Finding Flynn – Part II

Campfire 2Sitting around the campfire, I was soon introduced to the young, curly haired girl who was so possessive of Flynn. Her name is Patricia, and she and Flynn have been dating for eight months. I’m not a boyfriend stealer, so I made a conscious decision to keep my distance from him, although that was difficult in a group of just twelve people sharing a common campsite.

As women, when we become jealous of other women, we have a tendency to dehumanize them so that we are better able to focus on their flaws. Beth Moore writes in her book “So Long, Insecurity” (which I highly recommend):

“In order to nurse a rival mentality, we… view our competitor through a one-dimensional lens. She is not a person. She is a contender… It’s easier to despise her that way. If she got the promotion we sought, she’s the embodiment of selfish ambition… If she’s more attractive than we feel, she’s only skin deep. We can’t fathom that she’s ever been betrayed or brokenhearted… When we go against the grain of our human nature and determine to personalize someone instead, rivalry loses its bedding ground.”

So I decided to try to get to know Patricia in order to personalize her and stop viewing her as a rival. After all, she already has the guy. But Patricia didn’t seem very interested in getting to know me. In fact, she acted standoffish toward everyone except Flynn. It would seem that Patricia was only there for her boyfriend; not to make other friends.

SurvivorFlynn had put together a Survivor role playing game where we were divided into three teams and each given different supplies. We had to make judgement calls as a team on whether we were going to stay at our crash site or try to walk to civilization. Flynn had planned for a real-world element as well, in which – for example – we had to shoot a tangible bow and arrow set to determine if we successfully hunted down food for that day.

I am not-so-secretly a sci-fi geek and lover of RPGs and strategy games in general (hello! INTJ = master strategist!), so I got really into the game. In fact, my team won. But 25-year-old Patricia spent the entire game sequence complaining about how boring her boyfriend’s game was and how unrealistic his survival scenarios were.

Later, when Flynn tried to stoke the campfire and stirred up mostly smoke due to the recent rain, Patricia criticized him, “Come on, I thought you were an Army ranger.” Watching them together was painful, not because of my attraction to Flynn, but primarily because of how uncomfortable is it to observe a woman publicly ridicule her man.

Over the next 48 hours of the camping trip, Patricia frequently made comments alluding to her desire for Flynn to propose. In one instance, Flynn joked that she is expensive to date because she is always hungry. Patricia retorted, “Yeah, you buy me lots of food, but what I’d really like is something sparkly.” She wiggled the fingers of her left hand.

Later, Flynn told the group about his family in Louisiana (why am I always attracted to Louisiana boys?!) and how he wished he had family locally. Patricia jumped in, “You could have a great set of in-laws in town any time you wanted to seal the deal.” Everyone around the campfire discretely raised their eyebrows at one another.

Still later, when the group was talking about what each person does for a living, Patricia admitted that she’s unemployed and living with her parents. But she also said unashamedly that she’s not in a hurry to get a job since she probably wouldn’t need it for long anyway. She smiled coyly at Flynn, her 34-year-old mechanical engineer and sugar daddy. Gag me.

How to Lose a Guy in One Week

Day 1: Pick a man 9 years older and far more mature than you are. Display your immaturity at every possible opportunity.

Day 2: Make no effort at all to build relationships with any of his friends. Be clingy and obsessed with him. Have no identity of your own.

Day 3: Complain constantly. The more whining, the better.

Day 4: Make fun of his interests and hobbies. Insist that he stops all of his lame hobbies and picks up yours instead. Don’t compromise.

Day 5: Drain his bank account by making no effort to get a job and insisting that your parents are letting you stay at home, so he needs to cover all the rest of your expenses. State openly that you have no intention of contributing financially to the relationship, either now or in the future; either in tangible dollars or sweat equity.

Day 6: Disrespect him publicly, questioning his masculinity and capability, especially in front of his friends.

Day 7: Make frequent mention of your family, specifically to cite them as his future in-laws. Be sure to couple this with pointed comments about wanting and expecting an engagement ring soon. The pushier, the better.

With this winning combination, you too can Lose a Guy in One Week!

Authentically Aurora

Finding Flynn – Part I

I went on a camping trip this past weekend. The weather was perfect – 60s and 70s – and I went almost exclusively with complete strangers, which was also perfect (strangers have no expectations about who I am or how I should act, so I often – especially of late – feel freer to be myself with strangers than friends).

I ran into an old acquaintance at a ministry banquet last week, and he invited me to his church’s camping trip for their “Singles” Sunday school class. As a part of my self-imposed goal to attend at least one social event per week, I agreed to go. So on Friday I was assigned to a carpool group, showed up at the agreed-upon apartment at the agreed-upon time of 5:30 pm and was still standing in the parking lot at 6:30 pm (a display of the typical lack of punctuality demonstrated by singles of “Generation Me”). Nevertheless, we had an enjoyable drive into the countryside as I exchanged witty banter with the two nerds I found myself wedged between in the back seat of an ancient Toyota Corolla (and I use the term “nerds” affectionately).

Our carpool group eventually made it out to the campsite around 8:30 pm and found the rest of our group already gathered around a roaring campfire. Insight into my brain: I wish I didn’t do this, but if I’m honest with myself, in my singleness I tend to scan new groups of people for their most eligible bachelor. In this instance, he wasn’t hard to find.

Angular features highlighted by the flickering fire, his defined jawline was rimmed with a dark five o’clock shadow. His waterfall haircut grazed his forehead as he spoke with animation, and he radiated an aura of leadership. As conversaion progressed, I discovered that he was the group’s bible study leader and had a playful demeanor with a dry sense of humor.

Flynn RiderHe reminded me a lot of Flynn Rider, the male protagonist in “Tangled” and my favorite Disney prince. Flynn is a dashing, swashbuckling hero with a sense of adventure and flair for the sarcastic. Not everyone agrees with me, but I peg Flynn for an ENFP. For those of you not familiar with Myers Briggs, the ENFP is an extroverted, intuitive personality type who likes flexibility and makes decisions based on gut feelings or emotions. I personally am an INTJ. That means that I recharge by being alone, am intuitive, enjoy structure and am a rational decision maker.

The ENFP/INTJ combination is said to be one of the most perfect personality matches from a romantic standpoint. Some of the most legendary love stories are between an ENFP and INTJ because the playfulness of the ENFP balances the intensity of the INTJ. Think Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy of “Pride and Prejudice.” Epic.

In addition to being a ridiculously attractive leader of men, my real life Flynn is also a 34-year-old mechanical engineer and former Army Ranger who plays acoustic guitar. At first glance, he’s everything I’ve ever wanted. Unfortunately, just as I asked myself, “Is this guy for real?”, I discovered that yes, he is, but so was the young, curly haired girl who pranced out of her tent, plopped down in his lap and wrapped her arms possessively around his neck.

Figures.

Authentically Aurora

“Princess Almond Eyes” the Stoic

It’s a wonder I don’t get stopped by airport security more often, because apparently all Middle Eastern men take one look at me and assume that I, too, am from the Middle East. Either that or, “You look like you are from my country” is the most popular pick up line from that region of the world.

Col MustardThree weeks ago, it was the Lebanese man by the milk cartons in the grocery store. Ten minutes ago, it was an Iranian man by the elevators in my office building. Who will it be next week – Colonel Mustafa with the candlestick in the library?

I get it, people. I have almond eyes and a long, regal nose. But all my ancestry points to Germany and Great Britain, not India (yes, I get that one, too).

I asked the Iranian man if it was my nose that made him think I was from his country (my schnoz is usually the culprit). Surprisingly, he said it was my eyes coupled with my voice. When he’d held the door open for me and I had thanked him, he said that my voice was “low, flat and even”.

Whatever, dude. That’s not my inner Iranian. It’s my INTJ stoicism. Genetically, I may be European, but socially, I’m all Vulcan.

Authentically Aurora

Dia De Los Muertos

Photography is a great hobby for introverts. Hiding behind my camera and having an excuse not to talk to anyone? Yes, please.

Family vacation with crazy Uncle Mike? Sorry, I’m too busy taking photos of this breathtaking landscape to entertain your ramblings about the new flavor of Cheetos you invented by spilling salsa on yourself while watching reruns of “Frasier”.  

Clingy acquaintance’s bridal shower? Yes, I would love to hear all about how many hours you spent putting together those adorable centerpieces, but I need to step into the other room so I can capture all the details of your special day!

A photo-journalistic style is especially nice because then I don’t even have to talk to the subjects of my photos. I can just creepily zoom in on their conversations and click away. It’s fabulous. Sure, I might sound like a psychopath in describing my actions, but at the awkward coworker’s Halloween party, I just seem like that sweet girl who is selflessly collecting memorable moments to share with everyone else later. Via email, of course. No human interaction required.

This weekend, I spent four hours with fellow photographers, models and makeup artists at a Dia De Los Muertos photo shoot. Unfortunately, several of these other artists somehow got the impression that I wanted to talk to them. Fortunately, I had my handy dandy camera (read: social barrier) with me, so I managed to only exchange about ten sentences with other human beings during these four hours. Having models posing as dead ancestors didn’t hurt, either. Dead men tell no tales… or really engage in any semblance of conversation. Just the way I like it.

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Authentically Aurora

Adventures of an Introvert

Alaska log cabinI don’t want to disdain the general public. I really don’t. I want to be a kinder, gentler version of myself. But people are generally so irritating and lacking in both situational awareness and common courtesy that I can’t help but want to move to a log cabin in Alaska and cloister myself from society with nothing to keep me company but books and hot chocolate.

I went down to the office cafeteria for lunch today. That was my first mistake. I should have known better than to leave the safety and comfort of my solitary cubicle.

I got into the salad bar line behind an elderly Chinese man who apparently thinks the best way to communicate what you want on your salad is to stick your fingers into each of the topping choices as you point to them. You know those slanted, clear glass walls that are supposed to act as germ barriers in buffet lines? Well the one in our cafe has about a 12″ gap along the bottom – just enough for Mr. “Free-E.coli-For-Everyone!” to stretch his hand underneath to point very specifically at which vegetable he wants added to his salad next.

DisgustedWhile I was trying not to make this face at his dandruff covered fingernails in my cucumber slices, the girl behind me kept bumping into me. At first, I thought she must be looking down at her cell phone and not paying attention to where she was going. But the fourth time her hand grazed my buttocks, I turned around and discovered that there was no cell phone; she’s just one of those people whose “personal space bubble” is essentially nonexistent.

Personal spaceIt’s true that I have a very firm, round derriere, but that is not an open invitation to cop a feel. So the fifth time she bumped into me and murmured, “Sorry,” I just about turned around and said, “Don’t be sorry. Either back it up or man up and ask for my number.”

I joke about her trying to touch me intentionally, but the sad part is, she wasn’t actually that sly. She was just severely impaired in regard to spacial relations.

I finally got to the cash register, paid an exorbitant amount for my dressing-saturated salad, and escaped back to my desk after being run into by another oblivious man and sharing the elevator with a woman who spoke so loudly that she caused my ears physical pain.

Tomorrow, I’m bringing my lunch.

Authentically Aurora