Wednesday, May 14, 2008


It occurred to me this morning that I was never asked to a high school dance. At least, I was never asked by a boy who was genuinely interested in me. I went to many dances with my friends and even asked a friend of mine to my senior prom. He had a girlfriend at the time, and I just needed someone to bring to prom. I felt like I would be missing out if I have never attended a prom. In retrospect, I could have lived without it.

In fact, I never really dated much at all in high school. I had two boyfriends when we were stationed in Italy, and none when I moved to Nebraska. My junior and senior years were boyless, and I was a fanatically boy-crazy. You know the saying, "Those who can't do, teach"? Well, those who don't date, fantasize, journal and write bad, bad poetry.

(On a side note, I truly beleive poetry is an art form created for angsty teenagers. As such, I also beleive that poetry should be left to high schoolers.)

So when homecoming was on the horizon my senior year of high school, I was desperately hoping for someone to ask me to attend with them. I knew of no boys that were even possibly interested in me, but certainly it could happen! It did in the movies! Perhaps some shiney-haired boy was watching me, the blue-haired, flannel-wearing goddess of love that I was, just waiting for the right opportunity to tell me how much he had adored me from afar!

Instead, I went to prom with John.

John was a friend of an aquaintance of mine. We had hung out a little, but weren't really friends. He went to Papillion-La Vista High school in the city next to ours. When he called me to talk about homecoming, for some reason, I mistook him for my friend Dave. Dave was a friend of mine that went to the same school as me. Earlier the same day, we had been discussing our homecoming options. (His: a few girls. Mine: no options.) So when John called that night, for some reason my brain turned him into Dave.

John asked me to homecoming. I verified that we'd be attending as friends, since I wasn't really intersted in Dave, but enjoyed hanging out with him. He said, "Of course!" By the end of the phone call, I realized I had mistaken John for Dave and started to silently freak out. I didn't want to go with John! When I saw John's friend Nate as school the next day, he told me how excited John was to go with me. I was stuck.

John wasn't excited to go to homecoming with me. He was excited to go to another school's homecoming, and I was a vehicle to get him there. This became clear when we got to the dance.

We danced a little, but I was still in my nerdy nervous nelly days where I was scared to dance in front of people. So when I sat out on a couple of dances, John went and danced with whoever else he could find. I spent most of the night sitting at a table with people I didn't know wondering if he was going to come back and ask me to dance again.

The night got worse from there. We left the school and went to Village Inn (which is, essentially, a cleaner version of Denny's, or another version of Perkins.) I knew none of his and Nate's friends and was clearly a notch lower on the high school social ladder than the rest of them. When John indicated he was going to imitate a then-popular commercial for York Peppermint Patties by jumping up on the table to pretend he was skiing, I made a made dash for the ladies room. I spent a few minutes in there desperately wishing myself home.

When I finally emerged from the ladies room, I made it clear to John that this night was over. He drove me home, told me what a great time he had (with everyone but me, apparently), and attempted to kiss me on my doorstep. He got a mouthful of ear.

It had finally happened. An unexpected solicitation to attend a dance with a boy, and instead of passion and romance and a night worth writing poetry about, I got an awkward encounter I'm blogging about more than ten years later.

Sometimes I wonder if I missed out on a high school romance. It certainly wasn't for a lack of desire, but perhaps for a lack of effort. I could care less, at that point in my life, about making myself presentable. Hair gel? No. Make up? Nope. Clothes that fit? Hardly. I suspect, though, that most high school romances are nothing like High School Musical and are probably more like my mediocre encounters earlier in high school. (Although, if you read my journal from those times, it would seem like anything but mediocre.)

But as I only had a few experiences that even possibly qualify as "romantic," I guess I'll never know!

1 comment:

  1. You?! Nerdy and AWKWARD?!
    I don't believe you.
    That's pretty much how high school is going for me. Pretty uneventful boyfriend wise. Good amount of teenage angst(hahah). Not so much the blue hair(by the way I need to see a picture of that...).
    Well at least your high school prom experience made for an interesting blog post!