My friend, Tia, has started a tumblr (inspired by a production being put on by a local theatre company) encouraging folks to go on an Identity Scavenger Hunt. And in her rallying cry of “let’s be brave and search alone-together” (which I love love love love) – I’m all in. And I encourage you to play along as well! Over the next 30 days or so, Tia will be posting a question or two a day from the famous Proust Questionnaire on the tumblr. I’ll be doing my best to keep up and answer the questions here; my approach will be to not think too much about any one answer and to go from the gut. You can answer the questions on the Identity Scavenger Hunt tumblr, on your own blog, in your journal, in your head, or feel free to e-mail answers directly to the lovely Tia at firstname.lastname@example.org – she may want to use some of your answers in different ways in the future!
9. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Temperance, perhaps. Exercising impulse control and “all things in moderation” seem about right, but I feel like I see a lot of temperance-associated shame for things that are purely human. Desire for sex, food, and drink along with the possession of pride are not to be shamed; this is how we continue the human race, sustain life, commune with friends, and are motivated to care for ourselves. Obviously going overboard can lead to dangerous territory (with just about anything) but even in a secular society, there is institutionalized shaming based on old notions of temperance which tells people that indulging in any of these things is inherently bad unless the indulgences take place under certain circumstances. That frosts my cookies. So I say: Go get laid! Eat some tiramisu! Drink some bourbon! And tell yourself you are pretty dang awesome! As long as you’re being safe and that’s what floats your boat, don’t shame yourself for being alive and having healthy desires.
10. On what occasion do you lie?
On a RARE occasion. And typically to avoid hurting someone’s feelings. I actually loathe lying/liars so feel really icky when I do it.