double dates. blind dates. group dates. all are very familiar and commonplace in the lds dating scene. but others are slightly alarmed at the dating turnover. i once held the blind date-first date title. i’m not sure if that is something to aspire to, but i do think there is a tell-all expose to come of it. christian likes to remind me that he didn’t have much competition in winning me and since my friend laura is asking to be set up with my international lovers (due to the shrinking dating pool) i thought i’d remind laura, and all my other single friends out there that maybe they just need a good blind date to give them some perspective material to make their millions one day!
back in 2003, only a few months before i would meet christian (but not realize he would be my husband until three years later) i was home on a quick visit. it seemed everyone was doing their part to boost my blind date numbers. my aunt had been asking me to make some time for a special young man, we’ll call writerboy. writerboy was very persistent. i had less than 4 days in town. it was christmas. my one free night was promised to my high school bff.
i thought for sure margaret would be my blind date salvation. before i tried to explain to writerboy that we just wouldn’t be able to go on a date writerboy proposed his brother come along to make it a double, blind, mormon date despite my appeals that margaret was very much jewish.
i called margaret and broke the news to her this way, “i have good news and bad news. you have to go on a double-blind mormon date (dbmd) but at least we get free dessert! right?” margaret agreed to the random set up i think mostly out of a burning sense of curiousity, “i’ve never been on a double-blind mormon date” she exclaimed.
well it turns out that they aren’t all they’re hyped up to be. margaret reported that the dbmd veered into forbidden date convo; religion, future family size and politics. not to mention the fact that the party returned to my house and my younger siblings entertained the dates. all in all it was a pretty funny experience. but as with most blind dates (let alone a dbmd) we went our separate ways. time passed and then writer boy sent me this gem.
To: double blind mormon date victim (aka me)
Subject: A funny story.
Date: Fri, 23 May 2003 06:33:44
Hey, it’s been over a month since I last heard from you. And that’s perfectly fine. Not meant to guiltify you, I was just surprised when I noticed the date. My guess is that your life has been busy-crazy. You may even be in town about now because of your brother’s graduation. I know a couple of my cousins are graduating this week so it’d make sense.
The purpose of my writing is not to elicit a response after so much time. Actually, I have no expectations one way or the other. I had written something a couple of weeks back and I just wanted to send it along. It is short and humorous and semi-allegorical in nature. I thought you might enjoy it.
You were kind of indirectly the inspiration for it. After hanging out with you and Margaret that one time brother-of-writerboy and I were talking about how the really great girls – the ones who have it all – personality, intelligence, beauty, grace – the ones that are really worth having, have quite a few obstacles inevitably in the way for a decent guy to even have a chance.
Anyhow, I thought it was only fitting to send it along. I hope the story gets a laugh out of you if nothing else.
Dragons and Dragon slayers
I ride up to the lair slowly. Experience has taught me caution in these matters. Dragons are not simple animals to be taken for granted. Dragons are creatures of magic. One can’t just waltz right in, slay a dragon, and then go grab a bite to eat.
Experience, however, has not calmed my nerves. I check my preparations to make sure that everything is in place. Armor? Check. Sword? Check. Shield? Check. Brave steed? Check. Courage? Working on it.
In my mind I picture the damsel locked away behind the dragon. She is beautiful, pristine, virtuous, well-mannered, intelligent, and all that other maidenly stuff. Or so I’ve heard from those who have actually rescued maidens. I have my doubts as to some of the tales they tell, but if even half of it is right, then a maiden is right at the top of my grocery list. Too bad that a dragon is the grocer.
I pull my steed up short. He’s a good steed and has served me well. Sure, other knights may have steeds that are whiter, or maybe younger, or maybe run faster and prance more smartly. Some will even say that you must have a really flashy stallion in order to slay a dragon. But all I’ve got is the horse I ride and it will have to do.
Raising high in my stirrups now, I survey the lay of the land. Some knights prize themselves on being able to tell what type of dragon they are to face by studying the dragon’s lair, but I have been too often surprised to take such claims as more than idle boasts. Lavish, lowly, large, little, a dragon’s den won’t tell you what weaknesses will win you the day. Only careful study and an intuitive eye will?
A gout of flame bursts from the dark entrance, interrupting my thoughts. As I’ve been spinning out clever alliterative phrases, the dragon has been examining me from the safety of its cave. Well one thing at least is obvious; the creature’s sight is quite good. Likely as not, as I’ve been standing in plain sight, it has already discerned every weak point in my armor and has a strategy in mind for my defeat. There will be no surprising this one.
Knights with far newer and more fashionable armor would charge in at this point, believing that their appearance alone can convince the dragon that it is already defeated. Some would have you believe that this is the only way to defeat a dragon, with fancy armor and weapons. Indeed a lot of money has been made and lost in fancy appearances. But the ploy has never worked for me and I choose to continue my approach more cautiously.
As I near the dark entrance to the lair I stop once again. All my instincts tell me to make my stand here out in the open on familiar ground. Yet this may prove impossible. Some dragons can be fought in the open where both you and they can maneuver but most shy away from grounds of your choosing. Some may be able to be drawn out of their safe lairs into neutral territory, but all too often the dragon will force you to go into the darkness of the lair and the hidden pitfalls within.
Wiley creatures these dragons. I try what skills I have. Clever speech, good manners, singing a small ditty for its amusement and composing a lude limerick all bring no good results. Okay, so my skills in this regard are not as developed as others. I’ve seen other knights draw the dragon out with but a few words, but I’ve never quite got the knack of it.
At any rate, it appears that this dragon is staying put. Obviously this one wants it done the hard way. Leaving my horse at the entrance, I draw my sword and wander into the darkness.
Almost instantly I lose my way. Groping about blindly I take turn after turn, all the while fearing sudden death awaits me just around the next bend. All my skills and instincts are useless to me now. I am completely at the dragon’s mercy. All I can do is pray.
As though the thought itself had power to grant a miracle, I stumble from the darkness into a dimly lit cavern. There, before me, lies the great beast. It is the largest dragon I have ever seen. Its claws are swords; its teeth are spears, its scales gleam like steel plating.
Seeing that I am quite outmatched, I almost turn on the spot and run like a whipped puppy. No one would blame me. I could live to fight another day. I’ve done it before.
Yet this time I charge. I don’t know why, but as I run with my sword raised high above my head bellowing some nonsensical battle cry, I feel free. Perhaps it’s the knowledge that I stand no chance against this beast and that I may never recover from the wounds that I am about to receive, but as I throw caution to the wind and run headlong into harms way, I feel a certain calm settle over me. And as the calmness spreads and I run all the faster, I feel no more uncertainty or confusion, just the perfection of the moment. A wildness overcomes me and as I swing my weapon down I have the fleeting feeling that perhaps I can win after all. And as my weapon actually sinks into the nearest piece of dragon flesh, I feel a grim satisfaction.
That is until I realize that the piece of flesh that I have just stuck my sword in was merely the dragon’s fingernail. Worse, my sword is stuck and I can’t pull it out again.
Standing straight and tall I squeeze my eyes shut and await my grisly fate, now made sure. Once again I feel calm as I wait for what seems an eternity. As the blow finally lands, striking me squarely in my head, I feel no pain. Indeed it almost seems as though someone has merely patted me on my helm. Again and again I am hit and I?
“Um, hello in there Sir Knight.” A pleasant voice says impossibly near. Daring to open my eyes, I see a lovely woman standing before me, patting me on my helmet. At a complete loss I sputter out the first words that come to mind. “Are you an angel come to take my soul to heaven?” I ask timidly. “Well, I’ve never had it put in those words before but I suppose you could say that.” The woman says with a giggle and an odd blush. Looking about I find myself still in the same cavern where I found the beast. Yet the space seems all the larger because of the lack of a dragon to fill its cavernous expanse.
Coming to my senses I bow before the woman. “My lady! I have braved the dread serpent to win thy hand! Please allow me to escort you to safety.” Her smile is a bit sheepish for some odd reason, but she allows me to take her arm and lead her from the dark cave. As I walk, my heart is elated at the good fortune I have had on this momentous day. Yet a nagging question still haunts me and, seeing no other option, I voice my concern. “Lady, if I may beg a question of thee, during the heat of battle I fear I lost track of my foe. Tell me, what of the dragon? To whence did the villain flee?” “Oh,” She says with a note of surprise, “I don’t think we’ll be seeing much more of the dragon any more. No need to worry about it.” “Indeed, Lady, if thou biddest me to lay my concern aside I will.” I say to her, truly feeling better.
Yet I have noticed something else odd. “Lady, why is it that thou art sucking upon thy smallest finger?” I ask. “Oh it is nothing,” she says with a smile, “It appears that I have somehow broken a nail.”
P.S. May your knight arrive swiftly and may he be strong and sure.
what happened to writerboy you ask? well i think i avoided responding to this fantastic piece of work until the day i did the unthinkable. you see i have a girlfriend who happens to have the same name as writerboy. one day i emailed my friend of the same name to gush about a crush, we’ll call him surferdude. the email was sent. the damage was done. despite my best effort i don’t think writerboy ever believed that i had a girlfriend by the same name… but i do!