| Ignoring Social cues and Narcissistic Triangulation |
I needed a break from the house and I made extra effort to keep Tina comfortable and at least somewhat entertained while she was staying there with me. I suggested we go out to the Cardinal to shoot pool.
I bought Tina a beer and a Monster Energy Drink for myself. Before we got a game going, Tina wanted to try her luck at the claw machine game. She blew a couple dollars without snagging a toy. Frustrated, she asked me to try. I studied the pile of plush toys and plastic balls. It didn’t look very promising, but I gave it a try with a little coaching from Tina.
The claw descended perfectly over a stuffed puppy, but the prize slipped out as the crane lifted.
“You almost had it. Try it again!” Tina prodded.
My second attempt was successful and I handed Tina her prize.
It was silly, but it always felt special when I won a plush toy from the claw game for Tina. It was one of our things.
We picked out a table and I racked for a game of 8-Ball.
After playing a while, another couple started up a game at the table next to ours. The man was very tall, athletic-looking and with a dark complexion that implied a mixed racial background. His girlfriend was pretty – a petite latina with long black hair. She looked extra tiny next to her giant of a date.
Tina was obviously fascinated. Throughout the night, she kept sidling up to the tall man and attempting to chat him up. The latina was gracious, at first, but eventually, I could tell she was losing patience with Tina fawning over her boyfriend.
“Migosh, he’s so tall!” Tina gushed to me when she came back to our table from one of her forays. “He’s like Six-foot-Twelve! I’m kidding. I just mean… damn, he’s tall!”
He wasn’t seven feet, but not far removed. I think he said he was 6-foot-nine.
Another time when she came back to me, she said, “Mmmm. I bet he just tosses her all around in bed.”
I was getting as tired of hearing Tina go on about him as his girlfriend seemed to be of Tina cutting in on their date.
Tina mostly seemed oblivious to the discomfort she was causing everyone. The tall guy was becoming more curt, obviously not wanting to upset his girlfriend. His girlfriend would begin staring daggers at Tina when she’d approach.
Tina’s infatuation with his height and imagined sexual gymnastics was making me feel unattractive or inadequate. It was classic narcissistic triangulation.
I didn’t hear it, but from across the room, I saw Tina receiving what looked like a rebuke of some kind from the petite latina. Tina was not good at picking up on social cues, especially when drinking. I later wondered if that lack of situational awareness could be tied to a narcissist’s lack of empathy. It looked like the girl was finally getting a little less subtle for Tina’s benefit and to my relief, Tina did leave the couple alone for quite a while after.
An hour later, though, as we were getting ready to leave, Tina wandered back over to the other couple. She exchanged a few words and then Tina gave the latina girl the stuffed puppy I’d won her. I guessed it was supposed to be some sort of apology. It didn’t look well-received and I’d wager the puppy ended up in a garbage bin or gutter puddle on their way home.
Tina came back to me and we got our coats on and went back to the house. I mixed Tina a drink and put some cocoa in the microwave for myself, but before it was even done heating, Tina was all over me and we ended up having sex on the kitchen floor. Her obsession with the tall dark stranger at the bar was forgotten (by myself, at least), as was the cocoa turning cold in the microwave.