Honestly Brutal: A Date From Down Under
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A DATE FROM DOWN UNDER
A Whitman student anonymously shares insight from her experiences in high school and college. Honestly Brutal is posted weekly online, with longer stories posted monthly.
Senior year winter formal– not quite as important as prom but definitely still a time of excitement for most teenagers. You get to dress up, look all nice, take pictures, go to dinner, and dance the night away with your hot date. I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t dream of that perfect Cinderella Story kind of a night with the glittering gazebo, the impromptu serenade, and my prince charming sweeping off my feet. But senior year winter formal was anything but a fairytale kind of a night.
To give you some context, I had gone on a group date with this Australian exchange student at my school. I was warned that he was a player before even meeting him, but for some reason this made me want to meet him even more. In this particular situation, it is unfortunate that I am so outgoing because it was wayyyyy to easy to introduce myself and get his digits. We texted for a while, then I finally invited him to go ice skating at this awesome arena downtown. It was a great night! Everything went super smoothly. He was so easy to talk to and super flirty. After the date, he kissed me in my car parked outside of his house. Now since the title of this blog is Honestly Brutal, that is exactly what I am going to be right now. The kiss sucked (haha). It was awkward because it was like 30 degrees outside so I had on a vest which was super puffy so you do the math. And then the stupid ass middle compartment of my car was just right there and I’m like HOW DO PEOPLE DO THIS? On our way to his front door he was like, so yea friends with benefits? And me being my teenager self was like uhhhh yea sureeeeee, ignoring the fact that I knew friends with benefits was not a healthy relationship for me with my self-confidence being as low as it was in high school. From that point on, I continued to talk to him excessively; I wanted to keep his attention on me because I was worried that he would start hooking up with other girls. So what did I do? Well I did what any rational person would do which was ask him to winter formal 3 MONTHS IN ADVANCE. He said yes and I was relieved because I snatched hot foreign exchange guy before anyone else did.
Let me just fast forward you to the day of winter formal. The only conversations we had from the ask up to winter formal was about winter formal logistics (that equates to roughly one hour of texting in an entire three-month span). I had heard rumors that he had been hooking up with another girl, however, it was too late for me to back out and not look like a complete douchebag for uninviting him. The day of winter formal I started getting super nervous because I texted once in the morning and once at like 4 in the afternoon (2 hours before pictures) with no response. At this point I am thinking about the worst case scenario: a) he either is dead and therefore can’t go to winter formal with me or b) he ditched me. FINALLY he answers saying he is in fact alive and will see me later on that night.
It’s finally the hour. I am at the pre-party waiting for him to arrive. All my friends are there; I’m just chilling having a good time waiting for him to show up. He finally arrives, beautiful bouquet of flowers in hand and his cute suit on. I start a conversation thanking him for the flowers and making small talk. Then I notice we have a visitor. The visitor being a large purpleish bruise on the side of his neck above his collar. YES PEOPLE. YES YOU ARE THINKING CORRECT. THIS MOTHERFUCKER SHOWED UP TO MY WINTER FORMAL WITH A HICKEY FROM ANOTHER GIRL. At this point, I am utterly mortified because all the parents at the party are beginning to notice (well, all the parents except mine coincidentally). And of course, they all think the hickey was from me. So that’s great. Most all of the pictures were tainted by his love bite (but it was fine because I ended up cropping him out of most of the pics anyway). After letting it bother me for most of the pre-party, I finally decide, no this is my night and I am not gonna let some idiot guy ruin it. The party bus arrives and we all pile in. We get dropped off at dinner; I felt obligated to sit next to my date so I sat on his left side, which also happened to be the friskier side of his neck apparently.
At the end of the night, I just wanted to get him off my hands. I drove him home, dropped him off at the door, gave a quick side hug, and ran down the front steps leaving no room for any funny business. The next morning my parents asked me how the dance was and I told them the whole story. My dad, who apparently is super oblivious, had a full on face-to-face conversation with him and didn’t even notice. We’ll just say the morning after winter formal my dad was very steamy and quite frankly wanted to hunt this guy down in the most literal kind of a way. My mom wanted me to just leave it, “Be the bigger person. Don’t instigate anything or make it look like you care.” But I am the exact opposite of that. In most situations I am able to keep my composure, but if you are disrespectful it is hard for me to contain my rage. I text him that day:
Me: Hey had a fun night last night. Here are the pictures 🙂 Also, what’s on your neck by the way?
Him: Oh haha yea I was carrying roofing tiles for Habitat for Humanity on my shoulder and I went to put them down and they pinched my neck.
Me: Oh it looks a lot like a hickey to me.
Him: haha yea I guess it does
Yeaaaaaaaa…we never talked after this conversation. It would’ve been a completely different story if he was honest about it from the beginning and told me, “Hey things got out of hand last night and I want to make sure I look nice for pictures today, could you bring some makeup or something to cover it up?” But instead he blamed it on community service. Of all the excuses you could’ve come up with that was the best you could do. Come on.
So in the end here is what I learned.
Number 1: Never let attractive accents phase you. In the same way, the attractiveness of a person doesn’t excuse disrespectful behavior.
Number 2: Don’t say yes to something you aren’t comfortable with. If you have even an ounce of uncertainty, you should say no until you think about it further. Don’t be afraid to search through the depths of your inner self and explore why something makes you uncomfortable.
Number 3: Stand up for yourself! That doesn’t necessarily mean confront someone directly like I did in this scenario but can also mean simply realizing that you deserve better.
Number 4: COMMUNICATION! Don’t be afraid to say no. This is something I continue to struggle with, but be honest with yourself! No matter how awkward it may be, it is SO important to voice what you are feeling.
And that’s the honestly brutal truth.