Place item was collected
USU Merrill Cazier Library
Point of Discovery/Informant Bio
My name is Alyssa Burdett and I’m from Lehi, UT. I’m twenty-years old and I am currently attending Utah State University and living in Logan, UT. I’m a few semesters away from receiving my B.S. in Elementary Education with emphases in social studies and language arts. Until then, I’ll continue working part-time at a local grocery store. Each Sunday I attend LDS church services (something I’ve grown up doing) and throughout the week I’ve been known to play the piano or read a romance novel during my free time.
This story was collected while I was at the library amongst other folklore students. This sort of story is generally one I tell to bond with other single women with awkward/awful dating experiences. It’s commonly told in the kitchen and comes about because someone just got home from a date. There are other situations where it might be told, but that’s the primary example. This kind of story wouldn’t likely be told on a date with a guy, unless he needed a confidence boost that the date he took you on was not, in fact, the worst date you’d been on. Other than that, it generally wouldn’t be told to a guy you were interested in dating unless you knew him really well.
To explain a bit of the background about how I met the guy, my junior year of high school I was in a club called FCCLA. I wasn’t particularly popular with the young men at the time, so when a boy from another school at the competition kept leaning forward while we were sitting on the bus to look at me and smile, I was quite surprised. All of my friends noticed and were badgering me into talking to him. So once we got off the bus, rather than putting up with their teasing, I decided to walk over and talk to him, which is a very bold move for me. They were all so proud. Our conversations were very…awkward. We’d take turns asking questions. We never had a legit conversation, just back and forth “20 questions” (more like 500 questions). I’d ask something and he’d answer, then say, “What about you?” Then I’d answer, then say, “It’s your turn to ask a question.” Sometimes, when I’d ask, he’d say, “I don’t know…what about you?” I’d answer the question I had originally posed, then he’d say, “Yeah, I’d probably pick that too.” This was a bit frustrating for me because there’s no way he had all of those things in common with me.
Anyhow, I ended up giving him my number (which I very quickly regretted), and he called me the very next morning (a Saturday) at 10 am. I’m only slightly ashamed to say he woke me up. I used to sleep in on the weekends and he ruined it. Back to the “20 questions.” And his mumbling. The reason he called rather than texted was because my parents didn’t have the texting feature enabled on my phone, so calling me was his only option. Anyhow, I came to dread his calls. He called me the next Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, (asked if he could call Thursday- I said no, that I was busy), and Friday. The Friday phone call was during my lunch break at school when he informed me he was driving to my school to see me. I was positively mortified. I was sitting in the library when he walked in. I was sitting at a table where the only open seat was diagonal from me. I had one friend sitting across from me, one next to me, and there was a stranger on my other side. Rather than taking the diagonal seat, he came around the table and knelt down next to me. Few experiences in my life rival that one for “most uncomfortable moment.”
The next day we had a date (which we’d planned the Saturday previous). He’d organized a group with two other couples (with the purpose of carpooling even though he ended up driving me and him separately) and since I didn’t want to be the only person I knew, I invited my friend Chantelle and her boyfriend along. It’s always uncomfortable when I double with her, I don’t know why I never learn. First we went to Café Rio, then we went bowling. There was no conversation at either location. Like, at all. His friends were practically a separate group, and they were the only ones having a good time. After we finished bowling, he asked if I wanted to go get ice cream. I said, “If you want to.” We went to Macey’s to get an ice cream cone. While we were there, Chantelle’s boyfriend was being very gushy towards her. They’d been kind of close the entire date, but her boyfriend decided to rub her shoulder. My date noticed, and I don’t know if he saw that as an invitation to do it to me, but that’s what it seemed like. When he started to rub the back of my shoulder, I slowly, and not unkindly, slid out of his reach. Later, when we were driving home, he said, “You want to know something funny?” In my poor mood, my response might have been a little terse, but I said, “What?” He goes, “I’ve only known you a week, yet it feels like I’ve known you longer.” I didn’t respond. I was just trying my best not to cry because I just wanted to go home. He just made me very uncomfortable and I never answered another phone call from him.
This story is often told with facial expressions ranging from absolutely mortified to confused to exasperated. Exasperated when he told me he had all these things in common with me. Confused at why he felt like he’d known me for longer than a week. Mortified by the fact that he had shown up at my school and also mortified by the fact that he thought it was okay to rub my shoulder on our first date. My tone would be one of disbelief, it would be present at any point where he did or said anything, period. I’d be disgruntled telling about my friends and how they wouldn’t stop pestering me.
Introduction to Folklore, ENGL 2210
Dr. Lynne McNeill
Semester and year
Burdett, Alyssa, "Worst Date" (2017). USU Student Folklore Fieldwork. Paper 97.