Dec 13, 2010

Sixty (Off Topic)

This questionnaire comes by way of Princess Pandora Queen of Denial, Blurb from the Burbs, and The Plastic Mancunian. Filling this out was a nice way to keep posting while I was on holiday and my mind had turned a bit mushy.
Image: Wagner Machado Carlos Lemes at
Flickr Creative Commons

1. Are you happier now than you were five months ago?

Oooooh, yes. Definitely. Five months ago I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown, stressed and sad and yelling at my kids, and wondering what was wrong with me. Since then I have had a very helpful prescription, had stress leave from my job, talked to a psychologist, had a holiday, and am a different person.

2. Have you ever slept in the same bed with anyone that you shouldn't have?

Yeah, who hasn't??

3. Can you sleep in total darkness?

Love it. Don't often get the opportunity though as my husband can only sleep with curtains open; as he's a chronic insomniac and I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow, he tends to win this one.

4. Your phone is ringing. It’s the person you fell hardest for, the one who got away, what do you say?

Question badly phrased - how do I know it's him while the phone is ringing...? Next!

5. What do you think about the weather this summer?

Weird - but good. So great to have the drought over with, we will happily put up with steamy humidity, rain, and swinging temperatures.

6. How many people do you trust with everything?

I have to admit probably no one person for EVERYTHING, but there are two people I trust with almost everything.

7. What was the last thing you drank?

Cup of Earl Gray tea interspersed with sips of water.

8. Is there anyone you want to come see you?

A house cleaner?

9. Name one thing you love about winter?

Opaque tights.

10. Have you ever dated a Goth?

No, never was attracted to the Goths, but I did have an all-night session in my twenties talking philosophy and music and mutual flirting with a musician with dyed hair and eyeliner. Goth lite?

11. What are you looking forward to tomorrow?

Taking my kids to the annual Kids' Christmas Party at my work.

12. Name something you dislike about the day you’re having?

Not much - today has been a very good day. It is my daughters' 5th birthday; I had a lovely lunch with my dad including interesting and lively conversation (thank you, bank reform, WikiLeaks, and Shane Warne and Liz Hurley); and oddly enough I enjoyed going back to work after my holiday. Probably knowing it is only for a little while, and my commitment, anxiety to please and fear of failure are all gone, replaced by a relaxed confidence that sees me just going for stuff, making quick decisions and getting things done. Doesn't hurt that my boss is on leave for the week as well...

There was only one negative thing - in the afternoon I went to the loo and unwittingly dropped my trousers into a puddle of water under my feet, so had to sit on a wet backside and legs for the afternoon. Luckily I was wearing a long cardigan that covered it all up, so even there the day imbued its positive power over the bad.

13. What's the longest that you have committed to one person and one person only?

My husband - sixteen years. Still can't believe it's been that long.

14. What’s the first thing you did when you opened your eyes today?

Checked the clock to make sure I hadn't slept in, then woke up my husband so we could give the girls their birthday presents.

15. Has anyone ever told you they never want to ever lose you?

Yes. My husband back when he was my boyfriend and I was being all twenty-five and dramatic about coping with my (self-imposed) European exile. God knows why he wanted to keep me, looking back.

16. Is there anybody that you wish you could fix your relationship with?

There are no broken relationships, but lots of "abandoned" ones - not intentionally but having moved cities and countries a lot when younger I had a lot of friends I lost touch with once I moved. Wouldn't happen so much now with email and Facebook but pre-net you really had to make the effort, and I didn't. Though I know I and they have long since moved on I do regret losing touch and think of them sometimes.

Also I have a very good friend who I think probably felt a little let down by me as I was not as available once I had my kids. I would like to let her know this wasn't intentional but it is hard to convey how absolutely insanely busy I have been with job and kids the last 4 years; there is just no time for anything and it is really hard to change that at this stage in my/their lives. I know more time will come later, and also know I don't want to lose friendships in the meantime, but it is really hard keeping up with it all.

17. Could you go out in public, looking like you do now?

Not really, and yet I did - dash to local shops at dinner time to buy eggs. Wearing an un-ironed sack dress and very attractive white scuffed sandals.

18. Do you think things will change in the next 3 months? How?

My job will completely change. And my girls will start school. All very exciting and interesting times ahead.

19. Do you believe that you never know what you got until you lose it?

Not really. I spend a lot of time "in the present" and am very conscious of what and who my favourite things are. Have also learned from the past and am better able to recognise now when I am happy.

20. Do you have a friend of the opposite sex you can talk to?

No, not these days. Have had in the past.

21. If you were to live your life without your best friend, what would change?

Memories; having a sounding board; different persepctives.

22. Tell us about a era of your life that you really miss.

My 4 years in Europe, a year in London living and working in pubs especially my favourite in Twickenham, and three years in Greece learning the language, living on Santorini and in Thessaloniki, looking my best ever (a sexist society does wonders for your appearance, girls!), going out to amazing places, feeling thoroughly sophisticated and interesting and in love and lust with my boyfriend (later husband).

23. Have you ever been betrayed by someone that came as a complete surprise? Without revealing the person, if yes, tell us about it.

Yes. A boyfriend in London who pursued me ardently, was passionate and intense during our relationship, and then abruptly left with barely a goodbye. Reading that it sounds like a classic seduce and run but it wasn't like that at the time and it still puzzles me when I think about it (which is rarely!)

24. Do you ever think that is a good idea to hide your feelings?

Yes definitely. For consideration of others in some cases, or to protect yourself in others. I'm not very skilled at the second kind. Actually not very good at either when I think about it; very good at hiding my feelings at the times when you shouldn't.

25. Tell us about your favorite year when you were a student.

My last year at uni in Auckland, where I was living in a campus flat with three great friends, had a part-time job I loved and was generally relishing life academically and socially, living in a gorgeous city where I walked everywhere and had diverse friends and interests, and was generally optimistic and happy. 

25. When was the last time you were in a very good mood? What caused it?

This past week. Holiday.

26. Have you ever had a romantic relationship with a sibling of a good friend?

Noooo - my friends' siblings have tended to be sisters...

27. Tell us about the last thing that you did that you truly regret.

I'm too ashamed to go into details - but pre-nervous breakdown, yelling at husband and kids and seeing my daughter cry. That was the catalyst for me to fix things. Still makes me upset to think about it, and can only hope I have not left too much damage.

28. When did you laugh today?

I couldn't laugh, but came close - watching my daughters give a "concert" with their new microphone stands they got at a Christmas party yesterday. Somehow they have absorbed rock star stage behaviour and know all the moves and facial expressions. Couple that with their off-key voices and wrong lyrics to pop songs - gold!

29. Do you trust easily?

Yes - less so than in the past but basically still yes.

30. What do you care about that you wish more people would?

Being kind; tolerance for people's mis-steps; avoiding snobbery.

31. Is it easier for you to go without food or go without sleep?

Sleep. Though I actually need more sleep and less food, I don't seem to be able to swing it.

32. What non-alcohol beverage do you enjoy drinking the most?

Water. Absolute heaven, best drink in the world and has been my favourite since I was a little kid.

33. When you walk into a room full of strangers, generally how is your confidence?

Depends on the context. Generally not bad, I can make small talk pretty easily but need to bounce off others, so I am a bit stuffed if I am stuck with people like me.

34. Does talking about sex with anyone but your lover make you uncomfortable?

Don't think so but don't tend to do it much either - maybe that means yes! Will have to see how I feel next time it comes up.

35. Do you tend to believe members of the opposite sex mostly behave the same way?

No, definitely not. But I do sometimes find myself marvelling at the ways men are "all the same", as no doubt they do about us too.

36. Did you drink any alcohol this week? If yes, what?

We had a beer each evening with dinner on our week away. Nothing since we got back yesterday. I'm a very light drinker these days.

37. Would you ever consider being a vegetarian?

No - I like to use my pointy canine teeth. Also red meat is the fastest way to get iron and protein and keep iron and vitamin B levels up (mine tend to drop very quickly and I have been anaemic a bit in the past).

39. Do you believe in the concept of soul mates?

Not really. You can be incredibly close and connected to someone but I always think things could have gone another way and you'd be with another person (probably similar). It's a lovely idea though has probably caused a bit of misery as well with people wasting time or jettisonning good opportunities looking for something they are not likely to find. Or maybe certain personalities are more likely to find or recognise (or characterise relationships as) soulmates. But has made for some great novels and poetry which I have loved.

41. What are your plans for this weekend?

Christmas shopping.

42. Do you think someone might be thinking poorly about you? Why might that be?

Don't think so - but then maybe I wouldn't know??

42. What features don't you have that you would like on your cell?

Video calls. A better camera. I.e., I would love to upgrade my iPhone but will not be doing that for awhile, I can't justify the cost.
A radio - does this exist? Can't quite understand why that hasn't been incorporated into phones yet. No, I don't want to webstream or download podcasts, thanks, just an actual radio.

43. How many people can comfortably sleep in your bed?

Two adults. Uncomfortably: two adults, two kids, one cat.

44. What are you hoping happens by the end of 2010?

That I have an end-date on my job.

45. What was the last video you watched on YouTube?

Greek music clips helping my husband get stuff together for a rehersal.

46. Would you ever agree to an open relationship with someone?

NO. Disaster. I honestly believe that only one of the participants is ever happy in that kind of arrangement.

47. Is there something that you could never give up?

Reading. Chocolate. Kids, obviously. Better add husband too. Family. Memories.

48. Would you, (or did you) prefer a small, intimate wedding reception, or a big-scale, over-the-top reception?

Extremely small. In fact non-existent reception.

49. What’s bothering you right now?
The fact I am not yet in bed and feel a bit of pressure to finish this whole questionnaire now so my answers maintain currency and internal logic.

50. Do you hate anyone?

No, have honestly never hated. Have disliked some people but usually felt a little guilty about it.

51. What were you doing at 12 am last night?

Watching a crappy but thoroughly enjoyable sexy B-movie on TV while blogging and checking Facebook.

52. Is the last person you kissed before your current situation mad at you?

Surely he wouldn't be now, but he was for awhile. I pretty much abandoned him for my husband, and was so smitten I didn't feel bad enough about it. Just realised it's been sixteen years since I kissed anyone else - that's a weird thought...

53. Can a man and woman be friends without having feelings for each other?

Ummm.... ye-e-s.... but occasional feelings or at least musings will sometimes come up, I think.

54. Do you think long distance relationships work? If you’ve had one, tell us about it.

They don't work for long, for most people. The ones that do, one suspects the two are happy to avoid real intimacy. That may be unfair but surely a real relationship needs presence and day-to-day sharing. I've done the long-distance thing temporarily a couple of times and it didn't work for me (and I'm a person who IS happy to avoid intimacy half the time!)

55. Do you know why it’s called “Random Boredom“?

No, because it's not in Urban Dictionary. I'll take a guess - boredom that just appears suddenly without reason, i.e. while you're doing something else and shouldn't be bored?? "Random" seems to be tacked onto everything these days. (Kids today...)

56. Do you think that it’s always the man’s responsibility to initiate sex?

No of course not, men feel the weight of this "responsibility" and these kinds of constrictions contribute to the problems between men and women as well as male to female violence etc. But though I believe all that I have to admit I don't "live" my beliefs very well in this department.

57. Have you ever made love while you were in the same room with another couple?

No, but I have been in the reverse situation where we were the "other couple" and trying not to laugh...

58. Tell us the best thing about your current or most recent S/O.

Significant Other? He is tolerant and flexible and affectionate.

59. Tell us the worst thing about your current or most recent S/O.

Watches crappy game shows on TV. Does not know how to talk at normal volume on the phone.

60. If you could write a novel, what would it be about?

Something grand and all-encompassing like Moby Dick.
Or failing that a readable intelligent adventure or thriller like John LeCarre for modern people.


  1. These are great, JK. I so identify with this: "my commitment, anxiety to please and fear of failure are all gone, replaced by a relaxed confidence that sees me just going for stuff, making quick decisions and getting things done." - well, the first bit at least.....

  2. Thanks Kath,
    don't worry, I have felt confident and decisive before but it never lasts long!!

  3. Hmm. Some interesting answers here. Re 4 - caller ID on your phone - it's psychic you know.

  4. Hi Pandora,
    D'oh! Caller ID! I have clearly betrayed my age here, in my head this was clearly a rotary dial home phone ringing in the phone alcove in the hallway...

  5. Hi JK,

    Great answers there! I wouldn't moan too much about the temperature - it has been minus 18 in England recently (that is very cold even for us) and the promise of more to come. We are reaching the heady heights of 4 at the moment. I think I'll get the sun tan cream out ...






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