Posted by Danny
It’s our first Winter Formal at St. Mary’s School, and it has been two of the most stressful months of my life.
Being an all girls school, some random guy isn’t going to invite you to the dance. Someone asked me if DJ was going to a Sadie Hawkins Dance – I told her “Every dance at St. Mary’s is a Sadie Hawkins Dance.”
Normally, that would be a good thing. I fully supported DJ’s decision to attend an all female institution – and my enthusiasm was in part sparked by the lack of testosterone cruising the campus. Who needs that headache? I was breaking girls hearts left and right at that age! I thought myself sort of a young Don Juan, although I’m not sure any of the girls felt the same.
But in this case, I was wishing there were a couple of dudes on campus to take the pressure off me to find her a date. Well, I didn’t really find her a date. But I sure did feel the pressure.
In October I started probing about who she might ask to the big event. I pulled out last year’s school annual – when she wasn’t at home. I earmarked several fellas I felt came from good stock and committed their names to memory.
DJ did not ask for suggestions, but I felt compelled to offer a few.
I suggested the boy with great hair. He’s like Bieber! I’ll kill to have that mane. Apparently, good hair was not enough.
With no nibble on “Hugh Grant,” I suggested another cute kid from her eighth grade class.
Apparently he moved to Canada. I wonder how I missed that. No problem, we could fly him in I offered.
I also suggested a nice kid we see on our annual trip to West Virginia. He lives in DC.
It didn’t take long for DJ to inform me that she wasn’t inviting a guy who had to be UPS’d to Raleigh. I was shocked at her lack of appreciation for my input. I had put hours of thought into my suggestions.
Each night as DJ calmly ate her dinner, I casually tossed out names:
“I’m sure that boy on last year’s basketball team would put on a shirt with sleeves for a dance. Certainly he owns a pair of dress shoes.”
“No one has to know you’re related by blood. Just tell them you vacation together.”
“The kid who won the science fair last year is bound to grow up and invent something. You’re doing well in biology. You could talk to him about that.”
“I know you don’t know him, I don’t either. But his father is hilarious. And he’s grown this year.”
“I was chubby in middle school too and look how I turned out.”
I suggested boys from church, sons of my friends, and the cream of the crop from our neighborhood, summer camp and beyond. She was unfazed by my growing angst.
And then one day, as dinner began, she quietly announced, “I have a date to the Winter Formal.” And…it wasn’t anyone I had proposed.
And that was that. She didn’t need my suggestions. She didn’t need airfare. DJ had it all under control.
I often get accused of “freaking out” by Jesse and the kids, and I regularly dispute their claim. But I wonder, just wonder, if this could be what they’re talking about.