IAM A pushover for those personal quizzes that are always popping up in magazines. They ask for your responses to certain questions designed to probe your state of mind, and rate you accordingly. I can't resist them.

I once even took a test I found in a women's magazine (it was the only magazine available in the doctor's waiting room) that consisted of 30 questions and was headed "What Sort of Man Should You Marry?"

(I discovered I should marry a man with a low-key personality, strong creative instincts, and a good sense of humor, but you know how hard they are to find nowadays.)

I recently came across a similar test, designed to measure your stress level.

"If you answer 'Yes' to four or more of the following questions," said the article, "you're probably a candidate for stress-related problems, and need to control stress more effectively."

Here are the questions, along with my answers:

Do you have insomnia?

I don't know. I've never been able to

stay awake long enough to find out.

Do you need coffee to wake up in the morning?

Absolutely. I can't even distinguish colors until I've had my first cup of coffee. When I step out of the shower, the first thing I do is pour myself a cup of coffee and rub it all over my body.

Do you constantly fear failure?

No, but I'm scared to death of success.

Do you set unachievable goals?

Yes, I'm always doing that.


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As a youngster, my goal was to play second base for the New York Giants. When I became a teenager, my goal was to marry Lana Turner.

My present goal is to eat an entire plate of spaghetti without getting one drop of sauce on my shirt.

Do you keep problems to yourself, even when they involve others?

Yes. Especially when they involve others.

Do you fly off the handle easily?

Not anymore, since I discovered I wasn't the center of the universe.

Do you have trouble changing plans, even when you know it's sensible?

Yes. I also have trouble figuring out what's sensible.

Do you feel that events are out of your control?

Events are out of my control. Anybody who hangs around me for five minutes can tell you that.

Do you find that worries about tomorrow affect your performance today?

Yes. I also find that worries about yesterday affect my performance today, that worries about today can affect my performance tomorrow, and that worries about tomorrow will probably affect my performance two weeks from next Tuesday.

So I simply refuse to worry. Otherwise, I wouldn't get anything done.

Do you blame other people when things go wrong?

Absolutely. Every chance I get. That's why my blood pressure is normal and I'm virtually stress-free.