Asking My Fiancée Questions I Don’t Know the Answers to a Month Before Our Wedding

I’m marrying the love of my life, Kristen Arnett, next month! We’ve checked so many things off our list over the past year in anticipation of the big day. We found a queer wedding photographer! I found not one but two outfits for the big night, because I can’t resist a costume change at a major event. We got Kristen a custom suit made by a queer tailor. We figured out a color scheme, did a photoshoot on the beach for our invitations, and put a lot of energy behind menu brainstorming with our caterer. Along the way, we found ways to make planing a wedding sexy.

Surely in our past nearly five years of knowing each other, Kristen and I have uncovered a lot about each other’s lives, interests, fears, etc. We’ve told and retold each other the same stories, the same jokes, developed many stories and jokes that our ours, together. We lived under lockdown in a city where we knew almost no one in early 2020. We moved to another city where we knew almost no one, and then we moved to the place she has always called home. We’ve been through a lot. We’re naturally curious people as writers. And yet, there are always things you don’t know about a person, right? That’s the basis of 90% of the horror I write.

Not exactly in the spirit of horror but rather in the spirit of comedy, I thought it would be fun to ask Kristen a series of questions to which I genuinely did not know how she might answer. By the end, I still very much wanted to be her wife, so nothing was TOO earth shatterringly shocking!!!!


Kayla: Hello. I’m going to ask you questions that I don’t know the answers to.

Kristen: I doubt it.

Kayla: Maybe I’ll ask some and it’ll turn out I do know the answers.

Kristen: I bet you will.

Kayla: But I’m sure there’s plenty of things I don’t know about you.

Kristen: Mystery.

Kayla: Mystery. Okay. One, what’s the first work of fiction you can remember writing as a child?

Kristen: Baby-Sitters Club. I was at church. We had church bulletins where you were supposed to write down… Did I tell you this already?

Kayla: No, I’m nodding because I used to remember writing on my church bulletins.

Kristen: There was a section that was filled out for where you’re supposed to write down notes about the sermon. And in the sermon part, there’s lines inside the bulletin where I could write down my thoughts about our Lord and Savior. I wrote a Baby-Sitters Club, let’s call it a fan fiction, but I was in it.

Kayla: Ooh. self-insert.

Kristen: Self-insert. I was one of them. It was like, you know how all the Babysitter’s clubs are like, “Kristy on the blah, blah. Mary Anne on the blah, blah.” This was like, “Kristen…” And I remember there was something about tennis balls in it. I don’t remember why.

Kayla: Just the balls?

Kristen: I mean, and children, you’re babysitting. And then I was just like, “Hah-hah-hah,” that I wrote myself in, and there’s only so many lines you can work with in a bulletin. And then I was going down the sides of it and around. But that’s the first work of incredible fiction I can remember writing.

Kayla: Did you get in trouble for not writing about the Lord?

Kristen: I was never supposed to be writing in church, because everyone knew I wasn’t writing about the Lord. My dad was always mad at me. My mom was up in the choir loft all the time, but I was always down sitting next to him and my brother Michael. My sister Rachel was a lot younger than us, so she got to leave and go be with the little kids. But we had to stay and fix our minds. And if I was writing something, my dad knew that I was not writing about the Lord.

Kayla: You could have been writing Bible self-insert.

Kristen: No. He basically thought I was trying to write a note to a friend or something, but that time I was writing a little self-insert story. Hold on. I got to take this thing from the cat. It’s a piece of tinsel. Here we go.

Kayla: So you wrote a book called With Teeth. Can you remember the first time you lost a tooth?

Kristen: Yes.

Kayla: And what happened? That’s it on that story?

Kristen: A lot of these are going to be church stories, I realize.

Kayla: Wow. I guess, yeah. Because I realized I really had to go back in time for things I don’t know the answers to.

Kristen: My friend Bethany was coming over after church on Sunday and we kept doing that thing, no one’s going to know what this is, but it was this old hero villain thing where it’s a little lady being like, “I can’t pay the rent.” And then a villain saying, “You must pay the rent.” And the lady going, “I can’t pay the rent.” And then the landlord being like, “You must pay the rent.” And then a guy comes in, he’s like, “I’ll pay the rent.” And she goes, “My hero.” And I was doing that in the back seat of the car with my best friend Bethany, who was coming over to stay with us after church so we then would bring her back to church that night to her parents. So she was coming for the day to hang out and have lunch. And my tooth had been wiggly. And I kept joking around and shouting in the car, “My tooth fell out, my tooth fell out.” And people were like, “Oh, did it?” And I’m like, “No. Gotcha.”

Kayla: Classic.

Kristen: Classic prank. And then I got to my grandparents’ house, and my tooth actually fell out in my mouth and I was like, “My tooth fell out,” and no one believed me because I had done boy who cried wolf about my tooth falling out that many times.

Kayla: That was a better story than I was anticipating.

Kristen: It is what it is. It’s my life, Kayla. This is my life.

Kayla: Did you ever have an imaginary friend?

Kristen: No, I really tried. That was a thing I really wanted because I thought it’d be cool. I didn’t have a ton of friends all the time when I was young. The first time I can remember trying to have an imaginary friend, I believe was in fifth grade, which I think is too old to have an imaginary friend. It might have been fourth or fifth grade. Maybe fourth grade. It was-

Kayla: I guess, I’m curious, how do you fail at having an imaginary friend?

Kristen: Because I was like, “This isn’t real.”

Kayla: Oh, okay. You didn’t believe enough.

Kristen: It’s hard when you’re a Christian and you’re already trying to imagine that God is real and you can’t do that.

Kayla: So is God not your first imaginary friend?

Kristen: No, because God scared me. I was like, “That’s not my friend.”

Kayla: Yeah, I guess that’s true.

Kristen: That’s my boss. And I’m not doing a good job. I’m going to get fired.

Kayla: Like your corporeal landlord.

Kristen: Yeah, I’m going to get fired or evicted. So in fourth grade, I think, there was this television show, which I know I’ve talked to you about, that I think is one of the horniest shows that was ever on television, and it was on TGIF. It’s called Just the Ten of Us. It was about a family that had a bunch of teenage daughters that were all hot and horny, and then they’re like, oh no, we have to go attend an all-boys school because our dad is the basketball coach. And I was expected to watch that and not turn gay. Honestly, it’s like, what did they expect? If anything was going to turn somebody gay, it’d be watching that fucking show.

So I was like, “I’d really love to have an imaginary friend.” And I am trying to imagine the two twins who are on that show, the teenage girls named Cindy and Wendy. And I tried to imagine one of them was my friend, and I thought maybe Cindy, because she was the smart one. She was the smart blonde and her twin sister Wendy… No, Wendy was the smart one. Cindy was the dumb one. But I was like, “I’m going to imagine that Wendy is my friend.” But then I was like, “This isn’t real. That’s not a real imaginary friend.”

So first one, my Lord, but not really, that’s my landlord.

Kayla: When you were in sixth grade, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Kristen: A lyricist.

Kayla: I knew this one. I forgot. I knew this one.

Kristen: My friend at church wanted to be a singer. And to be fair, to bring the petty into things, I did not think she was a very good singer and I did not think she was going to make it, but I knew I did not want to be a singer. I could sing, but I was like, “Ugh, I don’t want to do that. That seems terrible. But you know what I would like to do? I could write the lyrics. I could be a lyricist and then I could write the music that you sing.” Did I ever write a song? No, not a single line. Not a single time, but I was like, “I could be a lyricist.”

Kayla: Yeah. Not a composer, but just-

Kristen: Classic Sagittarius.

Kayla: I don’t know if I know the answer to this one. What was your first word?

Kristen: Oh, I don’t think I know that.

Kayla: Oh, okay. Mystery.

Kristen: Mystery. Yeah, I don’t know that.

Kayla: What’s the highest note you can hit when singing?

Kristen: Not that high.

Kayla: Do you know off the top… Or do you know what it was when you were more actively in choir?

Kristen: I was never asked to do descant. I was like-

Kayla: You were a soprano though, right?

Kristen: No, I was not a soprano.

Kayla: That’s right.

Kristen: I started off in high school as an alto II, and I was not an alto II, which is basically a tenor I if we’re being honest. That’s the nerdiest thing I’ll say this whole time. But then I moved to alto I, and alto I was more comfortably in my range because that’s some middle low notes and then some notes that are basically feeding into second soprano. But I don’t think I could have been a second soprano because second soprano, they ask you to do a lot of that mid-range high stuff and that’s just not where my voice wants to sit.

The cat is crying. He wants to show me up and I think that’s rude.

Kayla: I hope the recording picked that up.

*Timmy Tomato the cat yowls in background*

Kristen: Oh my God.

Kayla: Who is your first crush? Like a real person?

Kristen: Crystal Gayle.

Kayla: What a name.

Kristen: That’s right, you don’t know who Crystal Gayle is. When I was, I think maybe even before I was in school, I know I’ve told you this before maybe, but the first time I got a haircut, they were like, “What do you want your hair to get cut like?” And I said, “Cut my hair like Crystal Gayle,” meaning I wanted my hair to get cut and add more hair onto it.

Kayla: You wanted it longer.

Kristen: Because Crystal Gayle had hair to the floor. She was a country singer who had hair down to the floor. It was long hair, and I wanted to have long, luxurious hair. And what did I have? I had short little hair that I would rip out of my own head because if my mom put a barrette or something, I would yank it out with all the hair still in it because I didn’t want a barrette in my hair.

Kayla: So you wanted a haircut that actually elongated your hair?

Kristen: Yes. I wanted to cut hair onto it, but I thought Crystal Gayle was beautiful because she had beautiful long hair.

Kayla: Okay. This will be a little burst of lightning round.

Kristen: Oh God.

Kayla: Have you ever called someone the wrong name during sex?

Kristen: No.

Kayla: Have you ever seen a moose?

Kristen: On TV?

Kayla: No. In person.

Kristen: No.

Kayla: Have you ever seen a mongoose?

Kristen: On TV?

Kayla: No.

Kristen: No.

Kayla: Do you know any facts about mongeese?

Kristen: What’s a mongeese?

Kayla: Isn’t that plural? Mongooses?

Kristen: I think just mongoose.

Kayla: Do you know any facts about mongooses?

Kristen: No.

Kayla: Have you ever gone on a date with a Republican?

Kristen: If I did, it was accidentally.

Kayla: Have you ever lied to someone on an airplane?

Kristen: Yes.

Kayla: Oh, wait, now I do want to know a follow-up. Can you think of a particular instance?

Kristen: No. Just a million times.

Kayla: Just a million times.

Kristen: You’re not going to see those people again! It wasn’t anything that mattered. You could just tell a little white lie.

Kayla: Would you rather have brain freeze or hit your funny bone?

Kristen: Funny bone. Brain freeze happens too much in Florida. Drink a lot of Slurpees or whatever, have an ice cream, something cold here, it hits you worse.

Kayla: Have you ever seen the movie Doubt?

Kristen: No. I read the whole plot synopsis on Wikipedia.

Kayla: You love to do that.

Kristen: I love to do that.

Kayla: That is something I know. Oh, this is not a yes or no question. When was the first time you went to a sex shop?

Kristen: I was 19.

Kayla: Wow.

Kristen: My kid was three months old. I went to the sex store as a-

Kayla: A teen mom.

Kristen: Yeah. It was overwhelming.

Kayla: I bet.

Kristen: There were a lot of signs up that were like with people’s faces on them.

Kayla: Who?

Kristen: Because if you shoplifted there, they put your face on something. It was just a lot of weird looking dudes.

Kayla: That’s a funny thing to remember though.

Kristen: But then I started to have this worry about what if I stole something? What if my face went on something.

Kayla: By accident?

Kristen: I don’t know. It’s one of those things where you just start freaking out, and I was like, “Oh my God, my face could be on here,” but you have to steal to do that. And I didn’t steal anything.

Kayla: Did you buy anything or did you just look around and get overwhelmed?

Kristen: I looked around and got overwhelmed. I also did not have any money, so.

Kayla: You could have stolen something.

Kristen: I should’ve. No, I was afraid for my life.

Kayla: What was your first screen name? Like AIM.

Kristen: Oh, I can’t reveal that.

Kayla: You can’t reveal it?

Kristen: No.

Kayla: Is it like an embarrassing fandom thing?

Kristen: No, it’s not.

Kayla: Can you tell me after?

Kristen: Yes.

Kayla: Okay.

Kristen: Don’t include that one.

Kayla: Well, I’m going to include that exchange that we just had. Did you ever own any of My Little Ponies?

Kristen: A million My Little Ponies. I had one called Strawberry Shortcake, and she was my favorite. She was white and she had strawberries, red, red strawberries that went all down her…hindquarters. That sounds wild and just very sexual. And she had shiny red hair. And I loved her. She was my favorite of my regular sized ponies. And then my other favorites, I had twins that were called Buttercup and something else, and they were a little pale yellow, and they had purple hair, and they were twin baby ponies. And I was like, “That’s the mom and those are the babies.”

Kayla: The hindquarters.

Kristen: I’m sorry I said that so sexually.

Kayla: Did you ever own a duct tape wallet?

Kristen: No. My brother had one though.

Kayla: I’m kind of surprised.

Kristen: Some of the things of my gayness were like, I didn’t have to do that, my brother did it, it’s fine.

Kayla: Gotcha. Did you ever have a Yahoo account?

Kristen: Yes.

Kayla: Did you ever answer a question on Yahoo Answers?

Kristen: I’m sure that I did, but I shouldn’t have. I’m sure I didn’t know.

Kayla: Did you ever ask a question on Yahoo Answers?

Kristen: I did not ask any questions.

Kayla: Have you ever had a sexual dream about Jeeves of Ask Jeeves?

Kristen: No. Jeeves of Ask Jeeves seems a little like a top.

Kayla: Yeah, that’s probably true.

Kristen: Oh, he’s a little too condescending in that kind of way where I’m like, “I don’t need that.”

Kayla: Not interested.

Kristen: Not interested.

Kayla: What is your social security number?

Kristen: That’s on you if you don’t know. The cat is screaming. He’s telling me not to answer.

Kayla: Have you ever ridden on a motorcycle?

Kristen: Yes. My first time riding on the back of a motorcycle was when I was six.

Kayla: I kind of had a feeling you had, but I didn’t actually know the answer. I was just like, this just seems like something-

Kristen: The cat is caterwauling.

Kayla: But six years old though?

Kristen: My dad had a motorcycle.

Kayla: Oh, I didn’t know that.

Kristen: And he rode us around the house we were in that was next to the topless bar. He rode us all around it, and then he rode my brother, and I was on the back of the motorcycle, not in a helmet or anything. I was holding onto my dad’s back on the back of the motorcycle.

That same day or not, if it wasn’t that same day, that same weekend, my brother and my dad had peed outside and I was like, “I’m going to pee outside.” So then I tried to pee outside and I pulled my pants down. I just peed all over my pants.

Kayla: I also did not know that story.

Kristen: And then I just shoved those in the laundry.

Kayla: But I love that you were like, “Well, they did it, so I’m going to do it.”

Kristen: That’s what you do when you have to ride on a motorcycle, you got to take a little whiz. I was like, “I whizzed all over myself. Oh no.” I was behind the house. I was outside the house and then just peed all over my pants.

Kayla: Have you ever won a spelling bee?

Kristen: Oh, I came in so close. I misspelled scissor.

Kayla: Oh, right. We’ve talked about this because I misspelled scissor on a spelling test.

Kristen: That was in third grade, and I had depression in third grade.

Kayla: Yeah, I did know that.

Kristen: So then I misspelled scissor and freaked out. Everybody else went to something, and I was like, “I’m going to stay behind.” And then I glued a note to my desk saying that I was the stupidest person. I glued it to my desk, and then I cried. My teacher came in, and then I had to go to therapy at school.

Kayla: I knew about the note glued to the desk, but I don’t think I knew it was a result of a failed spelling bee.

Kristen: Those things were all connected. Third grade was a tough year.

Kayla: Yes.

Kristen: Third grade was a tough year for me.

Kayla: How did you use to kill your Sim in the Sims?

Kristen: I never played Sims.

Kayla: I can’t remember if I knew that or not. It seems like a shocking fact. What’s your-

Kristen: I was too busy having a child, Kayla.

Kayla: Okay. That’s true.

Kristen: Some of us had to raise our own Sims. They were real people.

Kayla: The ultimate Sim. A baby.

Kristen: You can’t just let them be like, “I need to pee. I need to pee.” You have to let them go to the bathroom.

Kayla: You have to give them a ladder if you give them a pool. What’s your favorite city that we’ve traveled together to?

Kristen: Oh, I like so many.

Kayla: I know.

Kristen: Can I name a couple?

Kayla: Sure.

Kristen: I’ve really loved Chicago. Chicago’s so fun, and I really liked it. Portland, Maine. It’s been a lot of fun. I didn’t really have a feeling about New York, one way or the other, until you and I started dating, and now I really like going there. I liked going to Pacific Northwest with you. That was a good time.

Kayla: Yeah. We’ve been to a lot of places.

Kristen: Seattle.

Kayla: That’s why I was like, “I don’t know her answer to this question, because we’ve been so many places.”

Kristen: Yeah. And I like when we go to North Carolina together because that’s a thing I did as a child, but now when you and I do it, it feels special.

Kayla: That’s something I really like, because I’d never really spent any time there, especially that part of North Carolina where it’s almost Georgia.

Kristen: Yeah. What is it? Western, Southern?

Kayla: It’s not that far from where I grew up.

Kristen: Yeah, I’ve had a lot of fun with that.

Kayla: What’s something you thought about me early on that turned out not to be true? If you can think of anything. Either before we even met in person or even just before we didn’t know each other that well.

Kristen: I thought you might be a little mean.

Kayla: You thought I might be mean? From my social media persona?

Kristen: No, you just were kind of like a hotness that I thought maybe you’d be a little mean.

Kayla: Yeah, I can be petty, but not really mean.

Kristen: No, you’re nice.

Kayla: Yeah.

Kristen: Complimentary.

Kayla: Have you ever accidentally eaten expired ham?

Kristen: I’m sure that I have.

Kayla: I think you would remember. I have. And I’ll never get the taste out of my mind.

Kristen: I’m sure I’ll do it again in the future.

Kayla: It tasted like nail polish remover.

Kristen: Oh, okay.

Kayla: It’s pretty bad. Tell me something I don’t know about library work, and it can even be boring.

Kristen: That so many people who work in libraries don’t know anything about books.

Kayla: Oh, yeah. That’s interesting.

Kristen: Myself not included. I just shouted that.

Kayla: There’s this assumption that if you work in libraries, you’re a bookworm.

Kristen: Or that you’re a reader or something like that. And it was like, that’s maybe not true. I’ll never forget working one time and having a librarian be like, “Oh, what are you reading right now?” And I was reading something for school that time because I was taking night classes and I was taking that Faulkner class. So I was like, “Oh, I’m reading this Faulkner book..” And she was like, “Oh, who’s that? What’s that?” And I was like, “Wow. Wow, wow.” You can be a whole ass librarian with a master’s degree and you don’t have to know shit about books. Although, I will say this, you should.

Kayla: It does seem kind of important.

Kristen: I had a whole fight with somebody who was a librarian at the time, and I was still just working staff, and they argued with me for close to 20 minutes about what day Christmas Eve was. We straight up have Google for any of those issues.

Kayla: Yeah.

Kristen: So yeah, there’s plenty of people that work in libraries that maybe don’t know anything, but not me. I’m a genius.

Kayla: Gay and literate.

Kristen: Yeah.

Kayla: If you could have any skills that you don’t currently possess, what would it be?

Kristen: Time management.

Kayla: What?! That’s not what I was expecting. I thought you were going to be like sword fighting, welding.

Kristen: I can do either of those. What I can’t do is time management.

Kayla: Well, that is something I know about you.

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is the managing editor of Autostraddle and a lesbian writer of essays, short stories, and pop culture criticism living in Orlando. She is the assistant managing editor of TriQuarterly, and her short stories appear or are forthcoming in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Joyland, Catapult, The Offing, and more. Some of her pop culture writing can be found at The A.V. Club, Vulture, The Cut, and others. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram and learn more about her work on her website.

Kayla has written 868 articles for us.

13 Comments

  1. I remember that landlord, lady, hero thing. Read it in the voices and everything. What a fucking world.

    This seems like a fun, possibly dangerous, game to play with a partner. Glad it went well and the wedding is still on :)

  2. Wow that was really cute.

    Also the “I was too busy” line was a zinger. At that point, if I had been asking the questions, I would have run away in shame on being called out on my trivial questions or something. So thanks for doing the hard work of journalism 😅

Contribute to the conversation...

Yay! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated by the guidelines laid out in our comment policy. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation and thanks for stopping by!