Sunday, December 10, 2006

The True Romantic? Moi?

If you ask 99.9% of all people who know me if i'm a realist or a romantic, they'd tell you without hesitation that i'm a realist. On the surface of things they would be correct. In fact, I'm very much the definition of "realist" incarnate: I like facts, i like to assess that which is rather than that which I would prefer, and I do not let my impulses guide me (or at the very least I let them guide me, take the punishment for my lapse in judgement, and don't act as if I've been wronged).

Yet just yesterday I was called a Romantic by someone who knows me rather well. When I inquired as to the origin of this blasphemy, I was pointed to the 4th definition of the term in the American Heritage Dictionary, which reads:

Romantic: Imaginative but impractical; visionary.

I think that defines me rather well. I tend to see what should be present, and it disillusions me from practicality. Now at the end of the day I choose practically, but i'm almost never happy about it.

In fact I've decided to reconsider my self-assessment altogether. I now believe that I am not only a Romantic, but I am the TRUE Romantic, because I want that which does not exist (at least where females are concerned).

It's true. We often mistakenly label people who are just blinded by feelings as "romantic", and thus we tend to conflate FEELING people... over and against THINKING personalities... as being "romantics". Our version of romantic is a person who blindly exhibits blissful hopefulnessd in the face of obvious red flags which they choose to overlook, and who try to force issues of feeling and indulgence over against practicality.

But I claim that these people are not the true romantics. Sure, they're feelers, but that just makes them an F rather than a T on the Meyers-Briggs test. I'd like to claim that Thinkers can be every bit the romantic that Feelers are, and in fact moreso.

After all, thinkers want the impossible in the face of knowing that it's impossible. Sure, Feelers do more stupid things, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're less practical, that simply means that their personality is not discerning in the final analysis. Thinkers may want to indulge the same impulses, but they ultimately refuse.

So, if a Thinker chooses to want the impractical or impossible, they're doing so knowing full well the price they might have to pay for that desire.

It's like the two men in the fox hole, one crazy and one who's sane: The crazy one might display more behavior on the battlefield that we'd call "bravery", but in fact it's the sane one who's brave, even if he does less, because the sane one realizes the stakes, contemplates the risk to his person, and chooses to be brave in spite of having such knowledge.


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