29: 72-hour reminiscence (Year 10 Formal 2015)
(Recounting my most memorable thoughts)
This was the boys’ school formal, by the way. I’m only recounting it because I’m looking at the corsage that I bought for myself which is sitting forlornly on my desk, its flowers wilting, yellowing, the vibrant, green leaves shrivelling.
November 24, seemingly the most important day of the month (only because of the formal). I’d chosen to get a more valuable education at home rather than at school, but in the end, all I was really doing was just waiting around for the last few hours before I had to rush off to a friend’s place to put on the final touches before I’d left.
After lunch, I immediately went to soak my feet in hot water. I’d wiggled my toes around in the water trying to get rid of any dead skin cells, and just overall enjoying the hot water and the reminder that I would be at formal soon. I’d done my eyeliner (quite unevenly, but quite good for a third attempt) and I’d done my hair. Oops not in chronological order. So I did my eyeliner around 11, and then I soaked my feet, and then I did my hair. Yeah?
Then I went to a friend’s place in my dress and heels. There were two other girls there with my friend. Although when I was there I did feel out of place and had my own makeup roughly slapped onto my face by a rather skilled amateur makeup artist (but it wasn’t even my own makeup stuff, it was hers).
We’d taken photos. Once again felt the urgent need to somehow belong because all these girls were beautiful people and then here was me. I know she was my closest friend there, but still, I didn’t feel like I belonged. Maybe it was because of the length of my dress, or the colour, or just because I was much bigger than them all (fat-wise).
Then Macca’s run. Of course, I’d taken a few fries, but nothing else. I’m easing into the atmosphere of belonging. I realise that I’m going to have to leave my makeup here with her, which I’m not comfortable with because how am I going to remove my makeup and I didn’t even consult my sister about this?
Then taking some more photos. I never felt like I was flattering enough in any of them.
Then heading to the station. Windy conditions meant she and I were able to successfully pull off seriously weird-looking photos where it looked like we were wearing pants rather than actual floor-length dresses. Then another one of our friends joined us. She was wearing killer combat platform heels (is that a thing?) and she looked very very shrexy (yes this is a word I use).
She had fake nails on the train! She even labelled them!
When we got off at Circular Quay station we bumped into squads of NSB boys, at which point I’d cursed loudly and run off.
We’d taken photos at the wharf. I didn’t look very flattering in those photos either.
We finally arrived at the hotel.
Oh my god here comes the worst bit. I was subtly trying to look for him and it seemed to me that he had marched straight up to me and said, “Well I didn’t expect you to pull it off like you did but you pulled it off pretty well.” Stunned, frozen, my mouth hanging open and awkward nervous laughs filtering from my mouth like I’m a puppet on a string. I tried looking to friends for help but I could feel his gaze on me. I could feel no romance, no love, no teenagery and angsty feels. Just him and me, both being awkward human beings, strangers, more like.
I can’t really remember what else he says. I just noticed that his tie was not the same colour as my dress and honestly I don’t think that you can find this colour anywhere. Maybe on a colour wheel, but not a dress like this, I guess?
Mingle with friends.
Shook hands with one of the formal committee members.
Not sure if both happened like that in chronological order?
We moved further into the hotel. I was trying to avoid my date a little, and trying to find my best friend. I called her as well. I wasn’t feeling very well because she wasn’t there yet and I needed her there because she is my life force after all.
Some hors d’oeuvres were coming around. I didn’t take any; I was wary of the food and the drinks because I had no appetite.
“No thank you, thanks.”
My most used phrase of the night.
I was waiting for her so I could get my corsage and boutonniere. I was also waiting for her to arrive so I wouldn’t feel as uncomfortable with the people around us (and my date). I found my best guy friend pretty quickly. Thank god he wasn’t wearing his school centenary tie. He looked incredibly attractive and easy on the eye – this is where I say, they were right when they said guys become hotter around tenth grade. If I was reading this as someone else, I would probably say something like, “then why don’t you date him?” He has eyes for another and I think there’s an unspoken rule where you don’t date your best guy friend. At least, I think it’s a valid rule.
The photographer was coming around taking photos and I felt incredibly naked, uncomfortable and ugly. I felt my arms wrap unconsciously around my middle because I couldn’t deal with the cameras. As one of my friends pointed out to me that she was here, I ran up to her and hugged her very tightly, her date looking on with pride in his eyes (at least, that’s what I think it was). And then my flowers arrived.
The whole procedure was incredibly awkward, if I may say so myself. I knew the photographer was going around and there were people everywhere. At that moment I wanted to close my eyes and disappear, but I knew I couldn’t. He managed to tie my corsage on, but I pinned the boutonniere horribly on his lapel. At some point during the night he would eventually lose it and not say a thing about it to me (ten dollars gone!). The photographer wanted to take a picture of us, but we were in the middle of tying each other’s flowers or something. I waved my hands desperately at the photographer, telling him no. He eventually got the message at least two seconds before he took a photo. I don’t think there was enough relief washing through me when he moved on.
I posed for photos with my best friend, her date and my date. I posed for photos with groups of friends, with him alone, damn I forgot to take one with my best guy friend.
He took a drink of lemon lime bitters. Unfortunately for myself, being the coward I am, I didn’t take any drinks. I can only imagine what lemon lime bitters really taste like… heavenly? Disgustingly fascinating and blissful? I can only come up with so many adjectives to describe something I’ve never had.
We headed inside the ballroom (?). I found our table number (11) right up near the dance floor. So much for being at the back of the room, hey? The dread filled me; I would be sitting with nine other boys (three of which deeply detested my guts) and there would be no girls on my table… The banter game was strong, I guess. Nothing to marvel about, but I enjoy laughing when I can.
He asked me where I wanted to sit. I said I don’t know; why don’t you pull out a chair for me and I’ll sit there? Basically, I baited him to be a gentleman, and I don’t feel bad about baiting him, but I feel bad that I had to bait him to get him to do something I knew he normally wouldn’t do. People began to filter into the room and boys started sitting around the table; boys I didn’t know, that is. My best guy friend came around and he looked confused, trying to look for a seat, I guess. I made him sit next to me. For what purpose are best guy friends for if not a vessel for talking to so that you don’t experience awkwardness with your own date? I’m just kidding; he’s a good person and I wouldn’t want it any other way (reflecting back on it, I should have put in more effort to talk to my date because he did pay for my ticket after all…).
Exchanged banter and laughter, and had an entrée of bread and butter? Where my date smothered a ton of butter on my bread and proceeded to give me diabetes. I still felt empty at this point; the atmosphere wasn’t right, the love wasn’t there, it was just a lively dead.
I showed my best guy friend some pictures on my phone which made us both crack up. I enjoy laughing, like I said, and having not seen my best guy friend in a long time, I enjoyed hearing his laughter (but not seeing his hair bounce as he laughed, since he had cut it *cue disappointment*). I am fairly sure that there were guys around the table giving us awkward or weird looks since I was “cosier” with him than my date. My date did try to intervene every once in a while, asking us what we were laughing about. I don’t blame him for trying, to be honest. If my date was laughing with another girl I would have tried to find out what was going on between them. That is, if my date were another person that I actually had a crush on, but whatever.
I felt obliged to take a photo of the main course. I didn’t know whether to take it from a certain angle or another angle, but I still took a photo. To show the parentals and friends who didn’t attend the formal, I guess. It wasn’t a big deal, but the thing is, my memory says that at this point I still felt dead inside.
The whole night I didn’t feel the nerves that accompany the rush of falling in love or endorphins or things like that. I think I was consistently alive with the deadness inside of me.
Dancing. I just stood there with my friends who were moving their arms and legs in the similar fashion to raving. I could only stand there and allow the music to wash over me as I took in the darkness, the horrible lighting and the sight of my friends. I have always been a watcher than a participator and I guess tonight was more of a reinforcement of that testimony.
Recounting the rest now is too painful.
Because I was so dead inside.
I’ll come back and edit this.