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COLUMN: A blind date for April Fools

By Daris Howard

March 27, 2018
       I was in college, and though I was a good athlete, I was also shy, and I didn't date much. It was hard for me to think of any reason a girl would want to go out with me.
       One day, a girl from the church I attended called and asked to talk to me. Deanna was a beautiful girl, and everyone liked her. All of my roommates
were sure they were madly in love with her. So I couldn't imagine why she would want to talk to me.
       “Daris,” she said, “a sorority dinner and dance is coming up on April 1st, and a girl I know needs a date. Would you go with her?”
       I didn't need to check my empty social calendar to tell her I was available.
       “I'd love to go, but I'm not very good at dancing or social things. Are you sure she wouldn't rather go with one of my roommates?”
       “I'm sure. She knows about you, and she's excited. But she may not be the best looking.”
       “I can't claim that I am, either,” I replied. “And if she's willing to go with me, I'd be happy to be her date. I just don't want her to expect somebody too exciting.”
       “You'll be wonderful,” Deanna said. “I know you'll treat her well. That's why I asked you.”
       Deanna told me a little more about the girl and that her name was DeeDee. When I hung up, my roommates gathered around. Bryce, who had answered the phone, had already told everyone it was Deanna.
       “What did she want?” Bryce asked.
       “She asked me to the sorority dinner and dance,” I said.
       “She asked you, the King of I-can't-dance?” Bryce asked incredulously. “She could choose anyone. Why would she choose you?”
       “I'm not her date,” I replied. “I'm going with a friend of hers.”
       “Oh, a blind date,” David said. “Those can be disastrous. And if the girl needs someone else to ask for her, she probably needs help.”
       “Well, it's not like I'm the most socially adept, either,” I replied.
       “You've got a good point there,” Bryce said.
       As the day grew closer, I became more nervous. The girl sounded like a great girl, and I hoped she wouldn't be disappointed when she met me. It seemed way too soon that I was dressed in my best suit and on my way to Deanna's apartment. When I arrived, I stood there for most of a minute, taking deep breaths to calm my nerves. Finally, I knocked on the door.
       A girl with frizzy, uncombed hair, wearing a month's supply of poorly placed makeup, answered. Her dress had probably been nice when it was new, but it definitely needed ironing.
       She smiled a crooked smile and said, “Hi, I'm DeeDee.”
       I held out my hand. “Hi, I'm Daris.”
       The girl burst out laughing, and I felt confused. Was my name funny? Then, from behind the door, Deanna and a bunch of other girls all came out dressed in beautiful gowns. They were all laughing, too, and they yelled, “April Fools!”
       I was still confused. Deanna said, “We had Julie dress up and pretend to be your date.”
       “Oh,” I said. “So I don't have a date?”
       Suddenly the girls all went quiet and looked at each other.
       Deanna took my hand. “Daris, I'm your date. DeeDee is my nickname.”
       “I'm going with you? But my roommates said you could go with anyone you wanted.”
       She squeezed my hand a little tighter and smiled. “And I am. I want to go with you because I like you and I've seen how respectful and kind you are to us girls at church.”
       All night I struggled to believe that Deanna would want me to be her date. But I had a wonderful time. The food was excellent, and the dancing was fun.
       When the evening ended, I walked home, almost in a daze. When I came in, my roommates gathered to hear about my date.
       “What was she like?” Bryce asked.
       “My date was actually Deanna,” I said.
       My roommates all looked at each other, then burst out laughing.
       “Nice try,” Bryce said. “But we know it's April Fools' day.”
       I smiled and realized I couldn't convince them otherwise, so I didn't try.

       Daris Howard, who grew up on an Idaho farm, is a writer and math professor at BYU Idaho. His website is darishoward.com.

(Opinion: General)

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