Susan Rich, Research Assistant

Learn more about Susan from her Proust Questionnaire answers below!

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Just the little things in life.  The colours and fragrance of autumn.  Coming in from the cold.  Eating Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream.  Holding hands.  Thunder.  Little birds chirping.  Showering after a hot day.  Finishing a project.  A quiet snowfall.  Applying perfume.  Trying on shoes.  A good laugh.  Burgers and fries. 

What is your greatest fear?
Well, this may not be my greatest fear, but I do wonder how I’d ever survive in a post-apocalyptic world without electricity or running water (that’s how I define apocalypse!).  Shows like The Walking Dead get me thinking about this stuff.  I am not the outdoorsy type.  I couldn’t kill anything, I wouldn’t be able to sleep on the ground or in the cold, mosquitoes LOVE me, and my nose runs constantly.  I like everything to be neat and tidy to the point of disinfection, so I couldn’t see myself cooking over an open fire using the end of a stick or something as a kebab.  Even if I were starving, I just couldn’t eat bugs or rodents.  I’d rather dry up than drink from puddles or a foamy pond.  But there’s longevity in my genes so, with my luck, I’d last forever and hate every minute of it.  Plus, I’m pretty sure I’d find zombies irritating.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
I’m extremely intolerant of intolerance.  I have little patience for people who are judgemental of others and unaware of their own huge privilege.  There’s so much unfairness and suffering in the world.  I don’t know why anyone would want to add to another’s burden.  We all live in glass houses, so who are we to judge.  We should spend more time looking in our own backyards, rather than vilifying and persecuting ‘others.’

Which living person do you most admire?
We’re all fighting some kind of battle, so I admire anyone who demonstrates kindness in the world.  Despite physical, emotional, social and economic hardship, there’s still so much good people do.  If I have to choose one person off the top of my head, though, it would be Thich Nhat Hahn for all he does in the name of peace.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Purses.  I know – shallow – but I just love how pretty they are, especially if I can stuff a lot into them.  I prefer a good tote, for that reason.  Maybe it’s my fear of doing badly during a zombie apocalypse, but I like to carry everything with me all of the time.  People are always surprised at how heavy my bag is, but I like to be prepared.  I have the usual (phone; cash; credit cards), but then I have the unusual (a supply of lotions, potions and meds that could restock most pharmacies; keys to almost every place I’ve ever been or ever will be; a lucky penny I found in Honolulu; enough makeup to see all the models through New York’s fashion week; an enormous supply of tissue for my ever-runny nose; a light sweater, if it gets cold; water, if it gets dry; an umbrella, if it gets wet; reading glasses; sunglasses; contacts).  I’m a worrier.  I come prepared.  I need a nice purse for that.