Monday, September 11, 2006

Presenting: “It Takes a Village of People to Raise the Roof” [Not THE Village People. And not the Amish kind of raising the roof]

This post is the sequel to my other one called, "Personality Soup--Not to be Served in a Box," discussing various personality types tied to Aritstotle's four temperaments (earth, wind, fire and air) and most recently addressed by Florence Littauer in her book entitled Personality Plus.

(Le Premier Acte)

Scene: Phlegm’s house, a room with symmetrically arranged furniture which can only be accessed through one opening to avoid traffic congestion and disorder.

Sanguine: “It’s time to get this party started! Woo! Hey, I was at a couple of parties last night, and I have a few ideas about how to bring this party to life! Woo!”

Choleric: “Whoa. I have already planned our theme, menu and games.”

Melancholic: “I don’t like games. Someone always loses. Why can’t we just be real with each other and stop playing games? ‘Loser’ spelled backwards is ‘resol,’ which is almost the first word of an association I formed called,‘Resolve to Refrain from Oppressive Party Games.’ You can see I’ve thoroughly analyzed this because I’m smart.”

Phlegm: “I have exactly 12 board games arranged alphabetically in my closet, if you’d like to use them. Please return them to their rightful spot by 10:00 pm.”

Sanguine, looking in the closet: “You’ve got a ton of games in here—that means we can invite MORE PEOPLE! Woo!

[Looks out window] “Hey, there’s the mail man! Let’s invite HIM!” [Jumps over back of sofa and heads toward door.]

Choleric: “Stop! I mean, hold up there. The correct term is ‘mail carrier,’ and I’ve already constructed a guest list with an auxiliary list of suitable substitutes and a waiting list . . . but if you’d like to invite him, I’d be happy to do that!” [Races Sanguine out the door.]

Melancholic: “I hate the mail. It’s either junk or a jury notice. And I refuse to pay $.39 for postage on principle. I’m very principled.”

Phlegm: “Personally, I’m in favor of mail. The mail carrier is so dependable, you know: ‘Through wind, sleet, snow or hail,' etc. I’ll bet he has five uniforms that he rotates daily. Now that’s a satisfying career.”

[Choleric and Sanguine return with mail carrier. Phlegm ushers them through the proper opening in furniture. Sanguine jumps on a chair wearing a lampshade on his head. He’s carrying a boom box with Billy Idol’s “Mony Mony” blaring.]

Choleric: “Hey, turn it down. That song is NOT on the play list. I specifically directed that we would hear Aretha's ‘R E S P E C T, find out what it means to me’ first.”

Phlegm: “I was hoping for KC and the Sunshine band’s ‘That’s the way uh huh, uh huh, I like it, uh huh uh huh. That’s the way, uh huh uh huh, I like it.’ I know all of the words.”

Melancholic: “No one asked me, but I prefer ‘The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald’ or that one about ‘The Day the Music Died.’ But my favorite is the one that goes,

‘In a little while from now, If I’m not feeling any less sour, I promise myself to treat myself, And visit a nearby tower. And climbing to the top will throw myself off, In an effort to make it clear to whoever what it’s like when you’re shattered, left standing in the lurch at a church, Where people saying: ‘My God, that’s tough; She's stood him up. No point in us remaining. We may as well go home.’ As I did on my own, alone again, naturally.’

All except for Melancholic: “OK, that is the saddest song in the universe. What is wrong with you?!”

[Silence. Doorbell.]

Choleric: “Thank goodness the food is here. I’ll unpack it and hand it out. Let’s see,who ordered the ‘Luau-Palooza Sample Platter?’”

Sanguine: “Me! All right! Woo!”

Choleric: “The usual?’”

Phlegm: “Mine.”

Choleric: “Salad without dressing, lemon juice on the side instead?’”

Melancholic: “That’s mine. Wait a minute. I can’t eat this. Look at this crouton—it has the image of the Grim Reaper on it.”

[Post party]

Choleric: “Get cracking on your assigned tasks, everybody. I want this place back to normal in 30 minutes.”

Phlegm: “Amen!”

Sanguine: [Puts lampshade back on head just to relive his moment. Talks on cell phone while picking up trash. Is heard making plans for later that evening.]

Melancholic: “This is why I don’t have parties. No amount of jocularity and frivolity is worth this hassle. I’m totally overwhelmed.”

Choleric: “All you have to do is hold the trash bag. Over there. Alone. Naturally.”

The End

Well, does one of these types ring your bell? I’m mostly melancholy (and suddenly feeling very much like Debbie Downer.) My closest female co-worker is 110% sanguine. Last week she told me about having a Labor Day party at her house where 30 people came. She was very energized by this fun, fun time. I just looked at her and said, “I would rather put on an orange vest and do 200 hours of community service than have a party like that. Just give me a bag and a poker and let me alone.”

Definitely not me--is it you??


Carol said...

Oh my. I look a little nutty in this party example. ahem!

How come the melancholic looks like the only sane one in the bunch here? LOL!

Susanne said...

Too hilarious! I must be really nuts 'cause I saw pieces of myself in all of them! Now that's a scary thought! :)

jenn said...

This is my first time here and commenting! This was totally awesome. I am a mixture of them all with melancholic notes and a choleric/phlegm finish ;-)

greengenes said...

Just found your site through CWO. I have studied personalities for years. My sister, cousin, and I invariably talk about it when we get together. I am so phlegmatic and my hubby is so choleric! I think it is a fascinating subject and I have never been wrong guessing a personality! Fun!