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I. BEFORE (continued)
Dear Breakup Girl,
It is, happily, spring... which means, for all us high school seniors, time
to get a date for the ball is ticking away. You remember how it works, one
person snags a date and within hours the whole schoolis one mad scramble to get
hooked up. Now here is where the dilemma lies. My school, dearly though I love
it, is not exactly guy-heaven. Lots of them are great for pals, but that's
where it ends. Here are the iffy options.
THE EX: not even much of an option these days. A two-year on/off
relationship presently in a bizarre "it's harder than we thought to be
friends now that it's DEFINITELY not going to work out" sort of phase. I
wanted to go to the ball with someone who means a lot to me (not love or
anything, but someone who really has something to do with me, my friends, my
life, so they'll fit in with the memory when it's all over). EX graduated last
year but is still a big part of everything, and the first and only serious
relationship I've ever been in. Unfortunately it's a little too risky because
at a moment's notice, things between us go from talking and hanging out 24/7 to
having nothing to say after some petty argument. Worth the risk, for
sentimental value? I don't know. Just 2 weeks ago he said he wants to shop with
me when I look for a dress, and that he would love to go as my date. However,
he blows like the wind and changes his mind about everything under the sun at a
Then there's GOODGUY: also at college now, he's one of the awesomest guys I
know. A very good friend, fun, amusing and considerate. We are of the brother-
and-sister variety of friendship (we talk about how we know we're meant to get
married, etc., but it's all just good natured teasing, however my mom thinks
otherwise). I have many times wondered why the HECK I don't have a THING for
him, but I just don't and that's fine because we're good how we are. He has a
girlfriend, semi-serious, so everything would be simple and I already know he
would love to go with me (we've talked about it a few times). He sort of knows
my friends, but our friendship is kind of separate from my school life, if that
makes any sense.
Then there's HOTGUY: this one's tricky. He's adorable, quirky and a lot of
fun, but I only know him on an acquaintance level. There was talk among mutual
friends he might ask me, but he never asks girls to dances because either a) he
is not in his element at proms and other such dance-oriented gatherings, or b)
he feels weird asking girls out to gatherings of that nature. Either way, it is
not a sure thing that he will ask, and to complicate matters a friend of mine
wanted to go with him and when she got these same mutual friends to feel out
the situation, she found out in a round-about way he didn't want to go with
her. He would be fun, no-stress and no pressure, if we went together. But
should I sit tight to be asked (having no idea what the odds are, really) or
should I take the plunge and ask him or consider only the other two date
options? I have no idea.
To further complicate there is ADMIRER, who is not an option at all for me,
only a friend-at-school, joke-around-and-spar person who has an unreciprocated
crush (there were roses on Valentine's Day, that kind of uncomfortable thing).
If he asks I will say no, but what reason will I give if I don't have another
date yet? Saying no is extremely uncomfortable.
A final question or two: I have never been dateless for a dance... in fact,
excluding the times when I was dating EX there was usually a surplus that had
to be dealt with. It would be nice TO BE ASKED but really, from school there is
only HOTGUY I would want to go with. Otherwise I'm destined to ask one of the
graduates. My point is, I'm psyched to get an awesome dress and dance like a
madwoman, but I don't know which guy would maximize the awesomeness of a night
already destined to be fun by its very nature. Sentimentality with EX,
tried-and-true comfort with GOODGUY, or the gamble of new and fun with HOTGUY?
-- Can't Decide
THE EX: Risky. Given what you say, I don't trust that
he'll actually come through, or that there won't be weirdness if he
HOTGUY: (Well, now that I've taken them out of order,
you know the winner, just like a pageant.) Risky. I would have said go with the
gamble if you hadn't told me proms/dances aren't his scene. He might be
adorable, quirky, and fun in his element, but will he be that way at prom? You
don't want to have to attitude-sit, to have to fun-for-two.
GOODGUY: Since he doesn't know your friends as much,
you give up the "fitting in with the memory" factor. But among these
three, well, maybe I'm playing it safe, but he is your known quantity... as a
Quality Date. Maybe not in with your friends, but down with hanging with them.
Also, College Boy for a date?! Arm Candy factor=high. Just promise me this:
that it won't be too painful for you that night to Date What You Can't Have. I
guess I believe you when you say don't have a thing for him ... but, well, I
just had to say it.
Anyway, it's pretty clear to that you're already going
with RIGHTATTITUDE. Have a ball!
PS You don't need to fumble for a reason to say
"no " to someone (say, ADMIRER). A simple warm, "Oh thanks so
much ... but I'm going to say no thanks..." (followed by, admittedly, a
brief awkward silence), is really fine. It's just an invitation; a
"no" does not require an explanation.
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