December 27, 2012 by lucieromarin
I’ve just finished reading a post on a new blog in which the writer makes two striking observations: 1) that cholerics are good gift-givers, and 2) that we introverts have a duty to defend our right to alone-time. You can read the whole article here.
1) I’m going to go a step further and suggest that maybe choleric-melancholics are the best gift-givers, because they combine the choleric commitment to a project with the melancholic attention to the other person and the emotional significance of the gift. (It took me years to learn that a poorly-chosen gift did not necessarily reflect the giver’s true opinion of me.)
As a choleric-melancholic, I am physically incapable of just picking up something off the shelf for someone at the last minute. I find it a kind of desecration of the affection and the understanding of the other person that the gift is supposed to embody, and a pervasive, nagging dissatisfaction always forces me to keep thinking until I’ve chosen something exactly right. I think it’s weird that people don’t plan their Christmas gifts months in advance. Seriously, planning gifts is an absorbing project, and is thoroughly satisfying when it produces the desired results (namely, a gasp of happiness.)
2) For a burnt-out Catholic – oppressed by the sense that everyone else has millions of friends, stands at the centre of a whirlwind activity, and holds your love of retirement in contempt – the thought that alone-time is an actual right can be the first step to restoring a brutalised self-respect. Hopefully, 2013 will see Ms Mixolydian (or, perhaps, Ms Microscope) writing more on this topic.
(Also, though this has nothing to do with Catholic burn-out, I just have to add that in the Barsetshire novels of Angela Thirkell, Mixolydia is a country, and Mixo-Lydian refugees represent whichever Eastern- or Middle-European persons the you, the reader, dislike the most. I read the novels while still quite young, and got quite as shock the first time I heard the words ‘Mixolydian mode’!)