Parlour Games

Dedicated to David and Janet–the inspirations for this column:

I have a great parlour game for you to play at your next party. Even if you don’t have a parlour. Today we have living rooms, recreation rooms, dens, and “great rooms”, but we tend not to have the more gentile parlours of yesteryear, where you apparently played civilized games such as the one I am about to describe. According to my muse, David Kanigan of the Live and Learn blog, the Proust questionnaire “has it origins in a game popularized (though not devised) by Proust, the French essayist and novelist, who believed that, in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature.”. Kind of like Truth or Dare for adults I guess. (Dare I answer the questions truthfully?) Kanigan takes the Questionnaire which consists of 33 Questions. What it reveals about him is that he is an interesting, sometimes quirky, urbane, and kind man who loves gadgets.

I will provide the questions for you in case you want to liven up your next soiree, or just do a little self-reflection (which admittedly, is not all that much fun.) I found it quite interesting that when I tried to answer some of the questions, I did not have any readily available answers (or answers I would like to reveal). Without further ado—here are the questions, and my answers, where I deign to give them in brackets.

What is your favourite journey? (Any trip that takes me to a bookstore or to visit loved ones)
What is your idea of perfect happiness? (That everyone I know is safe and sound)
What is your greatest fear? (Too many to recount)
What is your most marked characteristic? (Shyness)
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? (Impatience)
What is the trait you most deplore in others? (Dishonesty, arrogance)
What is your greatest extravagance? (love books and eating out)
What do you consider the most overrated virtue? (feigned humbleness)
On what occasion do you lie? (mostly to save others; sometimes to save myself; very uncomfortable with lying)
Dislike most about your appearance? (Trying to come to peace about getting older)
Which living person do you most despise? (No good will come from revealing that)
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? (just, really, cool)
What is your greatest regret? (hurting someone)
What or who is the greatest love of your life? (husband, sons, my bigger family, my friends.)
When and where were you happiest? (past: university; present: with family and friends and books)
Which talent would you most like to have? (play the piano, be an artist, be an accountant)
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? (I would give myself the ability to talk in front of a crowd, or even two people)
If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be? (They would all cook)
What do you consider your greatest achievement? (my kids)
What is your most treasured possession? (great books)
What do your regard as the lowest depth of misery? (that there is suffering of all kinds-disease, poverty, mental illness, war)
Where would you like to live? (with people I love)
What is your favourite occupation? (writer—but I would like to be a rich writer)
What is the quality you most like in a man? (grace)
What is the quality you most like in a woman? (grace)
I define grace as kind, decent, merciful, dignified and honourable.
What do you most value in your friends? (Loyalty)
Who are your favourite writers? (too many to recount)
Who is your favourite hero of fiction? (Thor—not really but he was on TV this morning)
What is it that you most dislike? (domestic chores)
Who are your heroes in real life? (the last Governor General and Queen Elizabeth—because no matter what their flaws are, they personify grace to me)
How would you like to die? (I will copy David’s answer: I wouldn’t)
If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be? (a better version of myself). David wanted to come back as Bruce Springsteen or a golden retriever.
What is your motto? (This too shall pass)

The good thing about this game is that your answers will in large part depend on the type of day you are having, your present emotional temperature, and what you just watched on TV.

Published in: on November 1, 2017 at 4:31 pm  Comments (15)