So, I took my girlfriend to the prom this past weekend. That was a first for me.
It wasn’t my first time to go to a prom. I’ve taken pictures a time or two for whichever newspaper I was working for at the time and this was in that same capacity. But I hadn’t taken a date, and I never went to my high school proms, because I didn’t have a date.
I have no excuse for my junior prom. I could have asked a girl to the dance if I had had the nerve to do so and if I thought there was any chance on earth that a girl would actually go with me. But, I still had vivid memories from my high school homecoming dance during my freshman year, where I did have a date but one who clearly did not want to be there. With me.
My senior year, I had taken a hiatus from classes for an internship. So, I was still technically a student, but I was residing 70 miles away. Still, I managed to muster enough courage to ask a girl to prom. And when she told me no, I asked another. After she told me no, I started to get the hint.
Of course, I had waited until the week before prom to ask anyone. By that time, everyone already had their dresses and tuxes and their corsages ordered.
I’m sure there’s a psychological reason for setting one’s self up for such failure. If you don’t believe that anyone would go out with you, asking someone too late ensures that your prophesy will be fulfilled. However, you can blame the timing so you don’t have to take it personally.
I didn’t really want to go to prom, anyway. I had no interest in the dancing or the small talk or the posturing. But I had heard stories about things that go on sometimes after prom, and I was particularly interested in that.
So, it was with great anticipation that I walked my girlfriend – nay, fiancé – across the threshold to prom. Then the newspaper reporter in me took over, and I just started snapping pictures. When I had enough shots, we did pause to consider where we were at, and I asked her if she’d like to dance.
Thankfully, she declined to risk injury to either one of us; and instead, we headed out for our own post-prom celebration. And, as I had imagined, that was much better.
• David Porter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Despite waiting 30 years to take a girl to prom, my date was still the hottest girl in the room.