Alumni look back on their frightening and funny returns to BYU social life.
A Companionable Date
Amy Clifton Jones, ’00, Spokane, Wash.
“I know the perfect guy for you!” my cousin insisted, trying yet again to set me up on a blind date. Not that I really minded; having returned from my mission just two weeks before the semester started, I figured the more people I could meet—especially of the opposite sex—the better. So we set up the date: a Halloween dance and games at the Wilkinson Center. Coordinating costumes took a few phone calls, but ultimately we went with an idea that seemed easy enough—missionaries. After all, my worn-out Doc Martens, faded skirts, and shelved nametag had been crying out for use. Or was that me crying out to use them again?
Seeing an elder and a sister dancing with each other was not completely acceptable to many of our peers. Others laughed at the joke. Some actually thought we were on splits! I was relieved at the night’s end to know that, in keeping with our costumes, a safe handshake farewell would do.
I ended up falling in love with this blind date and marrying him. When my mission president asked how I met him, however, I deemed it best to omit the details of our first-date attire.
Nowhere to Run
James L. Evans Jr., ’84, Blacksburg, Va
When I returned to BYU after my mission, I knew I’d eventually start dating again. I had been home for three months, and I still hadn’t been on a date. It wasn’t a big deal to me, but with five RM roommates who had already reacclimated to the dating scene, I was beginning to feel the pressure.
There was an attractive girl in my BYU ward, and we spent a lot of time talking and hanging out. My roommates told me I should ask her out, but it wasn’t easy. Finally, one afternoon I got up the nerve to ask her out for later that week. She said yes, and I thought the worst was over. I was wrong.
As the date approached, my anxiety grew. I was going to be alone with a member of the opposite sex. I was terrified. I thought of ways I could get out of the date, but my roommates wouldn’t hear of it. About two hours before the date, I told my roommates I couldn’t go through with it. I tried to leave the apartment and just forget about the date, but my roommates locked me in my room until it was time. Then they unlocked the door, escorted me to her apartment, and waited around the corner until I picked her up. I was very nervous, but the date was great. We both got some laughs out of my nervousness and had a wonderful time. It got better with each date thereafter, but that first one was indeed very difficult.
Wrong Place, Wrong Time
Brian E. Cooper, ’80, Bakersfield, Calif.
It was September 1978, and I was back on campus, having recently returned from a mission to Kentucky. As I drove by Deseret Towers, I thought of the days before my mission when I lived in S Hall. On Monday nights we’d watch Monday Night Football in the basement. (We tried to fit family night in during halftime.) On the spur of the moment, I decided to stop at S Hall, go downstairs, and watch Monday Night Football—just like the old days.
When I opened the basement door and stepped into the room, I realized two things: first, Monday Night Football was not on, and second, I was in a room full of girls. To say this was an awkward moment would be a gross understatement. I knew the rules regarding when men could and could not go into girls’ dorms, and I had just broken a major one. As I flew back up the stairs, I wondered if I was going to get out of S Hall before security showed up. Shouldn’t my mission president have told me during my exit interview that S Hall had been changed into a girls’ dorm? Well, I made it out alive, never again to return to S Hall. I can only hope that, now that I have confessed, President Samuelson will let me keep my diploma.