Say "I love you" more. Hug more. Leave nothing unsaid. It's cliche, but it's cliche because it's true: life is so so short. We know that already and we still don't do these things enough. It's just too important.
20. What does friendship mean to you?
I think friendship is knowing someone always has your back. I think your friends are people you can laugh with and cry with, and I think friendship is one of the things that makes life worth living. I'm sure I think more things about it, but I'll leave it at this.
21. What roles do love and affection play in your life?
22. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.
No partner to alternate with, but I'll give you an ideal list:
1. Passionate about his work, his love and his life.
2. Preferably 6 feet tall. (I like to wear heels.)
3. Makes me feel safe.
4. Makes me laugh. Laughs at/with me.
5. Great with kids. Wants his own someday. Related: loves his family and mine.
(In no particular order.)
23. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?
My family is close and warm and we share things with each other. When something happens to one of us, I tend to believe all of us feel it and go through it together. Given the circumstances I talk about in question 10, I had a happy childhood. Definitely happier than some children with divorced parents, and maybe happier than some children whose parents were together. I'm lucky, I know.
24. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?
My mom is wonderful. We have a special, amazing relationship. She is my cheerleader and my friend, and I hope to have half of what we have with my own children someday. I'd be lost without her.
But really, I love Valentine's Day despite flower and chocolate price inflations. It reminds us to celebrate all the love that already exists in our lives, and because of that, I hope you find a small way to tell the people you care about that you do.
Celebrate the getting-to-know-yous and hug your loved ones tight. It's the most important thing.
You heard it here first,