7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 152)

November 18, 2011 | 42 comments

— 1 —

Aaaaaand, we’re off! Our long-awaited New York/New Haven trip is this weekend, and I’ll probably be in one of those two places as you read this. In typical Fulwiler fashion, we’re going to jam a week’s worth of activity into a weekend trip, so it’s not exactly going to be a relaxing vacation. But the chaos of running to catch planes and trains and taxis is a different kind of chaos than what I usually deal with here at the house, so it’ll be nice to have a change of pace.

— 2 —

My generous mom took me shopping to get some clothes for the trip, and the experience reminded me: I wish that stores offered some kind of Introvert badge you could wear for the duration of your visit. I’m picturing a bright red button that you could clip to your clothes, perhaps with a message like, I’m Not Rude, I’m Just an Introvert! Employees could then be required to take Introvert Awareness classes, where they would do role playing exercises, with instructors shouting things like, “Stop! You just made eye contact! Too aggressive.”

At one store in particular, I started to get the impression that they mainly hire former stalkers as their floor staff. I kept waiting in the dressing room until I thought I was alone, then I’d try to sneak over to the full length mirror to check out the outfit. But no sooner would I have cracked the door than an employee would materialize at my side, hovering within a two foot radius of me and asking, “DO YOU LIKE THAT, JENNIFER? WHAT WOULD YOU WEAR THAT WITH, JENNIFER? I LOVE THAT COLOR ON YOU. DO YOU LOVE THAT COLOR ON YOU, JENNIFER?” She seemed very nice, but I just about had to use the dressing room stool as a fainting couch because I was so overstimulated by the constant interaction.

— 3 —

This is going to sound strange given what I just wrote, but our trip is filled with non-stop socializing, and I’m excited about that. Not only are there the dinners for my husband’s fraternity reunion, but we have breakfasts and lunches and after-dinner meetups scheduled each day as well. One of my favorite things in the world is to get together with friends and catch up; what makes me an introvert is that a) it’s tiring for me (e.g. that’s not how I unwind after a hard day), and b) I’m overwhelmed with situations like I described in take #2…Or maybe an extrovert would struggle with that too. I kind of pictured that extroverts just love having people they don’t know buzzing in their personal space all the time, but maybe I’m way off with that.

— 4 —

My husband asked me if I wanted to go to the game on Saturday. Originally I had said no. As someone who attended both Texas A&M and the University of Texas, I’m not sure that what the Harvard and Yale teams will be doing on the football field that afternoon can really be considered the same sport as what we did on Saturdays where I went to school. (And I assure you that folks up there never get tired of Big 12 grads putting the word football in air quotes when they refer to the game that Ivy League teams play.) However, there was a key piece of information that I had completely forgotten about when I made this decision, and it was something big: The tailgates. When I ponder the Harvard/Yale tailgate scene, I feel like I have found my people. The Ivy Leagues may not have the top-tier, smashmouth football that you’d see at something like the Texas-OU game, but they make up for it with their world-class tailgates. To wit:

— 5 —

The Yale St. Thomas More Center sent out this picture from last year’s tailgate:

Let’s just go through what we see here one by one. At this tailgate, we have: A Vatican flag; heated indoor seating; crystal wine goblets; chilled white wine; Champagne; a shrimp tray (partially hidden behind the bottle of Vodka); fresh-cut flowers; orange juice (for mimosas, no doubt); lemon-infused water; and a station for mixing Bloody Marys.

This, my friends, is how you throw a tailgate party. I didn’t think anything could be more my kind of thing than an Ivy League tailgate. But now I have discovered the world of Catholic Ivy League tailgates, it’s like I know what God wants me to do with my life.

— 6 —

I’d been feeling kind of stressed about flying, but it’s helped to realize that that’s mainly because it’s unfamiliar. I’m a claustrophobic control freak, so it comes naturally to me to be uneasy about getting on planes; but when I used to do it all the time, my fears almost completely subsided. I keep thinking about this: Let’s say that I somehow went for a few years where I traveled everywhere by plane. A pilot would land in front of my house to take me to the grocery store, to pick up the dry cleaning, etc. I rarely used any other form of transportation. If I then had to take a long car trip with someone, it would undoubtedly feel scary in comparison to flying. After all, the driver wouldn’t have the specialized training that pilots do; the car wouldn’t have had the careful maintenance checks that planes do; and, statistically, car travel is much more dangerous than air travel. Anyway, going through that thought exercise has helped me put my anxiety about flying in place.

— 7 —

Well, I didn’t mean for all seven takes to be trip-related, but that’s what’s on my mind as I scramble to get everything ready. I hope you all have a great weekend!



  1. nancyo

    I hope you and your husband have a wonderful weekend of acceptable socializing and you find some time during or afterwards to recharge the way we introverts do – chilling alone with a book and/or your thoughts!

    After spending several hours fighting with tumblr last week, to no avail (my quick takes post kept disappearing upon publication), I just reconstructed a stripped-down version of the entry I was going to post last week (fewer pictures and links) and was so excited that it might finally succeed that I posted it a few minutes before Friday. oops! I am afraid to read it because I don’t want to find any errors; if I open the post for editing it could well disappear again.

    • jen

      nancy, it’s 10:30 p.m. on thursday here. 🙂

  2. Laura O in AK

    I had issues flying for several years after a few panic attacks on airplanes. Much better now and it rarely happens that I fly anyways.

    Enjoy your trip and hopefully the RV tailgating set up will return this year. That looks like my kind of tailgating, too!

  3. Claire

    I hope you and your family enjoy your trip!

    I certainly can’t speak for all extroverts, but I would say I am one, and I can’t stand that kind of dressing room harrassment… er, attention… either. I like to be left alone in a lot of situations – shopping definitely being one of them. So it isn’t just you – or introverts! 🙂

  4. George @ Convert Journal

    I identify with the introvert / nerd stuff, but unlike you I never got into spectator sports. When my friends discuss it, they know not to include me because I “just don’t care”. We know as parents that many of our attitudes rub-off on our kids. My daughter is at GSU (yea, go dawgs) and feels that she is the only kid on campus who doesn’t care. Fortunately, she got a job on game days so it isn’t too awkward.

    My entry this week… A stunning, beautiful visualization of life from conception to birth. Fr. Barron on just being a good person. Giving, why? New York’s ten year battle against “Choose Life” license plates (they are “offensive”). Milton Friedman on capitalism, more relevant than ever. Holy Smoke. Andrew Klavan’s take on the media and Occupy Wall Street.

  5. Kathleen

    I wonder if there is a quiz you can take to determine your introvert/ extrovert tendencies. I’m outgoing so I’ve always thought extrovert but I am rethinking this in light of your comment. You can like to socialize but find it draining… So true.

    • Kris, in New England

      Kathleen – there is; the Myers Briggs Test. I rates you on 4 fundamental personality traits and it is simply fascinating. I used to think I was very outgoing as well – extraverted. After taking the M/B test, I learned I was actually quite introverted in that I prefer to recoup my energy by being – alone. I’m sure there must be an online version an individual could take; usually the M/B is administered by a professional in a corporate environment. Oh, and if you do look it up, I am an INFP – Introver, iNtuitive, Feeling, Perceiving. 🙂

  6. Sarah B.

    Yes on Ivy League tailgating/events. Last year my hubby (who is also a Yalie) took me to an event where the Yale club and Harvard club of Indy got together to watch the game and hang out. Of course it was in a restaurant at the top of a skyscraper, with a full spread buffet and open bar. Of course it was. I too, love the way they do tailgate.

    But, if you haven’t been to Notre Dame on a game Saturday, oh man. That is the tops of everything.

    I hope you have a great time on your trip!

  7. Anne

    I live in NYC and find it perfect for introverts. I love to ride the subways, the Staten Island ferry(free and not to be missed with a view of Statue of Liberty and New York harbor) and walk the streets. You can enjoy people watching and the whole marvelous drama of God’s amazing family… in every size, language, ethnic group, mode of dress, etc. Then you can stop into a beautiful Catholic church…there are scores, for a quiet moment and light a candle and pray for the scores of souls you just passed by.

  8. Kathy

    All I have to say is Go Harvard! Beat Yale! (oh, and have fun!)

  9. Steph @ Moving to MD

    Jen, You forgot to point out the bouquet of yellow roses on the table.

    I mean, really? A floral arrangement for a tailgate?

    At LSU it’s more like “Huge TV? Check. Gumbo? Check. Alcohol? Check. Check. Check. Game on!”

    Hope you have a great weekend! Call me crazy (or really bad at self scrutiny) but I’m not sure where I fall on the introvert/extrovert scale – probably somewhere near the middle? However, I really dislike hovering sales people too. Especially in the dressing room.

  10. Kris, in New England

    Ah well, you are in my neck-o-the-woods! I live in CT, was born in MA. It’s gonna be COLD here this weekend, at least for a Texan; I hope the new clothes include some thermal underwear.

  11. @JaredThaddeus

    I visited your parish last night for a men’s evening. Wow, is about all I can say.

    I am not an introvert by any stretch, but I get annoyed when I walk into a store and a sales person screams from the other end of the room, “HI WELCOME TO ….!!!!”

  12. Kerri

    Now THAT is a tailgate party I could get excited about!! I never did much tailgating in college since I was part of the marching band. But one of the fun things about being in the marching band was that after games, the crowd would head out of the stadium and return to their tailgating (regardless of how late it was). Once the band was done we had to walk through a huge section of tailgaters to get to our buses. People loved the band (the football team was not so good) and would ask band members to stop and play something for them. So little groups of bandies would stop and play the fight song and then get food from the appreciative tailgaters. It was funny to see what people brought back to the buses with them!

  13. kristina

    I work at Yale!! the Yale/Harvard game is pretty serious from what I hear!! Enjoy it and get there SUPER EARLY! THere are shuttles from downtown new haven, if you don’t plan on tailgating with your own vehicle, might be easier!

  14. Jeanne G.

    Have a lovely trip!

  15. Laura

    Have a great trip and thanks for hosting! God Bless.

  16. Roselady

    I think anyone can relate to the saleswoman dilemma you had. I absolutely hate when someone checks out me as I check out myself in the mirror. Esp. if I look bad!

  17. Karianna@Caffeinated Catholic Mama

    I worked in a clothing store through Grad School and I will tell you, I did not like the hard sell that they wanted us to do. I am an extrovert, but I felt horrible for bombarding the clients! I would rather say HI when they came in, ask if they needed anything in particular and just be there ready for when they wanted my attention.

    That job didn’t last long.

    Love the Catholic Ivy League pic. If it’s one thing that we Catholics know how to do… it’s throw a party!

    Have a great trip! Prayers to you.

  18. Beth Anne @ The Catholic Couponer Blog

    I’m the same way. I’m an introvert and socializing makes me TIRED. I’m not working now but when I do work when I come home I want ppl to leave me alone and let me catch up on email and such. (that is the only upside of polygamy if I want my “me” time or my husband annoys me I can send him to another wife!)

    My sister who is the OPPOSITE and AN extrovert comes home from work and DOESN’T SHUT UP!! She’s like but I want to talk to adults I’ve been yelling at 2 yr olds all day! Crazy how different personalities work!

    When I was in high school I was OBSESSED with Gilmore Girls and there was an episode of the yale/harvard game and they tailgating like that it was crazy! But it seems nice…oh to be rich lol

  19. Katie @ Wellness Mama

    At my alma mater (an SEC school), I feel in love with tailgating as well. Even though our team was usually horrible, the entire campus would fill with tailgating tents. Unlike other schools, these tents were usually decorated with chandeliers, flowers, silver, full china, etc and lots of “unlabeled bottles” because drinking on campus is “technically” prohibited. It was a shock to me the first time I went to tailgate though in my normal jeans and a hoodie combination that all the other girls were dressed in silk dresses and heels and the guys were in sport coats.

  20. Karyn@Days of Grace and Stumbling

    Jen, have a wonderful time on your trip. I like catching up with people too, but then I need alone time to recoup. I think I’m the only one of 8 in my family who is a total introvert and they accept it, but they just don’t get it.

  21. Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy

    I’d like to order one of those introvert shopping buttons, please 🙂

    I’m not so into football, but I could get into Catholic Ivy League tailgating!

  22. 'Becca

    I think you might be confusing introversion with shyness (several links about the difference at the end of this article about being a shy extravert) or with disliking obnoxious pushy people! I love people and find social interaction energizing rather than draining, but I’m easily unnerved by strangers bugging me, esp. if they have an agenda like selling me something.

    Enjoy your trip!!

  23. singlecatholicgirl

    Yay! I really enjoy a nice weekend in NY. Have a great time! I had to post my link twice today, the first one was a flop. I apologize. Feel free to delete it. 🙂

  24. Tricia

    I flew a number of times when I was younger and had no problem. Now, however, it’s a different story. I have to fly somewhere in a few weeks and I am terrified, no, not terrified, petrified, no, not petrified, stupefied! Ok I am all three actually, I am one big ball of all the freakin “fieds”. I don’t know how I’m gonna do it.

    I’m sorry my comment is obviously not going to help you in any way. Fear has obviously taken over my usually generous spirit and so here I am selfishly babbling all over your lovely blog. Which I have been enjoying by the way. Forgive me?

  25. Sarah @ Beaten Copper Lamp

    I feel the same way about shopping!!! Why are these people pretending to have a personal relationship with me about my clothes? Why can’t I just get the shoeboxes myself and spend as much time as I want deliberating over them?

  26. Laura M

    Hahaha I can relate to the shopping situation, it’s like please stop following me! I can choose clothes and get dressed by myself, I’ll call you if need help. Your trip sounds really fun

  27. Kara

    I love #5, to funny.

    Have a great trip!

  28. Kristy

    #2 cracked me up. That is sooooooo me! Good to know I’m not the only one who feels that way!

  29. joy

    LOVED #2! So funny! Except I usually decide salespeople like that are the crazy ones! 🙂 Have fun on your trip!

  30. Jessica

    Wow, I don’t think “tailgate” comes close to describing that spread! Washington State alum (Go Cougs!)– cheap beer & nachos is all I’m used to. I *love* that Catholics tailgate and hope you have a fabulous weekend doing so

    P.S. At least the saleswoman was ostensibly trying to help you. I used to work in retail and had to accost customers with credit card applications, which isn’t fun for anyone. Ick.

  31. LeAnna

    Your comment on the car/plane is pretty bang-on, I think. It’s been over two years since I stopped going in cars frequently and I find driving/being driven very unnerving, even tho before it never bothered me.

    Have a great time in NYC/New Haven!

  32. Ann

    Hey Jennifer – have you read “The Introvert Advantage” or other books that analyze introverts? Is there any introvert related reading you recommend? thanks, Ann

  33. Barbara

    That tailgate party is awesome. My suspicions are correct. The Catholic subculture really is a magic fairy land filled with hobbits. I love it!

  34. Julie

    Oh, goodness! I just read your 7 Quick Takes, then checked out the news and saw the story about the Harvard/Yale tailgating accident. How horrible! I hope you’re okay. I’ll be praying for the victims.

  35. abegail

    The Catholic subculture really is a magic fairy land filled with hobbits. I love it!I just pray for the injure..Thanks for sharing..

    • Kathryn Rose

      Uhhh scratch that last comment – I’m an idiot who was looking at the wrong week! =S

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