15. What or who is the greatest love of your life?

Well, when I was a child, I loved no one or thing more than my mother. When I was 18 (still a child) I fell in love with my now-husband, nearly at first sight (he took longer to come around), and knew that I wouldn't love anyone the way I love him. After having a child, I experienced a very primal love that sort of rewired my brain. I love them all more than anyone. (When I want to have quiet space for myself, I tell all of them to leave me alone.)

I was thinking about this question for a while, and what I concluded was that all of my relationships (with people, with things, with activities) are aspects of my relationship with myself. They define me and my life, and each is an intense relationship that brings me closer to myself.


14. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

I                                 am                                  sorry.


13. What is the quality you most like in a woman?

A conscience.


12. What is the quality you most like in a man?

A conscience.


11. Which living person do you most despise?

Well, despise is an extremely simple way to regard someone, with no element of understanding or empathy for whatever causes his or her offensive behavior. It is funny that this question assumes that a person might despise a large quantity of people, if I am directed to choose the one I despise the very most. People are capable of doing horrible ugly things, but rarely can you simply define someone exclusively by those actions (and I dare not judge someone when those actions are all I know about them).

I am at times afraid of people, offended by them, hurt by them, shocked, and, sadly, mortified, horrified and angry at them, but I can think of only one case, one individual where I cannot find any angle from which to view them with anything less than contempt. The display of manipulative, plotting, conniving evil which I have witnessed with my own eyes, and which has harmed a number of helpless victims has left me no choice but to despise. I do, I despise someone. It is a (less-than-) average person, walking among us, but I shall not name the name, because it would mean nothing to anyone.


10. What do you most dislike about your appearance?

Overall it feels a cruel question, requiring me to probe my appearance with a critical eye - an extremely futile activity that I typically I make an effort not to do.

Does this question want me to assess my body or how I appear to others? I manage the former, as I say above, by not engaging in self-critique, and the latter is navigated with clothes, hair dressers, electrolysis and such.

Regardless of whether it is for others, or for myself, I think nothing much would be wildly impacted if I changed shape, height, proportions, texture, etc.

Personally, I am disappointed when I see photos of myself. I dislike that I don't appear in photographs to look anyting how I think (or imagine) I look (a vexing inconsistency, and possibly the polar opposite of any type of super power). Do I have an actual misimpression of myself, or would this stem from my parents' intense critique of every photo when I was growing up? We were often told not to smile in photos, because we "looked better" if we didn't smile.

To satisfy the request to identify something I don't like about my appearance, I might couch my answer in the positive and identify what I would like to have - a smile that could melt hearts.

Maybe I should just smile more.


9. On what occasion do you lie?

I took some time to think about this one. I had to sort through the little inconsequential lies, or niceties, and the outsized concern that sometimes comes over me that everything public is a lie (makeup, hairstyling, concealing clothes, job titles, because we layer things on that potentially obscure the human being's most basic truth of self).

But this question is probing me to find what it is that I most fail to say, a lie that perhaps bothers the deceiver more than it bothers the deceived. And I concluded that I most often lie on the occasion of salutations. The "How are you?" that is exchanged often without the expectation of any answer at all, let alone an honest one. Every time I am asked, and I smile and just offer back Good, I feel a little tug inside. Currently I lie every time I do not answer:

I'm very concerned about the world right now...


8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Let's see, I've always had a bit of trouble with patience, personally,
but I think that does not qualify it as being overrated.
The most overrated virtue, to my mind, is ambition.
It has value in many forms and on many occasions, but it does not have supreme, inherent value.

am-bi-tion n. An eager or inordinate desire for some object that confers distinction, as preferment, honor, superiority, political power, or literary fame


7. What is your current state of mind?

Comfortably or, rather, familiarly cluttered, as always.


6. What is your greatest extravagance?

Educating my child.


5. Which living person do you most admire?

My potential self.
How can I explain this?
I don't ever presume that people are simply what I see, in which case, how can I, how dare I judge?
I do admire things about people, and I do admire people for different things.
But to chose one person who I admire most?
I can know myself, my progress, my failings, my strivings.
I have hope for myself.