From a hilltop in Central Texas

Marge Flados

The internet teems with tests to determine what and who we are, inside ourselves where we live, and for some reason I can’t resist taking them. Truth be known, this leaves me still wondering who I am. 

It all started with a required psychological evaluation before acceptance into nursing school to rule out my being a serial killer or something. I turned out fine except for a small problem with authority. Accepting it, not using it. I also noted the evaluating psychologist exhibited some symptoms of needing evaluation himself: toe tapping, knee jiggling, excessive blinking and a facial twitch or two. I shrugged the whole episode off.

Then the DNA test showed me to be more British than Norwegian which may explain a few things. At least the German genes remained at the level I had always understood them to be.

Then on a whim, I took an IQ test. Should have known better. Among others, the report said my IQ was the same as Donald Trump’s. That would make me a genius or a knucklehead depending on one’s political persuasion. Who would opt for knucklehead? Not me.

The most recent was the Enneagram test that identifies and describes the nine personality types. I came out to be an 8. I didn’t want to be an 8 so I took the test again and I turned out to be an 8 all over again.

Other 8 s are Saddam Hussein and Fidel Castro, Mikhail Gorbachev, Roseanne Barr and Rosie O’Donnell. Can one understand my concern? Bring on the smelling salts. I can’t bear the thought! On further inquiry I also found, Winston Churchill, Golda Meir and Franklin Roosevelt were 8 s. It helped to know that.

So why aren’t I running the country or at least SOME country? No president has even called me to ask my advice and I always wondered why. Of course now I understand why family and friends through the years have called me, “Marge-the-Sarge-in Charge”. They smile when they say it, but still……….

I did not want to share with my family that I was an 8 lest they begin calling me Mother Saddam. But many of them also took the test and volunteered the statement, “I bet Grams is an 8”. I take comfort in the fact that 8 s have some great traits such as self-confidence, strong, protective, resourceful, straight-talking and decisive. We can also be magnanimous and inspiring. The fact that 8 s have control issues or a willingness to confront and dominate those within their environment ----well, those are issues to be controlled. Right?

There was a professor at Sam Houston University many years ago that was quoted as saying, “The older we get the more like ourselves we become” and I believe that. Believing it makes it possible to control unbecoming tendencies if they are known to us. This I try to do.

All the different personality types have the good and the not so good. I shall bask in the good part of being an 8 and smother the traits that are other than admirable. I think I already have, to a point because down deep we know the parts of our personalities that can be improved upon.

I am not taking any more tests on the Internet. I will live with my eight-ness and be thankful I am not a wuss. So go ahead, take the test, it is free and you will learn that you are a 1, a 2, a 5, a 6 or even (sigh) an 8.

Marge Flados resides in Harlingen, Texas and can be reached at