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The Last Waltz

Molly Acker | Friday, March 31, 2006

Next weekend marks St. Mary’s Senior Formal – a night which I have heard many refer to as “drunk prom.” My friends and classmates are anticipating a great evening – a sort of last hurrah with the friends they have made over the past four years. To be quite honest I am not so excited.

I didn’t even really want to go the dance, but I found myself getting roped into buying a hundred dollar ticket for an evening that doesn’t even include an open bar. My friends convinced me to come by pulling out the “we only have a few more weeks” card. My really good friends, who obviously know me even better, pulled out the “you’ll get to get a new dress and heels” card. I was sold. I was even briefly looking forward to the night.

That was until the issue of who I would bring came up. I thought this would not be a problem. Not surprisingly, I checked to see if my boyfriend could come first. One would think this is a definite “yes”. Think again – it seems that first year law students get take-home finals this time of year. I decided not to sweat it. I knew I would have had the best time with him, but I have some great guy friends that would also make really fun dates. I talked to a few them about it – they would love to come. Great. But have friends visiting or tickets to baseball games that day. Great.

So now I’m feeling pretty dejected. Here I think I’ve got it made with a great guy and great friends, but I can’t even get a date to some dance. It then dawns on me that life has come full circle. This is most likely the last dance I’ll need to find a date to go with and I’m having no luck. Can we say high school? The month leading up to high school dances was a notoriously stressful time for me. I recall putting my head in my shirt (a nervous habit of mine) listing all possible dates and making up reasons why none of them would ask me. If you didn’t go to the dances not only were you not fulfilling your role in student government that requires you to attend events, but even worse, it was social suicide.

I have found myself waking up in cold sweats after having nightmares of what life was like in high school. Along with the pressure of finding “someone to walk in the door with” there are all the pictures. Everything was captured on film – be it the fashion crimes committed in shades of lavender, maroon, and blue, the date that was shorter than you or who couldn’t dance, the hairstyles with curls hanging all over the place. I thought that I had put all of this behind me when I donned the cap and gown four years ago.

Now my friends and family are laughing at me. They think it is hilarious that I am having such trouble. My dad called and said he’d be happy to go with me. I’m not even sure I could count on that. With my date history I’d turn into the Joan Rivers joke about the girl who was so ugly that she got stood up for the father-daughter dance.

Here I am, so fortunate to have a wonderful family and friends, and I can’t find a date. It is an all too fitting way to cap off the last eight years of my education and a perfect reminder of why if it were up to me there would be no more dances. An event that lasts for only a few hours causes all these problems. Needless to say, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that some poor soul will be willing to spend his evening feasting on undercooked chicken, drinking cheap booze, and making idle chit chat. Actually, though, I think I have a few good leads on dates. After all, that guy who finds the term “Fighting Irish” offensive seems like a lot of laughs, and I doubt he’ll have anything going on on a Saturday night.

Molly Acker is a senior communication studies and humanistic studies double major at Saint Mary’s. She can be contacted at acke6758@saintmarys.edu

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.