I was on Cloud Nine. My best friend, Mel, had been taking the discussions for months, and now she had decided to take the plunge and officially become a Mormon. She was completing her pre-baptism interview while I waited in the church foyer with the two missionaries who had taught her. I was chatting non-stop, unable to contain my nervous and excited energy.
Mel and I were 18 years old and had both developed a friendship with these two young elders over the past few months. They were familiar with the ten or so other kids in our tight-knit group of friends because we were all in the same stake. One of the missionaries was especially good looking and I had teased him several times about being careful around girls and not being a lustful missionary.
As the three of us sat in the foyer, we began discussing who would be attending Mel’s baptism. I ran down our list of friends and then mentioned that I wasn’t sure if one good friend named Pam would make it back from her sister’s wedding in time for the baptism.
A quick note about Pam – she has always been That Girl that boys of all types are drawn to. She has long, thick blonde hair, bright blue eyes, and a beautiful smile with two huge dimples in her cheeks. On top of all that, she plays sports, bakes amazing cookies, she can smoke anyone in a game of pool plus she just has that good-natured “Molly Mormon” aura about her. No one can resist her.
Anyways, the cute elder got a look of slight distress on his face when I said Pam might not come to Mel’s baptism. I was quick to tease him about being in love with her. He got defensive, and so to smooth things over I tried to reassure him by saying, “Oh, don’t worry. You’re not alone…ALL boys love Pam. They can’t help it, all she has to do is flash her big dimples and they all come running!”
His face turned red and he had no response so I figured I had embarrassed him enough for one day. I changed the subject and started prattling on about some other silly thing. Mel eventually came out (having successfully qualified for baptism, despite her telling the missionary who was interviewing her that she was a transsexual, but that’s a story for another day.) I quickly forgot about the conversation in the foyer.
Fast forward two months. Pam and I were both attending BYU and we often ate dinner together in the Morris Center cafeteria. One night, I got there before her and was waiting in a booth. I spotted her walking toward me and waved her over with a big smile, but my smile faded when I saw her red face, bulging eyes and gritted teeth. “JESSICA, I NEED TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT SOMETHING RIGHT NOW.”
I quickly racked my brain trying to figure out what on earth she could be mad at me about and couldn’t come up with a single reason. She proceeded to (huffily) tell me that she’d just got done talking to Mel on IM and something very interesting had come up in the conversation. She asked if I had been with the missionaries during Mel’s baptism interview. I had no idea what significance that had, but confirmed that yes I had been. The she asked if I had talked about her with the missionaries. At first I said no, but then I remembered the conversation with the cute elder. But that was all so innocent…ok, maybe I shouldn’t have been talking to a missionary about lusting after my friend, but all in all I had been quite complimentary towards Pam. So why was she now breathing so heavily and giving me the Stink Eye? I asked her to tell me exactly what Mel had told her.
After Mel’s baptism, the elders were visiting her one day to check in and say hello. They asked her about her friends and at one point wanted to know how I was doing in Provo. She informed them that I was slowly making new friends and that luckily, I got to see Pam a lot. At the mention of Pam’s name, the missionaries both turned red and gave each other A Look. Mel noticed their strange reaction and asked what was going on. At first, they refused to tell her why the subject of Pam would prompt such weird behavior.
Mel never takes no for an answer in those types of situations, so after some badgering they finally gave in. They told her all about our conversation in the foyer, but with one major discrepancy. At the end of the story, blushing and stuttering, they reported how I had enthusiastically exclaimed that “all boys love Pam. They can’t help it, all she has to do is flash her big NIPPLES and they all come running.” !!! Why Mel decided to tell Pam before checking the facts with me first, I’ll never know, but she told her this incorrect nipple version of the story and Pam was p-i-s-s-e-d!
She only got madder when I fell sideways on the cafeteria bench, laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe. I finally managed to gasp out that I had actually said dimples. It took a lot of convincing before she would believe me, and even then it was a sore subject for years to come, even though I hadn’t actually done anything wrong.
So that’s the end of this particular tale, but I must admit that over the years, some questions arising from this story have lingered in my mind:
1. Am I really so crude that missionaries would not stop to question that I had just talked about flashing nipples to them, in a church, during a friend’s baptism interview?
2. Why on earth didn’t those missionaries stop me in that moment for A. clarification or B. at least a scolding?
3. And last, but not least…which IS the more effective method of enticing boys…flashing of dimples or nipples? (Single girls need to know!)