Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Proust Questionnaire. Guest Blogger Stephen Andrew Jones



 
So glad you like my guest blog series! I am so appreciative that my friends are up for this challenge. Also, thank you for all of your answers as well! My answer to the question is simple. My favorite literary hero in fiction is Miss Piggle-Wiggle. I learned more about “doing the right thing” from Miss Piggle Wiggle than I did from my parents, my school teachers, my Sunday school teachers, my sports coaches, and any self-help book combined! I devoured the books when I was a kid.
Okay, on to the next question and today’s guest blogger! Our favorite… Stephen Andrew Jones! If you read my blog, you should be well aware of this gentleman. If not, go to his blog, HERE, start from the beginning and when you finish every blog that he has ever written you will fall in love as the rest of us have and understand our obsession.
Okay, here we go…

Proust Question for Stephen: On what occasion do you lie?

Stephen’s Answer: Well, I lie constantly.  How much butter is in this? Oh! hardly any! Is that your second g&t? Oh, gosh, no.  It's my first. Tell me the truth, do you like my new couch? Of course! It really pulls the room together.

There's a lot of fucking butter and you know it, it’s my third gin and tonic and mind your own business I'm not driving, and that sofa is so ugly I have PTSD. I will readily lie to put a contentious situation at ease, protect someone's feelings, or protect individuality/creativity. Other than that, I'm much more of an omitter than a liar. As a middle child and a relatively calm Taurus, I am a skilled peacekeeper. Part of keeping the peace is spackling together a narrative with input from both assholes while driving it somewhere else. If she says I'm sorry he's such a braindead jackass and he says I'm sorry but I did nothing wrong, then you tell him she said she was sorry and tell her he said he recognizes his fault in this and is sorry. I think you can spend a lot of time debating the truth and get nowhere or you can cleverly fluff details and move on.
Also I tend to lie to men a lot more than women. I think in a broad scope, men are more comfortable being lied to. Truth be told, men don't really care what happens around them as long as there's food and blowjobs. Women, on the other hand, will sniff out the truth and find it eventually. So I've always found it's best to give them the whole story. Also, women have better memories of conversations. Perhaps because they listen. You can go back later and tell a man you said something different and provide a few plucked from oblivion details and nod strongly and he'll be like uh, yeah, that's right

I will also lie to wade through bureaucracy. When I was in high school, there was a miserable woman in charge of attendance. Imagine Ted Cruz with less zest for life. This woman was determined to hold my feet to the fire for skipping school as I saw fit. Listen, I'm not saying education isn't important but I am saying going tanning and collecting jadeite are more important. One of my routines was to leave for school on time, hit the tanning salon when it opened at 8, then drive to a small town called Lebanon and sift the antique stores. At the school in the morning, there was a parent volunteer to help attendance bitch with answering calls from parents to report their kid's absence. I would call the school from the tanning salon phone or the carryout next-door until I got attendance bitch, then speed dial the school on my cell phone so I'd get sweet volunteer mom. My junior year, she caught me and screwed me over when I called impersonating my dad. I got volunteer mom as planned and she said just a moment, please and I heard attendance bitch's shrill voice. Andrew, I know it's you. I should have given up there but I insisted No. This is Dr. Jones. (my dad would literally sooner die than address himself to anyone as Dr. Jones. His patients hardly even call him that). She said well do you mind if I call your house to verify? Uuugh fuck. In about two seconds, I got an irate call from my dad. My poor parents. She may have won the battle. Over the summer, I did not do my summer reading but I did acquaint myself with privacy laws and regulations regarding schools and doctor’s offices. I'm not going to come out and admit to anything buuut I found a loophole and jumped through it regularly with abandon and attendance bitch couldn't do a damn thing. 
Nowadays, I would say the most frequent lies I tell involve my idea of being gracious and kind. There are some people who are so proud to tell you that they can't even lie if they try. Congratufuckinglations. 

 
When someone asks for your opinion, more often than not they are asking for your approval. When someone shows me their remodeled kitchen and asks do you think I chose the right countertops? Because I have a narrow view of what I love in a kitchen (non-Ellie approved white quartz), usually I do not. What could possibly be gained from me being a douche and saying “No”, that granite looks like geologic schizophrenia? The person is asking for reassurance, not your personal design philosophy. My rule is if it's too late for the truth to be helpful, lie. If someone put their heart and soul into a creative outlet like a painting, remodel, party, poem, or erotic e-book and it's finished, your constructive criticism is actually just rude. And I will always politely lie in a group to bypass someone's embarrassment. 

And lastly, certainly the most difficult lie to tell. The one that haunts my dreams and rattles me to the core. Oh don't worry about it! It's fine! I have a million of these and love shopping for more anyway! I am, of course, talking about when someone drops one of your plates or glasses. Give me strength, Lord. I buy beautiful tabletop goods to use and enjoy. Sometimes that means they are loved to death.  Even if you detest the dropper and wonder if it was an accident at all and are about to stroke out in rage--you must cry on the inside but laugh on the outside, sweep it up, assure the dipshit asshole motherfucker that it's no big deal, pour them a new glass, and keep your party on track. For God's sake, have some decorum.
Thank you, Stephen!

Ellie’s Question: Stephen, what is your favorite charity?
Stephen's Answer: ASPCA. https://www.aspca.org/

76 comments:

  1. What fun! Where has he been all my life? I am 100% in favor of his style of lying. Maybe not the school attendance--that's the kind of thing I would get caught at 100% of the time and after the first witch trial would give up (so I admire his perseverance). But the cushioning of others' feelings? Three cheers for Steven Andrew Jones, and for Ellie for bringing this out.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wowza, he is almost as great as you Ellie, isn't he?!?!?!
    Love it, and that is no lie…..Suz from Vancouver

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh my god I'm having a terrible morning and then saw you posted and was glad for the distraction and then I remembered it was me and was so disappointed. Thank you for inviting me! And my apologies to anyone else feeling the same disappointment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stephen....bwahahahaha! Tat would have been worth the wait if we'd had to wait a year!

      Ted Cruz with less zest for life. I'm going to laugh again every time that pops into my head.

      Finally, lying to save others embarassment is the right type of lying, in my book. Life is too short not to spare others' feelings if we have it in our power to do so. ❤️

      Delete
    2. Stephen, I'm repeating what I said over on your blog comments... What a treat for a rainy desk-bound afternoon to find simultaneous posts from you here as a guest and over on your blog. Certainly no disappointment here!

      Thank you Ellie, as always, for sharing yourself and your brilliant wit, style and inspiration with us - and now that of your friends. First Rex John and now Stephen, both not only entertaining but very thought provoking. xo, Catherine

      Delete
    3. No disappointment here! I love reading your comments and just (finally) started following your blog.

      Delete
    4. Your post was fab. I loved it!

      Delete
    5. You did not disappoint - not a lie.
      I keep my out of production Spode dishes in the buffet because my family chips and scrapes my plates at holidays. I hate myself for not using the good stuff but I would hate them more if my hard to find service of 8 became service for 7. MB

      Delete
    6. NO disappointment! Believe me!

      Delete
    7. ...aaand that would be precisely no one who could be disappointed. I loved every moment of this and am very grateful for the fact that my face hurts from smiling so hard while reading it. Good for the complexion, I believe.

      You are the ultimate Proustian Questionaire Answerer, SAJ!

      Delete
    8. No disappointment here Stephen - No LIE!

      Being a "Relatively calm Taurus" should help with your terrible morning. I'm gonna wish you a HAPPY (belated?) Birthday anyway - No BULL! ;)

      Delete
  4. 'My rule is, if it's too late for the truth to be helpful, lie.'
    Yup, I agree. I love Stephen's honesty, especially when it comes to lying ;))

    Thinking of you daily Ellie
    Miri, Toronto

    ReplyDelete
  5. OMG!! How have I missed mention of Stephen before? He is fabulous. I have bookmarked him so I can enjoy the ride. Once again, Ellie, you have shared a gem with us ... thank you, thank you, sweet Ellie. Sally

    ReplyDelete
  6. Loved it!! I can see why you're friends! I totally agree with Mr. Jones' point of view.

    ReplyDelete
  7. OMG, Stephen didn't disappoint! He is a treasure and I wish I knew him personally. Ellie, I'm so glad you invited him to be your guest blogger.

    ReplyDelete
  8. SAJ !! yay !! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hysterical!!! ..as always.. and Stephen, you mentioned you'd move in a few days ago because I'm freaking out about the bullshit empty nest thing. Well, I loathe to tell you we definitely installed geologically schizophrenic granite from Turkey in our kitchen.. an immense slab of it that actually makes people stare.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I expected nothing less from SAJ - so funny and spot on except frenemies who come over and want to whittle away one's porcelain collection. One doesn't say anything but one forgets to invite them around again. Ah the truth - I think this needs to be a mini series Stephen!
    Prevention of animal cruelty is also one of my top three charities.
    Loving the guests posts and hope you are doing ok Ellie x

    ReplyDelete
  11. We call these "little white lies"...they are meant to protect peoples feelings, and are really quite harmless.
    Trouble with me is that I cannot tell a lie...my eyes tell the truth and so I rarely tell any kind of lie...I prefer to quickly change the subject. Like someone recently said when we were shopping what do you think of this blouse and I said well I absolutely love the pattern oh and you absolutely MUST look at this sweater!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well I can look deeply into anyone's eyes and lie shamelessly, I'm so fortunate. I also am a bit of a brute if someone asks me if I like something -- most people who know me, know better -- but I have no compunction in saying "Oh God it is so fucking hideous, what were you thinking?" Most people appreciate this level of honesty, once they stop crying.
      bonnie

      Delete
  12. i think we can all collectively agree that saj needs his own tv show. x

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love Stephen & Rex, FuNNY is #1 in my book.....not sweat the small BS out here...and HAVING FUN....!!
    OX

    ReplyDelete
  14. D'accord, probably the best guest blog post EVER. Congratulations Ellie, and congratulations Stephen Andrew. Now go fix mumsy here another cocktail! xo

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thank you, Stephen and sweet Ellie! Another fabulous friend of Ellie's! xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hahahahahahahahahaha! For the first time in my life, I feel vindicated! Thank you Stephen...Ellie!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle has a Not Truthful Cure and a cure for The Never-Want-to-Go-to-Schooler, Mr. Jones. If you are so inclined.

    ReplyDelete
  18. OMG this is GOLD. Hahaha so many truths here, indeed about lying and I agree with everything dear SAJ. Love the summing up of men, total truth there, and so true people are obviously only looking for approval about their purchased whatever so why ever tell a hurtful truth? People who say they can't lie are lying. It's called white lies people.
    Ellie how brilliant to bring on SAJ for this series, thank you so much. XOX

    ReplyDelete
  19. Nobody, but nobody and say it like Stephen Andrew Jones!!!! NOTHING better than someone who tells the truth about lying! I'm loving the guest bloggers, Ellie! You are a genius!!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Ellie and SAJ on one blog post! You have made my day. Thank you both.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Loved this! And really love Mrs Piggle Wiggle - I may or may not still have a library book... ;-)

    Now I've got to add Stephen's blog to my list. Sending you much love, Ellie. - Denise

    ReplyDelete
  22. i can barely see the keyboard. i began laughing with the first line and never let up.
    pure stephen andrew jones at his finest.
    hollywood only THINKS it has the best and the greatest.
    he is a diamond or a hurricane waiting to happen. not sure which!
    love to you both for sharing this series and for your mutual joie de vivre! XO♥

    ReplyDelete
  23. I love Stephen Andrew Jones and wish he would blog more often (when he doesn't I check out his favorite bloggers because his comments are so much fun). Thanks Ellie and Stephen.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I laughed, laughed again, and kept on laughing to the end of Stephen Andrew's post...he should be declared a national treasure, Ellie! I plan to go back and read his blog
    le plut tot possible(hope I got that right)!!! Thinking of you each day...

    Penny

    ReplyDelete
  25. Brilliant Stephen! Wonderful post. You've actually made me think and you're right - the truth can be overrated. Although I love it when delivered deadpan from Ellie's lips. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  26. This is delightful! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I never met a Stephen I did not like, so of course my one and only son is a Steven...with a v, vs. a ph... but nonetheless a Steven... I feel like I know Stephen Jones, and would be fast friends if our paths ever crossed. Loved his take on the fine art of lying. Have some decorum, indeed!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Absolutely loved this Ellie - would love to imagine a get together with him and you and me involving lots of drinks, food and great conversation. Parallel universe somewhere. Thinking of you often sweet Ellie.
    Love Cindy F
    xx

    ReplyDelete
  29. You have no idea how bad I want to sit and drink and laugh with you both!! Hands down it would be the best night of my life...(and I've had some really fucking awesome nights)

    ReplyDelete
  30. Stephen we love you
    You are the male version of Ellie!
    XO
    Lourdes

    ReplyDelete
  31. Ellie...so nice of you to give the outrageous Stephen Andrew this platform. He is a very talented writer and his tastebuds are off the charts. I'm glad that your readers have been exposed to him....all of his posts are exceptional and his photographs of food require drooling. He introduced me to your blog Ellie...you are a very special woman.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Luff Salon Stephen 11/10.

    I wish he lived nearby so he could fix my hair and make me laugh in person x

    ReplyDelete
  33. HARD ACT to FOLLOW.................this guest BLOGGER!!!!
    Loved every description and every WORD!
    XO

    ReplyDelete
  34. Easy to be friends with Stephen, unpretentious, fun loving and tells it how it is. Agree with white lies when the truth does not serve any purpose. Life is short and we are only the caretakers of possessions, important at the time but in reality all that counts in the end is the love of family and friends. I think you have that Stephen. Enjoyed your post. Luv Lillian Plummer

    ReplyDelete
  35. Easy to see why you are such good friends. Stephen has a great sense of humor and is very creative and talented. Unpretentious and never taking himself seriously is the best kind of friend. Loved the post. Hope you are doing well Ellie. Best wishes Lillian xxx

    ReplyDelete
  36. If only EOD and SAJ ran the world.....

    ReplyDelete
  37. After I read Ellie's blog, I always search for Stephen's comment - it's like the icing on a VERY delicious cake! This guest blog post is the equivalent of being able to lick the frosting bowl (I realize this is inelegantly phrased, and herewith apologize on the spot).

    One of my favorite literary characters is Amelia Peabody Emerson who frequently states after telling a big glaring fat one, "I never lie unless absolutely necessary." I like that there is some significant leeway there.

    Although there is, perhaps, little that is admirable about her character, like Stephen I was a bit obsessed with Scarlett O'Hara (who, by the way, is DEFINITELY a Taurus!) when I was young and impressionable. Even as I write this, I can remember the book's opening line, "Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were." I was once required to list 3 favorite literary characters (Scarlett made the list) and then analyze my life to see if there were similarities...uncomfortably revealing!

    Loved the Guest Blog, and love you, Ellie.

    XOXO / Nancy

    ReplyDelete
  38. Oh crap! I've had too much to drink and not sure if I should respond.Well at first I couldn't follow you and thennnn.... Oh you got me at the man thing WTF, you're spot on. I just worked that! And I guess I'd better start learning to lie where interior design is concerned. I'm good at lying, but not about that! One time I was asked to leave a friend's Conneticut's house (near Martha's house) because I didn't rave about her god awful living room! Guess I'd better be more sensitive. Thanks Stephen I learned a lot, even though I've had a few!

    ReplyDelete
  39. This was hilarious. Now I'm in love with Stephen too. Also. Meaning, I'm in love with you both!
    There is NOTHING better in this world than to laugh, is there?? I can't EVEN with people who say sex is better. (It's ok, my husband isn't reading this)
    As I mentioned on Instagram, I ordered your book, but couldn't wait, so I also got the ebook and stayed up all night reading it. Bravo to you Ellie! I admire you so much. Your strength, your wit, your frankness and honesty, your ability to sustain the will, fortitude and grace to live the most interesting life you possibly can under the circumstances. What you have accomplished is super-human. Amongst the shit-storm that has been your life the past few years, you kept up your parenting, your marriage, your friendships, your appearance, your blog, the on-line antique shop, wrote a book, posted on Instagram, stayed present with the world, made so many new friends and inspired countless others, and all the while with such a sharp, take no prisoners sense of humour. Gracie and David must be SO proud of you.
    I just wanted you to know that you have inspired ME MANY times the last few weeks; to get up off my butt and go to yoga, take a hike, or just walk up the fricking stairs to get the scissors. I think of you and I get UP. I think about stolen moments, missed opportunities, procrastinating, all the stupid shit we do or don't do and then judge ourselves or others too harshly for, and I think of you. So along with many prayers, good thoughts and wishes, I send you heartfelt thanks. I can't believe we lived in the same small town for so many years yet our paths never crossed. I'm sorry for that. I know you would have made me laugh.
    I will be in Paris in the Fall. I don't know if you will be 'receiving' then, especially people you've never met, but I certainly will be thinking of you (and looking out for the French Hottie ;-) )
    Have a beautiful weekend Ellie, and most of all, HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY TO YOU!!

    Many thanks again for the gift of your book. xoxo SP

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Slim and Ellie......I stayed up all night reading the ebook before the book came.....then I stayed up all night reading the real book......and I will read it again and again.
      That is your legacy; Ellie.....in addition.....you will leave many legacies.....

      Much more than most people. And so many positive gifts for others!!

      Did you know I saved a baby owl in Pasadena a week ago? A baby "great-horned owl" it has been transferred to the "Ojai raptor center" Where it will join 24 other baby "great horned owls" to be rehabilitated and set free!
      I am sitting on my loggia.....(you remember it) writing to you and listening to a "Great Horned Owl" calling!

      I wish I knew how to record it! You would!!! I will try!!! I adore you!

      Penny Bianchi

      Delete
  40. SAJ I loved your post. You have a gift and a wonderful voice. That's all. I'm not a gusher or even a commenter usually but you are just great.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Stephen, I laughed out loud for real while reading this post! You are truly just too much! Where have you been my whole life?!

    ReplyDelete
  42. There was a time in my life when I was involved in a 12 Step program and it was all about telling the truth. I was semi nuts at the time and took it too far, really stepped on some toes. I've since brought it back to center and totally agree that no good comes from hurting people under the guise of telling the truth. I do try to be completely honest with myself but I know there's times I'm not.It's all a process. Stephen is so damn smart and sweet and kind. This guy has a big loving heart and I adore him. Ellie your book was wonderful and I thank you for it.....continued thoughts and prayers.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Tour de force Stephen and thank you Ellie, so many truths spelled out here! As we get older, wiser or have to face challenges, we become less judgemental, "gracious and kind" with the use of the little white lie.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Fabulous post- He is a riot! now following/stalking

    ReplyDelete
  45. Stephellie... someone had to say it. I said it. Love to you both xxxx

    ReplyDelete
  46. The Reluctant SalonniereMay 7, 2016 at 6:53 AM

    SAJ has just earned a place at my fantasy dinner party, sadly he'll be cooking as well as entertaining me, Jesus, Hitler et al.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Oh Stephen, I thought I was the only one that had a secret phone protocol for skipping school. My secret was that I had to call about an hour after school had started. That's what time they put the student volunteers on the phone and they never asked questions.

    The only time it backfired was the one time I was too lazy to call and my parents found out. I think I was grounded. It still didn't stop me from continuing the practice because they never figured out my method.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Thank you so much for that much needed humor boost-LOVE you both to pieces. Just signed up for SAJ's blog, oh my!!

    ReplyDelete
  49. Or not just breaking your dishes but start moving around the pottery, carelessly set it down, hits the floor smashing to pieces. Happened to me on Christmas Day to a family heirloom. Irreplaceable... I just walked away (walking away was my lie) or I would have buried her in the rose garden.

    ReplyDelete
  50. PERFECTLY SAID. I thought I was the only person who hated granite..... I have pure white Corian and love it.
    The rest of the answer .... Words to live by for me and ditto Slim's comment.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Ellie and Stephen you surely are a dynamic duo - funny, clever, bright, entertaining and irreverent. Love you both!
    And Happy Mother's Day, Ellie and all the moms around the world.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Oh how I loved Mrs. Piggle-wiggle!
    I loved the idea that people could be fixed.
    Actually, I still do.

    ReplyDelete
  53. GREAT POST STEPHEN.IN MY OPINION, KINDNESS COMES FIRST TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN OUR OWN HEARTS AND MINDS. NO MATTER WHO WE ARE OR WHAT WE DO. TO LIVE WITHOUT IT MAKES US EMPTY SHELLS. UNDERNEATH THE HYSTERICALLY FUNNY SARCASM I SEE IN BOTH YOU AND ELLIE THE CORE IS KINDNESS. XXX ROSEMARY

    ReplyDelete
  54. Thank you SAJ & Ellie. Simply Awesome Love Den xxx

    ReplyDelete
  55. Love SAJ. And, he seems just right to guest post here. Thinking of you, EOD, and of your days.

    ReplyDelete
  56. What a fun post. I really enjoyed it. Thanks to Ellie and Stephen...

    ReplyDelete
  57. Last time I laughed continually like I did reading this post was with a David Sedaris book. Thanks so much SAJ!

    ReplyDelete
  58. How incredibly fabulous! Of course, I expected nothing less...

    ReplyDelete
  59. Oh my! I've not thought of the name or books in years....but I loved Miss Piggle-Wiggle as well! So much so years ago I named my St. Bernard puppy Miss Piggle-Wiggle. Thank you for taking me back there. XOXO

    ReplyDelete
  60. I posted my comment about Miss Piggle-Wiggle prior to reading Stephen's post. I only have one thing to say: I am seriously in love with you Stephen! I can't tell you how many times I snorted, laughed, chuckled, nodded my head in agreement, and wished you were my friend. Love, love, love you!!!!

    ReplyDelete