The One Where We Danced

Coming to you live today from Bowling Green, Ohio! I had a great day yesterday with grad school friends, and as I write this, my dear friend Kirsty is at my right studying for an exam. She has become quite the fan of this series of posts, so I told her I’d write another one if she would hit the books.

Today is a good date post, so if happiness, joy, and a little romanticism drive you crazy, then move along.

I met Mark at a party at the swanky Villa Apartments in Provo, Utah. It was my freshman year at BYU, and while I technically still had the high school boyfriend, I was having a grand time dating a bunch of cute, pre-mission boys at BYU. As Mark and I talked that first night, he told me how he was in the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps–a program that turns college boys into Air Force men.

I told Mark about my cool Air Force Lieutenant Colonel of a father, and how I grew up on Air Force bases around the country and he said, “Will you go to the Military Ball with me?”

Just like that. He explained that he knew he needed a date, but he didn’t want to take someone who was unfamiliar with Air Force customs and protocol. So I asked my mom to send me my prom dress, and went to Military Ball.

Matt and I were good friends by the time Military Ball rolled around, so there was no nervousness about being all dressed up and going to a formal dinner and dance. It was just fun. It was chill. It was how I always wanted dating to be: drama-free.

He was a great dancer, both fast and slow songs, and even though I hate My Fair Lady, I really could have danced all night. The only concrete detail that sticks out from that evening was that I was at a dance at BYU and the DJ played “Head Like A Hole” by Nine Inch Nails. BYU was sooooo progressive back then.

There wasn’t anything overtly magical about the evening–no hand-holding or breathtaking goodnight kiss–but I remember how comfortable I felt with him all evening. It really was the perfect example of what a good date should be, and this date is something I’ll point my nieces to when they start dating. I’m not saying it’s a bad sign to be nervous or anxious prior to a date, but I really think if you can date someone that feels like your favorite sandals or pair of jeans, you’re golden.

Matt ended up getting serious about my roommate later in the year (that was pretty much my dating life at BYU) but we remained friends, and that Military Ball my freshman year at BYU was definitely the best date I ever had while I was there.

And one of my top five dates of all time.

Next post: from Rochester, NY…

All names in this series have been changed to protect the guilty.

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