An otherwise normal, cosmopolitan, and somewhat cool Facebook friend recently posted an atypical post. It contained some blathering about her fiancé, an equally as cool person that comes with requisite urbanite beard and black rimmed glasses. The article linked to was a “quiz” from the New York Times. I thought it was about wedding planning based on the title, “Big Wedding Or Small?” It is not about wedding planning.
Instead, it is about making relationships stronger. How? Through a series of innocuous and even fun questions to volley at your loved one. These include queries like…
• Would you like to be famous? In what way?
• Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?
• Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.
• If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
• If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?
Outside of some weirdo questions—”When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?” (NEVER.), “Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?” (Choking to death or suicide.)—it is a fun game you could play with anyone else. Does it continue as such?
Kind of—and then it doesn’t. The next third of questions asks about your family issues and how you love and even “What is your most terrible memory?” This could leave you uneasy but it certainly is not a deal breaker. The final third is, though. It’s a series of questions that are the making of a film like The One I Love or Before Sunset: they are mature, serious, and at their core unfiltered love. They require you to have some balls, to literally take a knife off of the table and cut yourself open from the tip of your brain to the tip of your penis.
They don’t end kindly. You have to talk about the severity of death and what is absolutely off limits to joke about. You have to relinquish all of your insecurities and secrets: it’s horrifying. You will certainly survive (and grow) from it. Will you want to do it? Maybe. Did my Facebook friend do it? Not yet—but she plans to.
Did I do it? Fuck no. I hate crying in front of people. (That’s actually question 30, too.)
If you really want to torture yourself and your partner, there is even an app version of this.