Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Other Shoe

"Ah, you are just a crepe hanger," my mother once said to me. " "You always dwell on the negative side of things. There is also a positive side in all circumstances. You need to see the glass half-full instead of half-empty..." Easy for her to say. My Mom was a perennial optimist. Always joyful..effervescent..the "lampshade on the head" person at the party. In fact she would be invited to parties just for the entertainment value she'd provide. This ever joylful part of her nature drove me absolutely crazy!!

It is hard to believe that I was not the result of an accidental switch in the OB-GYN nursery at DePaul Hospital when I arrived on Feb. 5, 1942. How could I have come from such an amazing personality only to wind up a composite of Norman Vincent Peale and Ebenezer Scrooge? Nontheless, that is what happened.

I had a close friend and spiritual advisor who was concerned about my prayer life. I like to pray alone...the more alone the better. Except for Holy Mass, I do not like being in a large crowd. And I like to pray the Liturgy of the Hours (the Office.) Although I do have a spontaneous side, I prefer a written and formalized prayer regimen. So this guy was concerned about me. He gave me a Myers-Briggs personality test. I came out an ISFJ. I'll not go into each of them, but the " I" stands for "introvert." In fact, he told me that in his 30 years of adminstering the test, he had never had a candidate score 27 out of the 28 questions that indicate introversion. So now I know why I like to pray alone! and so what, says I.

So when am I going to get to the title of this missive: The Other Shoe..
Perhaps you can guess based on what I told you about my somewhat pessimistic nature. You've all heard the adage about waiting for the "other shoe to drop.." well, that is how I live my life. I was an Economics teacher. They don't call that the "Dismal Science" for nothing. I loved Economics and is it any wonder? It fit my personality perfectly. How many jolly and optimistic economists do you know? Especially today.

And with the dire economic future that now awaits us, I close this post. We are hearing talk of stimulus packages, sub-prime mortgage crises, the plumeting value of the dollar. Everyone is looking to the poor Ben he can fix the mess. He wants to pump more money and more credit into the mix. That's like giving a child who has a stomach ache from too much ice-cream a bit of chocolate cake to cure his ill. No, Mr. Ben cannot stem the tide of adjustment that Mr. Market needs to make. "More Money...more credit," they shout...Ah, the sound of the other shoe.


Laura said...

And sometimes it is the squeak of the "other shoe" that makes the most sense.

Flession said...

Lest you forget, dear father, you constantly brought us all in to have prayer with you for the longest time, so unless you lied about "enjoying prayer time with your family", I think you got some 'splanin to do :)

This does explain where I get my pessimism from in the wider scale. I'm a optimist in the sense that I have faith that humanity can achieve so much, yet pessimistic in the sense that it won't be changing anytime soon and that the world I live in is filled to the brim with people who's IQ score rival my net worth.

Yes Al Gore, I'm looking at you.

So I conclude my commentary with a lovely little number I post in my signature on my forums, to which I now can give some credit to my father for:

"So Many Idiots, So Little Ammo"

Dad 2 eight said...

Nipster: You summarized my viewpoint perfectly. My faith in Christ makes me optimistic about His return and establishing His kingdom, but I am a complete pessimist when it comes to my view of man in his fallen state. To paraphrase some wag: No one ever went broke in underestimating the potential for stupidity in mankind.


Laura said...

I left a surprise for you on my blog.

Goodnight, Mom said...

I swear, you and Nip. Thank heaven you guys have the rest of us to balance you out! Bring me the lampshade!!!

El' Gordo the Ugly said...

So, Mr. Economics Teacher, is there a solution somewhere? (apart from going to hard currency and moving to the mountains of Virginia and surviving off of dehydrated banana chips!)

Bama was definitely a "joyful light"...lampshade or no!

I - Intraversion
This means that you tend to be energized by times of solitude and drained by too much interaction with others. How you and Mom (both "I"'s) survived all 8 of us (7 of whom are Extraverts) is simply astounding!

S - Sensing
This means that you tend to prefer information given to you as short, concise, tangible facts. You do not like meandering complex sentences or know, like childish rambling and liberal economic theories. You like a "point" embedded in a properly constructed complete sentence. Not exactly lampshade conversation, especially if any alcohol is involved!

F - Feeling
This means that you may tend to make decisions that are more value-driven and personal than objective. It also means that you prefer harmony and balance in relationships. I'm so glad that all 8 of us were able to provide that for you as we grew must have given you such peace of mind! :-)

J - Judging
This means that you like things to come to a decision point as quickly as possible so that you can move on to the next thing. You may tend to resist change, since this upsets the balance and order of the universe. In other words, chaos and delays are not EXACTLY your best friends!

So much for my attempt at blogger-analysis. BTW, the high score on your Clarity Index for Intraversion does not necessarily mean that this is a strength for you. It means that you are very, very, very clear that you want - need - desire - some alone time!

God bless your prayer closet!


Flession said...

God bless it and hopefully Ben will be removed from it someday.