I just finished reading Brian Donovan’s book Not a Match: My True Tales of Online Dating Disasters. My oldest son starts college in the fall, so I have been feeling nostalgic about my own dating days as a Cougar. What makes a bad Mormon date bad? The same thing that makes any date bad: awkwardness. This is my story.
I met Sam* in the MTC when he was cleaning the girls’ showers on our floor. I saw him in the laundry room sometimes, and we hit it off as friends. He was funny and offbeat in a brotherly sort of way. He was going to South America, and I was going to Europe. We corresponded a few times in the mission field about the weird things in our missions: mission rules, strange companions, and oddball teaching situations.
I got back to the states several months before he did and had enough time to end a relationship and start another and then sort of end that one (the breakup didn’t take, and 21 years and three kids later we’re still together!) I was a free agent for about five days when Sam** called me for a date.
He suggested going to a movie, but he was culturally out of it and didn’t really know what was playing.
“Well, everyone’s talking about Silence of the Lambs,” I offered helpfully. Then I (should have) added, “On second thought, maybe that’s a little intense to cut your teeth on right after a mission.”
“Sounds great!” he chirped. And like the trusting co-ed who naively gets in Ted Bundy’s van, away we went. Somewhere between the woman-suit seamstress guy prancing around in front of the mirror and “it puts the lotion on its skin,” I started to think this might not have been the ideal first date movie. We were just getting started.
After the movie, perhaps to distance himself from the embarrassment, he made a suggestion. “Do you want to go to the Village Inn?” He paused. “I mean the restaurant.” We had milkshakes. The wholesomeness couldn’t do much to restore a sense of normalcy at this point, but there’s only so much you can expect from a dairy beverage. He dropped me off at my place and asked if he could come in to use the bathroom. I can see you putting two and two together. Let me assure you this is not a lactose intolerance story. There but for the grace of god, as the saying goes.
For those not familiar with the acoustic properties of the Crestwood apartment bathrooms, imagine those moments when a celebrity thinks they are having a private backstage moment making rude remarks, unaware that they are still miked and an entire auditorium is listening. Now substitute “bodily functions” for “remarks.”
The sound of urinating reverberated through the apartment. It was endless, like Niagara, but frothier. I kept picturing beer on tap filling frosty mug after frosty mug, until the mugs were overflowing. I started counting slowly to ten, then back again. Partway through this deluge, the toilet flushed, followed by even more urination. Then silence. What sounded like confused silence. Finally, he exited the bathroom.
I didn’t really understand what I had just heard. I was mortified at the smorgasbord of horrors I had heard and seen end-to-end throughout this entire date. So, I fell back on my faithful ice breaker and made out with him for 10-15 minutes and sent him on his merry way. As one does.
- What’s your worst date ever? Was it at BYU or elsewhere?
- What made it so bad?
- Did you ever have an awkward date that actually worked out?
*Not his name.
**Still not his name.
 A BYU Cougar, that is.
 In case you are wondering, the lambs haven’t stopped screaming. In whatever the opposite of my defense is, I had already seen the movie once, and I still said this.
 He probably didn’t chirp, but I do think he had at least one Peter Brady voice cracking moment on that call. He seemed nervous.
 Because a girl who suggests Silence of the Lambs as a first date movie less than one week after you come home from your mission might be expecting some hokey pokey in a hotel!
 I had an incontinent roommate from Norway whose digestive pyrotechnics were audible at the worst possible moments, when our home teachers were visiting or when someone was making out on the couch. I can’t think of the dessert from Outback without thinking of my unlucky Norwegian roommate.
 I asked my current husband, my then ex-boyfriend, what I had heard. His reply: “You were on a date?” Apparently, we had diverse opinions about the status of our relationship at the time I went on this date. He said that sometimes guys flush mid-pee to cover the sound. In which case, epic fail.
 It seemed polite.
 Boys are weird.