When Jackson Trugman couldn’t decide which of his five female friends to take to the Pi Kappa Alpha formal this weekend he told them to apply.
And this is 2008. So he created Not Your Normal Formal blogspot, a site asking girls to explain why he should choose them to go to the overnight event in Leesburg, Va.
“I was stressing out kind of a big deal, and one night in bed I was like, I should have a contest,” Trugman said. “It made my choosing a little easier.”
Though none of Trugman’s original five options sent in applications, 13 other girls did respond to his blog that was advertised on fliers that he posted around campus. Trugman also said he received 37 Facebook friendship requests from girls he didn’t know – including one from a mother asking him to meet her daughter. The site has received more than 2,000 hits since it launched on March 25, Trugman said.
“I just wanted to find someone who would eat and dance and have a good time and take pictures,” the sophomore said.
He said he was surprised at the response. Trugman posted 26 times on his blogspot explaining to applicants why he was holding the contest, who he expected to apply and information about himself. On March 26 he listed 13 personal facts like his favorite color and his habitual Diet Coke drinking.
“It’s not because I’m desperate or awkward,” he said of the posts. “I just wanted people to know that I was real.”
Maxine Peltz was one of Trugman’s applicants and when she saw his 13 facts, she said she knew that they would be a good match.
“I was like wow, we have a lot in common,” said Peltz, a sophomore. Both are art history majors, have fathers who are lawyers and consider purple to be their favorite color.
Peltz met Trugman several days after he launched the blogspot and said he asked her to apply.
“I thought it was very funny,” she said.
On April 6, Trugman wrote to Peltz in an e-mail, “Now that you’ve won, I guess the question is, will you come to formal with me?”
Peltz, a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma, said that she was surprised to hear she had won – though later found out that her friends had been telling Trugman she would make a good date. Peltz accepted and said that she had friends going and had been to the Pike formal in years past.
Though the two were not friends before and had to share a bed together Friday night, both agreed the date went well.
“Jackson is just not an awkward guy,” Peltz said.
Trugman said he was very happy with his date search – both the application process and the ultimate winner – but said he probably wouldn’t do it again.
As for other guys looking for a good formal date, Trugman cautioned that this tactic worked with his personality, but “is really not for everyone.”