The System (for Introverts)

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I used to hate getting shots. Every six weeks or so, I have to go into my allergist’s office to get my maintenance dosage of allergy shots. It takes 20 minutes to drive there, and I have to sit and wait for 20 minutes after getting the shots so they can make sure I’m not having an anaphylactic reaction; then it takes another 20 minutes to drive back home or to work. So every six weeks, I used to feel like I was wasting an hour of my day… until I figured out The System.

Screen Shot 2017-07-21 at 11.32.12 AMNow when it’s time for my allergy shots, I go get myself a latte. I throw my Kindle into my purse. I silence my phone and stick in my earbuds and listen to white noise to drown out the sounds of older patrons talking loudly or children whining or babies crying.

Now every six weeks – instead of feeling like I am wasting my time sitting in the doctor’s office – I get an extended period of time to sit in a comfy chair disconnected from the world and read a good book while drinking a freshly brewed latte. And it is heaven.

Screen Shot 2017-07-21 at 11.34.48 AM.pngThis morning when I went in for my six-week maintenance dose, I scanned the waiting room as I nestled down, and I spotted a sixteen-year-old girl who has already discovered The System. She had kicked off her shoes and pulled her feet up into her chair and was curled up with a thick paperback, oblivious to anyone but the characters in her story. I smiled to myself and thought, “She’s my people.”

OlderWomanI got my shots, enjoyed 20 minutes of uninterrupted reading, and walked outside to my car. On the way, I saw an attractive, well-dressed woman in her fifties perched on the hood of her lime green car. Her knees were drawn up to her chest as she basked in the sun and talked on her phone with a relaxed, lazy drawl. And I smiled to myself for the second time in half an hour, again thinking, “She’s my people.”

The sixteen-year-old with her paperback was me nearly two decades ago, and I imagine the woman on hood of her car is a portrait of Authentically Aurora in another two decades. These are my girls. These are my people.

Authentically Introverted Aurora

Hold My Heart – Part II

FullSizeRender (10)When I went out of town for a weekend with my sisters, the constant chimes of incoming text messages from Cory was a great source of entertainment for them. “Ooh, what did he say this time?!”

Sometimes it was a light-hearted, flirtatious text or an innocent comment about his day of lectures. Cory would tell me what he was learning about in med school or send me selfies of himself wearing his stethoscope on his way to clinic.

One rainy afternoon while he studied, Cory sent a text saying he wished he had a snuggle buddy. I wrote back, “It’s a good thing I’m out of town or you just might end up with one! 😉 ”

His reply:”I fail to see how this is a ‘good thing’ 😉 ”

Cory told me later that his puppy Stout had stood in for me as a snuggle buddy, and “Stout says you owe him belly rubs.” Aww.

Partway through the weekend, my younger sister got a deep gash on her back that required us to take her to the emergency room (long story, but she’s okay). I kept Cory abreast of the situation and, once everything was settled, he sent this text: “If only this happened a couple years later and I was there. I’d suture her right up. 🙂 ”

I know. Wish you were here 🙂

Just for suturing? 😉

Hahaha… I plead the fifth 😉

Come on. Tell me the truth. 😉

The truth is… I don’t know.

I mean, I know what I want, but I also know what I WANT 

Do you wish you were here?

For something other than suturing?

I might. 😉

……. 🙂

You’re a fantastic kisser by the way.

Haha thanks. So are you. One of the best ever, in fact.

You’re just saying that.

“False,” I texted back, face flushed from his admission. “When some people kiss, they are takers. You are a giver in the way you kiss, and it changes everything.” And it did.

Occasionally, Cory would lead us into a more serious conversation. At one point, he asked me, “What are you good at? Besides dancing, singing, kissing and the ‘come hither’ look?”

I smiled to myself before I typed back, “Guess you’ll have to stick around and find out!”

But he legitimately wanted an answer. “Come on. what is something you are passionate about and that you consider yourself good at?”

After I answered (citing primarily music and other artistic skills), he said simply, “Tell me a secret.”

I admitted to eating straight out of the peanut butter jar, and Cory said that he drinks milk straight from the jug. I don’t know how to parallel park, and Cory secretly loves HGTV. The last secret I shared was: “Kissing in the rain is on my list of life goals.”

“I’ve done that… It’s amazing.. You know it’s been raining all day? 😉 ” He never missed an opportunity to flirt. And my heart never missed the opportunity to flip-flop.

Religion also started to come up a lot more during that weekend away. I’d known from that first night we went swing dancing that Cory and I needed to talk about his Universalist leanings and tendency to bring Buddhist and other principles into his so-called Christian doctrine, but I wanted to approach the topic with care. Fortunately, Cory initiated bringing up our faith differences during one of our evening phone conversations.

Cory shared with me that he considers himself a Christian – that he believes Jesus died and rose from the dead as an atoning sacrifice for his sins – but he also thinks that all gods are the same god; that God reaches different people groups in different forms. I’ve heard this argument countless times, so I went right into Jesus’s declaration that He is “the Way, the Truth and the Life” and statement of, “No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Cory was ready for that argument and told me that he is of the opinion that Jesus himself wasn’t the only way to a right relationship with God, but that Jesus’s way of living – loving others and exercising servant leadership – is the way to salvation. “When Jesus talks about being the Way and saying that no one comes to the Father except through him,” Cory explained, “He’s talking about, not himself in particular, but his way of living. If we live like Jesus did and love other people, that is how we get into heaven.”

I was dumbfounded. Cory is a brilliant man. He’s intelligent, educated, articulate, perceptive, insightful and someone who also has a longing to live well, love deeply and make a positive impact in the world. So how such a man could be so blinded to the beautiful simplicity of the Gospel was beyond my comprehension. I mentioned John 1:29, Romans 10:9 and other verses that clearly state faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus himself as the method of salvation, but Cory wasn’t having it.

I tried to explain Ephesians 2 – that we are saved by grace through faith, not by works so that no one can boast about “earning” their salvation – and Cory countered with James 2, that faith without works is dead. I explained that the Apostle Paul and James had the same viewpoint but came at it from different angles as a result of their audiences. James, writing to a Jewish audience, reminded Jewish followers of Jesus that although they were no longer under the Mosaic Law, if their faith was genuine, that faith would be evidenced by living rightly. Paul, on the other hand, wrote to a Gentile audience who needed to hear that they were not subjected to the traditional Jewish laws in order to enter into the family of God; they were saved purely by the grace of God when they placed their faith and trust in Jesus’s sacrifice on their behalf.

Cory and I are both competitive, intelligent, passionate people, so although we each tried to respect the other person, the conversation soon began to get rather charged, and we agreed to table the discussion for another time.

We briefly sent light-hearted, humorous texts to ease the mood; then Cory took us right back to a heavy topic: “I hate to change the subject to something less smiley… But I don’t think I ever heard your insight into my situation with Mary, and I would actually really value your input.”

Ugh. Did he really want to talk about his ex-fiance? I’d told him about my own broken engagement and had, at the time, been enthusiastic about sharing my journey and the lessons I learned from that season. But as much as Cory and I had bonded emotionally of late, it hurt to have her brought up. I could tell he still had feelings for her.

Nevertheless, I wrote back, “Okay. I would be happy to share my insight, but only if you really want to hear it and only if we discuss it in person.”

“I really want to hear it. But I’m impatient and you’re far away. Haha.”

I told him I could try to call him later. Then we had a long break between texts while I spent time with my sisters and tried to emotionally distance myself from the conversation for purposes of my own preservation. When I eventually checked my phone again, I had another text from Cory: “I’d still love to text if you want. 🙂 I get a general, nonspecific good feeling from talking to you.”

That made me smile. He enjoyed my company, even if his heart was spoken for. And I soon discovered just how spoken for his heart really was.

Over the next few days, I discovered that Cory and his ex-fiance were still talking on a weekly basis. I’d known Cory wasn’t healed from his broken engagement to Mary, but I hadn’t realized they were still in communication. “What’s the purpose of that?” I asked him. “Is that healthy for you?”

Only then did I find out that he is driving to see her over Christmas, with the intent of winning her back. He’s taking Stout with him (it turns out Stout is a dog they got together as a couple). And this Christmas visit is the reason he’s been studying so hard and working out so much. He is a man on a mission to win back the love of his life. And that love of his life is not me.

Their relationship is doomed to fail. Even if they do get back together over Christmas, their relationship will not last. They each have three years of med school left and are both stubbornly staying at their respective med schools in states 1,600 miles apart. They are both career driven, already have trust issues and now a broken engagement behind them.

Could they make it work? It’s possible. But I have serious doubts that three more years of long distance – with all this baggage as the foundation – is going to result in a lasting, happy marriage, especially considering how much of their relationship was physical in nature. I think it would be better for Cory to escape the situation now and begin the healing process.

I don’t think Cory’s Christmas courtship is going to end with them getting back together. And frankly, it would be better for Cory if it didn’t. But for my sake – for the sake of my poor, foolish, battered heart – I hope it does. Because then, maybe, I will stop torturing myself pining for a man I know will never be mine. 

Authentically Aurora

Problematic Dreams – Part IV

Car Kiss

Cory couldn’t dance because of the fresh tattoo on his foot, and Noelle wasn’t dancing much either, probably due to a combination of not knowing any of the other dancers and because she would rather stay at the table and socialize with Cory anyway.

So I went out on the dance floor alone, dancing a few songs in a row with various partners before making my way back to our table to ask Cory and Noelle if they’d like to go do something else. Both of them suggested going for drinks somewhere, so we looked up wine bars nearby. The most promising one, a quaint wine dive with mid-range pricing, was about three-quarters of a block away.

I started to ask if we wanted to walk or drive, but then I looked down at Cory’s foot where his Sperrys were already starting to chafe the tender skin around his new tattoo. “Do you guys want to walk or — oh, I forgot, we have a gimp with us,” I said in a teasing voice, nudging Cory with my shoulder playfully.

“Hey, now!” he exclaimed in an equally playful voice. “Just because you said that, we’re walking,” he stated emphatically with a nod and a mock serious face. We all laughed, and I – looking out for him – said, “No, really. We can drive. I was just giving you a hard time.”

Cory raised his eyebrows at me. “I know a challenge when I hear one. We are walking!” I hadn’t realized how stubborn this man was but, given all I’d already discovered about his passion, intensity, pride and drive to become a surgeon, I shouldn’t have been surprised.

It actually was a nice night out – a bit humid, but not too hot and not too cold. Since we’re all music lovers, we started talking about our favorite composers. Cory definitely favors German composers, and I listed a few French composers I love (e.g. Debussy), but Chopin was the unanimous favorite for piano compositions.

Cory was a Music major in college before going to do his prereqs for med school, so his knowledge of music history vastly outweighed that of Noelle and me. When Cory mentioned a composer we didn’t know, he would inevitably start belting out some of their music, showing off both his knowledge and his phenomenal voice.

As we neared the wine dive, we all started singing Broadway numbers, harmonizing as we went, walking in a single line when the sidewalk narrowed and fanning out as it widened. Once inside, we settled at a tiny round table near a window, lit by a single candle and surrounded by beautifully carved wooden paneling. The place was beautiful – cozy and romantic but also earthy and rustic, with an air of class and elegance.

Cory asked me what I like to drink, and I told him that my favorite is Riesling. I hadn’t realized he was going to go order for me until he nodded, stood, and looked to Noelle, who shrugged and admitted, “I’m not a wine connoisseur; I’ll have whatever she’s having.”

A few moments later, Cory returned from the beautifully polished mahogany bar with two glasses of Riesling and one Malbec. I typically don’t like reds, but Cory let me try a sip of his, and it was surprisingly good. But that may have just been the influence of his company.

All throughout conversation, although the three of us were talking, Cory continued to look deeply into my eyes as though he was trying to read my unspoken – and often, unbidden – thoughts. I suspect he saw more than I meant for him to, especially as I drained my wine glass. He’s a handsome, intelligent, talented, passionate and thoughtful doctor-to-be who spent hours opening up, being emotionally vulnerable and connecting with me. With us, I reminded myself.

At one point during the evening, Noelle got up to go to the bathroom. The moment she left the table, Cory turned the full force of his gaze on me, seeming to drink in the sight of me, unhindered in his admiration now that we were without an audience. I hadn’t realized he had been dampening his intensity until Noelle was gone and I felt the shift in him.

We sat in silence just looking into each other’s eyes for a few moments. It was a comfortable silence, sitting there by candlelight, just enjoying the presence of one another.

“I could get lost in your eyes,” Cory murmured quietly to me, still studying my face.

I felt my face get hot, and I smiled shyly.

“I could just sit here, looking into your eyes for hours,” he went on. “You have the most beautiful eyes. Actually,” he smiled, “They were the first thing I noticed about you when you walked up at the talent show. They’re stunning – and so expressive. You gave me a look that night that I couldn’t get out of my head for days. I even went on and on about it to my friend Alexa after the show, trying to decipher what it meant and talking about your eyes and how beautiful they are until she got jealous, and I had to stop. I kept telling her, ‘There was something about her eyes…'”

Just then, Noelle came back from the bathroom, and Cory trailed off mid-sentence. We hadn’t noticed her approach, and I suspect she felt the shift in the mood and intensity. I started trying to encourage flirtation between the two of them again. Help, help, help.

As the evening wore on and Cory finished his third glass of wine, he started to really open up – even more than before. He shared with Noelle some of the things he had already told me, like the meaningful significance of each of his tattoos, but he went into more detail this time, telling stories about his parents’ divorce when he was a young child. And how they’re both on their fourth marriages. And how his mom is an alcoholic with undiagnosed bipolar disorder who was abusive when he was a boy.

He shared some other stories from his childhood too painful, graphic and personal for me to rename here, but suffice it to say that Cory has walked through some of the darkest experiences possible this side of death, but rather than feeling sorry for him, I admired him even as my heart went out to him. He has done so well for himself, considering all he has been through.

Eventually midnight rolled around, and we agreed to call it a night. We walked the mile back toward where our cars were parked, and we dropped Noelle off at her car first, hugging her goodnight before Cory and I made our way back to my BMW.

As before, Cory came over to the driver side of my car to open the driver door for me, but as I started to pull out my keys to unlock it, Cory turned toward me from where he stood between me and the driver door. “Can I do something impulsive?” he asked.

I dropped my keys back into my purse, startled, and the world started going in slow motion. Cory’s stance was both confident and timid. He didn’t know what I would say. I knew what he was asking, and in the back of my mind, I knew it was a terrible idea, but he was a hurting, attractive man who had just spent the past few hours pouring his heart out to me about very emotional, intimate things, and besides, another voice rationalized, it’s just a kiss, and I felt my head nod.

Without further encouragement, Cory slipped one hand behind my head and another around my waist, pulling me to him, where he leaned resting against my BMW.

His lips met mine, gently at first, and then more demanding. We both started smiling as we pulled away, and I heard the surprise in Cory’s voice when he whispered, “You’re a good kisser!”

I laughed, and he picked me up effortlessly, turned us around, and set me up on top of the trunk of my car before burying his hands in my hair again…

I’m currently working on a mashup for our a cappella group, and I suspect it doesn’t take much imagination to determine my inspiration.

Head in the clouds, got no weight on my shoulders
I should be wiser and realize that I’ve got
One less problem without you
I got one less, one less problem

He’s so tall and handsome as hell
He’s so bad but he does it so well
I can see the end as it begins
My one condition is:

Say you’ll remember me
Standing in a nice dress, staring at the sunset babe
Red lips and rosy cheeks
Say you’ll see me again even if it’s just in your wildest dreams
Say you’ll see me again… even if it’s just pretend.

Authentically Aurora

Problematic Dreams – Part II

Reading in bed

Our “Pitch Perfect-esque” a cappella group has all of our members’ names listed on our website, so I assume that’s how Corythe musically proficient doctor-to-be – found me on Facebook.

The day after the talent show, I had a friend request waiting from him, and that was soon followed up by a private message asking me about my photography website. “Are the photos on your site all taken by you? Because they are freakin’ amazing.”

I replied back, and we moved on from talking about photography to music to language and literature. Cory told me more about his Triathlon training; then about his family. We moved back to music, agreeing on the most desirable opera to see in town during this year’s season. For a moment, I thought he might ask me to go with him, but he suddenly broke the flow of our conversation with: “Hard to go wrong with Russian composers. Hey, text me. Burning up data. Haha.” And he gave me his phone number.

Pausing briefly (“Oh gosh. Is this a good idea? Do I really want to get into this? Ugh. Stop over-analyzing. It’s just text messaging.”), I sent Cory a quick text so that he’d have my number, too. I suspected that burning up data was not the sole reason for the change of communication method. Sure enough, the tone of the conversation quickly turned more flirtatious.

After a few obligatory questions back and forth about work and school, Cory asked, “So, how do you feel about tattoos?”

My reply: “Hmmm. I’m not sure I have a strong opinion.” I made a quick assumption. “Where and how many? :)”

My assumption proved accurate. Cory just got his fifth tattoo and, as for the locations of the first four: “You could see all of them if I take off my shirt. ;)”

Before long, he actually sent me a shirtless photo of himself laying in bed with a book, along with the caption: “All I’m missing is a cup of coffee and a cuddle buddy.” Oh man. Was that an invitation? 

I redirected us to a safer topic (and one of my personal favorites): personality types. Once we determined one another’s Myers-Briggs types (Cory’s an ENFJ), any time I got too logical in response to his touchy-feeliness, he’d send me a teasing text, “Your T is showing, lol ;)”

Later in the week, I invited the rest of my a cappella group to go swing dancing with me. We’d been talking about doing it for a while, and I was ready to make it happen. After a quick conversation with Noelle, I decided to extend the invite to Cory, too. It would be a great way for him to start getting to know some of our members before his audition.

Cory seemed interested in going, but he had an evening lecture on campus that he needed to attend. He asked in a text, “Are you driving there?”

“Yep. Need a ride home after?” I thought he might be planning to take public transportation to the swing dancing venue.

“I was actually going to ask if you wanted to meet my dog and pick me up from med school and swing by my place? That would expedite things.” He explained that he needed to change after class; then also feed and walk his dog, Stout (named for the dark beer).

“He’s a great snuggler. :)” Cory added when I hesitated in responding to his text.

Pushing down my tendency to over-think things, I sent back a quick reply. “Where and when should I pick you up?” After hearing back from him with details, I sent one more text:

“On my way”, adding a private note to myself: Hopefully I don’t regret this.

Authentically Aurora

Carriers of Hope

Isn’t it funny the things we remember? If you look back across the years of your life, I’d be willing to bet there are certain statements or conversations that you remember vividly; like you’re standing back in that same room with that same person, experiencing all the same sights and smells and emotions of the moment.

In the past few weeks, I’ve had three encounters that I can already tell are all going to become some of those vividly remembered moments for me.

I was blessed to grow up in the same house my entire life, and my parents still live in that house, so I have kept the same family doctor for, you know, a couple of decades. I recently went to him for a check up, and he heard for the first time about my broken engagement. Unfortunately for him, I was feeling particularly emotional that day (stupid female hormones), so I started crying right there on the examination table.

Caring doctorInstead of balking at my tears like I’d expect most fifty-something men to do, Dr. Stephens looked me right in the eye and said gently but with conviction, “You are destined for greatness. You are a rare woman, and it is going to take an equally rare man to compliment you. You are anything but ordinary, and you are being saved for someone who is equally out of the ordinary.”

Dr. Stephens didn’t say anything to me that I haven’t heard a hundred times from other would-be encouragers, but the way he said it was different. His tone was so intent and full of authority and earnestness that I, for once, really heard the words and believed them – because he believed them.

Between sniffles, I asked cautiously, “How do you know that? I mean, I know I’ve been coming to you for years, but you don’t really know me. We don’t really talk.”

He smiled knowingly and told me,

“I know you. I know where you come from. I know your parents – accomplished, high achievers – and I’ve watched you grow up. I know your story – the decisions you’ve made and the setbacks you’ve faced. You’re not a normal, typical patient, and you never have been. The questions you ask and the expressions that cross your face reveal more than you’d realize. You are not ordinary.

He probably didn’t know (or maybe he did) that I would replay that conversion over and over again during the next few days… until God buoyed me with another unexpected encourager.

As with my primary care physician, I have been going to the same optometrist practice since elementary school, although the particular optometrist I see (no pun intended) changed several years ago when a new doctor was hired on and took over some of the patient base.

Kind OptometristDr. Grant has always had the best bedside manner of any doctor I’ve ever visited. He’s an attractive 30-something with kind eyes and a warm smile. He has a soothing voice, a ready laugh, and is one of those rare people who really hears people when they speak (yes, he’s already married for those of you who were wondering).

Dr. Grant always starts our visits by asking me what’s new in my life. “Did you go on another mission trip this summer?” He’s heard lots of my stories over the years, and he always remembers the details of what makes me who I am. This visit when he asked about my life over the last six months, I told him about the transition period I’m in  (job, church, love life and possibly geography change), downplaying my broken engagement by sandwiching it between the layoffs at work and the “church hopping” I’m doing (as a result of avoiding my ex-fiance at our old church). But Dr. Grant wasn’t fooled. He zeroed right in on the topic that gripped my heart.

He asked how I was holding up, and we talked for a few minutes – with rare authenticity and genuine care on both sides – about the reality of my 2014 so far. I knew Dr. Grant would have a kind and encouraging response, but I was not prepared for the way his answer affected me.

“You know what? You may not want to hear this or even be able to hear it right now, but in a way, you’re lucky. You’ve been protected from marrying a man who had serious issues that would have come out at some point during your marriage. And I know you. You would have honored the commitment you made before God, put on a brave face, and stuck it out in a heartbreaking marriage until he eventually left you anyway.

“But instead, you get to do it all over again – falling in love. The excitement; the newness; the butterflies! Don’t get me wrong; I’m  happily married, but those go away after you’ve been married a few years. You thought that season had passed for you, but you get to do it all over again. And you WILL meet someone and fall in love again. You will.”

As with Dr. Stephens, he spoke with an authority – a knowing; a certainty – that made me believe him, too. I was comforted that he was so perceptive; he knew me so well, saw so clearly into my situation, and offered an assurance in full faith that it would come to pass.

CoffeeLastly, I met a 50-year-old missionary named Ruth for coffee this week. Our paths crossed unexpectedly several days ago, and we forged an immediate bond. She asked to hear my story, and she provided some insight that has helped me change the way I view how God has been working in my life over the past five years through not just one, but two broken engagements of sorts. Ruth told me, with twinkling eyes,

“God has been protecting you. He knew you wouldn’t abandon these men, so He clearly intervened. Just think of how suddenly and unexpectedly both of their hearts were hardened, without either of them even understanding why. Neither one of them was able to give you a real reason.

“God is protecting you, and he’s also softening you. Your heart is so hard and so soft at the same time. It is so tender but so wounded and calloused over, but that will change with time. Just wait.

Authentically Aurora

Date #2 = Running?!?!

Swanky Dinner Date

Tomorrow night I have Date #2 with an attractive doctor I met while out for drinks with friends. Our first date was like something out of a movie. We met after work for dinner at a swanky new restaurant, both dressed in fashionable business attire. I’m not a high maintenance kind of girl, but if I were, I’d probably gush about the farm-to-table hors d’oeuvres, the twinkling chandeliers, the vintage wine selection and fine china.

We were supposed to go out on our second date over the weekend, but my attractive doctor got sick (the irony is not lost on me), so we rescheduled for tomorrow night. He just called to tell me the details, and it’s rather fortunate he wasn’t able to see my face when he disclosed the plan. Because he wanted to go running together.

Running. RUNNING. Just like Nick the Strict. What is wrong with these guys?! It’s not like I live in Colorado or someplace where everyone and their mom is a hiking, biking, spandex-wearing, granola-crunching hippie! I live in what was once dubbed The Fattest City in America, for goodness’ sake!

Is there some Man Code out there I don’t know about where a girl has to display on Date #2 that she is capable of running a sixteen minute 2-mile?! Because I can. But I don’t want to have to prove it to you on our second date.

Ladies, am I alone in this? Are there any of you that think that it would be a good idea to go running for a second date with someone you just met? Because if you’re out there, you should give me a shout so that I can start redirecting my running-obsessed would-be dates toward your cute Lululemon-clad booty.

Authentically Aurora

Speed Dating Rock Star

Surrounded by Guys at Bar

Apparently I am a Speed Dating ROCK STAR.

This past weekend, I was introduced to no less than fourteen questionably eligible bachelors, and when I received my feedback form three days later, guess how many indicated that they wanted to see me again?

You got it. All fourteen.

How is it that, at the office, I get the feedback that I need to work on playing nicely with the other children in the sandbox, but when I go to an event where I have to woo complete strangers, I manage to win over every single one? Then again, maybe these guys were just desperate to find a practice english conversation partner. Or maybe my ridiculously good looks carry more weight at speed dating than in Corporate America. Or both.

Regardless, the important fact is that one of those fourteen interested gentlemen was Victor the Filipino physician with the winning smile and fabulous personality! And he just might have contacted me immediately upon receiving our matches’ contact information. And perhaps asked me on a date. And last night we might have gone to a fancy wine dive and engaged in sparkling conversation over foie gras. After all, there were no Frenchmen represented at our ‘Round the World speed dating!

Authentically Aurora

Around the World in 80 Minutes

Love Around the World

Last night I attended my first speed dating event, put on by an organization that either does great diversity marketing or simply happens to be in a city full of transplants looking to meet new people. I didn’t have my passport but seemingly went around the world in 80 minutes nonetheless.

In just over an hour, I met men from Venezuela, Poland, Nigeria, Pakistan, Mongolia and more! Unfortunately, I contracted proverbial travelers’ diarrhea from the nauseating conversations that transpired.

When the Colombian architect sat down, his first comment was, “You’re hot.” He proceeded to stare at my chest and tell me that I should date him. “Go out with me,” he urged. Maybe if I were into creepers, I’d give him my blueprints.

The American IT technician’s lead-off question was, “What’s your favorite movie?” After I told him, I returned the question. He stared blankly at his bottle of hard cider for a moment before looking back at me and saying, “I think I’ve had too much to drink. I can’t think of any movie titles.” I hope his AppleScript is better than his AppleSip.

The gentleman from India really liked my earrings. And my dress. And my shoes. In fact, I think he was too busy admiring the contents of my closet to bother coming out of his, so to speak.

I don’t know much of anything about the Mongolian man because I couldn’t understand his english.

The Project Manager from Pakistan was actually very intelligent and well spoken, but I was not physically attracted to him. We share a love of ballroom dancing, but he also talked a lot about yoga and meditation, so I got the impression he practiced Buddhism, and marrying a fellow Christian is important to me. Apparently the reservations were not mutual because he made a beeline for me as soon as the event was over.

“In case it wasn’t obvious,” he smiled at me, which made his oversized ears lift a bit, “I really like you a lot and would love to get to know you better.” He looked so hopeful that I hated to crush his spirits, but the attraction just wasn’t there for me. His nose made made him look like Dr. Gru from Despicable Me, so I imagined him speaking in a Hungarian accent, and that made me feel better.

I figured he would appreciate having a viable reason for being let down, so I explained that my Christian faith is important to me. His response, surprisingly, was that he considers himself Christian. When he dated a Catholic girl, he went to Mass with her, and he recently dated a Baptist and attended services with her. This Pakistani claimed that he didn’t discriminate and “would be happy to raise [his] children in a Christian home” if that’s what I wanted. He didn’t understand that I want a man who has an intrinsic desire to have a relationship with Jesus Christ rather than someone who just follows his woman wherever she wants to go.

Interestingly, it was the Filipino who caught my attention. He had one of those smiles that lights up a room, and he just finished residency and works as a physician at a nearby hospital. We had great personality chemistry, and he made me laugh nonstop during our allotted five minutes together. His name – Victor – was the only one I circled on my feedback form. I’ll know in three days if he was entranced by me as I was by him. I’m hoping it’s “blue skies ahead” for our cross-cultural romance!

Authentically Aurora