A meme called #DescribeYourselfin3Characters made its way around the intertubes a few weeks ago. It was one of the more clever and thoughtful hashtags out there, so I thought I’d take part. It allows for a bit of quality self-reflection. I came up with three that I thought summed me up pretty well.
Gilligan from Gilligan’s Island: This was more of an external nickname that was bestowed on me. Before our staff outing for a three-hour cruise on Lake Minnetonka, there was an office-wide survey where people were asked to compare characters on the show to people in the office. I was unanimously chosen as Gilligan. (I was the only one in the office who was unanimously chosen as a character. I’m still not sure how I should feel about that.)
I haven’t seen Gilligan’s Island in a long, long time, but I could I understand how I got him. Gilligan has a bubbly personality. He also worries about a lot of stuff. Coincidentally, during our senior scavenger hunt, a group of us dressed up as the crew from Gilligan’s Island. I was Gilligan there, too. I guess there is no escaping it.
Phil Dunphy from Modern Family: Phil is probably the character on television I most identify with. He’s goofy, caring, optimistic, and always taking on some crazy new project. He always tries to help even if he doesn’t realize that sometimes he’s doing more harm than good in situations at times. Deep down he wants people to like him. Most importantly, deep down, he’s not a jerk. He doesn’t aspire to be one, or if he tries to be one, he can’t keep it going for very long.
I’ve played that game on dates where you describe yourself as one character from a movie or show and my fallback is usually Phil Dunphy. If someone has seen the show, they get it.
Charlie Young from West Wing: This was the show I struggled the most with on deciding. I love The West Wing. Except I always kind of pictured myself as a Sam Seaborne (Rob Lowe’s character on the show.) That character is a writer, he’s driven, and he wants to help people. Ultimately though, Seaborne is a Washington type. He always has his image in mind and knows that the PR battle is half the game.
Charlie, on the other hand, doesn’t really care about image. He serves the president. He does his job, and he does it well. Most importantly, he’s loyal. Outside of my goofy and optimistic characteristics, loyalty is something I really appreciate. Charlie is most importantly loyal. I like that in a character.
Honorable mention: I asked a few other people what characters they thought I would be. A friend of mine said Louie from the show Louie. That struck me as odd. Louie is kind of a sully jerk. However, Louie also gets angry about people not being present. He gets angry at people for doing terrible, dumb stuff at each other. I get that and I probably get angry as well.