The below story was written by my brother in response to a couple of emails I will include but not attribute other than by initials and explain that L is female and not Mormon and S is a married male Mormon. I am changing all names to avoid awkward discoveries if the person discussed decides to google herself and winds up here. We'll call her April Jones for purposes of the story. Please enjoy.
L: Subject: Did You Watch the Cougarettes?
Boy, they put on a show this morning on the national cheerleading and dance championships. The competition was last week, but they showed it this morning. Very talented!
S: Due to the absurd emails that have recently been sent, I have to ask: Is this really an email from L? Nevertheless, the author of this email obviously appreciates fine dance routines. I think girls in Utah use dance as a sort of release. They all seem to do it, or at least try. In fact, rumor has it that the International Olympic Committee was surprised at the quantity of dancers the region had when they were setting up the Opening and Closing ceremonies for the 2002 SLC Winter Olympics. But maybe that's what locals like to tell themselves. In contast, I don't believe they're pseudo strippers, like some dancers appear while they dance (see Bring It On, which my wife pulled me out of after 15 minutes) [ed. aside: Having seen and loved Bring It On, I find this little gem hilarious!]. If an absence of a pole and an increase in lighting changes the appropirateness of the dance, then our focus on the setting has overshadowed the conduct of the individual or team. Female gyration during a half time show is still female gyration. My father-in-law wouldn't watch his daughter's high school dance competitions because it too closely resembled a Las Vegas show, or what he thought those shows would be like. Having said all that, the Cougarettes are a talented bunch of girls who regularly receive national honors, even though their outfits look more like diving suits and they don't run their hands across their breasts, bend over, and roll their pelvix. Now I feel like I'm in some racy chatroom. I better go. . . . I didn't see dance performance. I'm sure Nick will find a way to disparige the Cougarettes because of his dislike of the school and his fruitless desire to cleave unto one of the 'ettes in eternal marriage.
L: Well, the Utes didn't make it to the competition...so what can he say??? Neither did the pelvis rolling Ducks, I'm afraid. Yes, the diving suits were cute - but they did a little number where they pulled off the front part of the tops to reveal a different sparkly purple top underneath. I found this to be quite charming. They were very coordinated. And, being that I can't touch my toes, I was very jealous! It was classy female gyration. (I have seen with mine own eyes the "sexual gymnastics" that occur at LDS dances on campus, and this was nothing in comparison! Nick will tell you.) Good luck on finals. Stay away from any dance halls with "poles."
Nick's Reply: The funny thing about all this, and S's allegation that I desire to cleave unto one of the 'ettes in EC (eternal marriage for those unacquainted with the term) were alas true at one point in my life. In the ward [Mormon congregation] I grew up in there was one April Jones, whom Utahans will associate with her father who was half of the legendary ambulance chasing duo of Smith & Jones, whose likeness has graced the back cover of Salt Lake Metro phonebooks for well over a decade and counting. Well the young daughter of Mr. Jones was a femme fatale standing at a brisk 5'9", blinding blonde hair and legs that went from Earth to heaven. You may have caught a glimpse of her around 1999 when she graced us with her presence on Gap commercial for jeans or cargos or fornication, I can't remember which, either way she moonlighted tap dancing for Gap Industries while working as the understudy for Rent (the Rent, on Broadway, not Brighton High's rendition). I'm unfamiliar with the storyline of Rent, but I have heard it involves situations that no Beehive, Mia Maid, or Laurel [church classes for girls ages 12-18] would openly profess a desire to be involved with; however, having seen many of the local dance routines of the region, which as S pointed out have been associated with establishments in the state of Nevada, I think we can all agree many of the young women would have actively participated if the chance arose. And there is no truth that I tried to sabotage the lead of Rent during company softball game in Central Park, but I did try to find a pineapple ice drink, but whatever. Now as you ask yourselves, what does this all have to do with the Cougarettes? Well it's simple, she was an 'ette. At one time I was the junior home teaching companion of the Jones family, which was awkward for a band nerd in the presence of a beauty all figured was destined for the bright lights of showbiz.
But this story does get better, or for me more tragic, depending on how you are looking at it. In a misguided moment of courage I acquired a handful of $1 hockey tickets to see the local minor league hockey team back in 1996 (which is about two to three years before April Jones left the majesty of Mount Timpanogos and the 'ettes for the big time which awaited her in the Big Apple). Having contemplated what to do with some of the spare tickets (I being a seasoned veteran in attending minor league hockey games), decided I should try and share my bounty, and perhaps my life in the eternities if things went well, with the stunning blonde who was quite possibly as far out of my league as was possible.
Certainly my current marital status belies the outcome of this story [ed note: he just passed the three year milestone of his marriage but this story was relayed much earlier], but I will try not to disappoint with the delivery. You see, I immediately ran the numbers through my head, who could I ask? I thought of several of the young women of my ward (by the way, April Jones was the grand prize of our Mutual, but there were many that weren't too far behind, which is a dynamic that only a subversive, smart ass, band nerd growing up in Sandy, Utah could understand). There was Kathy, Holly, Janica, Jill, Bryne, Jenny (the illusive and mysterious beauty who always left immediately after Sacrament Meeting), Dani, and a few others. (As an aside, one of the cul-de-sacs in our neighborhood, which was also my ward boundaries, included what may have been one of the highest concentrations of hot high school girls the world has ever known with Jill, Kathy and the indomitable April Jones, not only in the same cul-de-sac, but on the same side of the cul-de-sac, with only a house amongst their respective homes.) Now I'm a fairly smart guy. I understood my place in the hierarchy, or in other words, I had absolutely no place within the hierarchy of available men who could fetch any of these girls. But in the spirit of the gambler that lives in us all--or more precisey the natural man who dares to dream big dreams when it comes to the baser desires of our existence--I decided to push all my money on black 24.
Now I had to come up with a game plan, but time was against me. I acquired the tickets on Monday, the game was on Friday, so there would be no chance meeting after Sunday School, and besides I've never been entirely comfortable picking up on chicks at church. I could try just showing up at her house. I could follow her white 1995 Four Runner and ambush her at a store or something (which leads me to another question, where do girls like this spend their time?). Or I could go by the instrumentality which had brought so many young couples into blissful courtship, rapidly followed by eternal commitment--of course I'm taking about cold calling.
I say cold calling, because this was very much like an attempt to get her to transfer her long-distance carrier. Actually, I think the phone call would have gone much more smoothly. Before I get to the substance of the call, I have to repeat and instill in your minds that I had been her home teacher for over a year (although mercifully I had been released from this obligation several months prior). I also was the 6'4", 270 pound jackass in the Mutual, and let's face it you all know who I am and realize I don't blend into a crowd so well.
Now as I write this, I can still picture my room on that Tuesday evening. I made sure nobody was in any of the surrounding rooms. I made sure I would have the ultimate privacy in my moment. I paced back and forth for several minutes working through in my mind the introduction, the transition, the question and the closing. Oddly, I didn't actually think through my escape scenario if things went badly in the beginning. Perhaps my nerves were too frazzled to contemplate my ejection from the phone call. Either way, I'm not sure what was passing through my mind as it spun through the possibility of spending an evening at a hockey game with her, perhaps driving to the game listening to Prince's "Most Beautiful Girl in the World", then easing into a conversation about existentialism and Camus, Satre; followed by what would have been a whirlwind romance changing the course of my life and hers. Not just life, but ETERNITY. There was a lot riding on this moment, and my 18 year old mind labored through the scenarios surprisingly well.
I picked up the phone, stared down at the number in the ward directory for the 4,578th time, still unable to memorize it. The dial tone lingered for a little too long and the phone exploded with that strange sound it makes when it has strayed too long from the cradle. I pushed down on the button to hang it up. This time I punched out the numbers with great trepidation, unsure who would answer the phone.
First ring. Second ring. Third ring...."Hello?"
"Is April at home?"
"No....but she should be home in fifteen minutes. You should call this number [edited for content and sanity's purpose]."
Long, deep breath...........What time is it?
Fifteen more minutes of the above, but now I have a little more courage, although I'm not sure what to think of a girl that has her own phoneline. I didn't really have time to understand this red flag. My brain did sound an alarm in the distance, but I had gone too far to turn back now. My bet was already sitting on Black 24, and just because the dealer was changing didn't mean I was off the hook. My decision had already been made.
Fifteen minutes had passed, I feverishly punched in the seven digits. One ring. Second ring.....
Now I'm not sure how I started this conversation. I'm not sure what she said in the first eternity I was on the phone. But I know exactly how the second eternity of the call went. "...this is Nick [last name redacted]."
"Who?" as distantly as a voice can sound.
"NICK [last name redacted]."
Pause, as my second eternity on the phone began to pass away as if a dream.
"oh." a little too quietly for my comfort.
As I mentioned above, had I been smarter, I probably would have looked for the nearest exit at this point--slit my wrists and got in a hot bath, or simply asked if she knew a made up name and asked for the phone number--she went to a different high school than I did.
Nope. I swung straight into it.
"Would you be free Friday night?" Letting the word "night" hang in the air longer than was comfortable.
"I'm sorry *******" At this point my ears were filled with the sounds of screeching brakes, screaming children, Hootie and the Blowfish, and police sirens.
"Ok. Later." I fired back instinctively.
I never said another word to her in my life. I've heard she is now married, I'm assuming eternally, to some dude and living in the New York area. Despite the above story, there was still a feeling that my last chance with her wasn't exhausted until after I heard she was married, but it was the same feeling I get when I hear that a super model, say Heidi Klume, just got married. Every guy knows what I'm talking about. It doesn't matter how unlikely it is, you still feel a little disappointed when a super model, beautiful actress, or the like gets married.
Well, as mentioned above she was a one time Cougarette and so by imputation I feel that all Cougarettes have rejected me. So when I see the Cougarettes there is always a hint of bitterness in knowing that they are too good for me. Not because they went to BYU and I went to Utah, but that April Jones prentended like she didn't know who I was and then turned me down cold. You may try to assign the blame to me, but I refuse to believe it. Sure she was way out of my league. Sure I never had a chance with her. Sure I was, at best, marginally attractive and in the band. Sure I had a big mouth and made smart ass comments at every chance. But she still turned me down. And for hockey nonetheless!
So yeah, those Cougarettes may be well respected nationally. They may be perfectly suitable for eternal companionship for somebody. But as for me and my house, we'll be heading for Las Vegas.