Worst Date Ever

It was the way it was supposed to be, I think. Ava (not her real name-good God, the trouble I’d get into!) was a lot younger than me and looked a lot older than she was and that’s the requirement for a date to the big dance when you’re in high school. Pretty. Exotically ethnic by Westchester standards. Busty. Okay, let’s get this out of the way. Breasts. I mean, come on, people.

I was eighteen. She was less. There’s problems to be had here, but these are not they.

It’s a truth that any high school formal is more so the girl can find a date with her perfect dress than her perfect guy. I complimented her pretty dress and I noticed her shoes. I held her arm in the receiving line and posed for pictures in the yard.

At some point I feel I ought to touch on how she spent the entire evening flirting with another guy. Who was too old for her. (Yes, I was too old for her but by a less offensive margin. I swear to God you had middle-aged men at this shindig.) And who also had a girlfriend. And who had a date to this event. Yet his girlfriend and his date were not the same person. (I didn’t make any of this up.) And yet he was sitting there flirting with Ava, who was supposed to be my date. He later confided that he’d never been so turned on in his life. I can’t blame him.

The music was terrible. Good thing Ava wasn’t around to dance with me. Do you know what the crazy thing is? She was the one who wanted so damn badly to go to this thing. For girls, the school formal is a night of magic and enchantment. I’m a guy. We go because we’re supposed to go, because that is what high school guys do. We go to things. Ideally we get laid afterwards.

I eventually gave up on Ava and went to go check in with my friend, who was there with his date, who was supposed to be my date had the world not gone horribly, horribly wrong.

Eventually a slow song played and Ava and I held each other close and swayed awkwardly. Terrible song, it was either Whitney Houston or someone I hate more. I’ll leave you in suspense about whether or not I got a kiss at the end of the night, or if I retreated to someone’s basement and watched a David Bowie movie in stony silence.

You know, this story was supposed to be about my worst date ever. I don’t believe in prompts like that if I can avoid it, in truth. I think I might want to retitle it “Why I Don’t Miss High School”.

Graduation time is coming up and kids that age are on to bigger and better things, or at least so we claim every June. Maybe someone will have me give a speech.

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