How I Helped to Almost Give a Polish Woman a Heart Attack
Back in my sophomore year of high school, two of my best friends, Sheryl and Janee, decided to do a triple group date for MORP with me. It was April, and Sheryl had just turned 16.
Since the dance was near Easter, we had an elaborate way of asking the guys out. It took literally hours to do, and I'm sure mere minutes (if not seconds) to undo:
We blew out the insides of a bunch of eggs and washed them out. Then we refilled them with a variety of items. My favorites were honey and oil. We also left some raw eggs in the basket but made holes in both ends and filled them in (I believe with a glue gun) so you couldn't tell by looking which eggs had been tampered with.
The eggs with the big question (probably four or five, "Will you" "go to" "MORP" "with me" and then our names) were all on slips of paper in sugar-filled eggs. Those ones took the longest to fill. (You'd be surprised how much sugar fits into an egg and how long it takes to gradually fill up five!
Sheryl's little sister dressed up in a pink bunny suit and delivered the baskets of eggs to each guy's house. Sheryl's date had family over at the time, and we could see them all jump in to crack open eggs. We heard later that it was a a giant mess. :)
On the day of the date itself, we created an elaborate treasure hunt. We had supposedly been captured by the KGB, and they had to find us. Remember, this was the Cold War era (totally dating myself here. I'm guessing some of my readers don't even know what the Cold War was or at least don't remember it).
My mother picked up our dates and handed them the first clue. (Side note: When she picked up mine, his father ran out the door with wide eyes. "Are you my son's date?" She assured him that no, she was the date's mother. Oh, okay then. He relaxed and went back inside. My mom is such a kidder, I wouldn't have put it past her to joke around as say that yes, actually, her son's dating a forty-something woman.)
They had to drive around to various locations in the city to find the next clue and the next. My dad was game, serving as one of the clue givers. Sheryl's uber-theatrical brother was another. He dressed up in a black trench coat with goth make-up and a scary Nazi voice and attitude that pretty much freaked the guys out. Man, I wish I could have seen that one.
The final location was supposedly "KGB Headquarters." We three girls had made a very nice meal for the guys at Sheryl's house. Sheryl's family had a big painted sign in their garage (like five feet tall) that looked like an Italian pizza guy pointing one direction, so we propped him against a tree pointing at the house. To his chest, we taped a paper that read, "KGB Headquarters."
We thought we were so clever.
It never occurred to us to think of poor Mrs. Woshnick from Poland, living next door, or that the sign was tilted slightly, so that at some angles, it almost looked like it was pointing at her house. She frantically picked up the phone and asked Sheryl's mother what this KGB business was about.
Sheryl's mother, to her credit, kept her cool. She explained the situation. Mrs. W didn't quite understand what a school dance had to do with this sign on the yard, but she did understand a "joke."
"So it's just a joke?"
"Yes, it's just a joke," Sheryl's mother assured her. "It doesn't mean anything."
"Oh, all right then . . . if you're sure."
"I'm quite sure."
We got a slight talking to. Nothing major, but more along the lines of, "It seriously never occurred to you that the woman next door used to live in a communist country and that seeing such a sign might upset her even a little?"
Um, no. No, it really didn't. We were stupid 16-year-olds trying to have fun.
And we did have fun. MORP was a ball.
I don't know where my date ended up (although he became senior class president). Sheryl's date is now a dentist and I believe lives in my stake, so I've run into him at the grocery store with no makeup on and sweats (yeah, let's all remember how great I look like that, shall we?). He was always a great high school buddy of ours.
I never did get to know Janee's date all that well. He'd recently moved from California and hated Utah. That's about all I remember about him. So I'm thinking he's elsewhere now. Just a guess.
To my knowledge, Mrs. W. still lives in that house, and nothing else has given her a Soviet fright since.
Of course, it helps that the Soviet Union itself no longer exists.