Not Worth 1000 Words

Because I'm broke between now and April 15, 2006, I'm spending much of my free time at home. To help pass the hours, I've decided to re-work old photo albums in an effort to better preserve them. Of course, after seeing some of my old high school photos, I may not want to save anything from my past for future generations. Egad! I was such a nerd.

I ran across this prom picture from 1985, my junior year in high school. The photo stirred memories of more than just the awful dress I was wearing that night.

My very first date (a year before this picture was taken) turned out to be the perfect prom night with dear, sweet Bruce. The following school year, Bruce left for college, performed at local dinner theaters, and discovered his real sexual orientation. I, in turn, was left without a boyfriend and no real date prospects for junior prom.

I did, however, harbor a huge crush on rising senior, Lee Taylor Townes III.

Never did I imagine that L.T. (as he was called back then) would ever return my affections. He was a cute, all-American tennis player, who hung out with other jocks and cheerleaders, the "popular crowd". I, on the other hand, hung out in a totally different class of people. I was editor of my high school yearbook and captain of the public speaking team. Need I say more? My friends were the really smart kids, the kids whose parents started buying refrigerators and furniture for college when their kids were only 14 years old. My friends obsessed about grade point averages and AP classes. In other words, I was a geek; my friends were all geeks. And, there wasn't any way that cute, popular L.T. Townes III would ever even sneeze in my direction, let alone cross the high school caste system and ask me out.

Still, I found opportunities to make myself known to L.T. Townes. Like any resourceful, ambitious high school girl, I learned L.T.'s class schedule, the route he took to his 6 class periods, and where his locker was situated. I went as far as to rework my daily routine so that at least once or twice a day, I would cross paths with the object of my desire. I even managed to smile at him from time to time.

Needless to say, I thought I had died and gone to heaven the day L.T. smiled back and said hello. It was February 1985.

For weeks thereafter, L.T. and I didn't really communicate beyond that one smile. Then, one seemingly typical March evening after a high school basketball game, L.T. approached me and asked if I would be his date for the spring prom. I smelled alcohol on his breath, but didn't let this stop me from readily accepting his offer. Before I went out and bought a dress, however, I managed to confirm with L.T. that he not only remembered asking me to prom, but also actually planned on taking me.

After I found my strapless, baby blue Jessica McClintock number, L.T. asked me to join him in finding a matching bow tie and cummerbund. L.T. also offered to take me to the movies so we could make a day of it. We saw Mask, the Eric Stoltz/Cher classic about a boy with a massive facial skull deformity and his biker gang mother. It wasn't exactly a romantic comedy or best first date choice, but I didn't care so long as I was in the company of L.T.

As it went with our relationship, L.T. and I didn't communicate much after our one and only date before prom. In the hallway at school, L.T. confirmed what time he'd be picking me up prom night. This was all the information I had before prom rolled around. I guessed that I was on a need-to-know basis.

The night of prom finally arrived and L.T. showed up at my house along with his best friends, the high school track star and his cheerleader girlfriend. After we headed down the road a short distance, L.T. and his buddy stopped at a dumpster to load the trunk with the beer they had stashed away.

While I remember every detail of dinner and the hours leading up to prom with Bruce the year before, I don't even recall where L.T. and I dined that night. While Bruce and I had danced the night away during our prom experience, I do remember L.T .and I danced exactly one time before leaving prom. L.T. wanted to go a local bonfire and party that he had heard about and this took priority over prom.

As a result, L.T. took me home so that I could change out of my barely worn, baby blue Jessica McClintock dress. It wasn't exactly fireproof and besides, jeans might be more suitable for the outdoor party. On the way to my house, L.T., for the first time, tried to make a little small talk with me.

"So," he started his conversation. "Have you ever seen that movie, Mask?"

Mortified, I stayed silent for about 20 seconds, then responded

"Uh.... yes. Actually, I did see that movie," I answered after the awkward pause. "You took me."


KOM said...

If it makes you feel any better, I took a date to "Far and Away" and forgot what we'd just seen before we even got back to the car.

I think there's a lesson in that post... something about not associating with people that refer to themselves as the "3rd".

utenzi said...

It sounds like your fascination with LT led you down a path you're not likely to repeat, Diane. I guess that makes it a valuable lesson.

As for your picture--I don't see any problem with the dress but my knowledge of fashion, then or now, can fit into a thimble. You, on the other hand, were adorable. Nerd or not, you were hot. Good body language too.

3rdtimesacharm( 3T ) said...

Had to come back, as the comments wouldn't let me in earlier.

I think you are absolutely stunning in your gown!! On dating from the popular jock set? I'd rather go to the Prom with the gay male who loves to dance, any day of the week!;-) Not boyfriend material, but a much more fun date!
Wonderful post.


David said...

I missed it. . Have you ever seen Mask or not? I hate stories that are incomplete.

TamWill said...

Honestly..I like the dress :)
and the picture! You look a southern belle.