Love it or hate, it, prom (or debs as it is known in Ireland) is that one seemingly infinite night where it feels like anything is possible. That one night where the girls wear long dresses so they can feel like princess’ and the boys wear suits and tuxedos so they can pretend they’re our knights in shining armour. However not all knights sweep us off our feet, and not all girls want to feel like princess’. Unfortunately for me, I am one of those girls, and I hated prom.
Maybe if things had turned out differently I wouldn’t feel like this. But they did, and I (toe- curlingly, hair- standingly, sweat provokingly, nervous tearingly) cringe to think about the disaster I’ve dubbed my debs.
To begin with, the first thing required to attend prom is a date, my second Mission Impossible of the Summer as it turned out. See, no one wants to go with their friends anymore for the fear of seeming undesirable, ugly or outcast from the mainstream dating society teens are now obsessed with (see unending list of such shows as evidence). I had failed to obtain a date a grand total of 4 times that year and each time my face burned with just as much shame and humiliation as the last. Let’s start off with the first.
Okay, the first time wasn’t so bad, I was more testing the waters for myself at that stage. However, I had had this person in mind for quite some time. We were friends, we got along, I knew it would be comfortable, but more so, he was my only option. So, in an event known as “mini- debs” in Ireland which is a pre- prom night out with all your friends, I decided it was time to dip my toe into the pool of potential dates. Granted, it was a dark, very small, sweaty pool, and so at that time, choice wasn’t really a luxury I could avail of. I was sitting down with him, let’s call him, Alan, my friend of about 3 years at that stage. Although we had recently drifted apart, we were still on friendly terms, and I needed to lock down a date as I had already begun to feel the slight panic rising in me as I heard of other people nabbing their dates at that early stage, and the fact my best friends were in pretty long term relationships. I sat there in the darkness of the nightclub with the biggest smile on my face trying to convince myself of calm. I must have looked like the Cheshire cat, with my grin looking more like a threatening baring of teeth. We joked around and laughed a lot. Waiting for the right moment is impossible because, in that situation, no such thing exists. And so, *deep breath* “you should come with me” I said mid- laughter; I don’t think he quite got it the first time as he laughed back with something, thinking we were still joking around. As much as I wanted to continue joking around and avoid the whole thing, there wasn’t time “No really, you should come with me?”.
Hesitation. Palpable silence. Then panic. Panic. “Aw I’m sorry but, I already told Ellie I’d go with her”. I think I laughed a little too hard after that for him to think I was okay. It could have been just the drink. But it was nothing really, truly, it wasn’t, just the very beginning of my mortification.