Checking in on Wednesday for motif Monday (and that’s only possible because enough of my clients cancelled tonight!) with my “worst date” story. Hands-down, no brainer, it was the Junior Prom.
In my junior year, I went to the prom with a senior named David. He and I had had a couple of dates throughout the year, and had sporadic, somewhat intense “crushes” on each other, although the timing of these crushes was never mutual. I remember David as extremely intelligent, breezed through physics and calculus and such. I recently came across our prom picture. I swear I’d show you if I could, but it’s so dark that photographing it wouldn’t work, and I’m scannerless at the moment. I promise I’ll deliver as soon as the technology is available. David wore a light brown or tan or beigey sort of tux. He had brown hair and a sort of a fu-man-chu facial thing going on. I thought I was ALL that because my friend Liz and I had decided to be unconventional and buy our dresses at a thrift store. It was a peach chiffon gown with a matching shawl/wrap that tied under the bust. In the photograph, it looks like I’d been caught in a downpour, although I don’t recall the weather that night. Oh, completing my $3 ensemble was a large white hat. Shut up, it was 1977! I must wonder, in retrospect, if the outfit had its own karma that guided the night’s events. (And, I might add, Liz chickened out and did not actually wear her thrift store purchase, but borrowed my prom dress from the previous year.)
The prom itself was OK, as I recall. I loved to dance, so probably had a good time. The best part, I’m sure, was near the end of the prom, when David proclaimed that he was going to give me the moon (because I know my blogging audience, I KNOW where you are going with that, but STOP, it wasn’t like that). There was a large — 5 or 6′ tall — plywood quarter moon suspended from the ceiling of the high school gym, part of the evening’s decoration. David and a couple of his friends hung from the moon, swinging until the invisible wires released it, and then David presented it to me. It was orange with gold glitter (the ’70s, remember?), and I loved it. I thought this was about the most romantic thing anyone had ever done for me. Some boys helped David put it in his pale blue Mustang, and we left for the after-prom party at another boys’ house.
At the party, David disappeared. This didn’t bother me, particularly, because I knew lots of people there, and I stayed busy and entertained. Toward the wee hours of the morning, one of David’s friends, Neal, found me and said that he brought a message and an apology from David who apparently remained somewhere in the mysterious deep bowels of the house. It seemed that David was too “messed up” to drive me home. I don’t know whether David was drunk, or drugged, or both, but I was furious. Definitely a woman scorned. Truthfully, and at the risk of sounding lacking in humility, I was not lacking for boyfriends and I was stunned that this *#%^#$ would put me in that position. I remember thinking, “Who does he think he’s dealing with?” and, ever the lover of words, “Hey, this must be what ‘incredulous’ feels like!”
I told my best male friend, whom we’ll call Prince (because that makes me laugh right now), what was happening. He immediately offered to take me home. And by immediately, I mean without consulting his date, my friend, Liz. Let’s just say, Liz was not pleased. She had plans for Prince, and they didn’t include me and my moon. I have, over the years, been increasingly appreciative of Prince’s chivalry. Liz had a big crush on Prince, and Liz was known to . . . act on her crushes. The more I know about adolescent boys, the more I appreciate Prince’s sacrifice of that night.
As we prepared to leave the party, I asked Neal to take me to David, which he did. I demanded of David, angrily, “Give me your keys!” He seemed touched, flattered at what he thought was my concern for his welfare. “It’s OK,” he slurred, “I’m not going to drive like this.”
I retorted, “I don’t care whether you drive or not! GIVE ME YOUR KEYS SO I CAN GET MY MOON!!!!” He seemed to sober quickly and handed me his car keys.
Prince and I loaded the moon into his car, partly in the back seat, partly protruding from the hatchback (’70s, remember). Liz refused to sit up front with Prince. She sat in the back with the moon and acted like a martyr. I felt horrible for ruining their date, but very thankful for Prince’s friendship.
That moon hung over my bed for a couple of years, often dusting my hair or skin with gold glitter, which I didn’t bother to remove, because I thought that was kind of cool. Liz eventually forgave me. I don’t think I dated David any more. I did date his best friend.