Preference was this past Friday. FYI - Preference is the Mormon YSA dance where the girls ask the guys. It is a long standing tradition in the Redd family that the Redd girls DO NOT miss the Preference dance for a pathetic excuse such as they have no one to go with. It's always been accepted that you ask someone. At least you do, if you are not me last year. Clearly I am the black sheep of the family.
But this year the campaign started earlier (and the dance was not on Halloween), so I went. Janine, Jessica and I made plans to make the evening a triple date. This meant one minor (possibly major) stumbling block; we all had to find dates.
Jessica moved the quickest, she got her date first. Neen was second. The Sunday night she announced her date I was still debating who I should ask. Knowing I had to move fast, I made the necessary arrangements.
Now here is something you should know about dating in the land of young Mormons, at least when it comes to formal dances. The simple phone call, or even face to face asking is rarely acceptable. Invites must be creative, as must the answers. Some people go way over the top, planning long and involved scavenger hunts or just getting way too intense about the invite alone. This can prove awkward if your invitee has already been asked, which is why Jessica just asked her date, Ben the traditional way of actually speaking to him.
I pondered that, but I still kind of like the creative way, as silly as it can be sometimes. One thing that I find about asking creatively is that fear of rejection can be reduced as you do not have to talk to your proposed date face to face. But don't worry Mom, that's not the only reason I did what I did.
I decided to keep it relatively simple, and play to my strengths, so naturally I made a pie. Trying to keep things slightly mysterious, I did not make it immediately obvious who I was. The question mark helped with this theme, and the pie was made in a glass pan with my name taped face up to the bottom so my date could not uncover my name until he'd eaten my sugary dessert. Or until he cheated and pulled off the tape. I never asked him which one he did.
The night I "asked" him my mom and I drove out to his house. He lives near Cochrane, so it was a bit of a drive. More so because we got lost. My plan was to ring the doorbell and then run away before he opened the door. This plan became difficult when I saw his house; he lives in the middle of no where, he'd see me running all the way back to Calgary.
Mom came up with the clever plan of parking in at the neighbours house and running across his lawn. It sort of worked, and luckily we didn't have to explain to the neighbours why we were trespassing.
I went home confident. I had already learned through the ward grapevine (also known as our executive secretary) that he had not been asked as of a few days ago, and the fact that I was enticing him with free dessert solidified my opinion that he would say yes.
I just realized I've yet to mention who "he" is. His name is McKay. I met him on a ward temple trip this summer. He served his mission in Argentina and just got back a little less than a year ago. He said yes, and did so in perhaps the best way I have ever seen.
The next night my phone rang. When I answered a mysterious voice that sounded surprisingly like McKay (or so my caller ID told me) suggested I go outside, as there was something on my doorstep. I went out to find a large box wrapped in red paper. A silver car was just driving away.
I took the box into the kitchen, where I discovered the bear pictured below, courtesy of Build-A-Bear. In his hand is a recording that says:
"Roses are red,
Violets are blue.
That pie was great,
And yes, I'll go with you."
What a great present/response. As my friend Kylie said when I told her, the Preference bear is a great keepsake, when the rest of my life is in shambles, he will always say yes to me.
Okay, now fast forward to this Friday, the day of. Janine, Jessica and I had chosen to do our date at our house because it was a) cheaper and b) allowed our parents to meet our dates as they casually passed through. The plan was simple; come here, make pizzas, play games, decorate cupcakes. Easy and uncomplicated.
We met up on Thursday to do the precooking and plan. We were now being joined by another girl, Kristine, and her date. Janine was running around doing homework, so Jessica and I took the reigns on grocery shopping and baking before we all sat to coordinate. It was here that we discovered something very interesting. The next day, while Janine would be at school and working on a project she was rather stressed about, and Jessica would be at work teaching her four separate preschool classes, I had the day off. So when we discussed who would clean the house, prepare the pizza crust and toppings, get the games ready and make a few colours of icing, guess who was assigned? ME!
By the next afternoon I was thinking longingly of my first Preference, where Colleen and I had taken our dates out to dinner and then to the dance. I was also vowing never ever to host Preference at home ever again. My day had been spent making icing, slicing pepperoni at the same time as figure out my parents meat slicer without losing my thumb in the experimentation, bake pizza crusts that refused to rise, and somehow look cute by 6 pm. Disaster.
Lucky for me, I have a mom and dad who stepped in and pretty much managed the chaos, as well as a sister who had arrived in town for the weekend and was far enough removed from the single life to consider helping out a novelty. I also got my hair done by a girl in my parents ward, who made it look super cute.
Date time rolled around, and things got under way. Janine had to pick up her date at the airport, so they missed half of it. Kristine and hers were late, but Jessica, Ben, McKay and I ate on schedule. Once everyone arrived we played a few games, the favourite of which was a story game where we sit in a circle with pieces of paper. One person writes the name of a guy in the group at the top of the page, turns it over, and passes it to the next person. That person writes the name of a girl, and passes. You continue passing and turning over the paper adding in this order; a setting, what he said, what she said, and an ending. Then we unrolled them all and read them aloud. Here are some of my favourites.
Cody and Kristine were standing knee deep in a mud hole, when Cody turned to Kristine and said, "I bet I can skip this rock 10 times." Kristine said "Ouch!" and they skipped merrily on their way.
Ben and Kristine were under a park bench, when Ben turned to Kristine and said, "I think I would rather stab myself in the eye with a fork." And Kristine said, "I'm a 10 cow wife." And they were eaten by a flock of moose.
Robin and Jessica were in the Alps when Robin turned to Jessica and said, "You're on fire!" But Jessica just said, "That's okay, I keep spare change in my sock." So they adopted a cactus and rejoiced.
Cody and Elena were standing outside the Salt Lake Temple when Cody turned to Elena and said, "I just want you to know, though your eyes are two different sizes, I love you anyways." She looked at him and said, "Shh! We have to be quiet, or they'll catch us." So they wandered the desert, looking for any sign of civilization."
We played this game way longer then we planned before dessert, where we decorated cupcakes for our dates. McKay made a beautiful flower on mine and sprinkled butterfly sprinkles on it to complete the effect, but just before we took the picture at the top showing off our cupcake artistry, I tilted my plate toward the camera and nearly lost my cupcake on the floor. I managed to save my mothers carpet, but not the cupcake. Thankfully McKay recorded it's glory with his camera phone, and it still tasted delicious.
In the end, we were only at the dance for about an hour, but I thought that was perfect, as about the time I was getting bored, and my feet were tired, the dance ended. We had way too much fun at home beforehand to consider getting there earlier anyway.
By the way, I may consider doing Preference at home again. Just next time, I'd be less of a spazz. Hopefully.