I have a friend in Colorado that I correspond with frequently via snail mail. In a notecard I sent a few weeks ago, I was in a kind of silly mood and asked her several random questions, just as they popped into my head. I don’t remember a single one of them, and it being written correspondence (primarily handwritten, as opposed to typed) I don’t have a record. No matter.
I got a set of random questions in response, and I found them so engaging I had to respond immediately (I believe I wrote back the very same night). Here were her questions:
- If you lived anywhere but Minnesota, where would you want to be?
- What would you want for your last meal?
- If you see someone in public reading a book, do you strike up a conversation or silently judge them?
- Ocean, mountain, meadows, valleys, lakes/rivers, or forests?
- What’s your favorite tree?
- What’s your favorite bird on your life list?
- If you were a spice, what would you be?
- What’s your spirit animal?
- Cruise or destination vacation?
- What qualities do you consider indispensable in a friendship?
Is that not a fine set of questions?
I think I had the most fun with (2) What would I want for my last meal? I don’t remember my entire response, but I do know it included fried shrimp with cocktail sauce, cocktail shrimp (also with cocktail sauce), crispy hash browns, a small green salad, some crispy bacon, and coconut cream pie. One thing I know I forgot on the list—no, two—raspberries and peaches. The menu will change every time I answer the question. Another time it will include spaghetti or lasagna, maybe red beet eggs. Potato sausage. Fresh local corn slathered in butter (and a bit of pepper).
Question (3) intrigued me. I very rarely strike up conversations with people reading in public, though I do stealthily try to see what they’re reading. I don’t like to interrupt readers (though I might make an exception if they are reading one of the most wonderful books in the world and I want to tell them I love them). But I do have an internal disposition such that I tend to think they are likely to be interesting people. I have a bias towards readers. I guess that is a judgement of sorts. Maybe more like speculating.
Perhaps you are starting to see how fun these random questions can be. Question (4): hands-down easy peasy answer for me—forests. I love trees. That made (5) fairly easy to answer—my favorite tree is the closest tree (and the older the better). I can’t pick a favorite—I love them all. Trees are like magic to me. Another favorite tree (though it’s gone now): the huge tree next door when I was growing up. It served as hiding place for Kick the Can, counting down place (Hide and Seek), goalpost for football, and company while I was reading on the porch swing. I still love that tree.
Questions (7) and (8) were difficult for me. I still am not sure of my answer for either. Is there anyone out there that said immediately, “I am X spice” as I knew immediately I was forest?
Question (10) gave me pause. First thoughts: sense of humor, things in common, and trust. My closest friendships encompass all three. But I have had very good and strong long-term friendships that are intellectually rewarding, even without the humor element.
My turn for a set of random questions. Here’s what I’m thinking:
- Favorite board game when you were a kid?
- Favorite outdoor game?
- Do you enjoy storms?
- Do you dream in color?
- Favorite kitchen utensil?
- Favorite thing in your kitchen overall?
- What is your favorite color of the rainbow? (Rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. I love that violet is included in the rainbow. Who talks about violet anymore? Not to bias anyone or anything.)
- Gravel road, county road, or freeway?
- What’s the furthest you’ve ever been from home?
- Have you ever seen a falling/shooting star?
- What’s the last animal (not a pet) that you saw? (Or, go and look out the window now.)
- If you were a geometric shape, what would you be?
- When you double-shelve books, do you do it alphabetically, or do you put the books less likely to be read behind the books of higher interest?
I am seeking additional questions, so please feel free to chime in. (What question would You want to ask or be asked?)
It’s absolutely silly but it’s also fun. Sometimes you remember things (all those fried shrimp I ate when I was a kid), sometimes you stretch yourself, sometimes you ponder.
If you were a bird, what would you be?