The Proust Questionnaire: Jill Hagen

If You Have to Ask is about Jill Hagen. She’s 23, lives in a small Victorian flat in San Francisco and loves her job as a high school English teacher. She also still loves her college ex-boyfriend, Jacob, but he considers her a best friend with benefits. Can she make him come around?

Here Jill answers the Proust questionnaire, so that we can better understand her. I’m going to do the same with other characters from If You Have to Ask, soon.

Photo of Lela Lee

Lela Lee could play Jill Hagen. Photo: Magweb

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
To love and be loved.

What is your greatest fear?
Loneliness.

Which living person do you most admire?
Caitlin Moran and Hillary Clinton.

Pick one.
Why?

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Neediness.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Self sufficiency.

What do you dislike most about your appearance?
I have no poker face.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My dad.

When and where were you happiest?
When I was five, reading the funny pages with my parents.

Which talent would you most like to have?
I’d love to be a floaty dancer.

What is your current state of mind?
Confused.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
To have clarity.

If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?
That my family was more like my friends.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
When my students go on to be successful in college.

If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be?
Modern ballerina.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Misogyny.

What is the quality you most like in a man?
Point of view.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Empathetic conviction.

What do you most value in your friends?
Humor and companionship.

Who are your favorite writers?
Judy Bloom and Tina Fey.

Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
Scooby Doo.

Who are your heroes in real life?
My students.

What is it that you most dislike?
Big beds.

How would you like to die?
In a warm pool of tropical water with dolphins.

What is your motto?
If something is driving you crazy, see if you can change it.