Historical Essay 63

Posted on 02 December 2010 by LeslieM

My First Formal Date

It was 1958 and the Pompano Beach Senior High School Prom was coming up soon. The first thing I noticed was the girls were suddenly a lot friendlier than normal. They didn’t just nod their heads in recognition as you walked by, but actually started smiling big and saying something like “Hi David” as they passed by in the hallway. As the big day got closer, some of them even started asking who I was planning to take to the prom. I found that to be embarrassing because I didn’t have a girlfriend yet and wasn’t planning to go.

However, I had been elected Vice President of the Junior class by then, and Mr. Hagman, our student advisor, told me that “as an elected leader” you are expected to go to school events, including the prom. So there I was, kind of stuck. Then, I soon found out that most of the girls, who had previously caught my eye, already had dates.

Social pressure was building. There was one possibility, however, that came to mind. A new girl, a petite brunette named Gwen, had recently moved into town from Georgia. She hadn’t had a chance to get hooked up with a boyfriend yet, so I moved quickly. I knew where she lived, drove there on Saturday morning and introduced myself to her dad when he opened the door. He invited me in, offered me a seat on the couch and said “Gwen is still putting her face on.”

Not used to that term, and a little taken a back, I started thinking that was the one thing I hadn’t liked about her when we first met. Too much makeup turns most guys off, including me. But then, I thought: “beggars can’t be choosers.” So I sat there and talked to her dad, it seemed like an hour.

Finally, she came out. The first thing I noticed after the makeup was the puffiness under her eyes. Of course, we all have some of that when we first wake up, so I don’t know why I was being so critical. We talked briefly about Friday night’s football game, and then I blurted it out “Would you like to go to the prom with me?” She smiled and hesitated for a moment. I was beginning to hate her when she finally said “You’ll have to ask my dad.”

Her dad had stepped outside, so I went out and asked his permission. He didn’t hesitate, but did say “As long as you have her home, I mean in this house, by 12 o’clock.” I immediately agreed and sighed in relief. I had a date for the prom! Whew!

David Eller

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