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On Thu, 25 Aug 16 02:15:34 UTC Claire (32) answered the Proust Questionnaire (click on a question to read other answers):

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Being forced to marry someone I don't love.
Where would you like to live?
My hometown, Martone, in Calabria, Italy; my world is there.
What is your idea of earthly happiness?
To be amongst my children and my flowers, and within walking distance of my family.
To what faults do you feel most indulgent?
Swearing in Italian
Who are your favorite heroes of fiction?
Fiction? It was thought wasteful to educate girls when I was young. I can read, but not well.
Who are your favorite characters in history?
St. George, St. Anthony, Mussolini
Who are your favorite heroines in real life?
My mother, she lost her husband, kept her family together and put one of her sons through school to become a professor.
Who are your favorite heroines of fiction?
Again with the fiction. I like Lucille Ball--she makes me laugh.
Your favorite painter?
Michelangelo, the painter of the Sistine Chapel...I saw his paintings once when I took my children to Rome.
Your favorite musician?
Anything they play on the Italian music stations that reminds me of home. I don't know who the musicians are--I just like the music.
The quality you most admire in a man?
I like hardworking men, life does not forgive laziness.
The quality you most admire in a woman?
Sense of humor and the ability to talk, on the phone, through letters, in person--I like to feel connected.
Your favorite virtue?
Not patience, I've lost that. Diligence. Things need to get done, inside and out of the home. Season by season.
Your favorite occupation?
Gardening. I love making the flowers grow...a little ginger ale works wonders.
Who would you have liked to be?
Educated, maybe a midwife like my sister-in-law, or a nun, no one could abuse me then.
Your most marked characteristic?
I like to make people smile--I'll sing country songs or tell jokes just to get someone to laugh.
What do you most value in your friends?
Communication. We're not in walking distance and can only visit on the weekends because the men have the car for work. I'd feel so isolated without a telephone.
What is your principle defect?
I once had a breakdown--postpartum they called it--and was hospitalized; I feel so ashamed even when people don't bring it up and mutter names under their breath.
What to your mind would be the greatest of misfortunes?
To be cutoff from my immediate family.
What would you like to be?
A working mother. I'd like my own income. I can't work & take care of my family, I wish I could. I tried working in the factory shops in New York, it's all I could get without speaking English, but never again. I'd rather penny pinch & live off the land.
What is your favorite color?
White and red, like my roses, but especially yellow.
What is your favorite flower?
Roses when we had our apartment and canna lilies at our house now, they wouldn't grow at the apartment. Shallow soil.
What is your favorite bird?
I love them all, especially canaries.
Who are your favorite prose writers?
We never had enough money for books growing up.
Who are your favorite poets?
The only poets I know are the authors of the Bible.
Who are your heroes in real life?
Aunt Mary, she was kind to me when I came to America and took us in. She never found faults in people.
Who are your favorite heroines of history?
I wish I knew enough history to provide a name.
What are your favorite names?
Angela, Anthony, and George--religious names; not Marcy, I can't say that name, sounds like Madison...where do you get these American names...
What is it you most dislike?
Drinking and gambling. I hate when people get drunk, abusive and reckless, and waste the money I've struggled to save.
What historical figures do you most despise?
The Mafia
What event in military history do you most admire?
When Mussolini did something about the Mafia--they would steal from the poor and try to intimidate us. We lived in fear.
What natural gift would you most like to possess?
Song, I love to sing.
How would you like to die?
Unafraid, surrounded by my family, and buried with the rosaries I handmade when I was sixteen.
What is your present state of mind?
What is your motto?
Bella Mia! Well, it's not so much of a motto, but my greeting. Anything for a smile.

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