Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Guest Blogger Reija: THE ALPHABET DATE

THE ALPHABET DATE
by Reija

Most all of you, I imagine, have been on an alphabet date, but may not have recognized it for its true self. Maybe you liked the boy and mistook it as a DATE. Or you didn't like him at all and worried too much that it was a DATE. After reading this entry, you will no longer find yourself in the dark, will be able to appropriately label these dates, and thus will enjoy them as they are meant to be enjoyed. If you remember nothing else, remember that an alphabet date should not be dismissed, but embraced.

WHAT IS AN ALPHABET DATE?

An alphabet date is a date that you go on because it is your turn in the alphabet.

Your participation in the date is independent (mostly, but not entirely, esp. if the date is with a boy) of your relative beauty, charm, and wit and more dependent on your gender, accessibility, and place in the boy's cell phone list (most cell phones are alphabetical.)

HOW DO I RECOGNIZE AN ALPHABET DATER?

There are many ways that you can recognize an alphabet dater.The boy who takes you on the date goes on many, many casual dates. He usually likes girls, likes the company of girls, and doesn't mind shelling out a few bucks each weekend to buy some time with them. He usually has a couple of good guy friends who like girls too, and they usually double up in spending time with each other and with a girl in the form of dates. His taking girls on dates is a good sign, actually, because it shows that he doesn't take their time totally for granted and is willing to go through unnecessary burdens like planning activities, cleaning his car, and combing his hair for the privilege of seeing them.

He talks to a wide variety of girls, but isn't necessarily a flirt. Unlike total flirts, he's usually wary of making any one girl feel like she's too special. He usually doesn't think he's too special. The alphabet dater is always polite, dresses well but modestly, and usually doesn't flip through his iPhone in public. An alphabet dater will also hold the door open for you and all of your roommates and the girls walking ten steps behind you. He will smell clean and let you control the radio.

HOW DO I KNOW I AM ON AN ALPHABET DATE?

Most likely you are going on an alphabet date if you get asked out the next weekend by the same boy who took your roommate/best friend/other girl in the ward out last week. Also, if you're doing something that is casual and cheap, it shows that the boy knows how to have fun but isn't shelling out the big bucks for you. The date might be a little bit shorter, and at least 2 out of every 3 times will involve other couples. If it's just the two of you, it might only be a weeknight dinner or jaunt to Pluto's. Occasionally it might involve doing something nicer, particularly if the nicer activity is something boy thinks that you will enjoy. This can be confusing and lead you to think that it is a DATE. However, if the boy is a very nice boy who appreciates a lot of different things, he might take you to a baseball game (if you are Jess Berry) or to a cello concert (if you are Reija, who also likes baseball games, just for the record.) It's still an alphabet date, not a DATE, but does allow you to think about the boy with increasing fondness and feelings of friendship since he is being courteous and thoughtful of you.

One very telling sign you are on an alphabet date if you are Jess Berry is if the other girl on your double date is Jes Deputy.

WHAT ARE THE CONS OF THESE ALPHABET DATES?

He probably doesn't like you-- at least all that much. Meaning, he isn't in love with you already. So if you get asked on an alphabet date by the hunk of your life, that can be a bit devastating. But stop being so down! At least you get to look at him for an hour anyway! Also, the food isn't always amazing, and sometimes you have to play silly games. Chances are you will only get a side hug at best when it is all over. And you certainly won't be special the next Sunday in Relief Society-- half the other girls have already been out with him too.

THAT SOUNDS GLOOMY. TELL ME ABOUT THE PROS OF THE ALPHABET DATE.

He likes you enough to spend at least a few hours with you-- and that's actually a compliment. Also, he'll probably pay a few bucks for that, and the food will save you from paying for dinner or doing lots of dishes. And he's had lots of practice dating, so he's likely to give a few nice compliments and treat you politely and open your doors and let you handle the radio (see above) and otherwise handle himself without making huge dating snafus. The other couple is usually fun-- most likely the other girl on the date is someone you like-- so the overall air is relaxed and jovial. You don't have to waste lots of time thinking about what you look like or say, and can thus be maximally naturally charming, which ironically could def. lead to DATES if you are lucky (though you can't get your hopes up, he goes out with lots of charming girls.) No awkward doorstep scene, and you'll get home in time to get a good night's sleep. Also, you'll have a story to swap next time his name comes up in your group of friends. Nothing is worse than being the ONLY girl the alphabet boy has never asked out. Then you just feel lame.

GIVE ME AN EXAMPLE OF AN ALPHABET DATE.

My latest adventure with the alphabet date was a model of the paradigm. Prior to asking me out, J. had asked A. (my roommate) and R.-- two other charming girls in the ward-- out on Friday night dates. So when he asked me out, I was politely charmed but had no expectations. We ended up going to the temple for a session together prior to our date-- which is NOT typical of the alphabet date-- but he was politely conversational, opened my doors, made sure the car was warm, and was nicely attentive. On our actual date, we made dinner with C. & M., a couple I love dearly. I fried the vegetables for shrimp scampi while he made cheesecakes and C. & M. chopped fresh vegetables. We all four talked, but he talked more to me then them. Afterwards we did dishes and then went to see Marley & Me, during which he sat by me and made a few snarky comments. When he drove me home, I said thanks! I had a great time! and then hopped out of the car and he waited until I unlocked the door and went inside. Total time commitment: 5-ish hours (for dinner + movie). Dinner: Good and filling, with dessert. Company: Awesome. Overall grade on date: A- (I have to reserve A's for people I have a crush on, so an A- is the top score for an alphabet date.) And the next day in church, my date talked to me naturally. Way to go, J., alphabet date champion!

WHY DO YOU RECOMMEND THE ALPHABET DATE SO HIGHLY?

Personally, I am a fan of the alphabet date. In many ways, it's safer than the blind date because you have a pretty good idea of what you're going to get. Not as exciting, but more comfortable. And you can go on as many alphabet dates as you like with the same boy-- you're not limited to just three!-- as long as they are spaced apart comfortably.

Of course, I'm in the middle of the alphabet, which makes me a prime target for alphabet dates. I get people who start from the beginning, end, and middle of the alphabet. And my number has that familiar 801- prefix so it's less intimidating to dial (I think).

Also, if you are an alphabet girl, you can act like the alphabet boy! Meaning you can talk to lots of different boys without worrying about sending mixed signals, and that means lots more laughs at church having entertaining conversations. You can dress prettily, but not freak out about your hair or makeup. And if boys aren't trying to hold your hand on alphabet dates or kiss you, you don't have to worry about wearing lotion all the time, sweating too much, having onions on your Counter Burger, or brushing your teeth. Ok, maybe brushing your teeth. Maybe that's why I like it. Because I'm secretly just an alphabet girl at heart.

That is, until Prince Charming comes along. Let's be real. As much as we all love and hail the alphabet date, what we'd really like is a man to go on DATES with... because for most of us, alphabet dates never involve kissing. And really, that's kind of what dating is for, right? RIGHT.

2 comments:

Jennifer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tball said...

Jess, You are hilarious!... Thanks for the education on alphabet dates! :)
Tresa