Which Brazilian Footballer Are You?

You have, no doubt, recently been inundated with several requests on your social networking site of choice to take a test to determine how your personality traits reflect what you might be in an alternate universe. Because of these, I have recently discovered that my real eye color should be green, I most resemble Edward Cullen over other teenage vampires, and Ted Bundy is the serial killer I most align my philosophies with. I know, I know. I could have sworn I was a Berkowitz, but these things are “amazing accurate” as they claim to be. These quizzes are all the rage amongst people who are desperately seeking something to define their personality and are not willing to let that something be confined by the rules of individualism, grammar, or social normality.

This trend reminds me of one that existed several years ago before the net was the internet and we were still frightened of its potential. Though it may be hard to believe, the trend originated from a book that instructed people to take a test to determine what color their personality was. The test was fairly simple. What made up the bulk of this best-seller was the detailed descriptions about each and every color. Reds like to party late into the night. Greens eat the heel on a loaf of bread every time. Whites enjoy shopping at Amercrombie and Fitch. That one was a personality/race twofer. My mother gave this test to me as part of her Dr. Spock-infused parenting strategy, but as I was only around 10 years old, I feel that the personality die may have been prematurely cast. If memory serves, the results showed that I was nearly equal parts of every color mentioned. I was a human crystal spectrum.

The reason for this is, well, I am not sure that I could tell you. I am a walking contradiction in many fields, and my personality is no exception. I am fairly sure that if I were to pay a psychiatrist to analyze my personality, his beard would explode. I am occasionally active and occasionally dormant. I have to have my living and working spaces immaculately clean, but more often then not they are hopelessly disorganized. I am intensely reclusive at times and compulsively social at others. You might even say that I have multiple personalities. Not like Viki on One Life to Live might have, though I do occasionally take on the air of a countess in hiding. I just have several different personalities that may emerge at any given moment. I can sense that you are still freaked out. Let me expound.In high school, I was really just your average geeky student who sat in the second to back row of the classroom and preferred reading Sylvia Plath over going on dates. At the end of my junior year, however, I managed to win the amazingly heated popularity contest of running for school office and became my school’s Vice-President. This involved making announcements every morning, emceeing assemblies in front of the entire school and occasionally community, and socializing with every kid I met. Far from being uncomfortable with this situation, I thrived in it and I loved it. But, I had not changed my personality at all. Even as I danced to Janet Jackson amongst the scantily dressed cheerleaders in front of a thousand kids and teachers, I still had the deeply hidden J.D. Salinger somewhere inside of me, yearning for that solitary cabin in Montana.

I graduated from high school and went on to college where I believe that I was possibly the first person to earn their degree without speaking a single word to any other teacher or student. I had no friends in college and I made no effort whatsoever to change that situation. I got married while in college which relieved me from the burden that I had of not flirting with the women around me who were in flirt overdrive. In marriage, though, I was thrust into the situation of having to make friends with neighbors. I would be perfectly content living next to someone for 45 years without knowing their name until I saw it next to their picture in an obituary. Luckily, Miranda is social to the point where she makes cookies in the shape of trees for our neighbors on Arbor Day.

When I started my new job back in September, I situated myself in my cubicle and began getting used to working well with others. After a few weeks, though, I realized that I could spend several days staring at my computer screen with limited human interaction. It was wonderful. My boss remarked, in a worrying tone, that I was very quiet and shy. Obviously lacking many social skills, I had no idea how to remedy this situation before I was fired and sent back to work picking up soiled (and I do mean soiled, not just with soil, if you know what I mean) uniforms.

Luckily, I didn’t have to do much. The situation presented itself to me, allowing my dominant, charismatic, and personable side to come out like Bruce Banner’s decidedly green-personality alter ego. Our in-house fitness center was encouraging different departments throughout the company to form their indoor soccer teams for competition starting the next week. Seeing this and having a mild interest in soccer stemming from my ownership of a single FIFA Xbox game, I decided to start forming a team. Through a frenzy of group e-mails, I was able to recruit seventeen people in our department to my team, which I aptly dubbed the Creative Cremators. I organized pre-game practices and took the helm as goalie. I brought a whiteboard to practices and games where I outlined several strategic game plans. I organized my players into positions and yelled out direction to them from the goalie box and the sidelines. I stopped doing what I should be doing at work in order to fulfill the needs of my team as game time approached.

In the most recent game, I happened to throw my body around on the hardwood floor to prevent a goal from being scored. In recovering to my feet, I realized that I had left a significant portion of skin, originally attached to my knee, on the gym floor. I subbed out for three minutes while I doctored my wound, professional boxer-style with q-tips and alcohol, and tried to hide the blood from the referee. I entered back into the game and continued to yell for my defenders to defend and my strikers to attack. When the blood dripped from my sock onto the court, I rubbed it in with the sole of my shoe and continued on to our inevitable loss. Even in defeat, my commitment to the team could not be questioned as I smeared my spilt blood on each opponent’s hand that I shook in the post-game compulsory congratulations.

For some reason, I was again shedding the quiet poetic kid personality and was becoming the vice-president of my high school. Everyone knew me, finally, and listened to the myriad of things that I had to say. Though I knew little more about soccer than the fact that you can’t pick up the ball with your hands, people accepted my counsel and I became their default leader and coach. After soccer is over, I will most likely slip back into the comforting reclusion of my messy cubicle where I can be dormant and sedentary once again.

In many ways, I guess that the test my mother imposed upon me when I was but a child did go on to prove what I would become; a multi-colored personality with conflicting characteristics. If I learned anything from dying Easter eggs this weekend, it is that when you blend all colors together, you get a deep, lovely, brown. That is me. That is just my personality, or my personalities, and they are inescapable.

And I am totally a Pelé.


Camille said...

you got mad soccer goalie skillz, oh wise default coach--thanks for all you've done with our unruly and unresponsive team!