The teenager who lives next door went to homecoming this past weekend, and had asked for my help in getting her hair/makeup ready for the occasion. I was equal parts flattered and confused. If you look real close (or from far away), you can see that I don’t wear any makeup. Not even foundation. Occasionally a lip gloss with some shimmer and color to it, but otherwise I’m a blank canvas. My hair never looks what I’d call “good”. But I appreciated her thinking I was capable, so I made sure to contact someone who really was capable, and the three of us had a little hair and makeup session at my house. I pulled the aging lady card and brought out the old photo albums, reminiscing on the past dances and formals I’ve gone to.
Hello Thursday! Meet my blog group, comprised of a fantastic group of ladies who will dazzle you with insight on various topics. After reading my post, check out their blogs as well. Just click on:
Froggie (Tracey): One frog’s distinct voice on the world around her.
Merry Land Girl (Melissa): Tales of a suburban mom who likes to talk about pop culture, books, Judaism, family, friendship and anything else that comes to mind.
Darwin Shrugged (Denise): Civilized Observations in an Uncivilized World
All this nostalgia led me to this week’s topic: Tell us about your first homecoming/prom/formal. If you didn’t go to any high school dances, why not? What did you end up doing instead?
My first dance was the Snoball. For those not in the know, it’s a winter formal where the girl asks the guy. I was pseudo-dating a German foreign exchange student named Simon. He was a junior, I was a sophomore.
You may wonder what I mean when I say “pseudo-dating”. We’d hang out and go to movies together. He was on the swim team, so spending time at the local indoor swimming pool in town wasn’t unheard of for us. There was occasional hand holding, but I think it felt really awkward and weird for the both of us. I’d never even kissed a guy yet. Since we were psuedo-dating, it only felt right to invite Simon to the Snoball. This was a big deal, since it was my first formal, ever. I was living with my grandparents in those days, and Grandma paid for a professional ‘do for me.
I had a love/hate relationship with my hair back in those days. My hormones really did a number on me. It was always so frizzy and out of control, I just knew there would be nothing a hairstylist could do for it. I’m also the girl who didn’t like to dress up, or wear makeup (that one hasn’t changed). I was the one who never carried a purse to school, opting for a man’s wallet I could tuck into my back jeans pocket. So having to wear a (blech) dress that was all fancy and such and get all prettied up wasn’t my cup of tea. I guess the obvious choice here would have been to never invite Simon to Snoball, but isn’t that what couples, even pseudo ones, do? You go to dances together. You do couple things. Plus our friends would be there. We couldn’t let them down, or let my lovely Grandma down. She was snapping photos of us and using her camcorder while wearing a cast on her arm (she’d had carpal tunnel surgery).
I won’t add photos of Simon. Just know that he was a cute guy, like most juniors in high school are. He was tall, dark and handsome- a staple for me in my teens/20’s. I’ll never forget how nervous I was when I had to pin the red rose bootineer onto his lapel. My hands were shaking. I thought for sure I’d prick him, and in his heavy German accent, Simon kept saying, “Poke! Poke!” He was practically sweating when he slipped the corsage made of silver over my left wrist.
The night was somewhat lackluster for me, though. I think I felt out of sorts and out of my element. I wanted to really shake and shimmy with my expert dance moves (ha!) but I was a little contained in that dress. When the night was over, Simon made an attempt to give me a kiss, which would have been my first. He sort of pawed my head with his hand, trying to turn me so I was facing him. The kiss was chaste and mostly missed my lips, aiming for the cheek instead.
I don’t think either of us knew how to recover from that. We parted ways shortly after, becoming just another statistic in the dating pool of high school. I remember running into him on occasion in the halls between classes, and we’d nod to one another in recognition of something that was never quite right or meant to be. He went back to Germany when the school year was up. I never heard from Simon again.