ISFJ

Clunk. Clunk, clunk, clunk. That would be the sound of my head, banging against my apartment building’s heavy wooden door at 10:30pm the other night.

Could I have been any more awkward there, at the end?

I turned to trudge up the stairs — bone-weary at this point, because TEN-THIRTY PMand cast a half exasperated, half amused look at my reflection in the mirror across the hall. Oh excellent, I thought. Curls gone crazy.

The person I want to be would have taken in only my red lips and rosy cheeks, flushed from the cold and something else I’m not brave enough to name just yet.

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It was a good date, I thought. Minus the last thirty minutes I squandered by babbling and borderline over sharing, in a brilliant demonstration of everything I’ve learned not to do over the last six weeks. Let’s just go ahead and list ALL of our shortcomings and ALL of our quirks and ALL of our insecurities, why don’t we? On the very first date. First and last, you dolt.

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The babbling was prompted by the realization that this was not just a Friday, but a Friday night, and he’d paid and held the door and was currently (very sweetly) walking me home. Presumably right to my doorstep, where my standard Sunday coffee dates never seem to end up.

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I’ve probably done this on purpose. If you agree to meet someone in broad daylight, you see, the possibility of a goodnight kiss is never even put on the table. And so if you are going to be rejected, you will have at least minimized the chance that it’ll be of the harsh and instantaneously humiliating variety. It’s far more likely that it’ll be mild and belated, and, if online dating has taught me anything: typically in the form of a text message that just does not come.

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In case you were wondering: I am aware that I’m coming perilously close to sounding like a seventeen-year-old analyzing her post-prom. And I know that I’m giving away the fact that I don’t have much experience outside of long-term, serious relationships. (Is it just me, or do those relationships have a blessedly short period of I can’t tell whether he likes me or not. I remember the early days always quickly being truncated into one or two memories to fondly tell family and friends.)

I suppose my seriousness shouldn’t come as a surprise. Friday night’s date drove me to take the Myers-Briggs personality test when I got home (and back into my pajamas), and as it turns out, I am an ISFJ. Which apparently means I “take dating seriously and only enter into relationships that have a real chance of lasting a lifetime.”

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That part was right on the money, as were pieces of this: “Though possessing the Feeling (F) trait, ISFJs have excellent analytical abilities; though Introverted (I), they have well-developed people skills and robust social relationships; and though they are a Judging (J) type, ISFJs are often receptive to change and new ideas.”

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I found learning about him to be much more interesting. He’s an INTJ, one of the rarest of the sixteen types. That made sense; it only took fifteen minutes for me to decide that I’d never met anyone quite like him. The little blurb for this category suggested these people often find it “challenging to find like-minded individuals who are able to keep up with their relentless intellectualism and chess-like maneuvering.” Well. That doesn’t exactly sound like a winning personality endorsement, written that way, but it was. I’ve never met someone so fun to talk to. So skilled at witty banter-ing.

We went back and forth, in a prolonged game of Ping-Pong, both knowing it’d be me to drop the ball first. He had deadpan delivery down to a science, and he was just so quick. Still, there was something so liberating about finally just being myself — my easy-to-tease, movie-illiterate, sometimes slow-on-the-uptake, self. One whose cheeks suddenly hurt from smiling so much.

I can’t remember the last time I laughed like that. Talking to him was equal parts exhilarating and exhausting. I remember thinking I’d like to come home, go toe-to-toe sparring with him for an hour, and then curl up to sleep with my head on his lap.

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Every time I thought I had him pegged, I was wrong. If you’d asked me twenty minutes in how he took his morning coffee, I would have said unquestionably: a double-espresso at the fanciest joint in town. As it turns out, he’s partial to what you might quietly call blue-collar coffee. Otherwise affectionately known as a cross between gasoline and tree bark. Or an essentially toxic swill best prepared in the privacy of his own home, where he ignores the brewing instructions on the back of the supersaver bag to his heart’s content.

Where I thought he might be arrogant, he was self-deprecating. Where I assumed he’d steer things one way, or keep them light, he’d surprise me. I left thinking I’d blown it, and also that there was more here. More than what I was getting to see. I didn’t have the sense that this was a man content to skate by on his seemingly innate charisma. Or professional success, or, yep, exceedingly good looks.

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He really was very attractive. Did I mention that? A lot of the details have slipped away already, so maybe I decided that wasn’t a worthwhile exercise. I couldn’t tell you what he wore or how tall he was, for instance, but I do know he had dimples, and every time he laughed, I felt something buzz up my spine. It made me want to edge closer, unable to resist. As much as I will probably regret this later, if I had to sum him up in a single word, I think I’d choose “magnetic.” Positively magnetic — this boy who likes crappy coffee and Junior Mints and Little Big Burgers, and had no chinks in his armor as far as I could see.

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This probably doesn’t say very nice things about me, but that kind of pull makes me skeptical. Skeptical of what exactly, I don’t know. “Don’t trust charming. Why? Because the boy who can say all the right words knows it too well. Things like boys and love aren’t meant to be practiced like that. It should be a bit awkward — it should be raw.”

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My skepticism probably has more to do with me (and the self-confidence I AM going get around to building, one of these days) and less to do with him. I do know that the morning after I met him, I slept like the dead until 7:30am. 7:30am! And I didn’t even jump right out of bed when I woke up. I lay there thinking it might actually be good to stay up a little later sometimes. Order a quarter of a cocktail. Stop for something spontaneous. Kiss someone, maybe possibly, just for the sake of kissing.

{Oncoming car via @alexbaileypdx, hipster coffee via @stumptowncoffee, blurry street via @oregon.nw, pretty fall street via @instarydell, downtown Portland via @hoxie.sox, supermoon via @robbyzabala, Forest Park I, II, and III via @fursty — all on Instagram.}

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One thought on “ISFJ

  1. Pingback: Sunday Stuff | Ogden

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