Before I graduated, there was a cute little fellar in my drama class that I wanted to go out with---or maybe I just wanted to smooch on him, 'cause I didn't really know him that well. I just liked the fact that he was really shy and sort of jock, yet he threw himself into theater stuff for some reason. We had terrifying (for me) assignments like getting up and doing lip-sync to god-awful 80's songs in front of the class, or pretending to be a tree or whatever, and he was a sport every time with his super bright red embarrassed face.
It came time for the prom, and since no one asked me (thanks), I took a younger classmate who wouldn't have otherwise been able to attend. He was gay, so it was clearly as friends, and that actually made the whole thing more comfortable. He picked out a jacket that matched the dress color I told him about, and when he showed up on prom night, he had styled his hair into the shape of a hat somehow. At the door I remember him looking me up and down before saying, "Wow, that dress would look GREAT on me!"
Maybe it would. It was aqua metallic material, shaped like a damn mermaid, and I had no curves to hold the thing in place. I had stitched the tiny shoulder straps tighter and pinned the sides a little, 'cause without these alterations, it would have slid right down and off of me like a tube.
Before the prom we ate at a Chinese restaurant, and all I remember about that is accidentally eating one of those long red peppers, which made my eyes water and nose run while we laughed at me.
The gym was a 1980's dream, full o' Prince, Billy Idol, dudes in the oh-so-daring gray or white suits, and girls with big big spray-plastered hair. The dresses ranged from Southern-Bell-big-skirt-and-ruffles to glittery sacks with the giant poofy sleeves. Oh, poofy sleeves... Not that I ever wanna wear them, but I lament their passing. Nowadays I see these really sleek and grown-up formal gowns heading to the prom, which seems to take the cheese (and fun) out of how "different" a girl is supposed to be this one silly night. Everyone seems polished enough for the red carpet, and I'm not sure anyone is gonna get to look back at their clown pictures of that night and laugh.
Anyways, as my date went on to dance with other guys and girls, I found the cute fellar from drama class standing by himself under the bleachers (I've never actually typed out that word "bleachers" before, and it looks really dumb), so I went over to talk to him. Hell, I'm about to graduate and leave this town, I figured why not do whatever I want at this point, so I told the guy I wanted to kiss him. He had a freaked look that one never quite forgets seeing, but then it turned into a happy smile, and he said, "Okay!" And I got a great big prom kiss, till I said, "Thanks," and went back to hang out with the other seniors.
After my pushy introduction, the drama fellar had the nerve then to go ahead and ask me out at school later. I know I've wandered off on a prom theme, but I was really getting around to telling about this particular date.
He picked me up in his dad's big huge car (don't remember what kind), but after driving around for a while, he said he had a surprise for me. We drove to the high school, which was just a few blocks from my house, and he parked the car in a big empty lot. He left the headlights on and pulled out a cassette tape, which he plugged into the player and told me excitedly, "You wait here."
As he got out of the car, a Duran Duran song started blasting from the tape---I'm pretty sure it was "The Reflex." I thought, "Isn't that sweet, he knows I like Duran Duran." But then suddenly he came FLYING out of the darkness and landed in front of the headlights in a crazy pose. And he began dancing.
He was a school wrestler who dabbled in drama. He was not a dance lesson kid. This was just regular, on-the-fly dancing, and it was just for me in all seriousness. The whole freaking song. I don't know how much of this he rehearsed, but I didn't want to think about that or even what was happening in front of me. He spun around, lipped the words, jumped onto the fender and leapt back off into a new pose. It was crazy, butt-nuts, and I wish to God I had it on video. At least a video of my face as it unfolded.
When the song ended, he pointed at me through the window like, "That was for you," and came back to the car all out of breath. I thanked him and told him it was really cool of him and that he was a good dancer and blah blah... but really I was so mortified that I couldn't hear the words coming out of my mouth then or the rest of the evening. I remember him looking really exhilarated as he drove around after the dancing, and he said something like, "I wanted to do that for you, and I did !...I was kinda worried. But I did it! I can't believe I actually did it. I'm glad you liked it."
So I did go out with him a couple more times, but then I was leaving for college soon and figured it couldn't go anywhere anyways. And somehow the dancing episode made me accutely aware of the the two-year age difference. Besides, I had to clear my plate for a string of losers I'd date next.
But I gotta say, looking back now, that was one of the best dates EVER. I'm no longer mortified, little drama fellar, rather I'm impressed. No one could ever top that butt-nuts dance scene in the headlights, nor the sweet sincerity and innocence behind even planning out that crazy idea. I probably married one of the only other people who could surprise me like that.
Hooray 1986, when we was all young and stupid.