Hopefully, y'all enjoyed the hilarity and tragedrama of our prom issue (and hopefully the image of my dress will gracefully disappear v. v. quickly from yr memories). But amidst the awkward slow dancing and ever present angst, you may have noticed something missing.... something teenage girls dream of knowing, and grown-up ladies still don't quite understand.
That's right, I'm taking about THE MALE PERSPECTIVE! Just in time for prom to be a totally moot point, FYA has a little bonus up our corsaged sleeves: two prom accounts from ACTUAL BOYS EEEEEEEEEE!!! With PICTURES OMG!!!!! And they're not just any boys, oh no. They're FYA favorites Brian Katcher (gifted author and fro-grower extraordinaire) and Henri (of the infamous Peeta vs. Gale Debates)!
prepare yrselves for an in-depth glimpse into the high school male psyche... no seriously, prepare yrselves. it smells weird up in here. JUST KIDDING.
From Brian Katcher:
Junior prom, 1992
Okay, fall of that year, I went to a Key Club convention. I meet this girl named Kerri. We hit it off and exchange addresses (no e-mail or nationwide plans in those days, if you wanted to keep in contact with someone, you had to write a LETTER). Well, I was pleasantly surprised when her first letter was to ask me to go to prom with her (I could tell it took a lot of courage to do that). I, of course, said yes.
Complication: she lived two hours away, in a town where I didn't know anyone. The only way this would work is if I spent the night at her house.
The fact that our parents agreed to this shows what big nerds we were.
So, I rent a tux (that's why she's not in the picture, I was just posing for my mom), fill up the 85 Buick, and head north. On our first date I have to meet her family (including her giggling younger sisters). She shows me around town, then we retire to separate bathrooms to get ready.
It was a great evening, somewhat colored by the fact we knew this would be our only date. Nothing life changing, no falling in love, no fistfight to defend her honor, no 'first time.' But, as it turned out, it was the only high school dance where I didn't want to hang myself. And one of three times in my life that I wore a tux (my wedding was not one of them).
I don't remember any of the music. At the end of the evening we say a blushing good night, and then I camp out on her living room couch.
YA moment (the best I can come up with): We double dated with another couple. Halfway through dinner, the girl freezes and looks at me in terror. I can't figure out what's going on. Later, she confesses she'd just dropped a stuffed mushroom down her cleavage, and thought I'd noticed.
Photo bonus! We would be remiss in our awesome-mongering duties if we didn't share this gem with you as well:
Brian at the Elvis is Alive Museum in Wright City, MO (just after graduation)
The main thing to know about me to understand my prom story is that I was one of those guys in the 90s who was so grateful when the generic sitcom Friends invented the term "Friend Zone" because I felt like they were ONLY SPEAKING TO ME. Also, I had zero self-confidence and if I could go back and tell that high school version of me that seriously, one day I would kiss a girl on the actual mouth I'd just stare Back at the Future me and say, "Really? Oh, wow... thank you!" and maybe finally turn off the sappy R.E.M. song I listened to on repeat so I could switch back over to XTC's "Dear God."
So Senior Year-- during a play, I think it was The Music Man, I start hanging out with Courtney. A lot. And really soon, Courtney and I are officially dating. But she's Mormon and I'm a coward, so most of our dating isn't actually making out - our romance is played out predominantly through writing letters and passing notes in the hall between classes. Meanwhile, I still have this ridiculous unrequited crush on Anne, one of the few girls who actually talked to me freshman year and laughed at my jokes and thought my drawings of Ren and Stimpy were super cool.
Four months later (and two months before Senior Ball), Anne totally asks me to prom. And her best friend asks my best friend, Sean.
Even though I'm totally dating Courtney, it makes sense to me that the four of us should go to the last dance of high school together because we're all seniors, we've been through so much, and blah, blah, blah - I'm a huge dick. Courtney breaks up with me in a note that lets me know that I'm still in love with Anne. I'm incredulous, but not overly heartbroken. And then I realize she's right. Oh well!
Anne and I are going to Senior Ball together. There are just two problems - 1) She and I have another mutual friend named Blair. And Blair also had a MASSIVE crush on Anne. I think he'd asked her to Senior Ball three months before she'd asked me, and she'd said no. Blair eventually found someone else to ask, though, so he was at the dance. 2) After she broke up with me, the tallest, most well built Mormon in our entire school, Grant, asked Courtney to the dance. She said yes. So she came to the dance, too.
Near the end of the night I realize we haven't really danced to anything yet, and how am I going to convince Anne to fall in love with me if we don't awkwardly sway and spin to some slow pop song neither of us are too familiar with because they didn't play Ani DiFranco at the prom? Yeah, I know, IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO FALL IN LOVE WITHOUT THAT.
Then the DJ announces the last song. I don't remember what it was - Boyz II Men or something - but I know I found Anne, very sheepishly asked, "So... you wanna dance? It's the last song and all..." and she agreed. I took her out to the dance floor to find a spot, and only after the crowd came in and we started turning around very, very slowly did I realize that on one side of us, sure enough, there was Blair with his date. But he wasn't looking into his date's eyes or anything - he kept staring at us and then pretending like he wasn't whenever one of us looked at him.
And on the other side? YUP! Courtney and Grant. Also slowly turning, only Courtney didn't pretend to not be watching. She just stared at us the entire time. So there we are, Anne and I, holding each other awkwardly, swaying slightly while spinning around very slowly, and the whole time one of us is looking at Blair while the other is looking at Courtney. And then as we spin we switch off, and we each keep looking at the two of them watching us...
Needless to say, Courtney and I have never been Facebook friends.
Anne and I still are, though. I met her daughter a couple of months ago. She's only two, but that girl's got some sass and is sure to be a handful. Her husband is a bad ass cyclist who last I heard was working to keep San Francisco safe from terrorists, though, so I'm sure they'll be able to handle it.