How Would You Rate Your Prom?

With all of these “promposals” popping up on the news I have to ask: How Would You Rate Your Prom?

Prom for me was a big dramafest. I had an on again off again boyfriend for about a year named Jimmy. I think in his mind it was off and in my desperation I convinced myself it was on. I asked him to the prom because I thought that was a safe way to lock him in to seeing me again. Boy was I wrong, trust me when I say it didn’t work.

Some background information for you: Jimmy did not go to my high school so I rarely saw him. In fact I don’t think he went to any school. He had a job full time fixing cars at the age of 16. I never met his family because he did not live with them. He stayed in the basement of friend’s house in one of the toughest neighborhoods in Brockton, MA. That didn’t stop me from seeing him though. Whenever he would invite me to hang out I would drop everything and rush over to see him. Eventually, Jimmy invited me less and less but that didn’t stop me from wanting to be around him.

The Prom began to creep up and I realized I hadn’t seen my date in almost a month. I began calling him frantically leaving voice messages on the answering machine at his friend’s house. I somehow had convinced myself that he just hadn’t been getting the messages and I worked myself up worrying right until the day before the prom. My best friend Kara had the adorable, sweet boyfriend, Darren and I envied her and wished I had a boyfriend like she had. They were all set to go the prom and didn’t have a worry in the world. Lucky for me they were my friends and they knew the stress I was going through was hell. Darren’s best friend, Rich, was tall and very good looking. He was a huge partier and loved to drink and have fun and although I always enjoyed his company I never imagined he would give up a night of partying with his friends and spend the small fortune it cost to go to a prom. To my surprise Rich called me the day before the prom and offered to take me. He said he would get a tux and a haircut and we would have a blast. I was so happy I nearly cried and I accepted his offer and just like that Rich was off to get ready to be my prom date with just 24 hours to do it.

A few hours later my phone rang. I answered it expecting to hear Rich asking me a question about our big date but I was wrong there was Jimmy on the other end of the phone. He simply said “I got my tux” and instantly I felt paralyzed with fear. What was I to do? Of course I was afraid to hurt Jimmy and part of me wanted to just trust that he had actually gotten his tux. I quickly dismissed the fact that he hadn’t returned my phone calls for a month and for a brief moment I was ready to go with him and then in a moment of clarity I thought about Rich. Sweet Rich who was at that very moment driving around getting his long Bon Jovi hair chopped for me.

I sat in silence and processed the entire thing. I felt guilt, disappointment, confusion, stress and a million other things. And then I just said it “F*#! You Jimmy! How long did you think I was going to wait around for you? I have another date, goodbye!” and I hung that phone up and began to get ready for my senior prom.

As for Rich…He and I went to the prom with Kara and Darren. I remember very little about actually being at the prom however, I remember going to the beach after and all of us getting a hotel room. We had a blast just as Rich promised. I certainly had far more fun than I ever would have had with moody, unpredictable Jimmy.

Shortly after the prom I went away to college and never saw Jimmy or Rich again.

Lessons learned:

  1. Do not ask anyone to the prom months before the date. Yes, you might be anxious that you won’t have a date for the prom and that could lead you to asking someone too soon. Think about it this way, asking someone too soon might just be what causes you to not have a date.
  2. Going with a friendly date that you think is cute and know how to have fun with is so much better than going with someone you have a huge crush on who doesn’t reciprocate the feelings. You will be more relaxed and won’t have to worry about trying to impress someone.
  3. People put a lot of pressure on making this night perfect with starting with the promposal and ending with a party. If it doesn’t work out just as you imagined in your mind don’t freak out. Enjoy the moment and know that one day you will look back and laugh like I am doing almost 30 years later.

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