Winter Formal

Who Says Friday The Thirteenth Is Bad Luck?

It was a cold wintry night. It was a Friday and the 13th no less. I was at a fraternity party with a specific duty. I had to ask a certain blonde dude to my sorority formal this night!

But I didn’t want to!

It was against everything I was brought up by. Girls DO NOT ask boys out on a date. Yet as a pledge to this sorority, my sisters were adamant that we all had to be at the winter formal to be presented to the alums, so everyone before us had also asked out a guy.  It was a Chi-O tradition and my big sister wasn’t going to have her little sister not be in attendance.  Argh.

I offered to go only if I could ask my cousin. The answer was a definite – NO! So my pledge sister, Julie, took him.  I said I would probably have to work – NO! You will ask off they insisted. Then my pledge sisters threw me under the bus. Yep, they sure did!

“Why don’t you ask that blonde guy you stalk from the Dance Marathon meetings?” Julie asked.

“Yeah, he’s a cutie!” Sue added in.

“NOOOO!” I said. “I don’t know him and I’m not walking up to somebody and saying, ‘Hey, I know you don’t know me, but do you want to wear a suit, buy some flowers, pick me up and go to a formal?’ Uh-uh, ain’t gonna do it!”

A couple days later while sitting in the student center, one of the blonde guys’ frat brothers, Lee, was talking to a bunch of us. Lee was perpetually at our table, so he was in the loop of our upcoming winter formal. One by one he was asking who we were taking. I harassed him that he was looking to be asked and he turned to me and said, “So, then who are you taking?”

I quickly told him I wasn’t going. My sweet pledge sisters then blurted out that they think I should ask the blonde Phi Sig brother of his to go. He laughed and asked which one.  Julie replied, “Lee, the blonde at the dance marathon meeting, you know, he comes in with you.” Lee shook his head as he realized who Julie was speaking of.

Now that Lee was in on the scoop, he began concocting ways for me to ask this guy, which I now knew was named Larry according to Lee. He reminded me that we were having a party with them on Friday and that’s when I should ask him, it would be perfect timing. Yeah, right.

Every stinkin’ day that week, Lee and my sorority sisters consistently badgered me about asking this guy. I finally conceded that I would ask him at the party on Friday night. I told them I knew he would say no, but then I wouldn’t have to go because I tried to no avail. No date – no go!

Did I mention that I had stalked this guy since October? It was now January, and through major snooping, I knew an awful lot about this guy. Yet, he had no idea! In fact I’m sure he was pretty oblivious to my existence. I had made Lee swear to secrecy.

Friday morning finally arrived. I was totally stressed out. I so did not want to do this, but I had made a promise that I would. Ahhhhh – what was I thinking.

I arrived at the Phi Sig house at 9:30, a half hour after the party started. My friends are there and they inform me that the guy isn’t there. I think – great, I got all worked up for this and he’s not even going to show up tonight. Lee approaches with a huge grin on his face. “Well, are you ready to ask him?” he says.

I replied, “Well, I was but he’s not even here.”

“Oh yeah, he’s at a basketball game but he’ll be here later because he knows that three of you are going to ask him to a formal tonight,” he said.

“What? Three of us?” I said. “Well, then I’m done, I’m not going to ask him, the other girls can. Forget it.”

Then my pledge sister, Sue, came over to me beaming, “He’s here!”

Dang it if that darned Lee didn’t slowly walk the blonde guy over to me. Little creep! Lee introduced us then just walked away, leaving both of us just standing there looking at each other. Though Lee didn’t go too far away as he, Julie, Sue, Eleana and Char stood about six feet away smiling like a bunch of goofballs.

If you are reading this and have actually spoken with me in person, you know I can crank up some speed while I talk. Get me nervous or very excited and you will probably not understand much of what I say! Yeah – that’s how I asked him to the formal. It went like this:

“It-was-really-nice-to-finally-meet-you. I’ve-seen-you-at-all-the-dance-marathon-meetings. Um-I-uh-have-to-ask-you-something. I-have-to-go-to-the-Chi-O-winter-formal-and-uh-we-have-to-ask-someone-to-go. You-probably-wouldn’t-want-to-go-but (he says,”when is it?”) we-have-to-ask-but-I’m-sure-you-are-probably-busy (again he says, “I asked, when is it?”) and-it’s-coming-up-soon-so-it’s-okay-that-you-don’t-want-to-go-it’s-just-that-I-had-to-ask…and the blonde guy reaches up and covers my mouth gently and says, “I asked when is it, I will go with you.”

And I stop talking, my mouth falls open and I just stare.

He asks again.

My friends see there is a problem and come over and Lee says, “So, Larry, you going to the Chi-O formal with Tammy?”

Larry replied, “I don’t know, she still hasn’t told me what day it is yet.”

That’s when it all began – a 36 year adventure for the two of us! Happy 36th anniversary of meeting you, Larry! Love ya!

Here we are – Larry had just turned 19 and I was 18 (and a half!). Looking at this, we sure do look young. Oh wait, we were!

…and that’s all I have to say about that!