Clipper may well have been born laughing. It’s a wonder he allowed himself to be born, rather than just fighting his way out on his own. His given name was Clifford, but “Clipper” dates back to his fourth year, when he decided that he wanted to turn the family dog into a poodle. The dog was actually a big wire-haired mutt, but by the time that Clifford was discovered working his magic with his dad’s hair clippers, the dog had a substantial poodle-like waist. From that moment on, Clifford was Clipper or Clip.
He has roared his way through 30 exciting years of life and looks forward eagerly to many many more. Family and friends wonder if his luck can go on forever, but Clip has no worries about it. After an undistinguished high school career, he enrolled in his local college, but like many SPs he was bored and unmotivated by his courses. He dropped out to enroll in the Marine Corps, and subsequently fought in Operation Desert Storm in Iraq. In the brief time that he was there, he distinguished himself for bravery, rescuing four comrades who were overcome by smoke in a burning tank. The tank exploded about five minutes after he got the last man out.
He left the service after his tour of duty was over, eager to try something else. He used some of his salary and benefits to take flying lessons. Here, as in all things physical, he excelled. He considered taking training to become an airline pilot, but decided that once you mastered it, the position wasn’t much more than an airborne desk job. Because he very much wanted a plane of his own, and needed a decent income to do this, he took on all sorts of flying jobs. For a while, he flew a crop duster plane, and then with an advanced piloting license, he began flying a small executive jet for a computer company. Eventually he saved up enough for a down payment on a small jet of his own, and began flying rich clients into all sorts of tricky places.
In this period, he met and married Ginger, a film actress who shared his love of moment-to-moment excitement. Given their very different and equally variable working hours and locations, they were apart a great deal early in the marriage, but they seemed to be deliriously in love with each other, and separations just seemed to increase the passion and excitement. They were similar in many ways. Both of them loved parties, good clothes, and nice things of all kinds. The love of material things was very real for both of them. It was not simply a form of showing off, though that might be there too. Rather they loved colors, textures, sweeping views, and other sensory things.
The crisis in their marriage came rather suddenly, after four years with nothing but momentary spats when one got in the other’s way. They were enough alike to understand and value the need that they each had for freedom of action. The only conflicts had been the rare times when their schedules or their spur of the moment plans clashed. Generally a little good will was all that it took to work these problems out.
However, around the start of their fifth year, two things happened that upset this amiable balance. One was not surprising. Clipper was beginning to get bored with carrying his clients around to all parts of the world. To put some excitement back into his life, he took up rock climbing. As with all things, after a period of study and practice, he proved to have real talent. Before long, he was spending a good bit of his free time with groups of climbers, going up the sides of local mountains. For the first time, Ginger was not entirely thrilled. She was going to parties without him, and spending more weekends without him than had been true in the past. Accommodating their jobs was one thing, but this really cut into their good time together. Clipper sympathized, and tried to remind himself to be home more, but he was having too much fun to be ready to cut back drastically. Ginger, on the other hand, was not about to take up mountain climbing. Though she shared Clipper’s love of excitement, a big party, a catered cruise, or even a great day’s shopping on Rodeo Drive was about as adventurous as it needed to be. Daring death was definitely not a necessity for her.
At this same point, Ginger, too, felt that her life needed a change, but did not quite see where she wanted to go. After a great deal of thought, she decided that she was ready for motherhood. Clipper, in the few conversations they had had on this topic, had been pretty negative about wanting children, feeling that it would tie them down too much. Up to now, she had agreed, but suddenly it seemed like just the right thing to do. She decided not to argue with him; rather, she would just let it happen and present him with the accomplished fact. She felt sure he would come around. When the time came, she presented the pregnancy as one of nature’s little surprises. Clipper’s first reaction was to feel like the walls were closing in on him. Fatherhood had not been something he had given any thought to. He suddenly saw himself as his own father, surrounded by kids, wiping runny noses, mowing the lawn, coming home every night at six for supper. They had their first serious quarrel, and Ginger was devastated. Clipper, ever the man to the rescue in any situation, turned himself around, apologized, brought flowers, and soon convinced himself that this would be wonderful. He wasn’t, after all, his father. Being the natural non-worrier that he was, he soon bought into his own assurances and found himself looking forward to the birth.
In due time, Cliff junior was born, and Clipper really was delighted with him. For nearly a month, he kept his business flights down to a minimum and let the mountain climbing jaunts go entirely. Then an invitation came along for a climb up one face of Mt Shasta. He couldn’t resist, and agreed to go. The climb went badly. The experienced leader who had been hired to take them up was taken ill at the last moment, and a less qualified leader took his place. About three-quarters of the way up, a snow crevasse collapsed, sending Clipper and three others flying off the side of the mountain. Though their safety harnesses kept them from falling to their deaths, Clip was slammed against an outcropping of rock and broke his leg in two places. Eventually, he and his entire group were rescued, but by then he was severely frostbitten, as well as in great pain.
The new mother was beside herself. As she saw it, he could have died. It was too much. It was irresponsible. (Whether she had also been irresponsible was irrelevant in her eyes.) As he saw it, he didn’t die, didn’t even come close, and there was no problem. His recovery period at home was one long series of arguments. She wanted the mountain climbing to end. He wanted things to go back to the happy life they had led before their son was born. They fought. The baby began teething, and even their professional nanny couldn’t keep him quiet. Being largely immobilized was a huge stressor for Clip. When he was able to get around again, he simply packed up a suitcase and left.
We have left the ending open for Clipper and Ginger. Both of them are given as examples of extremely strong Extraversion and Perceiving, with Ginger as a likely ESFP and Clipper as a likely ESTP. You can see that they were able to blend their needs and interests very well, as long as those needs did not conflict. These types have an enormous zest for life, as we have noted in the description sections. They also have extremely strong needs for freedom or “no boundaries,” as a recent advertisement has expressed it. If there had never been a child, the relationship might have gone on fairly happily for much longer. On the other hand, Clipper’s desire for too much time on his mountain climbing activities may have precipitated Ginger’s desire for a child. And, of course, her own impulsiveness got them both into a situation that couldn’t be undone. If Ginger had been more physically adventurous, they might have found other exciting activities to share.
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