I am an ENFP. For those of you who don’t know what that means, it’s a personality type: Extroverted Intuitive Feeling Perceiving, or for short, “The Champion.” If you want a full description of my personality you can find it here: http://www.keirsey.com/4temps/champion.asp
Unlike lactose intolerance, which also describes me pretty well, It’s pretty rare (roughly 3% of the population), so I was excited when this guy (I’ll call him ENFP) messaged me saying that he was also an ENFP. Additionally, he was perfectly attractive and totally my type. Tall, dark, curly hair and went to NYU. He was in my graduating class, and had studied a similar, more theoretical approach to my undergraduate major.
It was Halloween weekend. The one where Al Roker failed us all personally and New York was covered in a foot of snow. ENFP and I had been texting on and off for over a week without committing to a low stakes drink or afternoon coffee. Late Saturday night when all former plans of making it out of Brooklyn seemed to exhausting due to the snow, I texted him and convinced him to meet me at a neighborhood bar, inviting him to “wear a costume!”
I asked myself, “what could I wear that would exemplify my sense of humor, my interests, my quirky laid-back charm?” I had already put together a pretty fantastic “Maggie Lizer” from Arrested Development. She’s the blind and pregnant prosecutor who turns out to be faking both. I figured that he probably wouldn’t get it or appreciate it, but if he did, we were soul mates and I wanted to take that chance.
The costume consisted of dark glasses, an H&M suit, briefcase, and pregnancy belly. What’s that you say? Wearing a pregnancy belly is a sure-fire way to freak the hell out of a guy on a first blind date? Sure it is, but like I said before, if he understood the joke and appreciated my costume effort we would a) be soulmates and b) have a great story to tell our grandkids when they asked us how we met. No matter the outcome, it promised to be hilarious.
I showed up at the bar a few minutes early. There was a great vibe going on, everyone was in fun costumes, dancing around, having a great time. I stood by the door and checked every few seconds to see if a tall, dark, curly-haired dude was traipsing in behind me. After about 15 minutes he walked through the door. He looked around. He pulled out his phone. I knew it was him, but Maggie Lizer pretends to be blind, and I was fiercely committed to the bit. A second later my phone chimed, I pulled it out and he stared at me. Surely, he was astounded by the genius of my costume.
I looked around (as if I was blind) reached my hand out and shook his, “Maggie Lizer. As in, Maggie Lies her ass off.”
Crickets. Well, in this case, drunken reveling.
“Somebody laughed at that once. I don’t know why I keep repeating it.”
“Yeah. You should probably put that one away.” He responded in a monotone.
Then we just kind of stared at each other for a while.
“Do you want to get a drink?” I asked.
“Not really. It’s too crowded. When I get a drink I like to be able to enjoy it. Not have to swim through people.”
“Oh, okay, well, we can go somewhere else if you want.” I said.
I looked around. People seemed to be having fun. Drinking, dancing, Wario puked on himself in the distance.
“Do you want to go somewhere else?” I asked.
“If you do. I don’t care.”
I could already tell this was going to be a nightmare, but I couldn’t just leave. He walked all the way from Crown Heights.
“Okay. Let’s go.”
I led him out the door to another bar down the street. It was also crowded but not insanely so. He ordered a PBR. “Do you want something?” He asked. Religiously clinging to the bit, I got a soda water.
As we sat there, the conversation stuttered forward like the poor saps outside trudging through the snow. He didn’t really seem interested in asking me questions, or following up on statements, or really talking at all. I was hooked. I was going to get to the bottom of this guy! I also thought maybe I had scared him off because he thought I was actually pregnant.
“Just so you know, this is a costume. This is fake, I’m not actually pregnant!” I laughed at him.
“Oh. I didn’t even notice. “
What? He didn’t notice that I looked like I was carrying twins? People had given up their seats to me on the subway in this belly! They held the elevator! Someone offered me a peanut butter and pickle sandwich! What was he looking at this whole time? Grasping at straws to find something, anything at all to make a connection with this guy, I called back a conversation we had had earlier on OkCupid about how he didn’t have many friends.
“So why don’t you have any friends?” I joked.
“Well, they either moved away. Or they died.”
“Oh. I’m sorry. They died?”
“My best friend died last year. I think my ex killed her.” He leaned conspiratorially, “they said it was an overdose, but I saw pictures from that night and I have my theories.”
“God, I’m so sorry. That’s crazy.” I managed to respond.
In that moment I was genuinely scared that I might be about to experience the inside of a body bag. My so-intense-it’s-kind-of-pathetic desire to make a connection with another human being was going to get me killed. I lived alone, who would know I was missing? Who would feed my dog? I surreptitiously got out my phone and texted my neighbor hoping that he was home and that he could come get me out of this mess. And also feed my dog.
We’d only been there for about 5 minutes and if there is anything I’ve learned from years of backbreaking serial killer research (mostly episodes of Cold Case), it is that A) you can’t let on that you think the person is going to murder you and B) Stall. I had to continue the conversation for at least another 20 minutes and then hopefully my friend would show up at the bar and we would run.
He wasn’t too helpful about keeping the flow of the conversation going, so I just kept asking him questions. He revealed that his parents had recently divorced, his dad went to jail for trespassing on his house after it was foreclosed upon, he liked warehouse parties and taking ecstasy. He used to have a dog. I thought I was doing pretty well.
“Do you ever answer your own questions?” He barked.
I wanted to say, “uh, yeah, sure. If you asked me, I would answer.” Or something more insulting, but I didn’t want to encourage him to murder me. I checked my phone again. Nothing. At this point he got out his phone too.
“I’m gonna meet some friends in Manhattan.” He responded.
Great! Friends. Probably imaginary friends, but at least I wasn’t getting murdered tonight! “Ok. Well, nice to meet you. Have a good night.”
I paid for my soda water and bolted out into the sleet, checking over my shoulder that he wasn’t following me. Once I got home I decided the best thing to do was delete my OkCupid account, eat an entire pint of salted caramel ice cream (I was so happy to be alive I could deal with the gastrointestinal consequences), and cuddle up on my couch with “American Psycho” (more research). About 10 minutes into the movie I got a text that read:
“That was fun! But you’re totally not my type.”
I did not text him back.