Something that quickly becomes apparent to anyone who peruses this supposedly personal blog— it’s not all that personal. For reasons that might be better explained by a qualified therapist, I have geared my writing towards subjects that I can hold at more of a remove: books and sports and music and what kind of mean stuff the youths are saying. Of course, I would argue that all of these subjects are in fact the very threads that make up the lovingly if clumsily stitched-up quilt that is my heart. But then that same hypothetical therapist might ask— just what is that quilt covering?
I only took psych classes up to the 200 level, so I would be merely hazarding a guess, but perhaps it is my aversion to attention that keeps my style firmly on the side of whatever is the opposite of confessional. I realize this is an absurd thing to say, as a person who started up a personal blog in the first place, but maybe that hypocritical tension is central in anyone who devotes themselves to expression.
Because I want everyone on this wild wide earth to read my stuff and to clutch at their chests because it’s so brilliant and to clutch at their bellies because they’re laughing so hard and to wipe at the tiny tears that form at the corners of their eyes before gazing out the window because they have never been so profoundly moved. Or to at least be interested enough to not stop reading mid-page.
And yet I find almost every verbal acknowledgement of my writing to be equal parts humiliating and exhilarating, because writing is such a solitary habit that even when I post these things to the famously public internet, I often forget that it will find an audience at all. Any kind of encouraging comment or flattering compliment feels a bit like being shaken out of a stupor— even if it’s from one of my best friends. Even if it’s from my mom. They are all reminders that this is no longer just a dialogue between my fingers and my keyboard, but something that other people can see, and have opinions about. And that also means that they can see and have opinions about me.
But 2023 is a new year, and while other people are becoming healthier or more organized, I guess I am committing to more regular exercises of unrepentant vanity— by which I mean posting to this blog. And what better way to do so than to put myself on the cover of a proverbial magazine. I have always enjoyed Vogue’s 73 Questions schtick, as far as viral schticks go. Whether they’ve featured names that I adore (Taylor Swift, Reese Witherspoon, Michael B Jordan), or people I know nothing about ( Liza Koshy, Daisy Ridley), even people I suspect might be actively harmful to society (Kim Kardashian), I’m always interested to get a sense of how other people think. And I hope my answers will be similarly entertaining, wherever I might fall on that scale of attachment to you. Just, maybe, don’t tell me about it.
Vogue 73 Questions
1. What’s your favorite time of day?
Around 2pm, when I feel most focused, and even though much of the day is done is still feels like the entire afternoon is spread out at my feet.
2. What’s your biggest weakness?
Remembering that learning is a process; that being terrible at something that’s new to me doesn’t mean I will always be terrible and thus should quit. Every expert was once a beginner.
3. What’s your biggest strength?
My imagination, which I like to think blurs into my capacity to empathize.
4. What’s the biggest learning experience you’ve had?
Working in a classroom for high needs students. My first week there I came home crying because I didn’t feel equipped to handle the challenges, and fifteen months later I was crying once again, but because I had become so attached to everyone that I was sad to leave.
5. What’s your idea of a perfect date?
Going somewhere with wine, music, and a view.
6. What’s one vice you wish you could give up?
Reading the comments on controversial tweets.
7. What’s a cause that’s important to you?
I would like more people to truly grasp the difference between a million dollars and a billion dollars, so that everyone would understand that a society with even a single billionaire is one that is failing. Also the environment, specifically trying to save the oceans, the Arctic, and the rainforest.
8. What’s the best compliment you have ever received?
Maybe not “best” but the most hilarious was a guy at a bar who told me that I “looked like someone who read a lot of good books.” Because he wasn’t wrong, but I’m still not sure if he meant I looked pale from spending so much time indoors, or just nearsighted.
9. When do you feel the most inspired?
When I’m in transit, especially on a train.
10. Sweet or savory?
Sweet in almost all scenarios except for breakfast.
11. What song can you listen to on repeat?
I never put anything on repeat because I am terrified of becoming numb to songs I once loved through overexposure. I put my playlists on shuffle and let the music gods decide.
12. What makes you smile the most?
Wallace’s shaggy, scraggly face.
13. What’s one thing people don’t know about you?
I would love to be a prolific gardener but so far I have struggled to keep even succulents alive.
14. Heels or flats or sneakers?
None of the above— give me boots or flip flops or wedges.
15. Vintage or new?
I would love to own more things that have a story behind them, but the actual process of procuring vintage items is too complicated and intimidating to me.
16. What are three things you can’t live without?
My phone, my headphones, and my library card.
17. Window or aisle seat?
18. What’s your current tv character obsession?
I am not currently obsessed with any tv characters— I have never felt more estranged from my teenage self.
19. Leather or lace?
Lace. I say this as both a Stevie Nicks fan and a vegetarian.
20. What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done in your life?
Adventurous might come early alphabetically but it’s last on the list of adjectives anyone would ever use to describe me. I put pomegranate seeds in guacamole once.
21. How would you define yourself in three words?
Writer. Baker. Playlist-maker.
22. What’s your current favorite piece of clothing that you own?
The dress I wore for Christmas Eve last year; wool, houndstooth pattern, with puffed sleeves and a babydoll silhouette. (Apparently I’m now writing these sentences like they will actually be published in Vogue.)
23. What’s a must-have clothing item everyone should own?
Something that reliably makes you feel like your best and most beautiful self every time you put it on.
24. What’s inspiring you in life right now?
More and more frequent moments of “synchronicity” in my days, which I am interpreting as tiny hints from the universe that I am walking the right path.
25. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
“Pay attention to what you pay attention to.” Although by “advice received” I do mean, “advice I once read in a book by John Green.”
26. What’s your pet peeve?
Recipes with vague measurements or directions. I have no idea how much “a dollop” or “a pinch” is, I’m a baker by temperament and I require precision!
27. Diamonds or pearls?
Pearls. I was born in June and they are in fact my birthstone.
28. What’s something you notice about someone when you first meet them?
Beyond the shape of their face and the color of their eyes, probably how frequently they smile and how easily they laugh.
29. What’s your biggest regret?
I genuinely don’t believe in regrets. Even when I think of things that I might have changed, I can also supply a preponderance of reasons for why it’s better that things worked out like they did. Wishing for anything else is a waste of time.
30. What’s heavily played on your playlist right now?
Still most of Midnights, along with a bunch of new stuff from Noah Kahan, Dermot Kennedy, and The 1975.
31. What’s your favorite board game?
Life or Clue.
32. What’s your guilty pleasure?
“There should be no guilt in pleasure.” But I also don’t feel proud of how many opinions I have about Netflix dating shows.
33. What book did you most recently finish?
Untamed by Glennon Doyle.
34. What are you currently reading?
I’m about to start Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo, and I’m impossibly excited because I consider her Six of Crows duology to be perfect.
35. How do you start your day?
My hand shoots out from my covers and reaches for my phone like an addict fumbling for cigarettes, and then I listen to between three and seven songs, depending on how much fuel the day seems to require.
36. What’s your favorite holiday?
Christmas. These dispatches coming to you from the most basic lady that could exist.
37. If you could raid one woman’s closet, who would it be?
38. If you could switch lives with one person for a day, who would it be?
Bob Iger. Let me run the Walt Disney Company for a day. Which I assume doesn’t involve attending board meetings or looking at financial projections, but just going to Disney World and being fêted like a king.
39. What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to try but you’ve been too scared to do?
Writing/posting/publishing something that involves more contentious subjects like politics or world events.
40. What’s the one thing you wish you knew at age 19?
How astonishingly young 19 is, no matter how old it felt.
41. Besides your phone or wallet, what are a couple of must have handbag items?
Sunglasses, hand cream, metal straw, water bottle
42. If you were not a writer, what would you be doing?
Studying the art of chocolatiering in Switzerland.
43. What’s something you can’t do?
Complete menial tasks (cooking, cleaning, Wallace walking) in silence. I need a podcast or music.
44. Where was the best vacation you’ve ever taken?
Wandering around Europe for a summer with my best friends.
45. What’s one city you’ve always dreamed of travelling to?
46. What’s something you always travel with?
A scarf that doubles as a blanket.
47. Favorite food?
48. Favorite dessert?
49. Favorite snack?
Goldfish crackers. Kindergarteners find me extremely relatable.
50. What’s a movie that made you cry?
On Golden Pond. Away From Her. Any movie that has ever been produced by Pixar.
51. What’s your favorite movie of the last five years?
Greta Gerwig’s Little Women.
52. What’s the one talent you wish you had?
I would love to be able to play the cello. If I were talented at it, I would begin every day with a rendition of the Bach Cello Suites.
53. What’s your favorite exercise?
54. What’s your favorite band?
Historically, The Beatles. Current day, The Arctic Monkeys.
55. What’s your favorite fast food order?
Egg and cheese McMuffin, TWO hashbrowns.
56. What’s something you don’t want to be doing in 10 years?
Wondering if I’ll ever make it as a writer.
57. What’s the cutest thing on planet earth?
Wallace when he’s sleeping.
58. What’s the best thing that happened this year?
2023 is just a hatchling, but in these first 15 days the clear winner is the NHL Winter Classic. Held at Fenway Park (home to my favorite baseball team) and featuring a clash between the Boston Bruins (my favorite hockey team) and the Pittsburgh Penguins (captained by my all-time favorite athlete, Sidney Crosby) things could not have gone more my way. The Boston Pops played “Sweet Caroline”, perfection was achieved.
59. What’s your favorite cocktail?
60. Which movie makes you laugh the hardest?
Home Alone 2.
61. What do you usually eat for dinner?
Something I’ve made from my infinite list of “Recipes to Try”.
62. What do you usually eat for lunch?
Avocado toast with a fried or soft boiled egg.
63. What do you usually eat for breakfast?
64. What’s your favorite thing in the world?
65. What’s your favorite color?
66. What color clothing do you wear the most?
Greys and greens.
67. What are three words to describe living in Canada?
Pleasant. Peaceful. Evolving.
68. Do you like surprises?
The good kind, sure.
69. What’s one thing you had to learn the hard way?
Salt bagels are not as delicious as they sound.
70. What’s something you’re tired of?
People who assume the worst of others, or insist on interpreting things in the most ungenerous lens.
71. Who do you turn to when you’re sad?
A journal or a google document.
72. What’s a trend you would like to see disappear forever?
People expressing the belief that Bailey Zappe should be New England’s starting quarterback.
73.What did you want to do with your life at the age of 12?
I wanted to be the CEO of Disney. (See Question 38 for what I thought that might entail.)
Wow, that was long. Whether you skimmed through or read all 73, thank you so much for your time and also let’s never speak of this. Although if you have any answers you’d like to share of your own, I would be only too happy to read them.
7 thoughts on “Allow Me To Re-Introduce Myself (Vogue 73 Questions)”
I’m so VERY impressed with your writing. You have a rare gift and should be extremely proud of yourself.
And as for #56, may I be so bold as to predict you will no longer be wondering. You will KNOW!!!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read and also leaving such a meaningful, encouraging comment! Both of these things make me feel a little less like I’m just typing into a void, and I appreciate you so much.
You are most welcome Ainsley. And thank YOU for sharing yourself in these articles. I thoroughly enjoy them.
Ha, yes to the vague measurements! Even volumetric measurements tick me off sometimes. What’s 1 cup of basil? Or a teaspoon of butter?
One good thing to come out of that was the realisation that if the writer of the recipe didn’t care to be precise, then I could probably just eyeball that ingredient. And I’ve been cooking more than baking lately, where this type of behaviour is encouraged, lol.
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You get it! Cooking is definitely better suited for improv than baking, I should probably follow your lead and do more of it to build the kind of confidence that is beyond exact recipe instructions.
I really enjoyed reading your responses to see how they aligned with mine. Adding pomegranate to guacamole was a great visual for me.
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Thank you so much for making your way through such a long list of questions. Pomegranate guacamole is a surprisingly festive twist on a classic, you’ll find.