Nobuko works for a magazine called Precious. In every issue, Precious spotlights 4 or 5 women with interesting careers all over the world. Nobuko, who apparently used to listen to me on the radio, asked me to be one of the interview subjects for the January issue.
It’s hard for me to believe that the Japanese find me amusing, as I bring much shame to my family. But I was so flattered that I said yes immediately. And then I took a look at the questions she’d be asking at the interview.
When this magazine interviews anyone for this article, there are five questions always to be asked. (Just like the last few questionnaire at the Actor’s Studio by James Lipkin).
Oh man. Not the James Lipkin questionnaire! Christ what is this, the Spinach Inquisition?
To give you a head up, these are the five questions we always ask:
Q1. Do you have good luck charm? Do you practice ritual for make your work successful?
Q2. Three things you always carry in your purse?
Q3. Where do you go for relaxing?
Q4. One book you will bring with you for your travel.
Q5. What kind of compliment do you like to hear most about yourself?
Okay, these look easy, but they’re much harder than you think.
For example, the three-things-in-your-purse deal. My first thought was Excedrin, cell phone and gum, but where’s the charm in that? Who doesn’t carry that shit? I might as well have said driver’s license and car keys. Big fucking deal.
No, I wanted something eccentric and quirky and fun, just bursting with idiosyncratic personality. For a brief moment, I actually considered pre-loading my purse with crazy things, so I could just produce them at the interview and look like a kooky little funster.
“Oh this? It’s just a Don Knotts snowglobe. I always carry it. It helps me write!”
Instead, I just pathetically pawed through my backpack at the interview, looking for amusing things. I produced lots of Vons receipts with chewed gum crumpled up in them (I hate putting gum in the ashtray in the car). I thought that might be funny, but…
I started feeling like I was bombing out a little. I wasn’t making her laugh much, which is always troubling. And things really got rough when she asked me this:
“What you attitude for riving in you twenty?”
Wow. That is not an easy question to answer, even if you know what she’s saying.
After a few seconds, I realized what she was after. But before I had a chance to answer, she hit me with a follow up:
What you attitude for riving in you thirty and forty?
Clearly, she had a hana for news, and she wasn’t going to let up anytime soon. I looked down at the table between us, now littered with Vons receipts, and thought for a moment.
I told her that in my twenty, I was stone.
In my thirty, I work and work until I was so tire.
But in my forty, I stop work so hard and enjoy rife. Now I much happy.
And I think she understood where I was coming from.