Pre-Prom Post: My Last School Dance Ever

“You’re right. But this is the last night, and it’s the last dance. And for that one night, who we were for four years of high school…it doesn’t matter. It’s just all of us together in one perfect moment.”

–  Nova Prescott, Prom

 

Yes, yes, I’m a high school Senior guy who just quoted a Disney movie rated PG for “mild language and a brief fight.” It isn’t an excellent movie by any stretch, but I do love that one line from it. Especially since my last school dance ever is in around five hours, and I still can’t take in the fact that I’m about to go to Senior Prom.

Here’s the thing: last year, for Junior Prom, I was excited beyond belief to go. I remember getting dressed—to ZZ Top’s “Sharp Dressed Man,” by the way—and I just said under my breath, “Prom” and shook my head, in the what am I even doing? kind of way. I went with one of my best friends I’d met in middle school. I hadn’t hung out with her in a while, and it was a great night. No drama or anything, just plain fun. And I remember as it ended that I would be really sad next year at this time, because it would be my last school dance ever.

Which is all fine and dandy, except it feels like Junior Prom was literally a month ago. In fact, all of eleventh grade feels like no more than half a year ago.

I plan to have even more fun this year than I did last year. Heck, I’ve always had high standards: I plan for this to be the best dance ever. If it’s my last one, then for the love of the Lord is it going to be good. The music could be terrible, the decorations could make me want to throw up…it doesn’t matter. I’d like to believe I make my own fun, but more importantly, so does the incredible girl I’m going with.

Maybe it should throw my nostalgic gears out of sync since the girl I’m going with (my girlfriend) is the girl I went to my 9th grade Homecoming with. My date for my first high school formal is also my date for my last dance ever. And I couldn’t be more ecstatic. It’ll be awesome to take pictures and compare them to old ones, see if we still struggle to get the wrist corsage on and still talk about how bad (or good) the music is.

I’ve blogged about dances before. Before my last Homecoming ever, I shared my list of Getting Ready for Dances: Guys vs. Girls. More recently, I blogged about Asking Girls to Dance(s). And now, I’m blogging about Prom. This is all tied up in a neat little bow, isn’t it?

What I’m trying to say is, this night is going to be the culmination of the best parts of all dances I’ve been to. Ever. I didn’t plan it that way, it’s just happening on its own. Okay, a small part of me is easing the process along. For example, today I repeated the daily routine I conduct before every school dance. And, because I have space to fill up, I’ll list it for you:

  • The night before, watch the Yule Ball scene from “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.”
  • I wake up and listen to a part of the “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” audio book  from the part at the Horcrux cave to Snape revealing that he’s the Half-Blood Prince. I did that my first Homecoming and have done that for every dance since.
  • I go pick up my date’s wrist corsage from this sketchy (but good) flower shop in the middle of town. I started this my first Homecoming, and got attacked by this cat who lived in there, too. I’ve tried not to repeat that one.
  • I have lunch at this amazing Greek Pizza restaurant
  • I chill out and write in the afternoon
  • Starting last year, I also use this time to wash my car, since I drive now and the inside of that thing could be on an episode of Hoarders.
  • Because I was so nervous my first Homecoming, I spent the late afternoon watching Lizzie McGuire reruns while eating pan pizza. I minimally repeat that one.
  • Get ready, go, and have an awesome time.

So far today, I’ve done everything on that list up to the car washing, which I’ll go do as soon as I post this. I got a beautiful wrist corsage for my girlfriend, and I think the cat that attacked me in the shop Freshman year has since died, because it was nowhere to be found.

Also last year before Junior Prom, the night before actually, I watched the movie “Contact” with Jodie Foster (loved it), then the movie “Prom,” which I quoted above. I have to admit, that one got me pumped up even more now than it did last year.

I’m rambling now, so I’ll get to my real point. My real point is, we do a bunch of things in middle school and high school that we forget, even if they seem fun at the time. Parties, casual dances, trips, summer camps. But if you ask almost any adult, they’ll remember exactly who they went to prom with. They probably even have pictures, still. This is one of the first events of my life that everyone remembers for the rest of their lives.

Prom commemorates school dances, which in my opinion are the most fun social events out there. And I just wanted to take a moment to post before it happens, because in twelve hours, it’ll be over. Tomorrow at this time, Senior Prom will be just a memory, something for me to blog about and look at pictures of an remember fondly. But right now, I can sit here and type and tell the world that I haven’t experienced it yet. And that’s a beautiful thing, I think. Being able to look forward to living in the moment rather than look back at having done it already. Because I do plan on living the moment tonight, probably (I’m sorry…PROMbably…snicker snicker snicker) more than I have in a long time. That way, when I look back and it is just a memory, I can know without a doubt that it’s one of the best memories of my high school years.

So, wish me luck for a perfect night, everyone. I know it will be.

Right now, though, it hasn’t happened yet. The night hasn’t started. Right now, I just have a car to wash.

And I seriously couldn’t be happier about it.

Asking Girls to Dance(s)- How Guys See It

“Why do they always travel in packs? And how are you supposed to get one on your own to ask them?”

–  Harry Potter, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

  

Last year, shortly before asking a girl to Prom (she said yes), I wrote an article titled “Why I Would Rather Fight Off a Pack of Rabid Raccoons With a Spork Than Ask a Girl to a Dance.” Thankfully I didn’t have a blog and never posted the article, because even the title is flawed. One, it’s too long; and two, it’s false. But, with Prom fast approaching, I decided to salvage and expand that article. And for the record, I have a Prom date this year as well, so this doesn’t strictly apply to me.

But I thought it was worth sharing, particularly for girls. Because fret not, this covers both asking a girl to dance (middle school) and to a dance (high school). If any ladies out there have ever wondered how guys feel about it, then please sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.

 

Middle School: Asking a Girl to Dance

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Alright ladies, would you like to know our thought process when a slow song comes on at a dance? (I’m going back to middle school here). Curious as to the reason a lot of guys scurry to their pre-ordained corners when so much as two seconds of Leona Lewis comes on?

Well, here’s what it’s like for middle school guys.

We already know who we’re going to ask two minutes into the night. That’s a given. Don’t think for a second that when a slow song comes on, we’re trying to decide who to approach. Rather, approximately the first 75% of the song is spent trying to find said girl. Because they’re always in a pack, and they’re always moving around the gym like the mob is there to collect a price on their heads.

Which is why once we finally find said girl, we hesitate, because what if the song is almost over? It kind of sounds like it’s almost over. It’s taking that low, slower dip that means it’s probably got thirty seconds left at best. I’ll just ask next song. Next song for sure.

BUT YOU DON’T. Because the SAME THING happens. And by the time it’s stopped happening, the event is over, and you almost want to just go up to the girl as she’s leaving and say, “Hey, I know I didn’t ask you to dance tonight, but I totally was trying to.” If anyone ever does try that, let me know, as I’m curious what the results would be…

So girls, on behalf of all middle school guys: IF YOU WANT TO GET ASKED TO SLOW DANCE, STOP TURNING THE SCHOOL GYM INTO A GAME OF REAL-LIFE WHERE’S WALDO. STAY IN ONE PLACE.

Or, if you want to break social barriers, just go up to a guy and ask to dance. Nothing wrong with that. Just don’t send your agents.

“Agents?” you cry to yourself with…well, probably no curiosity whatsoever. I’ll still define it:

Agents (n)- In the context of middle school dances, these are a group of girls numbering from 2 to 5 whose sole job is to find a guy, drag him to their ‘agent clan leader’ (as I call them), and command them to dance.

Girls of all ages, please don’t do this. I know it’ scary to talk to a guy, but it’s scary for us to talk to you, too. If you want a guy to ask you and don’t want to ask yourself, just go up and talk to them without your fifty closest friends flocking you like the Secret Service. Agents are bad. Because if eighth grade guys were sending packs of other eighth grade guys to grab a thirteen year old girl and drag her across the gym, no one would think that it’s cute. They’d just call the cops.

But to close, I should say that proper slow dances are like best friends: each  one is unique, but equally amazing, and you remember them all. So ask away.

 

High School: Asking a Girl to a Dance

Alright, this is really the bulk of my article from last year, in which I made fun of the asking process by dividing it into phases. Please, no one take this too seriously, it’s meant purely to entertain and isn’t literally how I feel. In a way, it’s parodying how much people worry about this whole thing. After sending to literary agents, I don’t have the energy to stress over stuff like asking a girl to a dance.

That being said, here’s the battle map I drew.

 

Phase 1: Finding a Time to Ask

Option 1: In Person

  • I usually avoid this one, just because if a girl wants to say no, I’d like to give them the time to prepare a well-thought text message.
  • If you choose this option, then it’s a trial of the fates just to find time to get the girl alone to talk to for more than ten seconds. Unless you want to go to her house, but this lays down a whole new set of risks.
  • Benefits include (forced) immediate response and more difficulty for said girl to decline. Drawbacks include immediate response and harsher declining.

Option 2: Texting

  • Ideal because everyone can think about what they say before they say it—a particularly useful weapon in a teenage guy’s arsenal
  • Always a slight risk because you can’t be sure the person you’re talking to is who you think they are.
  • Can be a pain to get their phone number! (Note: If you ask for it and they politely refuse by saying they’re “Amish” or “on probation,” then just quit while you’re ahead.)

 

Phase 2: The Wait

I can’t emphasize the truthfulness of the Facebook page called “The most important texts always seem to take the longest to hear from.”

Things to do while waiting for a reply:

  • Watch all of the Lord of The Rings movies.
  • Google something to make yourself feel better, such as cat videos on YouTube or a picture of chinchillas having a birthday party.
  • Weep for your future.
  • See about transferring schools.

 

Phase 3: The Response(s)

The most interesting phase, and the one at which we either dance with joy (in the manliest way, of course) or contemplate slamming our fingers in a car door.

Below is a table of some of the most notable types of rejections.

response chart

Again, please don’t interpret this literally, but I hope you laughed. And always remember, guys: if you never hear an answer, and you know it was intentional, run. Or Google something to make yourself feel better.

Oh look, I found that chinchilla picture!

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Good luck with Prom, everyone. And Happy (early) Easter!

Getting Ready for School Dances: Guys vs. Girls

“It’s not a stereotype if it’s always true”

 –  Daniel Tosh

 

The last thing I want is for anyone to misunderstand me…first of all, I don’t see the comedian Daniel Tosh as any deep prophet with words of wisdom. His quote just happened to fit the subject of today’s brief entry.

I understand I’ve been posting a lot lately, and this will be the second to last one for a few days. But I just wanted to put up a quick list I came up with sophomore year, detailing the preparatory routines for guys and girls when it comes to school dances. It seemed only fitting, as my school’s Homecoming dance is tonight. I’m sorry if I sound naïve, or if I generalize too much. I’m sure not all girls and guys are like this.

What Girls Do to Get Ready For Dances:
 
1. Buy a dress  three years before several weeks prior to the dance. 
2. Buy 20-inch heels that look like torture devices one year before  several weeks prior to the dance
3. Take a shower ten hours prior to the dance
4. Do their hair eight hours prior to the dance
5. Undo what they just did and re-do their hair
6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for several hours
7. Do their nails and let them dry
8. Put on that special eye goop with that tong-like surgical instrument
9. Smear that special eye goop with all the cotton swabs in the entire house
10. Take half an hour putting on slip-on shoes that you’re going to take off an throw in the corner when you get there
11. Go downstairs and pose for “paparazzi”
12. Post 500 pictures on Facebook
13. Leave for the dance
 

What Guys Do to Get Ready For Dances:

1. Buy a shirt several days before

2. Maybe iron it. Maybe.

3. Shower, then put on shirt, pants, tie…take your time, sir.

4. Take a nice picture or two

5. Leave

 

So yes, I understand it’s more complicated for guys if they have a date, but you get the gist of what I’m saying. This is the core of it.

That’s all for now. Time to get ready for my last high school Homecoming dance.

Storming the Field

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”

 –  George Bernard Shaw

For the past three years, I’ve gone through three Spirit Weeks at my high school, leading up to three Homecoming games and dances. These past five days, collectively, have formed my last one. And without a doubt, it’s been the best yet.

For anyone unfamiliar with Spirit Week, in high school (and college) it’s the week of school leading up to the Homecoming football game and dance. Each day is a celebration featuring a different theme, such as dressing in school colors or in a random costume.

I began the spirit-ing about last Saturday, when I spent the better part of the day helping decorate our hallway. See, the theme of this year’s Homecoming was “Road Trip Across the USA,” and each class represented a different city. As a senior, my class had New York.

When we were all finished, the hallway looked like a cleaner version of Manhattan, complete with a graffiti wall and elaborate drawings of every major building you could find. The decoration itself was exciting as well as a bonding experience amongst us seniors (yes, that is a pun dedicated to those who bonded/burned off their flesh with our hot glue guns created from the fiery depths by Satan himself).

And so Spirit Week began.

A brief recap…

 

Monday:

Monday, the 1st, was “local county” day. We live in a particularly rural county, and this was the chance for everyone to dress like it. The most interesting outfits I saw were full-body cow costumes, head to toe camouflage, and several people dressed as tractors. Boy, did they slow down the hallway traffic.

 

Tuesday:

Tuesday was a universally recognizable one…character day. There were hipsters, superheroes, the cast of the Big Bang Theory, Jason Mraz, Greek Godesses, and I…went as Batman.

And not because I like the film series, either. Don’t get me wrong; I love the movies…but no, the single reason I was dressed in a full Batman costume the entire day was so I could speak without relapse in his vocal chord-mutilating rasp. “The derivative of 3x equals three!” sounds much more exciting when it sounds like you’ve been kicked in the throat seventy times.

 

Wednesday:

Wacky Tacky day…I won’t say much on it, because I was on a field trip to see a play adaption of “To Kill a Mockingbird” (which was great). Plus, even if I’d been at school, I don’t think I’d have dressed up. It would’ve been hard to top the Lightsaber I carried around last year.

 

Thursday:

Ah, yesterday. “City day,” when everyone dressed according to the city their grade had been assigned. With seniors having New York, I got to see almost everything you’d expect and some things you wouldn’t…from homeless street performers to businessmen to those dressed as actual buildings. I personally went as a tourist, complete with a bright orange backpack and my nose buried in a map.

Friday:

And, the most anticipated. Spirit Day, when we donned every shade of our school color (blue) that we could. Classes were shortened due to Pep Rally, which was the high point.

As one of my friends pointed out, you knew it was going to be epic when an airplane flew over the school with a banner that read “class of 2013.” And then, a tradition: every year, grades 9-11 gathered on the bleachers, and once they were settled, the seniors charged onto the football field in a massive pack while a spirit-inducing song blasted…in this case, “Arena” by Con Bro Chill. I’d watched it happen for three years, and I was more excited than I could even really understand.

And then I just said it:

“What if I trip?”

Luckily, I didn’t.

I’d like to say I felt the adrenaline rushing, but honestly it happened so fast I didn’t have time to think about it. Mostly, I was focused not knocking people aside (once again, to the girl who I ran over—by the literal definition—I am very sorry and hope your head is okay).

Everything was worth it because our class won the Spirit Stick, something we probably take more seriously than we should. Everyone high-fived, thanked our class president (which I still haven’t done enough) and blew our vuvuzelas like it was the end of the world. As we said hundreds of times today, you just can’t beat the ’13est. 

We finished off the day going to our Homecoming football game. And after everything, it didn’t even matter that we lost.