Monday, January 25, 2010

A (Very) Brief Heterosexual Dating History, Bachelorette #2


Height: 5’5”Chastity
Hair: Blonde
Eyes: Blue
Talent: Concert piano
Random Fact: My grandparents lived just a mile from her family (in the same ward) and openly voiced their approval of us going on a date.

The Date:

With my dating cherry popped, it didn’t take long before my friends attempted finagled another date.

Glenda was the first one to broach the topic:

“I don’t want things to get too serious with Arthur, so if he asks me out, I’m going to tell him that you beat him to it.”

I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. Glenda and Arthur were both friends and I had no intention of getting caught up in the drama of a budding relationship, so I politely declined. As I later found out (like you will later this week), I should have taken that as a sign or sorts. (Oh, the drama of high school!).

As it turns out, Arthur was doing some scheming of his own. Not only was he planning on asking Glenda to prom. He and Nate were planning the perfect group date to woo their respective love interests.

Late one night, I had an intervention of sorts. Nate called me up and said I had to come over immediately. Constantly working on projects, this was a typical call; however, upon my arrival, I noticed that Bronson and Arthur were already there.

“GMB,” Nate said, “we’ve decided you’re going to prom.”

prom “Um… and when did you decide this?” I asked coyly.

“About five minutes before we called,” Bronson chimed in.

“I’m going with Chenese, Arthur’s asking out Glenda, and Bronson’s waiting to hear back from Cami. That leaves you,” Nate said.

After a few suggestions were thrown out (eliminating everyone who was already asked out, had a boyfriend, or was difficult to handle in dose’s of 6-8 hours), we decided that I was going with Chastity.

Also in my music theory class, she was the girl everyone liked, although she wasn’t necessarily popular. It might have been because she wasn’t involved in a lot of extracurricular activities or because she was just humble or perhaps because she was the shortest girl in our grade.

Although it took an hour to decide on Chastity, that was the easy part of the night. As is Utah custom, we had to conjure an elaborate way to ask her.

“I have this gag gift my grandma got me for my birthday,” Nate said, pulling out a cardboard box full of paper clips.

paperclip chain

Suddenly a plan was hatched in three phases:

  1. Bronson and Arthur spent the rest of the night constructing a mile-long paperclip chain.
  2. Nate and I rewrote songs to include Chastity’s name and relate to the prom somehow. (It was bad. “Hey Jude” became “Hey Chastity”). We then recorded the songs onto a CD.
  3. We tied one end of the chain to her front door with a note and made a long, windy trail to the CD hidden in a tree in her back yard.

Despite a few hitches, the plan all worked out and she answered days later hanging paperclip chains from the tree in my front yard holding up papers with “YES!” written on them.

Per Utah ritual, the date lasted most of the day, beginning with a game of extreme croquet in the park and a fine dinner at a local restaurant.

croquet The dance itself was one of the my most memorable high school experiences. I wasn’t in control of the situation at all, but I had people I could depend on. Chastity made it very clear from the second I saw her in that pink prom dress that her only goal was to have fun, so I had no expectations to hold to because that’s one thing I knew how to do with Arthur, Bronson, and Nate at my side.

We danced the night away. I made all the wrong steps, laughed at myself, and spent the night not caring. Apparently, the advice from my first date—not to worry—had sunk in. To this day, I remember vividly, doing the chicken dance with Chastity and Sister Imus, my seminary teacher, and taking down decorations afterwards.

After dropping off our dates, Nate and I had a nice conversation:

“Thanks for coming. I know we didn’t give you a choice, but I know we had a better time because you joined us.”

“I’m glad I did.”

“I know it’s really not your thing, so don’t feel obligated to do it again. It’s just the way I wanted to remember prom. Is that selfish?”

“No. It can’t be because I had fun and so did Chastity. We’re all better off because of it.”

“Good. Do you think you’ll do it again soon?”

“Not really. It’s a lot of work.”

And with that, I left the dating world for nearly four years.

The Lesson: With friends, any experience whether good, bad, or indifferent will become a better, more meaningful one.

End, Part 2


Unknown said...

Why does asking someone out on a date have to be so complicated in Utah? I never went to that much trouble asking anyone on a date. Glad that the prom was fun though.

Ben said...

Oh gosh! Hahahaha! Utah is so weird!

I really liked the lesson you concluded with. Even though I'm not tight with my high school friends anymore, I can still remember them and be able to smile.

Anonymous said...

Prom dates in Utah are SO weird, aren't they? They have a theme to them, someone has to respond using the theme- gees, one almost has to hire someone to do the refreshments for just the asking! :) You seemed to have had a lot of fun. I am glad you have good memories of that. You are a nice man and deserve all things good.

Love and respect, always.

Silus Grok said...

It's a wonderful tradition. Don't listen to the nay-sayers.

Paige said...

cool story, i'm loving it. is that a pic of you guys up top?

if so which are you and your date and her sister. i tried to figure it out (short, pink dress) but no luck.

El Genio said...

Oh the joys of Utah dating. I have several asking/answer stories that went horribly awry. Good times.

Do you think you’ll do it again soon?” “Not really. It’s a lot of work.”

That's a pretty accurate way to sum up how I felt about dating before guys entered the picture.

A Gay Mormon Boy said...

@green and purple: I'm not sure why things are the way that they are. (Perhaps it's so you worry more about the asking than... well... other things that could happen on a date).

@boskers: Agreed. I hate to sound anti-Utah (although this wouldn't be the first time). Like I said, things are the way they are.

@Duck: Thanks. I've seen some pretty elaborate things. Nate once got some police tape, circled Chenese's driveway, and drew a chalk outline with a note that said, "It would kill me if you don't go to the dance with me."

@Silas: I'm all for the stories. Once was enough.

@Paige: Sorry. I don't have a photo handy. That's a stock photo like most of the ones I use. I thought it suited Utah a little because the guys were outnumbered.... I assumed it was taken in polygamy country.

@El Genio: I'd like to hear some of those stories. Hehe.

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