Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Tale of Two Proms: Part II

First of all, my apologies for the delay in today’s posting! I was in a very minor car accident yesterday (no worries, all persons involved are fine), and so spent the morning dealing with the insurance companies. It has been suggested that one of these days I write a post on my incredible bad luck with cars; seriously, my life is an exercise in automobile-related irony. But for now, I still have other stories to tell…

Since my junior prom experience with a date left something to be desired, my senior year I made the conscious decision to go stag to prom. At this point, I was quite used to being the odd wheel, and thought it would be more fun to go with the group sans-date and hijack my friends’ dates every once in awhile for a dance.

This was the Age of Xanga, and I took to mine daily, gossiping about what everyone planned to wear and how so-and-so had been asked. I even published my own prom-asking scheme, or rather one that I thought would be geek chic, which involved a calculator program that was activated when you turned your TI-83 on during Calculus class: Go to Prom w/ me? Y or N. It was the digitalized upgrade of the check yes or no note.

It was funny though—the previous year, when I really wanted a date, no one asked me, but this year, when I was determined to go alone, several young men came out of the woodwork and asked for the pleasure of squiring me to the dance. One of them even took my Xanga suggestion—when I typed “N,” my calculator’s screen proclaimed over and over again that I was a lesbian (apparently, he’d been talking to my mom). Looking back, I attribute this surge in wannabe gentleman callers to the fact that my ill-advised, side-swept bangs had finally grown out, but who knows what their inspiration was.

I was unwavering in my plan, and so continued to politely decline while offering to save them a dance. My resolution, however, was shaken more than a little when my friend, Kavi, let this little tidbit slip:

Her: So Graham told me that he wanted to ask you to prom.

Me: WHAT?!

Sidebar: I had had a crush on Graham FOREVER and everyone knew it, including, I’m sure, him. He was loud, obnoxious, a total smart-ass, who used to make incredibly misogynistic comments in our AP Lit class, not because he really bought into that idealogy, just because he knew they would rile me up. He was also hot, and many women can attest, there’s just something about a hot asshole that is irresistible to girls like me.

Her: Yeah. He asked me if I thought you would say yes if he asked you.

Me: And..?

Her: Well…I told him that you didn’t want to take a date—you were going stag—so you’d probably say no.

Me (incredulously, and quite loudly): KAVI! Are you kidding me? No matter what I may have said that I wanted, if I was going to say yes to anyone who asked me, obviously it would have been Graham!

Needless, to say, I was kind of ticked. Graham, thus warned, did not ask me, and instead, went with some freshman girl I was determined to hate. We danced once at the actual prom and it was everything my tender, teenaged soul could have hoped for.

Until (isn’t there always an until?) later at the after party, I saw him emerge from the bushes in a state of undress with She Who Must Not Be Named, which was the cherry on top of an already ridiculous night that involved certain parties falling into pools fully-clothed and then going missing for several hours, only to be found, soaking wet, and refusing to get into the car because they thought we were mad at them, as well as other parties who were asked to leave the soiree early due to excessive vomiting on the patio and even more parties (at whose house we were all supposed to be sleeping) not answering their phone because they were making out with their secret boyfriend(s). Let me just say, my senior prom after party experience was about as much fun as my actual junior prom experience was. We so should have gone mini-golfing instead.
However, hindsight being twenty-twenty and all, I’m glad that Kavi saved me from being a total hypocrite. I’m glad that I kept my word and went alone instead of being a complete bia who just said “no, thanks” until something I thought was better came along.

 I continued to alternate between crushing on Graham and despising him for months after that until we finally made out one random summer night after my freshman year of college (I recall that I was very chatty during this entire encounter). He has since become nothing more than the embodiment of my overly-preppy high school experience, though perhaps also the reason I still love the sight of a clean-cut young man in a navy blue blazer.


  1. E,

    Ok, so I have tried to ignore it, tried to find something else to comment on, but I can't, because it kills me when this happens. I know it is trite and over done, but really, why is there something irresistible about a hot asshole to a large enough percentage of girls? I wish I could say that this behavior stops in high school, but clearly, from your use of the present tense it can still be a thing.

    For all you shy guys out there, guys still in high school that may have stumbled upon this parable, lets take a hard look at this as a good test case for women who are into asswholes.

    After 27 years on this earth and trying to date for more then half of them I have come to one major conclusion, people do not actually know what they want. There are all kinds of studies and books that attest to this, (there is a great TED conference talk on youtube by Malcolm Gladwell author of Blink, about just this kind of thing. He takes 20 minutes to explain the story behind the 30 different types of spaghetti sauces at the grocery store and how people had no idea what they really wanted on their pasta. It's really great stuff.)

    With this in mind, I would argue that most women (people for that matter) who say they want an asswhole don't actually want one. They know they do not want what usually surrounds them, but they can't seem to get a real handle on what it is they actually want. (By the by, i'm not going to go into the whole what a person actually needs verses what they want. We'll keep this simple and look at the misunderstand of what a person wants, vs what they think they want.)

    Too many guys think, i'm a nice guy why isn't she into to me. The problem is, there is nothing interesting about a guy who always defers to her, never argues, never has a real conversation with her. In high school who aren't these push over guys: the asswholes!

    I will take this one step further, because as I have said, people do not know what they actually want. Women may think the asshole is what they want or good enough, but soon enough they break it off for one reason or another...mainly that he's an asswhole (go figure.) All you nice guys out there, here is the key: people want someone who can challenge and engage them (while respecting them as an equal. I'll comment more on the last part later.)

    One cannot have a real conversation with a girl if he thinks she is on some high and impossible pedestal because of how "great" a he may think she his. If the girl is all alone on her pedestal and you're afraid to do anything because it might upset her or not be good enough for her or for whatever reason not challenge her, she will get pretty board pretty fast. Yet, if a guy is willing to treat her as a friend, granted one that he would like to make out with, but still as a friend that you can joke with, give a hard time too, and take it as good as he gave it, then then he'll probably get a second date.

    Now that I just put a fair amount of words in the mouths of women everywhere, let me hear back. What are your thoughts on E's and all women like her, attraction to asswhole guys.


  2. I have never understood the feminine attraction to cocky idiots. Perhaps it's because they have enough chutzpah to question the woman. Somehow conflict can (at least temporarily) suspend the rules of (deep-seated) attraction to allow for something more visceral.

    Still, what is with that? Not that all women are all alike... there are a great number that see through the smoke and mirrors... and cockiness.

    "...It was the digitalized upgrade of the check yes or no note..."

    Hilarious! Alas, I don't think that would make it into a George Strait song.

  3. BINGO: "One cannot have a real conversation with a girl if he thinks she is on some high and impossible pedestal because of how 'great' he may think she is. If the girl is all alone on her pedestal and you're afraid to do anything because it might upset her or not be good enough for her or for whatever reason not challenge her, she will get pretty bored pretty fast."

    Mark, I couldn't have said it better. The worst thing a guy can do is to treat a girl like she's an object. This objectification of women plays out in different ways; whether the guy is obviously disregarding her humanness (such as only texting her at 2:30am every Friday for a booty call or dumping all his issues on her to use her for emotional support while never being supportive to her) or discreetly (such as only taking her on extravagant expensive dates or lavishing her with compliments while not really getting to know her) he is simply not treating her with respect as a complex/flawed/multi-faceted human being. Therefore, it will NEVER work. Even if she sticks around and doesn’t get bored pretty fast, there will come a time when she will be vulnerable and ask her guy to sacrifice something for her or their relationship, and he won’t be able to because he doesn’t actually care about HER.

    So basically, putting a girl on a pedestal doesn’t show that a guy really cares about and love her. It shows that he only values the qualities of hers that he wants and not the rest of her.


  4. Often I think women fall for assholes because they tend to be the confident ones! Women want someone who is not afraid to be a man and treat her with respect. (Key is finding a confident non-asshole!) Shy or immature (sometimes they simply go together)guys tend to not even pop up on the radar... Waa!

  5. to clarify i didnt fall in i believe i was carried over the shoulder and thrown in. loving the stories!

  6. Yeah, yeah, whatever, B ;)