The 36 Questions that Lead to Love

(Taken from this article in The New York Times. I thought it would be fun to do even though I’ve been with my partner for 10+ years.)

1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
My Grammy.

2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?
I’d like to be more well-known for my photography and writing.

3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?
Sometimes, yeah, if it’s an important call. I actually hate talking on the phone to most people.

4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?
Sleeping in a little (maybe til 9:30 or 10am), having a delicious breakfast with my husband, doing stuff outside like swimming or biking, shooting an amazing show that evening with my photo buddies, then ending the night with a drive down LSD with the windows down.

5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
I was singing to myself earlier today, although now I can’t remember what the song was. I sing to Jimmy all the time; I make up songs constantly.

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?
The mind, no question. One of my biggest fears in life is losing mental clarity.

7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?
I do, but I’d rather not say in case it happens and someone reads this and says “Aha, she knew!” Too much.

8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.
We are both very motivated individuals, we love video games, and we’re both terrible at sports.

9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
Strength fostered through my friends, family, and myself.

10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
Nothing, it’s what shaped me.

11. Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.
(Takes 4 minutes to tell my partner about my life, over a third of which he’s been around for)

12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?
Self-healing or the ability to fly. If we’re talking about something realistic, maybe a calmer demeanor in times of stress or anxiety.

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?
What’s the deal with death?

14. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
I want to take a several-month vacation to the UK, maybe even live there for a while. Right now, I can’t due to a (new) fear of flying, but fuck that, I’m working on it so I can get back on a plane very soon.

15. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
Accepting my crippling anxiety disorder as a part of me, turning that fear and chaos into creativity and tangible art.

16. What do you value most in a friendship?
Humor, a lack of pretentiousness and arrogance, a love of animals

17. What is your most treasured memory?
One is the collection of memories I have of spending my childhood at my grandparents’ lakehouse.

18. What is your most terrible memory?
Being raped at 11 years old.

19. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?
Helllll yes, I’d get over that fear of flying right now.

20. What does friendship mean to you?
Looking like shit in the daytime and grabbing lunch just to talk and be with the person you care about.

21. What roles do love and affection play in your life?
They’re critical. They’re my oxygen.

22. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.
1. His quick wit
2. His unbelievable intelligence
3. The nicknames he comes up with for our cat
4. The way he ties his shoes
5. His face when he laughs to the point of tears

23. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?
My family is small but mighty. My childhood was probably far less happy than many people, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

24. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?
The only parent I’ve ever needed. She’s my best friend and the reason I am who I am.

25. Make three true “we” statements each. For instance, “We are both in this room feeling … “
We don’t like to make assumptions about what the other is feeling.
We have the best cat in the world.
We can’t go to bed without talking through our day and making sure we’re both feeling calm and safe.

26. Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share …”
A big plate of eggs and toast. God that sounds good right now.

27. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.
I mean, we are already closer than I ever thought I could be to another human being. But I guess I’d like him to know that I’m still insecure sometimes about the way I look, and I’m still uncertain what I want to do with my life. Because, y’know, I’m a person.

28. Tell your partner what you like about them; be very honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone you’ve just met.
(whispers this to partner so no one else can hear, appreciates the smile that comes from saying this)

29. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.
Last night, I was talking with a friend and we were discussing how cute this guy across from us was. I pointed to said guy so my friend would see who I was talking about, and said guy turned around as I was doing this. To that guy: sorry I was a creeper. You’re cute, well done.

30. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
I probably cried in front of him a few days ago, and I cried by myself a week or two ago.

31. Tell your partner something that you like about them already.
Their ability to keep my calm in a situation that makes me anxious, but their ability to admit their own fear or nervousness as well.

32. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
Nothing is too serious to be joked about. However, the more detailed or specific you make a joke, the harder it can be to separate the joke from someone’s intentions.

33. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet?
I think I’m very forthcoming with my emotions, and I don’t know if I’d regret anything like that. Plus, I’d be dead, and unless I get “what’s the deal with death?” answered, I’m fairly certain I wouldn’t mind.

34. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?
My stuffed animals I sleep with.

35. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?
The fuck question is this. It’s not Sophie’s Choice.

36.  Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.
If I didn’t share my problems with him, I probably wouldn’t be here right now.


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