Sunday, August 5, 2007

Escapades in Dating

Last weekend we went on a group date. Although we've gone on dates before with friends and such, usually Lydia comes too, and we all go to a restaurant for good food before going back to someone's respective house and having good conversation way too late in the evening. Matt and Sarah Reed particularly come to mind as "date partners," although we never really called them double dates, or even dates at all, but rather an evening of friends and food. This, however, was the quintessential group date, with four couples, dinner and a movie.

About two months ago, Avram's seventeen year old sister Sariah was asked to go on a date. This was the first time she had been privileged to such a question, and it was by a 20 year old, no less. So she said she would check with her parents (Sariah is a parent's dream; she actually asks for things that most teenagers would take for granted, like being able to go on a date with someone who's not a minor, when you are). Avram and I volunteered to go as the double couple, chaperones, or something like that. Sariah's father, being like all fathers everywhere with young nubile daughters and also with shotguns, was somewhat leery of the date, but eventually agreed to it.

However, Sariah only seeing this young man at church when his church ran over and we arrived very early, she didn't see him for many weeks, and then when she did see him, she didn't mention it - out of shyness, I suppose. I told her that the upstanding specimen of young men everywhere would naturally assume that her not broaching the subject again would not mean that her father hadn't immediately given his approval and then that she out of awkwardness avoided the topic, but rather that she thought he was the scum of the earth, who had as much right asking her on a date as attempting to visit the moon by means of a newspaper boat and homemade propeller (all right, I was somewhat less poetic in my description, but it would have been cooler if I really had said that).

Finally Sariah brought up the much thought on date, and it turned out he had already found a double couple, in the eventuality the date actually happened. So we were a party of six, until Avram's brother Luke, 20, mentioned that he had asked a date as well, one of Sariah's closest friends, Kelly, 19. At this point it had been about six weeks since he had asked her, and so was perhaps the most looked forward date to ever. Being a young dater, this BYU man suggested the tried and true dinner and a movie.

Last weekend we went to somewhere called Uno's, that class of restaurant like Applebees, Chilis, etc, with lots of "atmosphere" and where the menus serve everything from fajitas to pizza, pasta to steak. I ordered the flat pizza, and as soon as the waitress left, I had a feeling in my gut. The deep-down primal knowing that I had ordered the wrong entree. The feeling that I had come to the crossroads of decision, the place of choose or die, and I, I had choked and ordered against my deeper desires. The food arrived, and my intuition proved correct; the food was definitely flat, but also definitely not a pizza. Oh, well. What I really wanted was like chicken and potatoes. Avram let me have some of his pizza, and then we ordered a dessert, because I hadn't eaten any of my food.

Then we proceeded to the movie, Ratatouille. I wasn't excited about this movie, because I really wanted to see Amazing Grace, and Avram and I even were going to sneak off from the rest of the group and watch it, but the movie theatre wasn't showing it. So we went with the group.

I loved the movie, mainly because I love good food. A movie about food is always good for me - fine food, that is. Like the German movie, Martha's Kitchen (I believe). For anyone who likes food, I recommend this movie. I left inspired to eat better food. Not that I've really lived up to this desire in the last week, but I suppose I'm essentially plebeian and American in my tastes.

As we left the date, I found out that not only was this the first date for Sariah, but also for Luke and Kelly, so it was quite the landmark event in their lives. We heard that it was a very good first date for all.

My first date occurred the weekend after I turned sixteen. It came out of the blue, in the form of a phone call from a Kamrin Hammond, a boy in my stake I had had a crush on since I was 14 (pathetic, I know). He asked me to go to a haunted house (my birthday's in October), and I asked how much much to bring, and he told me not to worry about it. It wasn't until I got off of the phone I realized that this was a date. We ended up not going to the haunted house, because by the time we got together with the other couple and figured out what we were doing it wasn't convenient to go, so instead we went to the movies, and decided by the flip of a coin which one to see, which turned out to be Ever After (the best part of the date, by far). The movie didn't start for another two hours, so we went over to Shopko, wandered around and played a lot of foozball (which I stank at, and still do) We then finally watched the movie, and then went home.

What can we learn from this date? Planning, which was absent, can help dates out a lot. Also, food, which did not occur on that date, always helps with dating. Dating 16 year olds would probably also help (Kamrin was 15).

This all reminds me of another date, this time at BYU. I worked as a receiver at the Cannon Center there, and one of my co-workers, named David, asked me on a date one day. Luckily I don't even remember his last name, so this is basically an anonymous person. Anyway, I agreed and so at the appointed day and time (actually he was a little late) he showed up at my apartment. On a bike. Alone. And his apartment was about three miles away. Where the date was supposed to take place. So we began walking. This wasn't so bad, as I supposed it gave us a chance to get to know each other better, and what-not.

About two blocks into the date, David said, "So I wanted to watch a movie tonight." "Ok," I agreed - not the most brilliant of dates, but certainly an acceptable date activity. "But I didn't rent a movie yet."

"We can rent a movie still, that's fine."

"Well, I don't have any money." (note, don't ever admit this on a date; how tacky)

"I have some money, we'll just use that." I had a policy of always bringing money on dates with me, although hoping to never have to use it.

So we continued for another half a block, and then, from David, "So I thought we could make chocolate chip cookies tonight."

I like chocolate chip cookies, "Great."

"But I don't have the ingredients."

At this point I stopped, as did David and the bike he was leading along (it had to get back home somehow). What small expectations I had entertained thus far were fast falling, but I couldn't just break off the date at that point, so, "Why don't we go back to my apartment; I have movies, I have the ingredients for Chocolate chip cookies, we can have the date there."

So turn around we did, and sometimes my less charitable nature wonders if that was the goal all along. We made chocolate-chip cookies, during which my date became mostly mute, and then sat down to watch the movie, Mission Impossible, during which he suddenly became very verbose, but only at the most critical points in the movie. As well, he was allergic to milk, which makes cookies a shame without milk to drink them with.

At long last we suffered through the movie, at which point my roommate came home. She saw us together, and said she didn't want to interrupt, and so was about to go upstairs, when I practically shouted, "Oh, no, you're not interrupting anything, please feel free to stay."

Thankfully she did. At this point, it was about 10 pm, and I was ready to end the date, but didn't know how to tactfully kick him out, nor what to do with him if he stayed. An un-opened puzzle, belonging to one of my roommates, I was sure, although uncertain of which one, lay on the side living room table, and so I suggested putting it together. I handed David the puzzle box, and some scissors and asked him to open it, meaning to break the glued paper that ran around the bottom edges that hold the two boxes together. I heard a large industrial noise after a moment coming from David, and turned to see him cutting through the cardboard itself, taking the complete bottom off of one of the sides, and forever ruining the box.

This may have been the low point of the date, but then, the beginning was pretty bad, too. We did start doing the puzzle, while my erstwhile date lingered until the bells tolled midnight, at which my now-understanding roommate and I merrily invited him to leave, because of curfew. Thank goodness for the honor code.

Thus concluded my worst date ever. Although other dating escapades come to mind, like the blind date I went on with a boy named Sebastion, who understood English, but didn't speak it at all, or another date, where the date turned onto oncoming traffic and we almost died, I'll conclude by saying gratefully that this date was nothing like these ones. I was grateful to be able to be a part of a successful first date, although it won't make a very good story later one, which is always fun.


  1. Bork!
    Ah! Alas the first date... such a long time ago. I would love to say that the boy of my dreams asked me out and that we ended the night with a warm hug. But no I ended up being called by this boy that I did not even know. Luckily I knew the other girl ( Mandie's friend Joanna) and the other guy was in one of my classes, or this date would have been much worse. First of all let me explain my date. His name was Taylor and he had a really high voice. So the guys decide that we are going to go Ice skating, which I love but The other guy kept scaring me and so to not fall down all of the time I was forced to hold on to my date's hand. NEVER hold on to your date's hand unless you really like him! So after nearly falling on my face a bunch we then went to Taylors house and played Twister. Worse game to play on a date because it makes you get in close quarters with people that you may not want to be. So after that date he kept following me around school and I just acted like I didn't know him (real mature like right?)
    well I have gone on long enough.
    I love you and I am happy that with all of those bad dating experiences you were able to find Avram.
    Love you

  2. oh my goodness thora, you are so hilarious! I cant stop laughing! reading about your worst date was so awkward! I cant even imagine being there! eeek. I cant believe that guy!

    Oh and I am super envious (( cant spell jelouse) of your date at 16. No one ever asked me on a date when i turned 16. I spent the entire summer after my 16th birthday trying to get someone at pageant to like me but only ended up talking to Gab Hampton for hours and hours.. all the time wishing maybe he would like me. Later I found out he did like me but we were both to shy to realize it. ahhhhh those early awkward days.

    I cant even remember when my first date was... did i have an official first date??

    i cant think of a great bad date story.. but one comes to mind. It was a first date. He was divorced nad had his 16 month old son for the evening. His mom was supposed to watch him i guess but some how that fell through. Anyways I didnt really mind cause it was a cute baby. So we went to outback steak house for dinner. which I love, its sooo yummy and they have the best bread. Now that you have a kid Thora you can understand how fun it is to try to enjoy a nice meal with a toddler. when its not your kid and its a first date it makes things real awkward. Anyways we got through the meal somehow. But then he realized he didnt have his wallet with him. i offered to pay but then I realized I didnt have my money with me either! He ended up going out to his car and he actually had $50 worth of change in there! it was humiliating. I mean I felt like I was 10 years old at 7-11 with my pile of change on the counter. I bet we are the only people ever to pay a food bill like that in quarters. I didnt like him that much but felt so bad for him that I gave him a sympathy hug at the end.. i guess he read me all wrong cause he went in for a kiss and I had to totally dodge it and say goodbye and shut the door in one fell swoop. I was so embarrased about the whole thing but he seemed to not get my signals because he called again. I suggested we go to a park with his son this time. He said he would get a sitter, I said dont bother since I enjoyed his kid more than him. at any rate I declined a third date, but have a hard time turning people down cause I feel mean. So i told him that I had decided to be exclusive with another guy. (which was not true) He actually begged me to go out with him again, it was quite pathetic. He even said to call him if it didnt work out. He sent me emails, left voicemails, it was just out of hand. He was like a stalker! I shortly after that moved and changed my phone number. The only way I could really get rid of him. I dont even remember his name!

  3. We miss our "double dating" with you guys, although it was so informal it's hard to call it a date.

    Matt said once (while we were dating) that dating is long periods of boredom punctuated by moments of terror. Here's to marriage and the end of dating!