The Questions Project: Elizabeth Arnold

Elizabeth Arnold is a senior English and French major at Mizzou from Joplin, Mo. I took a writing course to prepare myself to take a job as a tutor at MU’s Writing Center, and she was (oh so fortunately) given to me as a mentor. We became fast friends as we bonded over our intense love for the beautiful Sufjan Stevens and cats. She has two cats, Walter and Petra. They are brother and sister and absolutely adorable. They are the only reason I’m friends with Elizabeth. (jkjk, Elizabeth I like you for more than your cats. <3)

We spend our time making fun of Titanic, and swooning over the Pie Maker (Ned) in “Pushing Daisies.” Her love of literature is inspiring and I absolutely adore when she lets me read her pieces of work. So, I happily introduce this week’s victim, Elizabeth (not Liz):

1. What was the last picture you took with your phone?
At the request of my mother, a selfie with my disgruntled cat, Walter Spaceman.

Elizabeth and Walter

Photo taken by Elizabeth Arnold.

2. Have you ever been pulled over by a cop?
Not yet.

3. What’s your heritage?
Lots of things… Irish, Greek, French, and Cherokee to name a few.

4. What was the last lie you told?
I can’t remember exactly. I try to be honest as much as possible.

5. What’s the weirdest prank you’ve ever done?
Covering my sister’s door frame with newspaper while she was sleeping. I thought it would be really funny for her to open the door and walk into a wall of paper. It was not as gratifying as expected.

6. Do you trust anyone with your life?
My parents.

7. Describe the perfect pizza.
Lots of cheese and some pineapple. Not too much sauce. And sauce that isn’t sweet. Standard crust (neither thin nor deep-dish).

8. What was your first thought when you woke up this morning?
How much longer can I sleep and still be ready on time?

9. You discover that your wonderful one-year-old child is because of a mix up at the hospital and not yours. Would you want to exchange the child to correct the mistake?
Unless it looked like a child from a horror film that might murder me or communicate with things that would murder me, I would keep it. Then when it grows up we could have a heart felt reunion: me with my proper child and it with its birth parents. Then I would have two kids for the price of one!

10. Would you be willing to lie to a court for a close friend if it meant saving your friend from going to prison for life?
Probably.

11. Would you be willing to eat a bowl of crickets for money?
I think it would make me too sad to eat so many crickets, but it might also depend on the amount of money.

12. If you could have anyone locked in a room so you could torment them for a day, whom would you choose and how would you torment them?
I’m not sure whom I would lock up, but the torment would likely consist of me forcing that person to watch all my favorite YouTube videos for the entirety of the 24 hour period.

13. If you could be any age for a week, what age would you be?
I would go back to age 6 when I got to color pictures for homework, play with bugs at recess, and spend after-school hours watching anthropomorphized animal movies and drinking ginger ale with my best friend.

14. Who was the last person you sang to and what did you sing?
I serenaded my roommate with “À Cause des Garcons” by Yelle, a French pop singer. I think it was decided that I should finish my degree and stay far away from the music industry.

15. What question do you hate being asked?
“Are you old enough to drive?”

16. If you could have only one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
That’s a really difficult question. If magically prepared for me, I would probably say butternut squash curry. If I still had to cook, it would probably be pasta.

17. How do you start a conversation?
Usually with a fairly casual greeting, like “Hey…” or “How are you?” Based on the person’s response (after gauging how happy or inconvenienced they look) I proceed accordingly.

18. If you had a brainwashing machine, who would you use it on?
My cats. I would like them to be more affectionate and I would like them to be quieter when I’m trying to sleep. If left in my possession for a significant amount of time, I would probably end up using it on other people as needed.

19. Have you ever eaten a crayon? What’s the strangest thing you’ve eaten?
My dog used to eat crayons. I have not. Probably the strangest thing I’ve eaten was a dog treat (shaped like a bone and everything). One of my grade school classmates filled her birthday gift bags with dog treats. I thought it was chocolate. Any other strange incident of putting things in my mouth was probably fueled by a faint hope that that thing was chocolate.

20. Are you still learning who you are?
Always.

21. What’re you afraid of?
Everything.

22. Do you dance?
Not well enough to dance in front of others.

23. What’s the weirdest thing about you?
I wish this question were easier to answer… I speak to my cats in French and when they don’t answer (which is always) I also supply their side of the conversation. It might be (marginally) less strange if I spoke better French.

24. What’s the most normal thing about you?
I drink water every day.

25. What are your thoughts on honesty?
As stated earlier, I think honesty is very important. Truth is complicated enough without the presence of lies. That said, truth can hurt. I usually prefer the truth (no matter how painful), but I realize that’s a personal preference. So the last time I told a lie was probably to someone who I didn’t want to hurt.

26. What do you want your tombstone to say?
“Pulitzer Prize Winner”…Or maybe a nice quote from a favorite book.

27. What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Mansplaining.

28. What feels like love to you?
I don’t think I have ever felt love as like I experience it when reading Jonathan Safran Foer’s books and short stories. In Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close he writes, “I like to see people reunited, I like to see people run to each other, I like the kissing and the crying, I like the impatience, the stories that the mouth can’t tell fast enough, the ears that aren’t big enough, the eyes that can’t take in all of the change, I like the hugging, the bringing together, the end of missing someone.” I think that is the best case scenario of love (the best it can make you feel)—not being able to get words out fast enough because you need the other person to understand your life so well that they feel it in their own, a feeling of profound happiness that makes you cry (maybe because you can feel the possibility of missing them and the happenstance of your knowing one another), and trying to take in a person’s entire life in during whatever moments you are given with them.

29. What’s a skill you’d like to learn and why?
I would love to learn to play violin. The “why” is nothing particularly exciting, I enjoy listening to violin music and violins look fun to play. After years of playing flute, I am envious of an instrument that doesn’t fill with condensation and drip liquid in the middle of a piece.

30. How would your friends describe you?
Quiet at first, but eventually loud and weird.

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