Monday, April 26, 2004

Addendum to the Hype Man’s Gallery- “The First Shall Be the Last…” My sole dating experiences to date were more or less arranged: Early on during Senior year, there was a special function that I was invited to be a part of, a ‘Beautillion’; essentially along the lines of a cotillion (society ball), but for boys. It was sponsored by a city youth advocacy program. Weekly, I and several other guys from different high schools would meet together, and practice dance steps for a stage presentation. It sounded like it was going to be pretty cool- On the day of the event, we would be wearing tuxedos, gathered with our families, and they would present us with plaques acknowledging our academic achievement. But then, about the third week of practice, we were told that we would have to have dates for the event. My eyes lit up with panic. A date?!! I’d have an easier time hitchhiking to Paris (France or Texas). I seriously considered quitting; once again, the only real prospect I had was Shannon; but of course, with her living in East Chicago, and my having to catch a cab to the practice hall downtown (no car at home, and the city bus service didn’t run at all on Sundays), it just didn’t seem feasible (not to mention that whole ‘engagement’ thing.. Sheesh!). As it so happens, the youth program sponsoring the event had a group of girls with similar functions going on; I ended up arranging a date with the daughter of one of the board members. Later, I would find out that she was Tim jasper’s’ girlfriend. Early on, she asked me if I knew Tim- I said ‘yeah’. Then she said, “I heard he was kind of nerdy”. I said, “Nah, Tim’s cool”. Not exactly the kind of thing you’d expect a girlfriend to say. Of course, at the time I still didn’t know. It wasn’t until after the Beautillion, when ‘Stacy’ (not her real name- ‘cause I forget, and it wouldn’t be appropriate anyway!) asked me to take her to her high school prom. I sure wasn’t going to mine, so I figured, why not? I agreed. Then, a week or so later, I happened to be talking with Tim and ‘joey dane’ before classes. Tim asked me if I was going to our prom. I said that I’d probably be going to Horace Mann’s prom. He asked me the name of the girl. I told him. His eyes got huge with disbelief, and ‘joey’ started laughing. Not that I was sweating her- but it did put a cloud of awkwardness over me once I found out the truth. The Beautillion was fun; although when me, ‘Stacy’, my mother, and my brother Jeff went out to eat at a Bennigan’s in Griffith, a waitress’ crash spilled a dacquiri on Stacy’s dress. Incredulously, the manager balked at the idea of paying for the dry cleaning. Forward about a month & ½ later: At Stacy’s prom, what I thought would be at least an enjoyful evening of dancing turned out to be a disco fiasco. My mother rented a car; and we went to pick up Stacy. While we were meeting with her mother, inside her house, guess who shows up at the door- Tim! But that alone really didn’t freak me out- what did that was the fact that he shows up at the door dressed in nothing but white long johns and a pair of slippers (!!!!!!?!?????). At that point, the neighborhood was kind of quiet, and it was dusk, but geez. At least you could tell that he couldn’t have been packing a weapon (I guess). Anyway, a few snapshots later (without Tim), and we were off. But then she asked if we could pick up her best friend, ‘Susie’. This was unexpected, but I really didn’t object. We picked her up and went to the hall where the dance was held. When we arrived, she and her pal burst into full hang-out mode almost immediately. It was kind of an understatement to say that I felt left out. From what I could glean from their conversation, it seems that they were both on the prom planning committee, making the arrangements, decorations, and so forth. On top of that, I guess Stacy and Tim had hit rocky shores for a moment, so I ended up being the rebound man, if only as a non-essential escort. I think I ended up talking to the other kids at our table more than with Stacy, who was frequently elsewhere with Susie. Later, after the dance was officially over, Mom picked us up, and we decided to head to Chicago to find a restaurant; when we got up there, we drove around to various locations, but neither Stacy nor Susie could really settle on a place. We ended up running into a distant cousin of mine at a Bennigan’s (not the same place), where his date and another couple from the prom were going in. The line was rather long, and Stacy opted not to wait. We drove around some more, trying to find something other than a rib joint or McDonald’s, but no such luck. Eventually, we didn’t eat at all, and just drove back to take them both home. Even after all of that, I promised Stacy that I’d call her. Of course, I never did- man, I thought I was above that ‘typical guy’ stuff, but I guess I still had loads to learn. I imagine that she and Tim got back together (for however long), so in a way, maybe I unknowingly brought them closer. How about that- Hypestyle, unwitting relationship counselor!

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