Monday, May 28, 2007

Etiquette schmetiquette!

I spent this afternoon finally writing all the thank you notes for the donations, etc., related to Mom’s funeral. (She died from cancer on February 24 after only having been diagnosed two months and two days earlier.) Dad could hardly take that I was doing the thank you cards, let alone be willing or able to help. It sucked. Whose dumb idea was it anyway that the grieving family should send out thank you cards? It would make a lot more sense to me if etiquette took the logic of: Donations, flowers, etc sent as an expression of sympathy to a funeral should be sent with no expectation of an acknowledgment out of respect for the grieving family.

I asked the funeral director about it back in February when he was giving us the thank you cards to use and the list of who sent flowers. He just looked sufficiently sympathetic and shrugged his shoulders. At least according to him we didn’t have to send out thank you to everyone who sent a card, just folks who made some extra expression of sympathy.

The toughest part was when I got to the bottom of the basket and got to all the get well cards that Mom had organized in it when she first got sick. She turned 63 on January 6 so she also had a few birthday cards mixed in there. I held back the crying until I came across those. But that was too much. It just reminded me of how much she never had a chance to feel better.

I miss her so much.


I went to a barbeque at my brother’s house Sunday afternoon. I thought it was going to be a family thing but it turned out to be mostly co-workers of my brother and his wife. Interesting that I had just spent time reading up on personality types as a result of coming across the quiz I mentioned below, because it turned out to come into play today. I mentioned being an ‘E’ for extrovert but I am really just slightly so. I know how to socialize and definitely in a work environment am willing and able to be charming and conversational. It also helps that the conversation is usually relevant to work in some way. But put me in a setting like today where I don't know anyone and after a little while I have to retreat to sanity somewhere. So, after spending as close to an “appropriate” amount of time as I could take, I escaped into the house for a bit. No sooner did I do that, than my 13 year old nephew plopped down on the sofa across from me looking just as weary. He is a great kid and although I have no idea what his personality type is I can guess it would be an ‘I’ something. We were just starting a nice chat when from outside his dad (my brother) bellowed in through an open window that he should stop hiding and being anti-social. My nephew yelled back that he had just come inside and we continued our conversation. A little while later my sister-in-law popped into the kitchen for something and said essentially the same thing to him. I asked why them why they were harping on him about being anti-social and was told that part of it was because a girl he liked was at the bbq and they didn’t want him hiding from her. The other part was that they thought he spent too much time alone and would rather he be interacting with everyone. Even if he wasn’t already an introvert, did I mention he is a 13 year old boy?

His dad is a big time extrovert and was a major flirt since he first noticed girls, so I can understand why he doesn’t understand. I've thought of sending him some of the info on personality types and see if I can get him to read it. It probably would help him understand his son a bit better.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Personality Types

Excerpted from Please Understand Me II Copyright © 1998 by David Keirsey

If I do not want what you want, please try not to tell me that my want is wrong.
Or if I believe other than you, at least pause before you correct my view.
Or if my emotion is less than yours, or more, given the same circumstances, try not to ask me to feel more strongly or weakly.
Or yet if I act, or fail to act, in the manner of your design for action, let me be.
I do not, for the moment at least, ask you to understand me. That will come only when you are willing to give up changing me into a copy of you.
I may be your spouse, your parent, your offspring, your friend, or your colleague. If you will allow me any of my own wants, or emotions, or beliefs, or actions, then you open yourself, so that some day these ways of mine might not seem so wrong, and might finally appear to you as right -- for me. To put up with me is the first step to understanding me. Not that you embrace my ways as right for you, but that you are no longer irritated or disappointed with me for my seeming waywardness. And in understanding me you might come to prize my differences from you, and, far from seeking to change me, preserve and even nurture those differences.

The root of most, if not all, arguments and misunderstandings are conflicting priorities. Often those priorities are rooted in your personality type. Of course we can’t lump all people neatly into the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) 16 personality types, but they do offer insight into how others think and approach the world. Learning this, keeping it in mind and recognizing the value of all the personality and temperament types has helped me immensely in both my professional and personal life. At work it has helped me to understand the incredibly annoying co-worker. It has also helped me understand my brothers better. It has made the most positive impact on my romantic relationship though. For fun I took the cheesy online quiz: The Best Personality Type for You Test and got the following results:

What's my type?

INTJ The Mastermind

You scored 25 I versus E, 40 N versus S, 100 F versus T, and 80 J versus P!

Your ideal romantic partner is known as the Mastermind. As a romantic partner, this type can be both fascinating yet demanding. They are not apt to express their emotions, leaving their partners wondering where they are with them. They strongly dislike repeating themselves or listening to the disorganized process of sorting through emotional conflicts. They see their own commitments as self-evident and don't see the need to repeat something already expressed. They have the most difficulty in admitting their vulnerabilities. They feel the most appreciated when their partners admire the quality of their innovations and when they listen respectfully to their ideas and advice. They need plenty of quiet to explore their interests to the depth that gives them satisfaction.The group summary:
rationals (NT)The type summary: INTJ

Interesting to note that my honey is an INTJ.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


I must admit to being a bit of reality show junkie, particularly the ones with people pursuing their life passions. (Think Project Runway or Top Chef on Bravo.) But “So You Think You Can Dance” is a show that makes me smile like no other. It speaks to the dancer I feel like on the inside and taps into the essence of the line “dance like no one is watching.”

This is just the start of this year’s season, so the first few episodes are all snippets of auditions across America. At first glance I’m tempted to scoff at the pathetic souls who put themselves on the stage and in front of the cameras who clearly can not dance.

At second glance I realize that there are some truly delusion people who probably have a difficult time in life as a result of how extreme their perception of self is from those around them.

And then I take a third glance and I wonder… are they all pathetic and clueless as to their dancing ability or do they “get” dancing more than most?

What is dance anyway? Is it a physical representation of internal joy and emotion or a controlled set of rules regarding timed and choreographed steps?

Of course in the context of the show it is about people who manage to do both but in the context of life I’d say that it is the expression that matters and not so much the rules. So go dig out a favorite CD, crank up the sound and dance like no one is watching.

My favorite flower

Purple lilacs… The smell of springtime and childhood. The color of intuition. Complex simplicity.

My neighbor has a whole row of lilac bushes along the fence in my backyard. The last few years he has trimmed them to the point where they didn’t flower much. But this year they are in full bloom and smell heavenly.

Every so often a gorgeous lilac kissed breeze blows in the window, soothing my soul.

Sprig of Lilac

Their heads grown weary under the weight of Time-

These few horus on the hither side of silence-
The lilac sprigs bend on the bough to perish.

Though each for its own sake is beautiful;
In each is the greater, the remembered beauty.
Each is exemplar of its ancestors.

Within the flower of the present, uneasy in the wind,
Are the forms of those of the years behind the door.
Their faint aroma touches the edge of the mind.

And the living and the past give to one another.
There is no door between them. They pass freely
Out of themselves; becoming one another.

I see the lilac sprigs bending and withering.
Each year like Adonis they pass through the dumb-show of death,
Waxing and waning on the tree in the brain of a man.

- Hyam Plutzik