Obsessed with personality quizzes? Me too.

[Warning: quizzes referenced in this post may contain offensive questions, grammar, spelling and logic.]

Writing Tool
Not a proper writing tool among them . . . buzzfeed.com/dianabruk/which-classic-author-is-your-soulmate

Are you asking me about me?

Internet, you have my attention.

It’s amazing what one can learn about oneself just by answering a few short questions . . .

[Warning: quizzes referenced in this post may contain offensive questions, grammar, spelling and logic.]

Recently, I learned  I should live in a cottage. Though, apparently, alone as a sloped roof and cozy sitting rooms make a house “too small” according some others with whom I should like to live.

Perhaps I should travel back in time and live in this cottage with my soul mate writer, Jane Austen. I’m sure we could find some agreeable little dwelling in Hampshire, which Google tells me is near enough to London, the city in which I should be living.

However . . .

This morning, it seems things may have changed.

I should now live in Portland . . . probably because I’ve drifted from lattes to cappuccinos since I last took the quiz.

What your coffee says about you
DEEP TRUTH FOUND IN COFFEE http://thedoghousediaries.com/5053

Coffee, after all, is the supreme definer of personality . . . with writing tool as a close second.

Joe Fox
I made this picture in under six hours . . . what does THAT say about me? (Please take special note of the placement of the word “coffee.”

Today, to confuse matters even more, my classic writer soul mate has turned out to be Virginia Woolf. Based entirely, I am sorry to say, on my indecision over lighthouses and cottages and the ridiculously scratchy assortment of writing utensils from which to choose– not a smooth writing blue Bic ballpoint grip among them!

On these two questions, you see, my fate hinges.

I’ll accept Virginia . . . since I am in more of a lighthouse mood than cottage mood at present. English cottage charm has been sullied forever because I shared my results on Facebook . . . Thanks to my friend Jonathan, a thatched roof now conjures images of earwigs falling on my head.

Also, I was more than slightly affronted by the result of Which Jane Austen Heroine are You?

Fanny Price, quite disturbingly, married her cousin. Her first cousin. And Mansfield Park? So clearly not my favorite Austen. Irrelevant, however, to the quiz writer. There should have been a choice between chickens or pugs. Chickens would have made all the difference.


Go back to turn of the century internet quizzes bloated with flashing ads?!

Well, yes. As it turns out, the 90’s-internet’s non pop-culture-driven questions yield results much more satisfying:

Jane Austen
IN WHICH I AM ACTUALLY MR. DARCY! http://www.selectsmart.com/FREE/select.php?client=babyviolet

Plot twist: turns out I’m not only eighty percent Elinor — I’m one-hundred-percent Mr. Darcy! Who knew? (Also, poor Anne. Wait . . .)

Note: if you just said in your head, “I bet you just love that Mister Darcy,” you are now my New Best Friend.

Although, I must warn you, when my Disney love affair with the Beast (yes, Dave, that’s you and only you) culminates in a lush, candlelit wedding in a library or bookstore, you’ll have to share the stage with Taylor Swift.

Turns out T-Swizz will be my celebrity bridesmaid.

Contrary to all indications otherwise, ahem . . . Darcy . . . I am decidedly not hipster. At least that’s how I interpret “Meh,” which is as nebulous an answer as “sure,” which is the most annoyingly noncommittal response in the English language and, as such, quite worthy of Mr. Darcy. Observe:

Mr. Bingley: [overheard by Charlotte and Elizabeth] But her sister Elizabeth is very agreeable.
Mr. Darcy: Meh.* Barely tolerable, I dare say. But not handsome enough to tempt me.

[*My apologies to Jane.]

There are, to my dismay, some things I may never really know about myself . . . like whatever I’m supposed to learn from the myriad of quizzes that ask too many Beyoncé questions. (Knowing “All the Single Ladies” only gets you so far.)

Interestingly, my alleged personal theme song is a Beyoncé song. “Run the World Girls.” Which contains a surprising amount of profanity and aggressiveness . . . hmmm . . . I suppose “Daydream Believer” would be an odd personal theme song choice for someone whose real age is 32 anyway. (I once told my children they were to give thirty-two as the answer to how old is your mom? until it got really awkward. This proves I was right. Right?)

Still, that song is SO NOT ME.

See? Proof:

WOW! EASIEST CANONIZATION EVAH! http://bitecharge.com/play/calling?sess=q1#q1


I am also befuddled by this conundrum:

My favorite ice cream? Vanilla bean . . . which makes me literally the fanciest person in the world.

ALL THIS FROM VANILLA BEAN! LITERALLY THE FANCIEST PERSON IN THE WORLD!!! http://joannegreco.wordpress.com/2014/05/23/what-your-favorite-ice-cream-flavor-says-about-you/


In. The. World.


how pretentious are you
HEY, AWESOME! SHOUT OUT TO THE PARENTS! http://www.buzzfeed.com/bradesposito/how-pretentious-are-you

Yes, the world needs more down-to-earth fancy people.

Wait . . . what?

And therein lies the problem.

We are complex creatures, not defined in total by our answers to six, ten, or a hundred questions.

Even the real-ish quizzes don’t give satisfaction.

You know, the ones based on more scientific questions that leave me wondering whether I am more like Obi-wan, Luke, Quigon-Jin or Amadala as I sit on the borderline of Extrovert and Introvert, Perceiving and Judging. I could be Galadriel, Elrond, Frodo, Gandalf, Arwen or Faramir — depending on the day.

I’m not a counselor, therapist, psychiatrist or even really that good at people. But I do know this: We want to be affirmed. We want to see true selves reflected in our choices. And we want confirmation that we chose right.

We look for labels and yet we want to be more than the label. I am not one word, I am thousands.

We want to know our place, our part, how we fit into this hurrying, hurling movement of earth and skies and stars. We may speak of it in different terms, but we want to know who we are and what God’s plan is for us.

There is nothing more comforting than being known. 

And, oddly enough, it’s the secret to good marketing.

Here’s to validation!

Writer test
BONUS POINTS FOR BEING IN THE CAREER I SHOULD ACTUALLY HAVE, PLUS — LIZ LEMON! #WINNING http://www.buzzfeed.com/ashleyperez/what-career-should-you-have

* * * * *

Enough about me. Let’s talk about you! 

What have you learned about yourself from social media quizzes?



idylls of the cat, or, a brief study of self-centeredness

Sometimes, I think that’s the thing. It’s a base instinct: If I don’t fight for my space, if I don’t yell loud enough and long enough, someone else is going to get what’s mine.

I am compelled to write about my cats. Because it’s been that sort of day . . . well, month.

This apparent allergy to spring has dragged on for weeks and weeks — through some of the most amazing April weather we’ve had in all the 12 years I’ve lived here. [Insert sad face w/tear.]

One of my co-workers pointed out to me that I am a lot better on rainy days. And it is, unfortunately, true.

I even prayed for rain on my birthday.

What California-girl-living-in-Washington-who’s-never-quite-gotten-used-to-the-gray/coldness-of-spring-here actually prays for rain on her birthday?!?

However, good has come from this season of sneezing:

1. The discovery of Oil of Oregano. Which is, in a word, magic.

2. I am less likely to impulsively consider and buy a field. [A personal goal since college. See Proverbs 31:16]

That last point is important because the decrepit mini-farm short-sale down the road has been calling my name for months, much to Dave’s dismay. Which could be why, in addition to allergies, we’re getting the FULL dose of country living these days, complete with septic and well issues. God could very well be on Dave’s side on this one.

I can’t complain, because at least we have water. AND we aren’t likely to get typhoid since we don’t actually grow food in our yard [read: drain field]. Which is a good thing.

So anyway, as we look for a new dwelling place, I am now hyper-aware of the side of country life about which Eva Gabor so disparagingly sang-spake. Sadly. Because I idyllize country life. Yes. I am aware that is not a word. But idyllic is. And that is what the country is to me: Wordsworth, daisies, sunshine, chickens, apple trees, cows someone-other-than-me takes care of, and drafty houses. And cats.


Ah yes, back to the cats.

So, I have been at home quite a lot more than usual (because of sick), and I have noticed that cats are particularly self-centered. 

All they do, all day long, when they are not taking 7 hour naps, is cry to be fed. Or cry to be let out. Or in. Actually, only one of them cries. The other just stares at me until I do what she wants. She’s powerful, that one.

Also, both of them like my side of the bed. Which is fine, because really, it’s another sort of idyllism (again, made up word, but oddly appropriate) . . .

I sit in bed and drink a cup of coffee and read early in the morning and a cat cozies up to my toes. Or to the book in my hands. Depending on his/her mood.

But the cats can’t be on the bed together. Or anywhere really.

They actually hate each other. Well, she hates him. Her own offspring. 

Yesterday, we had a moment I was sure would end in me losing copious amounts of blood. She jumped onto the bed precisely where he had settled quite a lot closer to my face than my feet . . .

Ah, well. We survived. But it was yet another example of their innate self-centeredness. They have not a thought for each other and not a thought for me.

I’m convinced they bite and devour each other when we are out.

Well, at least she does. He’s a big fluffy oaf of a cat. I don’t think he hates her at all. Or maybe he’s smarter than he looks? That mama cat can be an angry little thing. So protective of her territory.

Is she afraid the oaf-cat is going to take her place?

And him? Does he think if he stops crying for a second I might forget he wants out?

[Insert Dave comment: Why do we even have these cats?]

Sometimes, I think that’s the thing. It’s a base instinct: If I don’t fight for my space, if I don’t yell loud enough and long enough, someone else is going to get what’s mine.

But then, cats are allowed to be self-centered. It’s their job.

Mine is to do their bidding . . .

. . . and be mom and wife and daughter and sister and friend and . . .

To love and be loved.

To give space.

To not demand my own way.

To let God do the making sure I get what’s mine. (To be honest, I’m not even sure I really know what “mine” is.)

Because self-centered can’t coexist with genuine love.

* * * * *

Sometimes, there are reasons for self-centeredness.

Painful reasons.

The picture of love can be as idyllic as a country house or reading a book in bed with a cat.

But that is for another post.

Also, cats return your love by cuteness. And that is why we tolerate their selfishness.