May 27, 2008

What Makes Dependable People Boring?

by Terri Wagner

I've just spent a holiday weekend being asked several times what's your favorite movie character. Everyone is always amazed; but he was so boring; he got so weird, he wasn't really a good actor; well that sure is odd; blah blah blah. I guess it was going to the new Indiana Jones' movie of which I noticed most of the audience were mostly my age. (The younger ones are not impressed with Harrison Ford or the new movie.) I'll leave it at that since many of you probably haven't seen it.

Since Harrison Ford aka Indiana is so popular among my age group, it is assumed he is/was a favorite. But he’s not. I liked then and still like Luke Skywalker. Why? Because he was the dependable one. You knew his motivation, he knew his duty, and he did it. I like the hero guy, the quiet one. I enjoy watching the “I’m making it up as I go along” type for buddies. But give me Mr. I’m gonna be here for you every time.

But I’ll confess. When I’m writing about my hero if you will, I find it hard to give him much personality. Why does dependable mean boring?


  1. I knew this was your post even before I started reading it. You have so much depth, and are so thoughtful and curious. I so much appreciate your thoughtful comments at my blog.

    Dependable does not have to be boring. If we are afraid of becoming dependably boring, we should spice things up with a crazy sense of humor as often as possible.

    By the way, Terri, I also lived in Topeka during a big tornado. It was 1966. Were you there then?

    I had just completed my Masters in Social Work at K.U., and was working that June in the Head Start program, which was in its first year in Topeka. I lived in northeast Topeka, down by the Sante Fe Railroad buildings.

  2. Even dependable people have a few quirks, which can be very interesting. Since we humans are never quite perfect, there can be a few flaws to notice.

    However, when I took a class in John Milton at ASU, I discovered in "Paradise Lost" each devil had his own distinct personality, while the angels only differed in name and mission, for they were all perfect. On a test I could identify every devil, but could only guess at which angel did which. Yes, perfection does have a boring sameness. "Paradise Regained" has never been as popular as the one lost.

    Yet, I can't imagine that being perfect, living with a perfect husband, and surrounded by perfect people would actually be boring. There must be some other challenges, don't you think?

  3. You could have situations where the dependability of your characters is tested.


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