Monday, March 26, 2012

Dating, part II: Twin Cousins and The Widower

On Sundays, my mother and I go visit my aunt Patricia and her family. They are: Patricia, Uncle Dave, and cousins Henry, Ava and Audrey. Henry is 15. Ava and Audrey are identical twins and they are twelve.

A few Sundays ago Ava and Audrey said this, "Asia, we need to get you an eHarmony account."

This was perplexing. No, I've never really been a dating wizard (is that a thing?), but I've been doing ok lately when it comes to men... right? I guess it depends on what standard is used to measure. By my standards, if someone under the age of 40 smiles at me and has at least 80% of their teeth, I'm doing pretty good. By Ava and Audrey's standards, I need a boyfriend. Bad.

At this point, Aunt Patricia chimed in with a, "They probably have dating sites just for Mormons, right?" Then it was Mom's turn to give her 2 cents, "Yes. It's called"

Within about one second, Ava and Audrey were over on the computer typing in the URL. They made me a username and password (I'm not even sure I know what the password is), then got to work building my online dating profile. It was all quite enterprising how fast they were able to do this.

In the process, they found a crazy long survey. It was 16 pages long and asked a lot of questions about my sense of humor, my cleanliness, and my feelings on sex. For each question, my cousins would shout out the query and either fill in whatever answer they felt was most fitting or they would probe me to answer it myself. When the questions about sex came up though, they would whisper the 'S' word quickly and try to move on from the question in a brisk, but professional manner.

They enjoyed answering the questions on my cleanliness, because they think it's wildly hilarious that my room is often in various stages of disarray. And they were very generous when it came to my sense of humor. According to, I'm the funniest person on the planet and I know it. Top marks on all questions about that. I'm also kind of outdoorsy and physically adept. The online dating profile version of me (as seen through 2 rather cheeky 12 year old girls) is pretty awesome.

One thing the girls could not fathom, however, was my willingness to date a divorcee. I've got to say, I hadn't ever really given it much thought until there were 30 questions about whether or not I'd be willing to date a single dad, be a stepmom or marry someone who had been married before. I told Ava and Audrey to put that I was open minded and willing to be exposed to these opportunities. They were aghast. "I would put no!" "You would date a divorced guy??" I shrugged. They simply couldn't believe it, but they put in my answers anyway.

Throughout the long process of answering these questions, my other cousin, Henry kept coming into the room and asking me if I wanted to play Super Smash Brothers Brawl with him on his Wii. The girls would send him away, telling him that we had work to do. After the 400th question about what I feel my best physical feature is, I decided that the girls could be trusted to finish the survey while I played Wii from a safe distance.

Henry and I went into the Civil War Room to set up the game. My uncle is HUGELY into the Civil War and thus has a room dedicated to it. It just also happens to be where Metaknight battles Link and Pikachu in 0 gravity.

Henry gave me a Wii controller and set up our two-player brawl. I picked a character that I thought looked cute and before I knew it, we were on a platform in space, trying to kill each other. I've never been very good at video games (except for the guitar on Rock Band) so naturally, I just pushed all of the buttons as fast as I could and watched to see what would happen. This is what I used to do when I would play Street Fighter with my brothers. It's an age-old technique. The theory is, pushing all the buttons gives me a higher probability of causing damage to Henry's character. Henry was playing as Jigglypuff, and I played as 2 alarmingly cute eskimos. Alarmingly cute and alarmingly terrible at Super Smash Brothers Brawl. At some point while playing, Henry asked, "You have no idea what you're doing, do you?" I pushed a bunch more buttons before responding. The eskimos did something cool with a lasso before walking off a cliff to their death. "Nope."

It was at this point that Ava came in, bearing brilliant news.

"Asia! We found you the perfect match! He lives in Daytona and he's 28. He's got two kids, but don't worry. It's not because he's divorced. His wife is dead."

She was so pleased that she had found me a non-divorced mate who lived within 100 miles, I had to indulge her by at least looking at his photo. He looked like a nice Floridian widower that probably had lots to offer whatever girl he was potentially going to connect with. The site gave us the option to message him or to "flirt". We were intrigued and confused by the idea of digitally flirting with him, so we clicked to see what would happen. Well, as it turns out, you have to pay $8.99 or something to flirt or message anyone on Ava told me I should spring for the premium account for maximum exposure. But as I was unwilling to pay for the ability to flirt and she certainly wasn't springing the cash, we reached an impasse.

I saw them again last Sunday and they asked me if I had been online to review my matches. I told them that I hadn't, then distracted them by suggesting we play HORSE in the driveway. Henry beat everyone at that too. What a pain to be excellent at everything.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Skinny Dipping

What I'm about to tell you is a true story. It was, quite possibly, the funniest moment of my life. In fact, I was laughing so hard that I was having trouble removing my pants to jump into the murky waters of Utah Lake. But I'm getting ahead of myself. It all started at a Cinnamon Roll contest.

One rather temperate evening in the land of Provo, Utah, there was a Cinnamon Roll contest at my neighbor's apartment. I, along with a few of my friends, had been asked to be a judge in this contest. Being a fan of cinnamon rolls and random contests, I accepted. The contest was delicious and turned out to be more of a party than a formal competition. Kind of like a cocktail party, but subtract the alcohol and add a bit of butter. I sampled the various plates and made the careful decision that cinnamon roll #2 was the most delicious. #1 was a little dry and #3 tasted like straight-up butter. After casting my vote, I sat on a comfy couch and chatted with some friends that were also in attendance. Enter Bree.

Bree is that friend that everyone needs. The friend that stretches you and challenges you to do things you previously wouldn't have considered. Bree is the renegade. The guts. The glory.

Also at the party was Sarah. Sarah is very driven. Good student, hard worker, has a good serious face. But wait! There's more! She also knows how to party hard and is one of my favorite people to dance party with. Let's put it this way... I met Sarah when I was dating her brother. Once the relationship ended, the boy was long gone, but Sarah and I? We knew we were meant to be. Friends.

The girl who completed the foursome this fateful night was Hannah. Hannah was my roommate and altogether one of my favorite people. She was slightly more daring and slightly more brunette than me, but it was our similar "Sure. Whatev." attitudes that made us part of this crazy expedition.

So there we were. Judging cinnamon rolls. Talking about Ke$ha. When I said, "Hey let's do something crazy tonight." And Bree said, "Let's go skinny dipping." We all looked at each other with calculated glances. Then, with one communal shrug, got up and went back to my apartment to prepare.

It's important to note that, throughout the whole night, my expectations and what was actually happening were at odds. For example, this was my initial thought process:

Asia's Expectations: OK. Skinny dipping... So... I should bring a swim suit and a towel. But just for appearances. We probably won't even really find a spot to swim so what will happen is that we will drive around and have a good laugh.
What was actually happening: We were going skinny dipping.

My "swim suit" thought was abolished pretty quickly when I asked Bree, "Hey, should I bring a swim suit?" and received a, "No, Asia. We're going skinny dipping."

Before too long, we were loaded into my Jeep. Four girls, four towels, Miley Cyrus's "Can't Be Tamed" on full blast and a half-baked plan. After much debate and not very many good ideas, we decided that the only idea we had was to try Utah Lake, the notoriously filthy body of water just west of Provo.

We headed west on Center Street all the way until it ended at the gates of Utah Lake State Park. Wait. Gates? It was gated. And the gate only opened with a code. We pulled over to the side of the road in order to replan. We turned down Miley Cyrus only slightly in order to debate our next move. It just so happened that as we were pulled over, an RV pulled up to the gate. A dude got out, typed in the code, and lo, the gate opened. After one second of deliberation, we followed behind him as closely as possible to make it in before the gate closed. Mission accomplished.

We were in. And, man, was Utah Lake State Park happenin'. There were people everywhere. Night fishing, camping, family outing-ing, bonfire-ing, playing guitar. It was daunting. Especially if you're looking for a nice, secluded area to strip down and jump in the lake. After a bit of exploring and several nixed ideas, we came upon some private docks. These were docks with doors on them. I just tried googling this so you can see a picture, but I guess google has never heard of it... Basically, some people had mounted a door frame with a door in it on their dock. These doors were generally locked. I say generally because...

We wandered over to the private docks. They were kind-of secluded. There were people fishing to the left and partying to the right, but we judged that they were at a safe-enough distance and that it was dark-enough that, likely, we were ok. We tried the door on the first dock. Locked. We tried the door on the second. It opened.

Pause. Let's check on Asia's expectations.

Asia's Expectations: Oh my gosh. We actually found a spot. Ok, so... we'll probably just sit on the dock and talk. Or, if Bree is feeling especially dedicated to the cause, we'll go swimming in our underwear. What a laugh!
What was actually happening: We were going skinny dipping.

We walked out on the dock, closing the door behind us. We made a few remarks about how our secluded spot was only really semi-secluded and we could, potentially, get caught at any moment. It's important to note that my expectations, starting now, changed in rapid succession.

As if someone blew the "ready, go!" whistle, Bree started taking off her clothes. Sarah and Hannah took note of this and began to quickly follow. My mind was blown. Never, in my wildest dreams, did I think we would be taking our crazy plan this far. So I did what any super uncomfortable person would do. I began to laugh like crazy. As I cackled like a mad man, I began taking off my shirt, but was so unfocused about it that I really did look a little crazy, struggling to get out of my own clothes. Then I heard Bree say, "Asia! You're being so loud! People are going to hear you and come over here! And take off your pants already!" I snapped back to reality and finished disrobing. Then, we were all standing there in our undies.

We debated briefly (teehee) about whether or not to just swim in our underwear, but once the notorious filth of the water was factored in... As if another whistle had been blown, the underwear came off too.

Asia's Expectations: Ohmygosh ohmygosh ohmygosh. We're naked on someone's private dock. Like naked naked. And there are people all around. Oh my gosh. We're skinny dipping.
What's actually happening: Yep. Now you get it.

We found a spot on the dock that didn't have boats attached to it and looked over into the dark water below. SPLASH! Bree jumped in. The water looked plenty deep and she claimed that it was cold, but not freezing. We looked down at her with envy and surprise, then concern. The distance from the dock down into the water was further than anticipated. Bree quickly discovered that she wasn't going to be able to get out of the water without help from two of us standing on the dock.

And thus it was decided that we needed to skinny dip in shifts of two. First up would be Bree and Sarah. Then after we pulled them out, Hannah and I would jump in. This, of course, was poor planning because Bree and Sarah are very petite and Hannah and I each had about 4 inches on them. But thinking wasn't our strong suit as we were standing nude on a dock. Oh and also we were illegally in the park. Remember that?

Sarah jumped in and after about 30 seconds of being in the water, it was decided that their shift was over. It was just enough time for Sarah to agree with Bree about how cold and deep the water was. Hannah and I offered our hands and arms and we, quite un-attractively, helped the girls clamber out of the water.

Then it was our turn. Hannah and I jumped in. It felt nice to have my body concealed in the water. Pretty quickly, it was decided that our turn, too, was up and we needed to head back. One of the highlights of the evening was when Hannah said, "But aren't we supposed to swim around and enjoy ourselves or something?" And Bree responded with a caustic, "There's no time for that! Get out!" We laboriously climbed out of the water and got back on the dock.

We had done it. We had skinny dipped. And it was, quite possibly, the most awkward, ungraceful, artless, almost public skinny dipping in history, but it was unbelievably fun and unbelievably funny. It reminded me nothing of Nightswimming by REM.

As we put our clothes back on, someone decided that it would be funny to leave a pair of underwear on the dock. A calling card. Just to raise a few eyebrows. To leave our mark on this dock for whoever to find. After an inventory of who was most willing to give up their underwear, I took one for the team. And that's how my underwear ended up on some dude's dock.

A few weeks later, Sarah and I would be reminiscing about our eventful evening. "Hey, wanna do something this weekend?" I asked. Sarah smiled. "Yeah. And bring Bree. That girl is crazy."

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