Back in the day, the poets used to write about falling in love like it was magical, mysterious, complex, maybe even a little painful. We didn’t know the how, and definitely not about the why.
But, apparently, all those poets were idiots.
Today, things are warmer, fuzzier and explained in full in millions of listicles on the Internet. And the one fact we can all be completely sure of about love is that to fall in love, we have to love ourselves first. Not sure on the attribution, but my guess is Dr. Phil or another balding man in a turtleneck. Or maybe Nicholas Sparks, who then charged someone $8 million to use it as the entire premise of a movie. And if something costs $8 million dollars and is in a movie, you know it’s true.
But, hard-to-love contrarian that I am, I don’t know if I agree. I mean, if I look around at the people seemingly in love and think that if those people not only have to love each other but also themselves… Well, mathematically, the odds seem slim. Have you met most people?
Still, I guess I could do better than just tolerating me. So, I set out to finally, finally fall in love with myself.
Like a man, the way to my heart is probably through my eating parts, but since someone’s already cooked their way through Julia Child and since I’m not looking to waste much time on this whole loving-myself business, I needed something more expedient.
And according to the New York Times, there’s now an easy, foolproof way to fall in love with anyone. Yeah, I answered those 36 Questions that guarantee you’ll fall in love with their object.
So, get ready to watch me fall in love … with me.
1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
Someone who will return only the lids of any Tupperware I send home with them, because I never have enough lids. Also, any child who’s ever climbed up inside one of those crane machines. I may have a job for them.
2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?
In a way I can be famous for.
3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?
No. Because I never speak into telephones. Sorry to anyone I’ve called lately.
4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?
Today would have been pretty perfect if you didn’t have to go and say “perfect” like that, “friend.”
5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
I’m always singing. You mean you can’t tell? God, between this and your sarcastic “perfect,” I’m feeling super-insignificant.
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?
By retain, what are we talking? Because I’d rather have a 30-year-old’s mind in a jar than the whole body. I don’t have much closet space
7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?
It’s not secret. The biological functions that sustain me will cease. What, you didn’t know about this?
8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.
I am my partner. We seem to have most things in common. Especially our appearance and skepticism about these questions’ effectiveness.
9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
That I know a trick question when I see one.
10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
That I prefer just climbing things myself. Please stop raising me when I haven’t asked you to.
11. Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.
I will do it in 4 seconds: Nothing like Abraham Lincoln’s but also from Illinois.
12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?
I don’t know. By tomorrow I should be in love with myself so therefore will think I’m pretty amazing and in need of no new qualities.
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?
If it thinks these earrings make my ass look big.
14. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
Because I don’t know where to get a unicorn so that I can drink its still-warm magical blood. God, like you’ve fulfilled all your dreams.
15. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
If I fall in love with myself by question 36, then that. Otherwise, meeting Rosalynn Carter when I was 3.
16. What do you value most in a friendship?
The ship. Because I can probably sell it.
17. What is your most treasured memory?
All the times I’ve been asked to think about treasured memories are pretty special.
18. What is your most terrible memory?
Any time I’m not answering question 17.
19. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?
I would stop writing “Die today?” on all the boxes of my 2015 calendar. Because obviously 2016 is the year.
20. What does friendship mean to you?
Never telling someone that they’re going to die next year.
21. What roles do love and affection play in your life?
This question is setting me up to fail in a way I don’t like.
22. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.
This seems time-consuming. No, thank you.
23. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?
I mean, you want to say it’s warm, but it really depends on the humidity.
24. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?
Um, does your mom know you’re asking this?
25. Make three true “we” statements each. For instance, “We are both in this room feeling … “
We both know there is only one of us.
We are the same person.
We don’t know if this questionnaire is working.
Bonus “we” statement: We might have better spent the time we used for these questions pursuing a mutual hobby or interest.
26. Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share … “
Single-serve packages of Nutter Butters. Wait, we totally do that.
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 would never be friends with me. There, saved you some time.
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.
I like the honesty I see radiating from the very core of you. (Thus, me.)
29. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.
That time I lied to you on question 28.
30. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
Now, because our life is a lie and this is no way to start a new relationship.
31. Tell your partner something that you like about them already.
That we’ve made it to question 31 together. Should we celebrate this milestone? I’ll get the gin.
32. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
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?
My Internet passwords. But you’re not supposed to just give those away. Total conundrum, right?
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?
Probably something flammable. For obvious reasons.
35. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?
For next time, just know that this is a gruesome question to put at the end. Put the hopes-and-dreams stuff here and the deathy stuff at the top. Kills the mood.
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.
I think I’m less in love with myself now than when I started. So what do I do, self, to make sure people know this questionnaire is a failure?
Verdict: I would not ask myself for a second date but I’d totally stalk me on Facebook. That counts as being in love, right?