I've got a blank space

 

...and I'll write your name. Anyone else think T. Swift killed it with this song? And that video... She has fun and I love her for that. She also begs the question: Can just anyone's name go in that blank space?

Valentine's Day is coming up. I have luckily been out of town the last couple years on a family ski trip, so I can just pretend it's not happening. Not because I really have anything against Valentine's Day, it just has always felt so forced to me. But I also think it's a fun excuse to go the extra mile for someone you love. Maybe your New Year's resolution was to find a Valentine before February 14th. Maybe it was to swear off a Valentine all together. Either way, it's coming, and people are going to be talking about it. And Valentine's Day or not, we all just want to love and be loved, right?

One of my favorite bloggers, Hallie of Corals + Cognacs wrote this blog post on an article she read in the NY Times about how to fall in love with anyone. There was a study done by Dr. Arthur Aron, where he posed 36 questions for two strangers to ask each other, each getting gradually more intimate. He theorizes that this levels playing field of vulnerability and creates a safe space and a feeling of closeness that we might want to feel with someone, but never quite get there. We all have a "speech" that we give someone we don't know about our lives that is telling, but doesn't overshare, and gives a small window into our lives, but doesn't swing the door wide open. These 36 questions change the game.

Hallie challenged her readers to pick a few of the questions and answer them just for fun, and I want to do the same. Leave your answers in the comments, write your own blog post linking back to this one so I can see it, or shoot me an email if you want to do it that way. I don't know about you, but I kind of miss those obnoxious Myspace surveys asking questions about our lives. 

Here goes:

Given the choice of anyone in the world, who would you want as a dinner guest?  Charlie Hunnam. Because, well, duh. Oh, the opposite sex doesn't wanna hear about my TV star fantasies? K. I would invite my mother, and her mother, father, and brother, who all died before I was born. Knowing my mom with an immediate family has always been something I've wondered about; how she would interact with each of them, and I feel like there will always be a part of my mom that is unknown to me having never seen that.

Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?  It depends on who I'm calling. Family and close friends? No. But if it's of a somewhat professional nature I might think about what my intro will be. Am I gonna ask about their weekend? Am I gonna ask about their kids? Or just jump right into why I'm calling? I like to at least think I have a plan.

For what in your life do you feel most grateful?  I feel most grateful for my friends and family. I've been blessed with the two greatest, most supportive parents who don't care what I do in my life, as long as I'm happy. They gave me two younger siblings who are my favorite people in the whole world, and I wouldn't be who I am without. And I have friends who understand and support me, a lot of whom I've been friends with through many interesting phases, and they still love me!

What do you value most in a friendship?  Authenticity and understanding.

What is your most treasured memory?  When I was younger, and my parents were married, my mom was part of a lot of organizations in Seattle, and she was on a lot of boards. (To be honest, I'm not entirely clear on what she was doing), but her and my dad were always getting dressed up and going to fancy events. When they were getting ready, I'd go and hang out with them, watching my mom put on her beautiful dress that I thought made her look like a princess, and when my dad was shaving, he'd always put shaving cream on my nose. I would always look forward to that when I knew they were going out for the evening. 

How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?  I treasure her.

I wish I had someone with whom I could share...  (I spent way too much time thinking about the answer to this question). The final episode of Sons of Anarchy! I seem to be the only one in my immediate circle to care at all.

When did you last cry in front of someone else? Yourself?  Someone else: I think when I took Melissa to the airport after she'd driven up the coast with me on my journey back to Seattle from LA. Myself: The other day during Parenthood. If you haven't seen that show yet, it's a must. But it will also make you cry by yourself.

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? The reality of it is I'd probably grab my computer. I would say pictures, but all the pictures I would want are on there anyway. 

So...what do you think? Ok,  you might not be in love with me, but that was fun, right? You can answer these questions, or pick any of the 36 and share your answers!

Happy Answering.

"So it's gonna be forever. Or it's gonna go down in flames."

Image source.

Image source.