Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Minimus and Maximus


Myers-Briggs, Taylor-Johnson, Pearson-Marr..... noooo not the names of solicitors but of personality tests, those wonderful multi page, multiple choice questionnaires that we use to justify our less attractive attributes.   "It wasn't my fault guv honest, my Myers-Briggs Indicator made me do it !!" imagine how the joy of discovering my overwhelmingly sanguine personality had the longest list of positives was rapidly deflated on turning the page and finding we also have, by far, the most negative features.  in the perusing of a paragraph i plummeted from elation to self condemnatory despair.... sanguine to the extreme or what?   Considering the complexity involved in filling in and decoding some of them, completing the test itself must be an indication of a certain personality type.   the stick in there to the end, no pain no gain sort, noble souls with the Dunkirk Spirit who wouldn't dream of walking away from any task before completion.

After six and a half decades of sharing this planet with humans of various genders, nationalities and lifestyles it seemed time to simplify this categorising system so here's The Jeni Personality Measure.   People are either maximusses or minimusses,  simples !!!
The difference between the two species is apparent in every corner of our lives.   open the freezer door and what do you find?   neatly stacked, tightly lidded, matching tubs each marked with contents, date bought, date frozen, date to be defrosted and, naturally, stacked in order of use = minimus.   random unmarked, loosely tied, plastic bags stuffed into every crook and nanny = maximus.  look in kitchen cupboards and if you find every tin and packet within it's sell by date, in usable quantities, tidily lined up you are dealing with a minimus.   if upon opening the door rusty and dented tins in quantities capable of feeding the entire UK armed forces spill onto your head, you undoubtedly have fallen into the black hole in the universe of a maximus' home.   clothes work on the same principal.   socks paired and outside in, bras and knicks sets matched and in their appropriate drawer, tops and bottoms colour coordinated on hangers = minimus.   socks, bras, knicks resembling a mutant cat's cradle squished in together wherever there's a spare corner with the bottom of the draw popped out due to overfilling, tops and bottoms strewn on chair, floor or cat's bed = maximus.  



Fortunately most families are comprised of a min, max, mix, but where you find a household that's one hundred percent max the result will often resemble the set of Steptoe and Son, eclectic in it's contents and every surface dust free, simply because said dust has nowhere clear of stuff to lodge it's smutty feet so hangs in the air as if in a gravity free environment, a swirling vortex, hovering in hope of the momentary appearance of a landing pad.   a min dominated home in contrast, is a joy to behold for it's clarity and clean lines.   books will be ordered by colour or size.  of course there may not be any on display as the advent of the eBook was a minimus dream made manifest, since they lack all temporal form. 

My sister, who lives at the opposite end of the country, is a fully subscribed minimus.   back in the day, when flying 400 miles was feasible, i would stay in her lovely flat when visiting The Parents. empty surfaces, floors devoid of clutter, uninterrupted space was to me an epiphany.   the advantages were apparent at every turn.  easy to keep clean, no dust traps, an illusion of space, no trip hazards, no hunting under haphazard mountains of jumble to find the remote, it evoked in me a yearning for energy saving simplicity.   after every visit i made a vow to the universe that on returning home i would follow her example, have a major clear out, astonish my children, change my ways......  yeah right !
It would start well, one small section of a room would be transfigured into a little area of zen calm at which i would stand and gaze in rapt admiration at this character transformation encapsulated in a cleared corner.   self congratulation and solo back patting would ensue, smugness would settle around the shoulders like a velvet cloak to be sloughed off on turning and realising that this minimalism had only been achieved by moving the accumulated clutter to a shelf, that was now in danger of snapping in two under the added weight of transposed, treasured possessions too precious to be discarded.   within twenty four hours this maximus would have reconciled herself to the inevitability of admiring her sister from afar and failing to emulate her.

So.... are you a maximus or a minimus? is The Indomitable Fred cat a maxipuss?  at what point does feeling snug and secure among a rich environment turn into pathological hoarding?   is it within our power to change such a deep rooted character complex?  should we need to? put your answers on a postcard and send to me.  hopefully it wont disappear, never to be found again,  into the pile of leaflets, junk mail, garden implements, shoes, gloves and charity bags that festoon the mat at the bottom of the stairs.



11 comments:

  1. Yes Jeni i'm just like your Sis... Minimus and i wudn't like to be any other way!

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    1. LOL you cope very well with my clutter, but it would probably drive you mad if you had to live in it.

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  2. Boo to the mins, live life to the MAX!

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    1. it's strange how my genes have been shared in an irregular fashion. one min and one mega max

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  3. http://all-that-is-interesting.com/this-is-what-albert-einsteins-desk-looked-like-on-the-day-he-died

    Guess what type I am

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  4. Jeni, you always find space amongst your clutter for my humble offerings!

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    1. there's a big difference between clutter and art. your offerings are definitely art.

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    2. Thanks Jeni. I'm so pleased that you have given my drawings a home among your treasured memories and keepsakes. I will always appreciate your kind words and encouragement.

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  5. Hey! Do you use Twitter? I'd like to follow you if that would be ok.

    I'm definitely enjoying your blog and look forward to new updates.

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    1. thank you that's very kind. i don't tweet as i function better with longer sentences, never was any good at condensing. haven't done an update for a few weeks as life has gobbled up my thought processes for a while. don't worry...... i'll be back.

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