Looks like I'll have to do what's expected of me, thanks to Snailbeachshepherdess; I've been doing the rounds, and found many of you had come clean already.
Like Fennie, I chickened out of making up my own mind (sorry, Fennie) and decided to ask My Beloved, children being unavailable and probably far to cruel-minded to leave a good hair on me.
"What do you think I'm like? In seven words, nouns or adjectives. Just off the top of your head, don't think about it".
Beloved stops to think.
"What do you mean, what do I think you're like? You're fine, actually, you're quite nice". (Note the qualifying 'quite'.)
"That's already no good, you left too long a gap, you were meant to react spontaneously".
Then comes the interrogation:
"Well, what DO you mean, why are you asking? I can't tell you what you're like, don't you know
what you're like? Anyway (slightly apprehensive hesitation here), I wasn't aware there were any major questions that needed asking? Everything okay, is it?"
We were never going to get anywhere this way.
"Oh, for goodness' sake, there's this thing doing the Purplecoo rounds and I'm to describe myself in seven words and I thought you might be able to come up with one or two things; you're not usually this slow with the "you know you are very.......... kind of remark".
"Sorrreee", Beloved says.
Disappointed, I trot off, up the stairs, to my study.
Within five minutes I hear heavy steps lumbering up the stairs, Benno first (he usually overtakes Beloved half way up), Beloved next. Both come into my study, Benno lies down for a long session.
"You are open and warm, at least to a husband", (again, note the qualification), "you are a good, tender wife BUT, also likely to withdraw quickly, if you feel the need".
Golly, that man knows how to hedge his bets. Still, I accept that he means well.
He had come to a decision about my character; considering that describing any human being in seven words cannot be more than superficial, here are his (and my) Big Seven:
Independent, in every sense of the word. Never in my adult life have I followed anyone or any cause blindly, never have I surrendered independence of spirit in any situation, although it might have been pragmatic to do so.
Resilient; I've had to be to survive. I have had a very difficult life for long stretches and when it finally got better and really quite easy, I fell ill; three times I jumped off the grim reapers shovel.
Sensible; I wish I could be fluffy and silly and trivial and helpless and all things "little-woman-ish", but in spite of occasionally trying my best, nobody has ever bought it.
Intelligent; again, it comes with the territory, I can't imagine what life might have been like without it. Pretty dire, I guess.
Blunt; It is a long time since I told myself any lies; I dislike people who do so. Facing facts is very important to me, without knowledge there can be neither solution nor resolution. I will always excuse telling white lies to and about others - never wanting to hurt anyone - but that's as far as I'll go. Under this heading I would also include being unable to bear fools lightly; I'll be kind to the foolish one but I'll certainly not make a friend of him/her and try to avoid contact.
Loyal; very important. If you are my friend you can rely on me, in any or all situations. If you need help, you will have mine. I will not betray you. Disloyalty I consider to be one of the deadly sins.
Melancholic; this is something I've laboured under all my life. I enjoy laughter as much as anybody but melancholia is my default state of mind. I'll go for the melancholic poet, the thoughtful read, the soulful music, the sunset rather than the sunrise, the autumn rather than high summer, the racing cloud rather than the cloudless sky, the deep wood rather than the sunny meadow, the rocky shore rather than the sandy beach.