Well, actually, it was more like 13. My senior prom was May 14, 1995. (What can I say? My memory for dates is somewhat freakish.) This post is sort of inspired by Catherinette's post on Monday.
I didn't date much in High School. Practically not at all. I had some good guy friends, and we'd hang out, but it was never really "dating". Junior year, I was elected to Homecoming Court. (There was one girl and one boy from the Freshman class, two girls and two boys from the Sophomore class, and so on.) I was amazed and immensely pleased by this; it was a real Sally Field moment for a girl who'd always felt like a bit of an outsider. Unfortunately, no one asked me to the dance. (I've always theorized that my election was the result of other not-really-popular girls voting for me instead of the usual suspects.) I had a good guy friend who'd already gone off to college. He came back and took me to the dance, but it wasn't like, "Ooh, look at Red being all cool with the college man." He'd graduated from my school two years earlier. He was a short fellow with nary a cool bone in his body, and anyone who saw us together pretty much knew that. He was a good friend, though, and it was nice to have a date, even with a friend. It was one of the first date-type outings I'd ever been on. I was a very late bloomer. I liked him and rather hoped he'd kiss me, but he never did; he was at least as shy as I was and may have felt awkward about being three years older.
So I made it way past "sweet sixteen and never been kissed". Seventeen came and went, and then eighteen rolled around in April and I was still wondering, "What's it all about, Alfie?"* Now, I was pretty sure no one was going to ask me to prom. I was head over heels in love with one of my coworkers at the supermarket, but he had a girlfriend.** I wasn't particularly interested in going to prom with anyone else, but I had found the most magnificent dress that April at the Macy's closeout store. I fell instantly in love with it. I had to have it. It was on sale, $70 marked down from an original price of about $300. It was available in a four and a twelve. I had been a six since I was 14, but I bought the four. If I didn't breathe, I could squeeze into it and I felt fabulous in it, despite the lack of oxygen.
So now I had the perfect dress, and there was no way I was missing prom. There was still the little matter of finding a date. Since my first choice wasn't an option, I was looking for anyone who might be willing to take me to prom. If he looked good in a tux, so much the better. I was really hoping to tell this whole story tonight, and to post a picture of the dress, but I forgot to bring the picture to work today and I had to spend a chunk of my evening setting up our new router, so I will continue this story tomorrow.
*Not that I actually knew anyone named Alfie. Still don't.
**He eventually married her and they have a kid now. What were the odds?