Blind dates and prom nights don’t mix.
My Junior Prom was coming up and I was getting nervous. No one had asked me, and I dreaded “going stag” (what does that even mean, anyway?!) when my best friend came to my rescue.
“I’ve got this great guy for you,” were her first words. Seeing my mutinous expression, she hurried on. “He’s really cute, single, has a job, and already said he’d go with you.”
Keith* didn’t sound too bad, so I reluctantly agreed.
When prom night finally rolled around, I was ready to go and dressed to kill. My hair was pulled up in a classy chignon, with just a few curls around my face to soften the look. I had on this black velvet, floor-length, Asian-style dress, with a cute mandarin collar and a slit up to the middle of my thigh. Three-inch heels boosted my 5’1″ height, and a fake diamond bracelet completed the picture. I looked like Goth Cinderella going to the ball. The only minor problem was that the dress was so slim-fitting, I had to take mincing little steps to get around.
And then my date pulled up in a jacked up pick-up truck. I had pictured a Honda and he was driving a Tonka Toy on steroids.
Decidedly handsome and over six feet tall, Keith was obviously a guy of few words. He hopped out, grunted what I supposed was a “hello,” submitted to a few snapshots by my smiling mom, and then hopped back in the truck. I was left on the passenger side, craning my neck upward to find the door handle, and wondering how the heck I was going to get up there.
I did it, but not without expanding the slit in my dress to nearly my hip.
My mom came up with a couple of safety pins and tucked a $5.00 bill in my purse “just in case.” We both knew I wouldn’t need it. The date pays for the dinner, right?
I had a glass of ice water and a slice of Irish cream pie (all I could afford since he requested separate checks before the waitress could even take our drink order). Keith had a steak. I could have cheerfully murdered him for that steak when he made some mumbling, derogatory comment about “dieting women” as the sympathetic, eye-rolling waitress served our food.
Upon leaving the restaurant, I was surprised to realize that we were going the wrong way. When I questioned him, he muttered that we had to go to his mom’s house so she could take pictures. Sounded fair enough.
His mom lived about forty-five miles from where the prom was being held.
An awkward, interminable ride later, we pulled up in front of a cute little house in the country. It was dark, and I couldn’t really see, but it looked like a farm. He led the way around to the back door and we walked in on what seemed like a full-fledged, drunken hillbilly party.
It took twenty minutes to get his mom to pay attention long enough to take a single picture of us and ten minutes of that time, I spent trying to get some redneck guy to quit asking me if I was wearing a garter with “that purty dress.” I was relieved (and an hour late for prom), when he finally said we could go.
I was daintily picking my way along the dark sidewalk at the back of the house, when I was attacked. Something huge and feathery, like a cross between Big Bird and a demon from Hell, came running (running?) up out of nowhere. Shrieking and oblivious to the hoots and hollers from the drunken peanut gallery on the back porch, I hiked up my dress and sprinted for the truck.
I was in no mood to hear Keith’s and snorting, guffawing, downright hilarious explanation that his mom had an emu farm. His half-hearted apology didn’t sway me much either. We got to prom, very late, and I had him drop me off.
I ended up having a good time, dancing with a few different guys who had “gone stag,” and hitched a ride home that night with my best friend. As far as I know, Keith’s evening wasn’t a total loss. He got to eat steak at a nice restaurant and didn’t even have to pay for the girl’s food, but he decided in the end that the hillbilly party had a lot more to offer than the prom.
* I changed Keith’s name to protect his privacy – even though he didn’t deserve it!