Definition from Wikipedia:
Charisma (meaning “gift,” “of/from/favored by God”) is a trait found in individuals whose personalities are characterized by a powerful charm and magnetism (attractiveness), along with innate and markedly sophisticated abilities of interpersonal communication and persuasion.
If you’ve ever met any of my nieces and nephews who were the issue of my sister Joan and brother-in-law Tommy Fitzpatrick, you may be aware that they share a weird, unusual attribute. The only way I can describe it is with that word, “charisma” . What’s bizarre about it, it that all six of those kids have had it since birth. I think they brought it home with them from the hospital.
To prove it, try this experiment. The next time you’re in a room full of people, and Tim, Chris, Jeff, Rene’, Denise or Dennis Fitzpatrick – any one of them – enters, watch what happens. Like clockwork, heads turn toward them. That’s charisma. That’s magnetism. Well, okay, maybe it’s witchcraft, but whatever it is, they’ve got it — the “It” factor.
I’ve noticed this phenomenon lots of times but never with a whole litter of children from the same parents. It might be their energy, eye contact, smile, enthusiasm, – who knows – but something about them when they come into your company draws your attention. It’s downright infectious. Just THINKING about them makes me smile, but like I said, it’s weird.
Reason I was thinking about it is because today is the wedding anniversary of one of them – Denise, twin of Dennis.
Denise and Craig Fortune got married without me nineteen years ago today. It might surprise you to know that they recklessly embarked on this major life adventure without the counsel and nurturing presence of Octo-woman. (I hope it wasn’t because they didn’t think I’d stay out of the way during the honeymoon.)
Of course, to this day, I harbor no resentment. What’s done is done. My sister Joan keeps firmly assuring me that it has somehow been a successful marriage, that they have produced two award-winning children, he’s a wonderful dad, he’s got a great sense of humor, he takes them fishing, they live in a beautiful home, yada, yada, yada.
But deep in my heart, I worry. I have never met this man who nineteen years ago appropriated my lovely niece without asking my permission. What do we know about him? Does he have charisma? Joan says he runs a successful home business selling bedside computers to hospitals, but what does he do on his days off? We need to rule out ax murdering.
Just kidding, of course. I can tell from his smile on this photo that Craig wouldn’t murder anything bigger than some carefree and gentle fishes, blissfully swimming in their God-given environment, innocent as to the cruel and inhumane fate that awaits them.
Just because he comes from a family who can sing like birds, doesn’t exonerate him. And this is the thing that worries me most: does Craig have charisma? Does he have “It”? If he doesn’t, this is one of those insoluble disparities which could undermine their so-called happy marriage.
Whenever I used to visit in Iowa during the winter at the Fitzpatricks’ house, there were occasional power outages. We always managed the problem nicely though thanks to kerosene lamps, apricot brandy, and all that charisma. I remember it fondly. They didn’t really need lights at their house.
Certainly, nobody can light up a room like my niece Denise. But can Craig say the same, that’s what I want to know. Is he charismatic? Or does he rely on his trophy wife for all that adoring attention? I will try to find out and I will let you know.
If they ever invite me.