Monday, January 28, 2013

What your mission DIDN'T teach you about dating

"Yes President, I will go home and I will use everything I learned on the mission to get dates and get married." You say it and you mean it. After a final embrace with a man you have looked to as a father, you walk out of the mission office with your head (and its perfectly parted hair) held high. You are ready to move on, out, and up. Time to find my new companion, you think.

Soon you find yourself in a place like Rexburg, Idaho, where meetings about marriage are as common as conversations about the cold climate. And why shouldn't they be? I mean, to the outside observer, this place should be the Valhalla of dating right? 

It's a simple recipe:
Place some 13,000 ripe young single adults into a small mixing bowl.
Pepper them heavily with discourses and lectures about marriage
Let the mix sit in the freezer for 7 months
The result: (almost) instant wedding, and a lot of it!

Voila! It's a concoction that not even an elder can wind up burning..... or can he? Is it possible? Could Elder Superstar, the district leader to end all district leaders, the one who single-handedly taught 100 lessons in one week, the one who led 40 investigators to church through a blizzard, the greatest missionary since Paul, could he, this missionary of missionaries, mess up dating? The overwhelming response from the girls we talk to is "Yes! Very yes!"

But how? Haven't you applied everything you learned on the mission? Haven't you gone forward, armed with confidence, faith, and pristine polished shoes to find that one special girl, "the elect lady" with whom you can spend the rest of eternity? Haven't you done enough? Haven't you given it your all?

Here is something you might want to consider before taking someone out: not everything you learned on the mission translates to dating. Whaaaaaaaat? Buh buh buh, but my mission president said... I know what your mission president said. Mine said almost the same thing, but I don't think either of our presidents intended for us to date exactly like we preached. Certainly there are some timeless principles that can always be applied, but for the sake of your own salvation you must refrain from treating every sister like a potential investigator and every date like a discussion. Sisters if this is not a real problem then I invite you to chime in.

Now Elder,  I know you're used to a rigid structure and a tedious schedule, but things are a little more casual on This Side of Heaven. There is no "Date My Daughter" manual to tell you the perfect formula for dating success. There are, however, a few things that will help you NOT make your dating life a mission impossible. So loosen up the necktie and meditate upon these things:

  • Unlike investigators, you don't need daily contact with the girl you're interested in. It's okay to let the savor of your last encounter sink in for a couple days. I know too many guys who have scared away girls because they insist on daily dates, phone calls, (not-so-pleasant) surprises, etc. Give her room to breathe and think. Don't go overboard. Take it easy and be natural.
  • Hug. It's okay. Save the handshake for Sunday. Don't be afraid to wrap those farmer's tanned arms around a girl when you say goodnight. For anyone needing to re-learn how to hug, Bryan will be giving classes at 2 pm on Thursdays. Don't be embarrassed, we all need help sometimes.
No more companion. Time to fly solo.

  • Not every situation is an opportunity to find someone to date. ie: the 2nd floor of the library, a family reunion, and the testing center, to name a few. 
  • Don't invite others (especially your roommates) to participate in a date unless it's a group date. 

  • After the date, do not ask for referrals.  
  • Street contacts are even less effective here than they were there. Unless it's Ryan Gosling, most girls don't like being asked out by a total stranger. (Don't try to argue girls. I've heard too many complaints and too many verses of "Don't Fear the Creeper" to believe that you actually like it. You know the difference between cute and creep is attractiveness, and frankly, most of us aren't attractive enough).
  • Tracting= Unattracting. It doesn't work. You can make friends that way (friends can then become more than friends) but don't knock doors with the intent of finding The One. 
  • Don't fill your day with as many dates as possible. There are a few terms to describe that kind of guy, and none of them are nice.
  • Don't schedule an appointment in a planner. Ask for her number and put it in your phone, then call her some time when she's probably not very busy.
  • You are not on a date to teach or promote a cause. You are there to get to know her. So ask some questions, build that relationship of trust, and have some fun! 
  • Old habits are hard to break but try to avoid referring to yourself as "we," or your roommate as "my companion." And for heaven's sake, don't point to where your tag used to be when you tell someone your name.

  • Stop expecting people to make you food. Women want a provider not a parasite ------------------>

  • You can only set the date with one person. There can only be one "progressing investigator."
  • Observe curfew, but you don't have to be home at 9:30. On the other hand, don't feel like a date has to go all night either! 
  • Don't walk so fast. Your greenie hated it when you walked so fast and your date will too. Slow down and enjoy her company. Remember, the activity isn't important; she is. 
  • Avoid falling into missionary jargon. "I know that I will be a very good husband to you, and that if you date me, and pray about it, you will too." Besides the fact that the Lord doesn't have to back up every promise you make, that approach also tends to scare people away.

If you have any other advice to offer these brethren, please feel free to post it below.


Friday, January 25, 2013

TannerG: It's more than energy

From the brilliant mind of Sterling "The Yellow Dart" Smith comes:

       Do you fall asleep in class or work? Are you feeling drained and fatigued? Do you need energy ASAP but can't seem to get it? You don't need energy, you need TannerG! This isn't your average "swallow and wallow" energy drink that leaves you buzzed for an hour and then sends you crashing into physical and emotional despair; this is a science tested energy enhancer that will give you hulk-like energy for up to 15 days... and then will send you crashing into physical and emotional despair! TannerG's patented method of temporarily restructuring your DNA will give you energy like you've never had before!

       TannerG is a proven product capable of giving you stimulation beyond your wildest dreams. Seriously. Beyond wildest dreams. Every can contains at least one ounce of Tanner's own sweat, blood and tears. From the sleek black can to the delicious taste (most taste testers agreed that "it tastes just like a penny!") you are going to love TannerG. For only $6.99 a can, you can fundamentally transform your world into a speeding rocket of fast-motion power.

        For a mere $14.00 we will give you double, that's right, DOUBLE the amount of TannerG. That's a deal you can't find at the store. If you aren't satisfied with TannerG then put it in your car. That's right, 1 cup of TannerG is the equivalent of 3 gallons of diesel fuel. 

        TannerG hasn't yet been tested on humans, but the results have been stunning on our animal test subjects. All 24 of our test rats showed increased activity of up to 8,000%. Unfortunately all of them died within minutes of consumption due to circumstances totally unrelated to the experiment. (We assume it was old age. Who is our rat supplier and how do we go about suing them for providing faulty old rats?) Allegations that the rat deaths are somehow connected to drinking TannerG are simply a Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc, absolute poppycock. 

Do not drink TannerG if you have been diagnosed with or ever been under the vague suspicion that you might have problems relating to the brain, heart, stomach, lungs, intestines, skin, pancreas, appendix, foot, elbow, chin, or self esteem. Drinking TannerG may cause ulcers, aneurisms, cardiac arrest, pulmonary failure, cancer, rapid chest hair growth, fingernail sensitivity, blindness, tone-deafness, blood clots, stroke, paralyzation, loss of teeth, mood swings, depression, seizures, vomiting, gout, scurvy, and acne. Tanner and Bryan are not legally responsible for any accidents that may occur while drinking TannerG.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Life of the Rich and Famous

Well, I'm not that famous, and I'm definitely not rich. So I guess it's not the life of the rich and famous. More like, "The Life, and that's it," or "The Life of the Single Student." Moving on...

After the power went out in Rexburg, my roommates and I made this little video as a parody of "Sweet Brown's Cold Pop Escape" (if you don't know what I'm talking about, take a quick jaunt around youtube). For those of you who missed it, here it is:

The video was an instant hit. In less than 24 hours it had over 10,000 views. All sorts of people began watching and sharing our video. I guess you could say it went viral (for those of you over 30, this has nothing to do with the flu).

The video was even featured on the BYU-I Admissions and Overheard at BYU-I facebook pages and seen by notable figures.

Instant fame. People stopped when we passed by and whispered to their friends, "It's those guys from the video." Strangers asked if they could take our picture. People threw goodies and daisies at us. It was all the fame and fortune a person could hope for...

Sort of. Not really. Actually, we are not that famous and heaven knows we aren't any richer, but it was a neat experience.

Beyond viral videos on the social media scene, I have found further facets of my fame in a magazine. Open your September 2012 edition of the Ensign. Turn with me to page [licks his thumb] 39 (or is it 42? Well, just thumb around until you find this picture).

But Tanner, that doesn't look like a picture of you? In fact, it doesn't look like a picture at all. Well, that's because it's a painting of me as a bearded Jaredite done by none other than the illustrious Albin Veselka.

In the fall of 2011 I modeled for Brother Veselka (a counselor in my ward) who submitted this painting in the annual LDS art competition. This piece won the merit award, Brother Veselka received the honors, and I ... well, I am just thankful that I was painted with a beard.

So there you have it, the life of the slightly famous and much less rich.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Bryan Fleming Deported

Famous Blog Producer Deported
Adam Goodman

PHOENIX, Az.- In a shocking turn of events our own Bryan Fleming was deported at 4 a.m. last Thursday morning.
      Fleming's arrest and subsequent deportation came as a great shock to friends and family. "He just said he was going back to Mexico. We had no idea that he was here illegally," said Chester Stallion, Fleming's longtime neighbor.
      Ever hiding his true ethnicity, Fleming kept the secret even from his closest friends.  "I knew he loved hot food and Spanish, but never in my wildest dreams would I have guessed that he was Mexican," said high school friend Hansel Mallow. "I mean, he was so tall and white. Latin people love to dance and that kid couldn't dance to save his life."
      As our dedicated readers know, Bryan Fleming has been the Creative Consultant for B&T's Excellent Adventure™since its inception in 2008. He has also served on executive boards for several major productions including: "The Arrrriba," a monthly newsletter from Brasil, "The Bobble-head Chronicles," a comic strip documenting the adventures of Mrs. Carlson's bobble-head dolls, and "The Tanner and Bryan Show," a sitcom scheduled to air some time in the next decade.
       Speculation about his deportation has spread like butter across BYU-I campus where Fleming previously studied. Some claim that he was framed, others that he was betrayed by jealous coworkers. The official court transcript, written by Merwyn "Skitch" Davis, identified his charges as: espionage on behalf of Mexican chimichanga cartels, hunting La Chupacabra on Federal land, and making  pinatas of political foes which he destroyed with "extreme prejudice" in direct defiance of the Mexican-American Treaty of 2008.
      Communication with Fleming has been sparse at best. In limited email exchanges with blog co-producer, Tanner M. Gilliland Esq., Fleming has stated that he is being harbored by a Mexican family in Puebla, Mexico where he also teaches English at an elementary school. Mexican Ambassador Henrique Hernandes, who was present at Fleming's hearing, said that after three months of volunteer work he may be be reconsidered for immigration, but only on a student visa.
      Our best wishes go out to Mr. Fleming as well as his friends and family, particularly to his roommate who is probably suffering most from this sudden separation.