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I love personality quizzes.

My faithful readers probably suspect this already, since just such a quiz spawned the whole Door Series of short stories. (Haven’t read them? Start here.) The door test represented the latest in a long line of these exams. Some of them are cheesy, but some of them can make me think about how I define myself. I put in all the links to the quizzes, in case you share my vice or you’re really bored.

Which character are you on the Golden Girls? Dorothy.

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The tall, sarcastic one? You don’t say.

Which U.S. city should you live in? Chicago.

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Um, no. Tried it. Don’t get me wrong, the city has a lot going for it. Food, museums, great theatre. Unfortunately, it also has winter. This California girl never got used to adding twenty minutes to her morning routine in order to scrape ice off the car.

Which character are you in the Lord of the Rings series? Galadriel.
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An elf – tall, fond of water features and kind of a know-it-all. Not a huge stretch.

Which house would you be in at Hogwarts? Gryffindor.

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So the quiz tells me, but honestly, I could probably as easily make myself at home in Hufflepuff. In Ravenclaw I’d feel like I had to prove my intellectual worth every day, and I’m not tricky enough for Slytherin, but good old hard-working Hufflepuff might be where I felt most at home. Gryffindor needs bravery. I have found courage in my soul at times. Not in a grand way, more of a screwing up my eyes and hoping no one figures out I’m faking it way, but then again, maybe that’s what bravery actually comes down to.

What ice cream flavor are you? Neopolitan.

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Not my favorite – it’s no peanut butter and chocolate – but the description fit: “There are many different aspects to your personality. That can be fun. Or a little disturbing.” I find the people this intrigues discover more layers to me, and the ones it disturbs think they have me all figured out. One guy I worked with absolutely believed I must be a Republican, because I regularly go to church. This in spite of many discussions about my liberal tendencies. Needless to say, that acquaintance didn’t last.

At the end of the day, of course, I must define myself, if the definition is to matter at all. Many of my friends must share this opinion, because several of the them – the craftier ones anyway – have taken to making those lists of all the truisms about their households. The kind that start “In this house, we do…” and go on to list the qualities that define the house’s occupants. “In this house, we do hugs. We do forgiveness. We do laughter” and so forth, a list of ten or fifteen worthy attributes, a maximum of one and a half actually apply at any given time. I’ve visited these houses. What I’ve witnessed would make an entirely different list, but I don’t suppose anyone wants a plaque with the words “We do whining. We do rants about missing car keys. We do our taxes at the last possible minute” greeting them on the wall every day.

Everyone strives to make those lists unique, but they all come out sounding the same to me. I sympathize. If I were truly confident about the wonderfulness of my world, I wouldn’t need the list on the wall to remind me of all the things that make it great. However, I place a high value on honesty. What could I say about my house that would ring true, and that Zoe and I could agree on?

Here goes.

In this house…

We do naps.
We do stretches.
We do alone time. (Not always in agreement about exactly when.)
We do personal grooming. 
We do righteous indignance. (My cat can say volumes with a good full-body shake.)
We do sulking.
We do shedding. (My vacuum hates us both.)
We do bursts of exercise and then don’t move for hours.
We do vanity. (We both love showing off our long legs.)
We do curiosity. (It hasn’t killed either of us yet, but it’s trying.)
 …and last but not least,
We do loyalty. (She’s my cat, and I’m her human. There is no question of this.)

As lists go, I think I can live with it. We’re flawed, but we’re interesting. Or in more poetic language, we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” So says Psalm 139, at least in most versions. I’m fond of the Basic English Bible translation of this phrase: “strangely and delicately formed.”

It’ll do…at least until the Which Nighttime Cough Syrup Are You? quiz comes out. Then my true self will be revealed.

Kimberly defines herself as a noun, and occasionally a verb. That’s close enough.

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