Tonight my firm is hosting its annual summer outing on the Spirit of New Jersey for the New York and New Jersey offices. I was debating on going, it’s far and over pretty late. The more I thought about it, however, I decided to go for it and asked Midgie to be my date.
These boat cruise events always remind me of my high school senior prom in the Spring of 1990 which was also on a boat. One of my best friends D (it was high school I had 3) was the Prom Chair and insisted the prom be on a boat. The theme was “Heaven” (by Bryan Adams) and afterwards we were going into “The City” so I needed a date!
I went to a VERY small high school (I graduated with 40 kids) so the dating pool was not great. D was pretty popular with the boys and always had a “serious” boyfriend and for prom his name was Chris. Chris was from Bayonne which in 1990 was populated by people who looked like the cast of The Jersey Shore. Chris drove a pimped out Dodge Daytona and proclaimed his signature song to be the freestyle ballad “Fading Away” (it was also air-brushed on his rear bumper).
Anyway, I was always with D and was what we would call now her “Wingman”. She would drag me on all her rendezvouses with Chris and I was responsible for chatting with his “Wingmen”. On one of these outings I was introduced to Chris’ friend Russ and I was smitten. Russ was blond, 19 and drove an Acura. After a couple double dates it was determined that Russ would be my prom date and Chris would be D’s and it would be a fairytale prom… until….
Chris broke up with D 2 weeks before prom (gasp!!) which led Russ to opt out of his prom commitment with moi. WTF! I had a dress (a white, off the shoulder, Jessica McClintock) a limo, prom tix and no date!!
D scrounged through her phone book searching for 2 guys to take us to prom (we were sharing a limo) but came up with nothing. Soon her and Chris got back together and I freaked out. If I went alone I would be stuck in a limo with D and Chris and all my guy friends had dates. I was screwed.
Desperate, I turned to my classmate M for help. We were standing in the office when I asked M and she didn’t even hesitate before saying You need a prom date? Wait one second. She went off to make a call on the office phone and within 5 minutes told me that she had someone. His name was Fred, he was 21 and a mailman and he would be calling me that night. W-T-F!!
All night I sat by my pink and white phone waiting for it to ring and finally around 11pm Fred called. He was nice enough (and probably drunk at the time) and said he would love to go to prom with me and could we meet up the next day so he could rent a tux.
My mom was so happy I had a date she let me call out of school the next day so I could meet Fred. (looking back this was probably insane since we had no idea if Fred was a serial killer). He drove a pick-up truck and was as nice as could be (and pretty hot). We rented a tux (he picked a flourescent yellow time and cummerbund) and ordered some flowers (yellow roses) and went to Burger King for lunch.
The night of prom I got ready and posed for pictures solo (Fred was working till 5) and D, Chris and I went to pick up Fred. It was raining and I was having a hard time remembering where his house was. After several wrong turns I found it. The limo beeped (romantic right?) but there was no Fred. OMG am I being stood up by a blind date??!!
Finally I got out of the limo, in the rain (luckily my hair was shellacked with Rave Extra Hold hair spray) and knocked on Fred’s window to let him know it was time to go (very Fairytale right?).
We arrived at prom and I was a nervous wreck standing with a man I didn’t know. We basically sat at the table all night, since Fred refused to slow dance, but he did pose for some pictures.
After the Prom King and Queen and Court were announced (I still think I was robbed of Prom Princess) we left for The City. We were going to some club that was themed after The Wizard of Oz. The club was loud and packed and Fred spent the entire night at the bar buying Long Island Iced Teas for me and my friends (he was 21 after all).
After a couple Iced Teas I decided I was in love with Fred and fought with D to let the limo drop me and Fred off last so I could get a goodnight kiss. Sadly, Fred did not share in my feelings of love but he did walk me to the door to make sure I got inside. I was heartbroken but he was a gentleman.
Maybe tonight when I am on the boat I will have a Long Island Iced Tea and silently toast Fred for taking a shy, girl to her prom and giving her the BEST prom story ever!!