INFP Hans was A Hitler Youth, and Other Fun Memories
Thursday June 4, 2020
I was raised, in part, by a remarkable Hungarian ISTJ named Eva.
My ESFP mom was on the go quite a bit when I was a lad. To her, the house was not a place to remain for long, unless you wanted to get depressed AF. So she was always busy driving 25 miles in this direction and then 50 in the other, “taking care of” this or that little task.
My INTJ dad was hard at work too. And since my parents were religious fundamentalists, dads like my dad were not really taught to be uh…dads. I mean, they were dads, but their role was basically to work and “provide” and not to worry about caring for their kids during the work day.
So when things really got going, and mom forgot about me, or just got overloaded, Eva would step in. She was always helping my mom with errands and day-to-day stuff.
Which, as a kid, I now realize—I guess I was errands and day-to-day stuff, a lot of the time.
I would walk out of the school grounds after school to find Eva waiting there. Five foot nearly-nothing. Dark black curly hair. Colorful clothing.
Oh, and with her arms akimbo, which was a pose she totally owned.
“MARC, I AM HERE AT CHOOR (your) SCHOOL TO PICK YOU UP BECAUSE YOUR MOTHER IS BUSY.” She said this as if to get the information out, almost like it was her informational self-talk to keep herself on track. You could visualize a little checkbox being checked.
I’d ride with Eva in her little car, and hooray—I could then chill in her amazingly introverted household for a while.
Eva was not a religious fundamentalist. She was a social Catholic. PHEW, this factor was also so relaxing.
Psychologically, going to this house was like being handed some kind of calming recreational drug, maybe, after living in my own majority-extrovert house. Damn I loved Eva’s quiet little house.
(You know, it’s interesting to me now—somebody out there might right at this moment be creating an environment that would chill you all the way out. Just by being themselves, and doing their thing. Funny.)
Now, Eva is just about as ISTJ as you can get. Loving, but in everybody’s favorite tough as jerky fashion. Phew. At the grocery store: “Marc, you want to get some candy? Go get some candy. MARC, DON’T BE CHOOSY,” she’d call out in her loud, heavily-accented voice.
And she was also not fancy, which I liked about her, compared to my own folks. My mom was a total peacock of an ESFP. She wanted to do everything just a bit extra. Especially if other people might notice. Dad would get roped in by her energy. Everything felt extra fussy. It was not a very calming lifestyle.
Eva is married to Hans, who’s a German INFP. Hans, Mom let me know, was a Hitler Youth. And sure enough, there was this big party at my house one day, and one of us (possibly yours truly) brought up the topic of World War II, and Hans was there, and he was pretty damn nuanced about Hitler. That’s right, Adolf himself, the same MF who kept dad’s cousin in Stalag-whatever over Christmas back in 1944!
Hans was this classic Fi-dominant personality. INFPs are Introverted Feeling (Fi)-types. If you don’t know what that means, maybe just leave it at “pretty damn nuanced about people and relationships, and sure, maybe even Hitler”. I mean, that’s extreme and it’s not like every INFP loves Hitler or anything like that (oh god what an album title that would be) but it’s also a general perspective from which INTJs can benefit, this idea of being nuanced about people.
For her part, I was told that Eva didn’t like Jews either. She didn’t like Russians or Jews. She was some kind of equal-opportunity discriminator.
Mom told me that Eva was the daughter of the Mayor of Budapest, and the presence of Russians drove her to leave, and then she had a bunch of bad experiences after that. She liked Hungarian stuff, let’s say. Maybe American stuff. Not even sure about that, but dammit, she lives here, so that might say something. It’s complex.
What I really liked about Eva’s house is, I’d walk in to this dark, relaxing little house (my dad was always complaining about light, so he’d buy houses for their big windows) and there on the table, just for me, would be a glass of high-fat milk (dad made us drink skim) and a chocolate chip cookie. HOLY SMOKES. That right there was just something out of another world.
And sometimes, I’d walk in and there would be a glass of delicious, fatty milk and a whole flippin’ Ritter Sport sitting there! KNICK! Man that made me so happy. I’d sit there quietly, not a single emotion on my little face, but absolutely groaning with pleasure inside.
“DO YOU HAVE HOMEWORK, MARC?”
“No,” I lied. “Not today.”
Why lie? Because…
“OK GOOD. Here, you can watch the TV.”
There we go. TV level unlocked. Man, I’d chill on this little couch, in the small, dark, step-down family room, and watch TV, all alone, until my mom came to pick me up. So great.
Thanks Eva. Thanks Hans. You didn’t do anything super fancy but that’s what I preferred. You made my younger years better.
BTW, about passion and capacity →
Where is humankind headed? The coiling accountability crisis →
How can I work less like an ESFP? And how can I get out more? →
A common sequence of interest-energy for me →
What NOT to do when keeping a journal →