Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Getting to know me - The 36 questions which lead to love


This weekend has been all about lurveeeee. Whoopeee. And I for one am pretty glad that it is over. I think Valentine's Day is a ridiculous, commercialised load of rubbish which is purely there to make you guiltily spend all your money on overpriced gifts. But this is a rant that I have had before and not one I necessarily need to have again.

So instead I thought I would talk about a little article that was published in the New York Times a few weeks ago.

It was called The 36 Questions Which Lead to Love.

Now you wouldn't suspect that such a title would cause such discussion and controversy. But you would be so wrong. The basic idea of it, is that there is no such thing as love.

Instead it says that all love is, is a mutual intimacy between two people (who, admittedly, do also feel some physical attraction to each other). And that's where the 36 questions come in. These questions, force the two people, who ideally should be on a first or second date, to find out extremely personal things about the other. And when you have acquired all these answers, you would find yourself to be in love with the person because of the intimate nature of the questions.

I am not entirely sure this works, and I have not personally tried it although I have discussed the idea at length with various people. But supposedly it is proven and I can understand why. The questions delve a hell of a lot deeper into someone's life than you would normally dare to go and forces you to be open and honest with them.

You can check out all the questions here but in the spirit Getting to Know Me and the fact it was so recently Valentine's Day, I have picked a few questions to answer for you.

Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
My automatic answer here would be the Queen - I love her and am absolutely fascinated about the royal family. But there are all sorts of rules surrounding eating with her (such as not being allowed to scoop your peas, you have to stop eating when she does etc etc). Plus I am the worst eater in the world so I would just embarrass myself. Therefore I think I would go for Kate Middleton so I could get the inside scoop on life as a royal and what goes on behind closed doors. And ask her what the transition was like from a relative nobody to one of the most stylish, adored famous women in the world.

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?
I think the answer you should say here, would be your mind. And obviously if you say body you are insipid and shallow who cares more about their looks than anything else. However, I would say my body and I am neither insipid nor shallow. My reason for this, and I have thought about it deeply, is that it does not say that your mind would necessarily decay in your final 60 years whereas your body will DEFINITELY decay. Plus I wouldn't want to have my mind in the same place that it was when I was 30. I would want to learn things, progress and adapt to the situations I am in. To remain static for 60 years without learning anything is just a waste. So I would keep my body given the choice.

What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
The fact I achieved a 2:1 in my degree. Without a doubt. There is not a lot I am proud of in my life, I am just not the type of person who allows herself to ever be pleased with how I am or what little victories I achieve. But my degree was a hell of a lot of hard work that cost me thousands of pounds and four years of my time. My graduation, surrounded by my friends and family, was one of the best days of my life, where we all celebrated something which had been years coming. I am proud that I made it and of the result I achieved.

For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
The opportunities I have had. Lots of these have been coincidences but many have been given to me by my parents - particularly them paying for me to go to an amazing school and to study several instruments for years, They are amazing and have always put me first, so I can go out into the world and be the best that I can be.

If you could change anything in the way you were raised, what would it be?
I think my parents did a pretty good job. I am adequately intelligent, passionate about the many things which interest me, ambitious, have enough social skills to get by and have enough manners to allow most people to get along with me...all things which were taught by my parents.

There are two and a half things which I wish they had introduced to me when I was younger which may initially seem fairly basic after the fact that they brought my up so well, but I think you will understand my reasoning.

Firstly I wish they had taken me abroad when I was younger. I have never been on holiday with my parents. Which people find strange, but it was due to circumstance more than anything. I just think it's a bit of a shame as they are so knowledgeable about history etc that it would have been interesting to travel with them...like having your own personal tour guide. But I don't mind too much. It has placed in me an unrelenting thirst to explore the world which may not have been there, had travelling been a common feature of my childhood. And who can remember the holidays they took when they were 5 anyway?

Secondly I wish we had had pocket money. I don't know why we never did really. If we ever needed anything whether that was toiletries, clothes, sweets, or a birthday present for a friend, our parents simply gave us the money. And while it didn't particularly matter (we definitely weren't spoilt or anything) I think we would have benefitted from that early basic practice in budgeting. Something I still haven't really got to grips with, aged 22.

Finally I really wish we had a pet. My Mum is afraid of dogs, while my Dad hates cats and they always said that their 'three little animals were more than enough' (ie. Us, thanks parents). But it would have been amazing to have some pets of some kind. Plus I think it's really important for lessons in responsibility, commitment and the like. Again, that's something I really struggle with now.

If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?
The only thing I would want to know is the age that I am when I die. Not the exact time, not any details about how, when or why - just a year so I can achieve everything that I want to and don't run out of time without even realising it.

How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?
Very. I am extremely close to my siblings and fairly close with my parents. I tell them a lot, they gave me an amazing childhood. and still remain close to me now. All of them help me out whenever I need it (and I need it often because I am a pain in the ass). I would be lost without them.

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?
There are actually two things which I couldn't choose between. One is a book of poems that I have written (and am still writing). The notebook is beautiful and I only write poetry when I am very emotional, either negatively or positively so it is the very best and worst of me. I haven't recorded these anywhere else (I probably should) so I would be heartbroken to lose them.

The other would be a card which my sister made me for my 21st birthday. It's A2 sized and is 3 pages of baby pics, childhood pics, modern pics, friends old and new, family...everything. I love it.

Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?
My little sister without a doubt. She's 6 years younger than me so technically she should definitely die after me, or it would be so wrong. Plus I have always had this mother-hen urge to protect her from everything. So having her not be around anymore would absolutely break me.

What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
Quite simply anything that would cause other people pain. If people are hurt it is no longer funny and you are just being cruel.

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