Ah, my first high school dance with a boy. Man was it strange.
I’ll be honest, I had an amazing time. I think most people tend to look back on their high school days and remember all the crappy times and yeah, there were a lot of crappy times. Like when two senior boys picked me up and put me in a trashcan simply because I was “small enough to fit,” or when a few of the girls bet that I wasn’t small enough to fit in the locker and then locked me in when I proved them wrong. Now that I think about it, my shortness has put me through so much crap. But anyway, this dance was freaking awesome.
It was my junior year, which yeah, a little embarrassing that I hadn’t gone to a dance with a boy yet. But I had sort of loudly announced the year before that I didn’t think my dad would let me go with a boy as a way to avoid any awkward conversations with the obviously long line of boys just waiting to ask me to all the dances (heavy sarcasm). I’m choosing to believe that’s the reason none of the guys asked me.
So anyway, it’s junior year and the WPA dance is coming up, the one where the girls get to ask the guys. There was a new kid at school and all the girls were in the bathroom one day discussing who they wanted to ask to the dance and what they were going to wear. You know, the typical lively debates girls have, great minds battling it out, making absolutely sure no one wore the same dress, God forbid. After another girl got cold feet, I offered to ask the new guy instead. This decision was met with lots of squealing and giggling, of which I will save you from by moving on right now.
So I asked him, I don’t remember how. I know it was in front of a bunch of people and I was super nervous because rejection is the pits. He said yes, though. I had a date!
The theme of the dance was Tacky Prom so obviously, I set out to find the gaudiest, tackiest dress available. Marshall’s, of course, carried such dresses and I found the perfect one within twenty minutes of shopping. It was a little blue dress covered-and I mean, COVERED-in sequins. If you shined light directly on the dress, the beam would probably shoot off and unapologetically laser you in the face. And by the end of the night, my knees were all cut up from the sequins at the hem.
But dang, I looked fly.
Because I wasn’t allowed to drive with any high schoolers lest they accidentally kill me with their terrible driving skills that are totally okay with the state but not with my parents, my dad drove me and my date in his maroon ’62 Ford Galaxie, complete with a painting of Jesus on the hood. Real classy. I’m pretty sure we rocked out to Skillet on the way.
In addition to this being my first dance with a boy, it was also my first dance, dance. Like first dance where there was music and actual dancing. I walked into the dimly lit gym and freaking lost my mind.
I HAD NEVER DANCED AT A DANCE BEFORE!
I would just like to point out that I cannot dance, like at all. In any capacity. The majority of white people can’t dance and I am in that majority. But I wasn’t going to let that stop me from dancing my sequined butt off. I jumped right in and went a little crazy (more accurately, I went INSANE), completely losing track of my date in the process of the music filling my soul and literally taking over my body.
It all became a blur of flashing lights and me running, dancing, galloping from one dancing group to the next. I didn’t even check out what else the dance offered, like food, games, or a photo booth. I spent the entire night on the dance floor. I think I ran into my date like twice. He tried to get me off the dance floor to hang out and talk and I was like “nah, man! I’m dancing!”
Finally the music stopped and they said it was time to name the Tacky Prom Princes/Princesses and King/Queen. I was thoroughly confused because I didn’t even know there had been a vote, and also because I was so disoriented from being forced to stop dancing so suddenly. I went to find my date, feeling bad for basically ditching him all night and we sat down as they started announcing who won.
“And for Junior Prince and Princess: Kayley’s Date and Kayley Forshey!”
What? I didn’t even know I had been nominated. I grabbed my date’s hand and in the excitement, we stupidly skipped to the stage to receive light-up plastic crowns that just brought the whole tacky outfit together. It was a pretty great moment.
And then I accidentally ditched him again and danced until my feet hurt and they stopped the music and told us to all go home. It was awesome; I went home covered in sweat, with bloody knees, sore feet, and a plastic crown commemorating the whole event.
I’m still not able to fully understand what came over me when I hit the dance floor that night, but I will never forget it. Moral of the story, save a date the hassle and headache of chasing you around all night by just going by yourself and boogieing all night long to the rhythm of your own sequined soul.
Stay sparkly, my friends.