I didn’t have a boyfriend.
It was senior year. The senior prom was written in large capital red letters on our wall calendar in the kitchen.
What could I do? Stay home? Admit I had nobody to ask? Confess that no boy had asked me to go? Not a chance. No way would I admit that to anyone. The humiliation would be too great to bear! I’d have to think of something drastic.
Who could I invite? My mind turned over its Rolodex for names from every walk of my seventeen year old life. Distant cousins, brothers of friends, the delivery guy from the drug store. Nobody seemed right.
At the time my family belonged to a swim club, staffed mainly by a large group of college students. One particularly handsome lifeguard was Mike, a blonde, muscular He-Man type that every girl at the club had a crush on. Could I dare ask him?
“You have nothing to lose. All he could do is say No,” advised my mother.
If he refuses nobody has to know I ever invited him. So, I reasoned, I would not lose face or be mortified. But if he said “Yes,” I’d be the envy of every girl in the senior class. Imagine walking into the prom with Mike, the dreamboat lifeguard.
“Sure. That sounds like fun.” Did he actually agree to be my date for the senior prom? That was way too easy! I was incredulous and excited beyond belief; it took total control to keep from screeching and jumping up and down.
I primped, I fussed, I did everything I could do to look grown up and sophisticated. After all, my date was a college man, not some sniveling babyish high school kid.
With great expectations I opened the door the second the doorbell rang that night. But something had changed. Mike no longer had that wind-blown casual, sexy hair he did at the swim club. Someone had chopped his hair and it cut it way too short. He didn’t look cool any more. He didn’t look hip. He didn’t even look handsome. And worst of all he looked old. He must have been at least nineteen, and looked over twenty. Mike would be out of place at a high school dance; he’d never fit in. And I’d be the laughing stock of the class.
I never found out what my classmates said about Mike and nobody said anything about him to me. My memories about that night are vague and totally forgettable. But never again did I invite a date for the shallow reasons I invited Mike to the Senior Prom.
He never called me after the dance. I never saw him again.