Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Tale of Two Proms: Part I

I’ve said before that you shouldn’t take a date to a dance if you haven’t been hanging out with them for at least three months. Hopefully, by now, you’ve realized that I suck at taking my own advice.

Which is why, mere months after the Rogerio Debacle, I found myself with another date whom I barely knew for another dance—but not just any dance. No, this was the dance to end all dances, where high school dreams are made or broken—this was the PROM.  

His name was Blaine, and he a friend of my friend Jennie from back in Owasso. I met him when I was crashing Jen’s confirmation class one weekend (I have no idea why; confirmation classes aren’t exactly known for being particularly entertaining). I liked his smile and we exchanged shy glances throughout the class.

Naturally, Jennie and my other friend, Aubrey, wanted to set us up. As girls tend to do though,they went from zero to sixty in 2.4 seconds and decided not only should they set us up, but that I should ask him to prom.

Sidebar: Despite what you see in the movies, prom is kind of an awkward experience unless you’re going with a significant other. Bringing someone in who is unfamiliar with you and the group dynamics? Recipe for disaster.

Against my better judgment, I allowed them to negotiate a hang-out between the two of us. We had a game night at Aub’s house, and after a few rounds of Trivial Pursuit, I got cold feet and wanted to back out. But your friends aren’t your friends unless they meddle in your love life, so the girls took it upon themselves to ask Blaine for me.

Yes. We were back in middle school. I’m surprised that the actual asking was verbal and not brokered through a “Want to go to Prom with E? Check yes or no” note.

I had a prom date. Now, I just needed to accumulate the other trappings of the evening: I borrowed a slinky black dress from my sister, broke out a pair of old heels from the back of my closet and bought a pair of $4.99 earrings from Claire’s. I did my own hair, which involved some sort of random twisting and a few azaleas from my front yard. I have to say, for being thrown together at the last minute, I looked quite pretty.

Blaine met me at Jennie’s house in Owasso. He brought me a carnation corsage, which should have been my first clue as to how the evening would go.

Sidebar: Yes, it is completely shallow, but there is honestly no flower I hate more than the carnation.

After taking way too many pictures at Woodward Park, we were finally off to the dance.

I think the theme was “Fire and Ice” that year, which apparently translated to floating tea lights in rose bowls with a few ice cubes tossed in and little more. Anyway, the food was predictably crappy, though the DJ was pretty good, but what I could not get over was my date’s inability to keep a conversation going.

Me: So, Blaine, do you have any brothers or sisters?

Him: Yeah.


Me: Okay, uh, what are their names?

Him: Blake and Will.


Me: Soooo, what do you like to do for fun?

Him: I play soccer.

Me (rambling to fill the dead air): That’s cool. I never learned to play as a kid, but I wish I did. I don’t really understand all of the rules.


That’s pretty much how the whole dinner portion of the evening went: me desperately trying to pull something out of the guy and him responding in monosyllables. I can understand shyness, but this was slightly ridiculous. It’s not like he didn’t know anybody—Aubrey had brought his friend as a date, and he had known the girls for years. Needless to say, I was not enthralled, and wasn’t really interested in getting down to Lil’ Jon with him.

After the dance was over, we went bowling in our dresses and rented shoes. I avoided Blaine and flirted with his friend and managed to play a decent game. From there, we were going back to Jen’s to camp out in her backyard—we had a tent and were going to roast marshmallows and tell scary stories (and later, burn things…there was a breach between the Tent People and the Fire Civilization. What can I say, my friends are loons.). However, Aubrey and Jennie hadn’t given up yet and so pulled some strings and moved some people when we were loading up the cars so that Blaine and I ended up in his car alone.

Where we spent the twenty minute ride in, you guessed it, near-complete silence.

I won’t bore you with the events of the rest of the night (which, incidentally were a lot of fun, Blaine’s reticence aside), but I later found out that Blaine thought, overall, the evening went pretty well.

I’d hate to see what he would deem a bad date.


  1. Have to agree. Proms have too much significance attached to them, and taking someone you don't know well is a recipe for disaster. Must run in the fam though, as I took a confirmation guy to my Junior Prom. Also not so much fun. Emily

  2. How ironic, I took a confirmation guy to my junior prom as well. I found out later that he tried to sell my best friend's date drugs in the bathroom at dinner!!! So much for the good Catholic altar boy! Juli

  3. im pretty sure that you need to post a picture of middle school prom you with azaleas in your hair!!! -jeni

  4. My confirmation class was not nearly so interesting...but then I went to an all guy high school.

    As a result, I was left to my own devices for getting a date to my senior homecoming dance. Although I went to an all guy school, there was an all female high school across the parking lot. So of course I took the one coed class that was offered senior year: World Religions.

    The class was split 50/50 guys girls and for the first time since puberty I had classes with the fairer sex. The whole point of this class was to meet a girl...not sure if the teacher appreciated that fact, but I was a teen on a mission. My new found hormones were bound and determine to not spend one more weekend night at home, but my zero lack of previous success weighed heavily on mind.

    After a couple of weeks, I found the girl in the class who I thought I had the best shot with. The only problem was she sat on the other side of the room and I had no reason to walk over and talk to her. Not to be deterred, I made sure that it always took me the exact right amount of time to get my books together and just happen to walk out the door the same moment she did.

    Over the course of week or so I said hi and got to talking to her...for about as much as one could in five or so paces before we walked in different directions to our next classes. Having never interacted with a girl from the other school, I took her lack of running when she saw me as complicit agreement to be my date to the upcoming homecoming dance. All that was left was to actually ask her out.

    It was a week before the dance, the friday before the last weekend she could go out shopping for a dress, and i walked her out of class and was just about to ask, and instead i seized up. lost all my confidence, and walked away. Epic fail in the battle against singular saturday nights.

    But no worries, my testosterone riddled mind would not be deterred from its goal. I called the only friend I had made in this all girls school...really she was a friend of a friend, and tried to describe my almost date to see if I could get a name and number...dating before Facebook, how did we ever survive. Yeah I said name. It dawned on me that I had never asked her name, and didn't remember it ever being used in class. I did not a lot to go on. My phone a friend had no idea who I was talking about, but she pulled out the year book and we eventually figured it out.

    Then much to my surprise the friend, knowing my lack of confidence was why i chickened out earlier that afternoon, explained to me that she did "know" this girl, and that she had been "totally asking about me." Well, that was enough encouragement for me and I called her up and got the date...only to find out later, that the two girls had never even met and my friend had totally white-lied to me to help me out. Gotta love meddling friends.

    The dance itself was awkward and long. I had no idea how to dance, and having never been to one before I didn't know what one really did at them. The music was good, I think, and the conversation went well enough that the date ended with a good night kiss...but then I wasn't wearing cufflinks or a two tone fancy shirt.

    The awkwardness of high school...I wouldn't go back for anything.


  5. Mark-

    I am enjoying your comments and posts almost as much as E's :) Well done, sir! As a "usual suspect" in her hunt for rando's I must say that I sincerely hope we somehow bump into each other on a night out!


  6. Jeni,

    Thanks, I've always wanted to be a Rando, but I never seem to be quite drunk enough to make it happen...except for the one time, I almost was...but that is a story for another post.

    If you guys are ever up in CS again ya'll can totally stop by and we'll enjoy a pint or two. Lol, then I can write first hand how I lost the girl in one date! ; p


  7. Mark-

    Contrary to your belief, one does not have to be drunk to be a rando. But nevertheless I am on the edge of my seat for the "except for one time almost rando-mark" story :) E and I are often in CS and we do enjoy ourselves a pint or two! We just might have to take you up on this offer...


  8. E, I think I can top you on said Prom. My date showed up, late, for pictures at Woodward, without a corsage (thankfully my mom picked one up somehow knowing he woulf forget), wearing a god-awful tweed jacket and sweater vest combo, and reeking of god-knows-what. At the dance, he was more concerned about watching Duke play on his pocket sized tv (a real hit to some of the guys) than making conversation with me. After the dance, he came bowling and was ever concerned with getting his drink on. On the twenty minute drive out to Jennie's, he pulls out what I can best describe as a swirly colored piece of blown glass, what I soon find out to be a pipe for smoking weed, asks me if I think it's cool, and proceeds to light it! Flabberghasted and speechless at this point, let's just say that I was glad I made it safely to Jennie's.