Thursday, August 23, 2012

I'm a Hufflepuff, and I'm happy that way

I was a late and reluctant reader of the Harry Potter series, only to fall madly in love with it when I gave in and started reading them. Now I'm a bit of a Potter nerd, and I'm not really sorry for that. It will be interesting to see what place the series holds in the hearts of future generations; I suspect it will rank alongside and below such works as the Lord of the Rings, but probably outrank the Chronicles of Narnia, the Chronicles of Prydain, and other such beloved works of fantasy, simply because of the sheer size of the Potter fandom (and the range in ages of its fans, some of whom were kids when the series came out, book by book, and some who were adults, not that it matters).

Nearly every time I take one of those Sorting quizzes, I get Hufflepuff as a result. Once or twice I've gotten Ravenclaw, but I think that's because those two houses are arguably more similar than any of the rest.

This used to upset me, at first. I mean, nothing against Hufflepuff, despite my love for badgers in literature, but I think most readers naturally favour Gryffindor which has a) the coolest name, b) the famous Potter, c) a reputation for bravery, and d) most of the adventures. And despite the fact that they are fictional houses, I don't think it's necessarily a futile exercise to assess oneself in such a way.

Slytherin maintains a bad reputation, of course, but also the association of cleverness and the ability to manipulate others through charisma (or old-fashioned threatening). Ravenclaw has the distinction of being genuinely wise, clear-sighted, and philosophical. Poor old Hufflepuff's sterling qualities are loyalty and friendship, which simply don't sound as grand.

Ah, but they are indeed qualities that matter, and matter to the majority of society in a more direct way than mere philosophy, manipulation, or even courage. Upon further reflection, I concluded that I simply am not brave. (I fear too many things to be considered brave, and I rarely confront those fears of my own volition. During at least half of Harry's exploits I would have stayed behind with Neville.)

Nor am I particularly clever. I have my moments, but the number of derpy, ditsy ones quite overwhelms the others. I have just enough cleverness to know my (manifold) limitations.

I hope I am not manipulative. I do not think I am charismatic. (I think most people who possess those two qualities can recognize them, like Tom Riddle did.)

I am, definitely, deeply loyal to my friends, and very much in need of them. I am a people person, first and last, and this is my strength and also my undoing. Of the handful of talents I possess, loving is perhaps the best. I deeply value fairness and temerity as well. Hufflepuffs are self-deprecating, easygoing, and always ready for fun.

There are downfalls to this personality, naturally.
I can get a little weird(er) if left alone too long. I feed off the energy of a group or crowd or even a single friend nearby, which can leave me deeply drained without my noticing. I can talk the leg off a table (yes, that is a downfall!). I have a lot of friends, some would say too many. I am a people pleaser, too, and often make promises I cannot keep. I like to do things for people- give special gifts and remembrances- and I've been told I have a saviour complex because I worry too much about others' affairs and grievances- specifically ways they might be rescued.

In the past year I have tried to emphasize keeping my word, not taking too much upon myself, and giving my worries to God more faithfully and frequently, with some success, though there is still much room to improve. I also have to work hard to keep my family and friends from becoming idols in my heart that take precedence before God.

I have to go now- but I have more thoughts on these matters for later.


Louise Bates said...

I usually get Ravenclaw when I take the tests, but I think that's because I try to take them as my teenage self, when I DID value wit and cleverness over loyalty and perseverance. As I am today, I know I would end up in Hufflepuff, and fit in very well. Except for the liking-to-be-around-people thing. I prefer my people in small doses, followed by long stretches of solitude. :-)

beautifulmonday said...

What a surprise that we'd be in the same house. :)