Tonight I was having dinner with my scrapbooking ladies and enjoying a lovely meal at Wishbone Cafe...a local restaurant. Among the many topics we discussed...which ranged from grandchildren (theirs) to vacation weeks (mine), flooded houses (thankfully not mine) to how incredible the tea is (addictively incredible)...one has been totally bothering me. And I cannot exactly identify quite why.
Now while I cannot remember if this is a borrowed or original idea of my friend Cindy's... but it is her opinion, nevertheless, that A.A. Milne - who wrote the Winnie the Pooh stories - basically covered all personality types within his characters in a brilliant manner. She went on to say that every group - even ours - has the various characters within it.
I started doing a mental inventory of the various characters I could remember: Pooh, Rabbit, Christopher Robin, Piglet, Kanga, Roo, Tigger, Owl, and Eeyore. I thought, "Well, perhaps this is a theory worth consideration." So, naturally, I contacted the oracle (Wikipedia) and will attempt to paraphrase the results that are no doubt totally accurate and insightful (much like the weight listed on my drivers' license).
Eeyore was the grey donkey who says things like "Oookkkkaaaay" and "Thanks for noticing me." He was considered pessimistic, depressed, and the antithesis of his best friend, Tigger. On the bright side, he was also described as "capable of great compassion."
Of course, Tigger's line..."bouncing is what Tiggers do best..." as he bounded into total chaos and cluelessness more frequently than not. He was completely overconfident, cheerful, outgoing and competitive. Just a regular old "Mr. Happy."
Christopher Robin was just there in the stories saying "silly old bear" a lot...but just seemed to be furniture in the majority of the stories.
Pooh was a little obsessive (about honey), very kind, not terribly bright, but universally loved. He got himself into all manner of issues, but was easily forgiven due to his sweet nature.
Piglet, due to his small size, was a little quiet and sometimes fearful. He "conquered his fears and tried to be brave." Tigger pretty much freaked him out, he was an ever-loyal friend to Pooh, but generally referred to himself as a "Very Small Animal."
Owl was considered wise - for obvious reasons having to do with the stereotype. He offered his solicited and unsolicited opinions, told stories, was apparently a heinous speller, and was one of the two real characters (along with Rabbit) among the stuffed ones.
Kanga was the mother of Roo, and she was viewed as a kindly mother figure who took excellent care of her son. Roo represented the exuberant active questioner that was encouraged...and sometimes expressed opinions and statements that were thoughtful and intelligent.
Rabbit was a take charge type and the master of "elaborate plans." He was a wonderful organizer, but he tended to miss part of the "big picture"...and because of this weakness...tended to make things far more difficult than they needed to be. He was also constantly trying to bring about change in the unchangeable...namely Tigger's exuberance.
I suppose that this hypothesis is correct...most groups do indeed have people who would fit into most of these roles. The reason that I love the characters is that you not only see the strengths in each...you also see the flaws. Unlike hero worship...where you only see the positive...the characters are real because we see both sides simultaneously. And isn't that exactly what our relationships do?
But what do you do if you are assigned a character that you don't see as yourself? What if you discover that everyone sees you different than you view yourself? Well, that happened to me tonight.
I won't elaborate, but I will say that it is sometimes difficult to realize that how you see yourself is only part of the picture. How others view you can sometimes be quite revealing. Sometimes you are friends with people but must understand that these friends may only be able to handle a certain percentage of your "uniqueness" at any given point in time. We all tend to fill in the blanks of others to suit who we think they are or should be. I know I'm guilty of it myself.
But God made us all unique. When I talk incessantly about certain subjects...I can see the eyes of my friends glaze over...much like mine do when we are discussing subjects that I could not possibly care less about when the situation is reversed. We believe that our friends should love us in all things...but it is far more likely that our friends love facets of us and are tremendously forgiving of that which is less desirable.
I may be a big fan of Foo Fighters, Collective Soul, scrapbooking, Gerard Butler, old movies, food, my dogs, and my family...but many people that I love and that love me back sincerely do not share my passions. And I suppose that it is really okay...because every once in awhile someone actually does. And I get to say - like the Eeyore my friends say that I am - "Thanks for noticing me..." Later!