As the school year progressed, my dad took my bestie and I on two college trips and her parents took us on one. We both unknowingly chose to attend the same university the following fall. We were so excited and agreed we wouldn’t be roommates because we wanted to expand our friends and meet more people. I spent most of my waking hours at her house. Her parents were so kind and they had a warm and inviting home. It seemed she always had a boyfriend and we would hang out with their friends on the weekends. I still hoped for a boyfriend of my own and would have high hopes for a love connection each and every time I got ready to go out. I was set up with a guy from another school for Homecoming and we chatted on the phone a lot before the dance. He was a year younger so that made me feel like I definitely had a chance with the allure of being an older woman.
Homecoming week, as an involved senior, was an absolute blast. So many activities including a newly added carnival where I spent a turn in the dunk tank. I loved being busy and laughing as much as I could. Our high school had football games on Saturday afternoons. The day of the dance, I performed the school fight song and a show stopping kick routine for half-time.
Getting ready, I put my hair into the fanciest style I could—a headband French braid, with the end tucked behind my ear and then I used the smallest wand curling iron in existence to curl the ends of the rest of my hair. Oh, and my bangs, well, they were a masterpiece. Tightly curled, then teased to perfection, and sprayed to a state of complete immobilization. I bought my dress from the Jessica McClintock store in Water Tower Place, downtown Chicago. It was long sleeved, black velvet on top, with a hot pink, drop waist taffeta, tea length skirt. On my hip was a gorgeous pink bow, as stiff as my perfect bangs. Sheer black hose and black, patent leather, pointed toe flats topped with hot pink bows that CLIPPED ON to my shoes. Absolute perfection.
My mom was so happy that I had a date and my whole family watched as my date, whom I will call Jackass, pulled up in his dad’s Jaguar. My parents were absolutely impressed. As was customary for my high school, kids gathered for pictures and then a limousine would arrive to take them out for dinner and then to the dance. When Jackass and I left for the dance, he left his car keys with my dad. My dad thought that was a good idea, just in case he needed to move the car for any reason. I found out later that my dad and sister took the car for a joy ride once we were safely out of range.
I had high hopes for a possible boyfriend in the Jackass. Unfortunately, even though he was from another school, several towns away, he knew a lot of kids from my school. Once we walked in the doors to the high school, he bolted, and I only saw him again at the end of the night when my dad picked us up and brought us back to our house so he could drive himself home. I never talked to him again which was actually just fine. He was cute, but well, he was a jackass.