A Matter of Preference

BYU is having its “Preference” dances this weekend. (This year’s theme: “Just Like Prom, But Without the Drinking.”)

For Preference, traditional roles are reversed and it is the women who do the asking, and the men who say “yes” even though they don’t want to go out with the person. Usually, of course, it’s the women who agree to go out with any carbon-based male who asks them, at least for a first date.

In fact, I know a girl who will go on numerous dates with guys she doesn’t like, simply because they keep asking her, and because she likes free stuff. Finally, after five or six dates, she’ll “let the guys down gently,” a phrase that makes so little sense it cannot even be translated into other languages. I don’t think she gets the guys’ hopes up on purpose, but that is no reason why she should not be stopped, by means of court orders, if necessary.

Anyway, my roommate was asked to Preference by a girl who, not two weeks earlier, was engaged to our next-door neighbor. This same roommate was also asked to Preference by a girl who, not two weeks earlier, was steadily dating another friend of ours. It’s good to see that when relationships get rocky, the girls do not waste any time trying to salvage them. No, sir! Move on with your life, and ask out the same guy someone else wants! My roommate is catching more rebounds than Dennis Rodman.

If you’re a BYU alumni, you’re probably wondering, “How did these girls go about asking your roommate to Preference?” Non-BYU people may not see the relevance in such a question: You want someone to go to a dance with you, you just ASK them, right?

WRONG, CHUMP! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Pardon my outburst. The deal is, at BYU, you’re supposed to find some clever way of asking the person. For example, a girl might bake a cake with a note inside of it. When the guy eats the cake and reads the note, which says, “Will you go with me to Preference?,” he responds by, say, setting the girl’s bed on fire. Then, to indicate that she received his acceptance message, she uses computer-hacking techniques to erase his identity. He responds to this by maiming one of her family members. And so on. Only at BYU does asking someone on a date require careful planning, extensive props and, occasionally, pyrotechnics. The number of fingers lost and eyes poked out prior to Preference dances, due to creative asking methods, is probably enough to create several new people, Frankenstein-style.

So to answer your question, about how the girls asked out my roommate: I don’t remember. Something dumb, I’m sure.

Anyway, all of this is beside the point, which is that there’s a swimming pool in my kitchen. Two of my roommates bought one of those inflatable kiddie pools, filled it with water, and now it occupies the entire kitchen. (To be fair, this is BYU-approved housing, which means you could occupy the entire kitchen merely by standing in it.)

As far as I can tell, the reason the pool was purchased was so that people would come by and say, “Hey, you have a pool in your house!” And in that regard, the pool has been a smashing success. Our apartment has seen a never-ending parade of gawkers and well-wishers who want nothing more than to come by and say, “Hey, you have a pool in your house!”

When they bought the pool, this new-found attention was as far ahead as my roommates thought. It did not occur to them that they had no way of heating the pool water to a tolerable level. It also did not occur to them that they have no way of draining the pool now that they’ve filled it. They also did not think of the special side effects of having a pool in your kitchen, such as the fact that the entire apartment is humid, and there’s water all over the floor, and it’s only a matter of time before people start dropping food in the pool, possibly on purpose. All that occurred to them was that people would come by and say, “Hey, you have a pool in your house!” Which they are doing, and which therefore makes the pool a successful venture. The end. (What, I have to tie everything together? I can’t just write for a while and then stop? All right, fine. Um … my kitchen is wet and slippery, and so is Preference. That doesn’t make sense, but I don’t care. You think I’m going to try again? WRONG, CHUMP! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!)

I kind of like how random and stupid this column is. When some authors write this way, they're hailed as geniuses. I'm just sayin'.

In the paragraph where I talk about the girl I know who keeps going on dates because she's too nice to turn anyone down, I shouldn't have said it was a girl I know. I should have generalized it: "Some girls do this," etc. As it stands, it sounds too much like I'd been a victim of her niceness, which not only isn't true, but isn't as funny as a general observation would have been.

Sharp-eyed readers will recall the paragraph about creative asking techniques as being quite similar to one in a column called "The Homecoming Horror." As usual, I make no apologies for stealing from myself, though I'd rather YOU didn't steal from me, thank you.