Monday, 3 August 2009

Just Seven?

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.

Beloved speaks.

"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.


  1. Friko - your poor, sweet Beloved - not knowing why you suddenly needed descriptors about yourself . . . "Everything okay, is it?".

    The words you use to describe yourself are the very things that attract me to someone. That is perhaps what brings me back here on a regular basis.

    Did you forget your sense of humour? Seems to me I have detected that about you too. Just your accounting of the interaction between you and your Beloved demonstrates it. Perhaps that is just not near the top of your list.

    What a challenge, to try and sum yourself "up" in seven words.

  2. Yes, sense of humour should be there Friko. I wonder what Benno would have come up with if s/he could talk. I'm assuming Benno is a dog. Right?

  3. What a thoughtful response to that 7 word request Friko but I agree with Bonnie - I am sure a word that holds Fun, Laughter, Humour and Wit should be high on your list - not sure of the word though - WHaLF?

  4. Oh yes, this is another one that makes me go "Me too, me too!" so with you on the independent and the resilient and the sensible. I can't do fluffy to save my life but I can do unexpectedly bonkers from time to time. And I agree, these are very true and very serious. You needed an eighth for your sense of fun!

  5. Loved this! I found myself nodding in agreement - how can that be, as I've never met you. Of course you're reslient - how could you have survived, otherwise - but I know that a good sense of the absurd is there too. Intelligent, well that goes without saying!

  6. I think all those qualities shine through your writing, anyway. X

  7. You sound like a wonderful person to have for a friend. Beloved is a lucky man.

  8. You are so right about loyalty. I gave up on a friend when she wasn't there when I was relying on her. I hope I never do that.
    I like independence too. It took me a long time to acquire a sense of that.
    I think you must make a good friend. I am so glad to find you on Purple Coo.

  9. Melancholic ,when you describe this,I see all exciting places,wonderful color,thoughtfulness a truly fine good melancholic person.
    Now foolish is I.I was coloring my hair(my daughter had a plastic cap on my head,and pulled out the hair will a hook )this I could not take.I said take it off and just color all.It was as white as it gets.Awful ,at the middle of the night I took the scissors and cut it all off.The hairdresser had to use a motorised hair shaver to even it out.My husband works at sea,and when I picked him up at the airport ,he said what the ------ have you done now!!!!!
    I said you are supposed to support me and comfort me and---He said you look beautiful from the front,but in a load voice that I do not have that view all the time.
    So true I do not have a little dainty neck.The Bliss however to lotion in my head in cream!
    But to the point ,we just moved to a very small place and I wanted so to fit inn,and the first thing I do is come in there bald!The women were together washing out a house,and Odrun said to me.We are so few here Alette we have to like each other,we appreciate each others oddities!So Honest!

  10. Hello Friko,

    I do very much like all those words that you've chosen, and the way in which you've introduced them. As I read more and more of these magnificent seven collections, I am struck by how many words that others chose, I could just as easily have chosen.

    Perhaps it's good that the choice was limited to seven!

    Others have commented on your choice of melancholic. I suspect that many folks would know themselves to feel that way from time to time, and would not say so. I know someone who frequently reminds me that she is one who see the glass half full. Her frequency in stating that whispers to me that perhaps, deep inside, she might just have seen the bottom of some glass, and chooses to ignore it.

    Friko, see how you have got me writing a very long comment. Believe me, it could have gotten even longer!

    Looking forward to your next post. xo

  11. You sound very admirable. I love to read your posts. If I were to write 7 things to describe myself, I would probably make a different list each time. I would like to see myself as all the good characteristics one could have, but we seldom see ourselves as others do. Of course, that does not mean they are right either. Right now with my daughter very ill, I feel so vulnerable. I know one definite adjective for myself tonight. I am melancholy.Well now writer is that an adjective or a verb?

  12. What a challenge to describe yourself in 7 words only. I think you did very well and from reading your blog I can certainly see your qualities. I would add that you have “a mordant wit” which I like and is needed to survive in our world today. A “sense of history” may not be a quality but to understand and appreciate our lives, we need to know where we come from and appreciate very thing that made us unique – you have this appreciation and it is great to read your posts.

  13. Hi, Friko~ Your husband's and your list of seven attributes describing you definitely shows a side of you. I see you in a slightly different way. Here is my list of seven things about you that I feel I have come to learn through your blog and our exchange of comments: humorous/witty, kind, capable, no-nonsense approach to life, knowledgeable in every arena, genuine, and personable.
    This made me go immediately to my husband who could whip up seven adjectives for me in the middle of an Internet poker game! Of course Daisy, our all-black German shepherd, was right there on the floor between us! He gave me: artistic, creative, thorough, cultural, sensitive, well-read, and knowledgeable. He stayed away from anything that might sting! I don't know; I think my own list would look nothing like his. We should all compare notes in six months, and see how perceptions have changed. Oh, one more for you, Friko: open. And I thank you for that and all the others. Very provocative project! xxox

  14. You've attacked your list like no one else. It's wonderful. I did ask my other half and all I got was 'nice'! Not a word I was ever allowed to use in school writing so not too sure how I felt about him using it! A bit non-descript eh?

  15. Wonderful reading. Full of humour, warmth, wit, and a lovely open quality. Really enjoyed it. Must somehow pluck up the courage to do mine soon.

  16. I absolutely loved this fantastic post..Thanks for sharing your thoughts...I am now your follower..Unseen Rajasthan

  17. Bonnie - Beloved has survived, thank you for your concern. I also agree that it is very difficult to describe oneself at all and even more difficult to do it in seven words.

    Lampworkbeader - thank you and yes, Benno is a dog.he is right there on the left; he just loves me, full stop.

    twiglet - thank you too, whalf isn't bad - did you by any chance see

    elizabethm - thank you, we do seem to be a majority on the Purple Coo; likeminded is good.

    Pondside - another one of the same ilk. Good and thank you.

    jinksy - that's very kind of you, thank you.

    Darlene - I think I'm lucky too. thank you.

    arosebyanyothername - thank you to you too; I'm glad to be here (or is it there?)

    alette siri ane - thank you for visiting and commenting so beautifully.
    I am glad you know that melancholy can be a very welcome feeling.

    Frances - you are always kind and welcoming and friendly, thank you for your comments - the longer the better - another one cut from the same cloth.

    Queenmothermamaw - thank you for being so nice. I came to your blog and saw your sadness. I was a coward, didn't know what to say but I will come back as soon as I have finished these replies and speak to you properly.

    Vagabonde - as one of my oldest friends in blogland your praise is much valued. Mordant wit, eh? perhaps I should tone it down a bit.

    Margaret - Oh, I don't know what to say: Flattery indeed. Perhaps we should follow each others careers and see what kind of people we become. I hope we will both still be in touch with each other in six months time!

    Wipso - Nice is nice, don't forget that's what my beloved came up with first. They tend to do that, don't they, husbands?

    Celtic Heart - go on, once you've thought about it, it gets easier. And thank you too for your kind comments.

    Unseen Rajasthan - thank you very much, I will visit your blog shortly.

  18. Mmm yes sounds like me too - except I'm probably not that intelligent or independant. You sound very much like someone I'd like to meet.

  19. Dear Friko, so I just learned two things by way of our discussion. You are very honest, and I am one who appreciates honesty. That's what a friendship,even if just virtual should do, bring out the best in each. I will continue to enjoy your blog. My dear Rachel is better and will probably be DC'd from hospital this weekend.

  20. Faith - thank you for your comment. I've just been over to your blog, but I'm not sure that you are still posting. I will try to get in touch.

  21. Friko, this is the first time I venture into your blog. Self-knowledge is not always an easy subject to broach. However, you seem to handle it with considerable aplomb.

  22. Nah, don't believe you can sum anyone up in seven words - except dismissively. Nice try, though.

  23. Prospero - thanks for visiting and thanks for the compliment

    Dave King - of course, don't I know it.

  24. Mmm. What might Benno have said? I guess he might have called you his favourite 'thing' although we probably pride ourselves that animals would be pleasant to us if they got the chance. When Tobermory the cat in one of Saki's short stories gets to talk he is downright rude about the human company. "What do you think of human intelligence?"
    To whose intelligence are you referring exactly? There's a difference between hospitality and care of the feeble minded!"

    That said I echo your adjectives. Just how I imagine you.


Comments are good, I like to know what you think of my posts. I know you'll keep it civil.