This is one of those stories that turned out so deliciously well, you wouldn't believe it, but I promise you it's true.
In high school I was on the prom committee. Helped pick the song, the colors, the décor theme, and the menu.
I had three dresses picked out and eventually settled on this cute little swingy A-line dress with a v-neck. It was black with the slightest hint of changing color under the right light. This was kind of a big deal for my mom to approve a black dress for me, so I was excited.
My sister helped me with hair styling ideas. And you know me well enough to know that make up was out of the question, but I did my nails which at the time was something I never did.
It was –as so many high school seniors believe- shaping up to be the best night of my entire life.
Too bad I missed it.
My boyfriend decided to take someone else and I turned down Dad’s offer of a movie in favor of staying in with a good book.
So in case you’re trying to figure that out, let me fill you in.
At the time, my latest celebrated editorial in the school paper centered around all the reasons to not have sex on prom night. I think I even said something like I would rather stay home than be pressured.
Boyfriend reads this and I’m told later, gets ridiculed by his boys: Ha, ha. You won’t be gettin’ it.
Word gets around that Boyfriend has asked a former girlfriend to be his date. Unable to get a babysitter, she declines.
No really, that’s why she couldn’t go. Her mom decided that she had had all her prom night fun already, so no after party, hotel lobby or whatever else for her.
I confronted him about this rumor. He claimed that since I said I’d rather stay home he took that to mean that I didn’t want to go. I told him he was reading between the lines a bit more than was necessary.
“So you wanted to go?” he sounded sincerely confused.
“Well, yeah I did before you asked someone else. I think I’m just trying to figure out how if you and I are supposed to be a couple, why wasn’t it just a given that we were going.”
He mumbled something about the article and I shook my head, tossed it in the past, moved on with working on the committee and coordinating after prom plans with my friends.
About a two or three weeks before the prom, some very obnoxious underclassman was talking very loudly in her cluster of cronies about going to my prom. With my boyfriend.
I said nothing at the time, avoided Boyfriend for the rest of the day and rang him up later that evening so he could explain to me what she was talking about.
“You said you didn’t want to go.”
“I never said that. When did I say that?”
“I asked you if you wanted to go and you said you did before I asked someone else.”
“Are you kidding?”
“That’s what you said. So I thought you weren’t going and I asked [underclass whore]”
I shook my head. I guess her mom was willing to babysit.
“hello?” he said.
“I’m still here. I think I’m just in shock at how stupid you are.” And with that I hung up.
I found my dad in the basement doing laundry to talk about it.
He laughed with as much compassion as a Dad should have under the circumstances.
“If you really said that I could see where he might interpret that as ‘go jump in the lake,’” he tried not to smirk.
“I think it was obvious that wasn’t what I mean, but if that’s the way he took it, then we’re better off not going. He’s definitely on the ‘only a friend’ list now, if that. I couldn’t get close to someone that stupid.”
“Consider yourself lucky to learn the lesson so early. You should definitely try to find someone at least as smart as you because you probably won’t ever find anyone smarter than you. He knew what you meant but he’ll learn playing dumb will only cost him the good things in life.”
Good ol’ Dad. I’m sure he was secretly relieved.
My spies… I mean good friends let me know how things went down at the prom. A number of them ran into him several times the next day at Cedar Point. They made sure to throw lots of dirty looks on my behalf.
Boyfriend also called me later that weekend to apologize and tell me what happened.
His version: my friends were all mean to him, he thought they were going to jump him later that night, and his date kept flirting with one of his friends most of the night and the next day.
My friends version: My friends were all mean to him, they were planning to jump him later that night, and his date gave his friend a… massage... under the table. The next day, she rode all the rides with the friend.
Interpret that last line as you will, but I will say that three other people confirmed that for me, including Boyfriend’s friend.
Back at school, I was speaking with Boyfriend, laughing, having a fine time. We were cool. It’s not entirely accurate to keep calling him Boyfriend at this point, but Boyfriend, Friendfriend, you know who I mean.
Underclass whore seemed a bit miffed that we would have anything to say to each other. She thought she had stole my man. She apparently also thought that I had no clue what went down over the weekend.
“He did you dirty and you still talkin’ to him? Damn, you dumb.” She made the early version of what the kids these days call the duck face.
“I can talk to whomever I please if it so pleases me. [Boyfriend] is my friend. We’ve been friends for years and probably will still be friends years from now long after you’re a distant memory and about to give birth to baby number 3 or 4.”
That ended that conversation, but it wasn’t quite finalized until a few years later when I was sitting close to a college classroom doorway having a conversation with Boyfriend and she walked by, recognized him and smiled.
I could see her from where I was sitting but it was obvious that she couldn’t see me. She was all prepared to gush with greetings for him until she came all the way into the room saw me. Her face dropped.
“Well hello, [Underclass whore].” When I tell you that you have never seen a villain anywhere with the all-knowing, slow-spreading smile like the one I had that day, you better believe it.
She was so shocked she couldn’t reply. She just looked back and forth between the two of us.
Boyfriend tried to help her out. “So you takin’ classes here, hunh?”
“Um, yeah. What are y’all doing here?” she meant to say, “What are y’all doing here together”
“Well you know, we stay thick as thieves. Splitting the rent for the summer like friends do.”
Then innocently I added, “looks like congratulations is in order. Is that baby number three … or four?”
She gave me a half dirty, half defeated look
“Number 3. We’re getting married.”
“Wow, let’s see the ring.”
“Oh, we don’t have one yet, but it’s nice though. I picked it out myself.”
“Mmm.” Then I worked my eyebrows and expressed everything from “ Trick please” to “damn, you dumb”
“Well I’ll see y’all around.” She wobbled down the hall.
Boyfriend laughed himself silly. “That was mean. I can’t believe that.”
I could believe it. Boyfriend and I are still cool and she’s probably on to baby number whatever by now.
My dad was right. And when I said it, I had no idea but I ended up being right, too.
Not that it’s important to be right, but darn if it isn’t fun.
No Doubt – Just a Girl
I don’t remember there being a video for this. Nice.
Solo – Touch Me