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When I watch “Pride and Prejudice” (I like the version with Kiera Knightly. You can fire me now), I always laugh.

I am so much like Mr. Darcy. I suck at talking to strangers, and if I seem outgoing, it’s only because I’ve forced myself to practice. If I had my way, I’d be cold and aloof and just friendly with those I feel utterly comfortable with. I am naturally shy and an introvert.

I am guy-shy. Though most people would assume differently. I avoid guys like the plague. Pretty much always have. I remember distinctly: If a guy in Calvary’s high school youth group tried to sit with me, I’d ask my best friend (poor her) to switch spots with me. The same thing happened when I graduated high school and sat in the main service. I’d literally put my jacket on one seat and my purse on the other, so no guy could sit with me. And even if he did venture beyond my wall of ice, I would soon freeze him to death until he’d leave.

I guess it’s because I’m pretty that guys want to be around me. Or attractive. Or whatever.

This happens in the workplace too. Thankfully, I only have one guy coworker my age, and he’s always kind enough to let me be aloof. And he’s in a relationship, so that helps make me more comfortable. I know he honors her.

Mr. Darcy was handsome, and rich. That’s why the girls doted on him. I am not rich, but guys seem drawn to me (until they find out I’m strong-willed as well as pretty. Haha. They don’t like me much then).

I remember once, a young man came over to talk with me at Calvary. I remember the day I saw him sitting with another girl at church. I remember when I forced his hand, telling him I was interested in him, and forcing him to tell me what was REALLY going on. I remember what he told me, and how I told him to bring my fiction book back. I remember when he came to the door of our house, and I took the writing back, thanked him with a sweet smile (that hides sarcasm so perfectly), and then shut the door in his face. It was a perfect moment that will go down in the Annals of Stupid Boys of Arielle’s Past.

Nowadays, I’m “safe” at Calvary. There are no young men there in pursuit of me. And even if they were, they’d get my usual cold shoulder. I’ve learned how to perfect that over the years. I don’t owe guys anything, unless I choose to, and feel God’s leading.

I hated the last church I was at. Hated it. When I tried to find a homegroup, everyone assumed I was “looking for a man.” Even in the one homegroup that was a FAMILY group, the one single guy decided that he and I would be a good match (I was like: “Nope!”).

I just avoid most guys nowadays, and I keep to myself. I have perfected the art of talking with guys, but really? I just don’t care. I got sick of a gal friend telling me I had to be normal and have half a million guys as friends. The only guys I have as friends are my scouting brothers. The only one of those I actively talk with is the eldest. I am choosing to help him with his creative projects, and having him help me with mine.

I don’t “play” with guy’s hearts. I’ve had guys do that plenty enough times with me, and I know how much that hurts. I’m not of the world. I am of Christ. And that’s that. Anyone who assumes different just doesn’t know the real Arielle.