Address Blunder Leads to Teenage Heartbreak on Prom Night

by admin on June 30, 2014

This is a tale of teenage heartache and angst at its worst. Nearly twenty years have passed and I still cannot believe that this actually happened. The only real etiquette blunder here was the fact that addresses hadn’t been checked properly and that a teenage boy was kind of clueless.

I had been in love with M pretty much from the moment we met when I was twelve and he was fourteen. Where others saw a geeky guy with a goofy laugh, I pretty much saw Tom Cruise from Top Gun. M was sweet, smart, funny and just wonderful. Our parents were best friends, he was friends with me and my brother and I babysat his baby sisters all the time. I also baked his favourite cookies whenever I knew he was coming over and was just completely sweet to him. He began dating a girl in our church and, when she moved away, I was the one to pick out her gifts and wrap them for her because he had no idea what to get her and wanted my help.

M didn’t ask me to do any of these things and he always thanked me and appreciated them but at this point years had passed and he had yet to figure out that I was absolutely in love with him. He saw me as his good little buddy.

Soon it came time for him to graduate from high school and he had broken up with his girlfriend. His mom mentioned that he didn’t have a prom date and that she and his dad kept telling him to just ask me already. One day he came over after school and he asked me . . . if he could use the phone in my room to invite J to prom because he didn’t want my mom to overhear him and tease him. I smiled and said yes and then kept from crying by making more cookies.

Prom night came around and I was babysitting his sisters because parents always went to the dinner at prom.

Just as I was leaving my house to make my way to his, there was a knock at the door. I opened it and a chauffeur was standing there while a limo idled in the driveway.

“I’m here to pick up M’s prom date if she’s ready.”

OH MY GOODNESS. WOW! OH MY GOODNESS!

It was just like every teenage movie! I was going to prom! This was so exciting and romantic! I began thinking fast about what I had to wear and how I could manage a quick updo and glam up my makeup.

“This is 813 Third Street isn’t it?”

Sigh.

“No. This is 813 First Street.”

Figures. J and I had the same house number and were two blocks apart.

The story did have a bit of a happy ending of sorts though. Two years later I was the one graduating and he was the one with a huge crush on me. I got to take him to my prom, we had a great time and we even dated for a while. It didn’t work out but it makes for a great story! 0626-14

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

JO June 30, 2014 at 4:54 am

Ooh, cringe. Salt in the wound when the driver showed up.

Reply

DGS June 30, 2014 at 6:36 am

Very sweet and very sad story, most of all for OP, who would pick out and wrap presents for the girlfriend of a boy that she really loved. While her behavior was impeccable, she didn’t have to go the extra mile to do that cost of rubbing salt into a wound! It always pains me when I hear of teenage boys or girls bending over backwards to accommodate or please an elusive crush. In this case, it was perfectly innocent, but in many other instances, it can lead to all manner of dangerous or stupid or self-sacrificial behavior that is engaged in for the sake if pleasing the love interest.

Reply

Shalamar June 30, 2014 at 9:05 am

I’m remembering a Milhouse quote from “The Simpsons”: “When she sees you’ll do anything she says, she’s bound to respect you.”

Reply

lkb June 30, 2014 at 6:43 am

Great story indeed! Thanks for posting this. (I am so glad that the ending was happy, albeit two long years afterward.)

Reply

Hemi June 30, 2014 at 7:54 am

Sweet story and I’m really glad OP got to take her dream guy to the prom, but I don’t see real etiquette issues in this story. Seems more like a “Feel Good Friday” entry.

Reply

admin June 30, 2014 at 8:19 am

First, M’s mom was indiscreet to tell the OP that she and her husband had been pressuring their son to ask her to the prom. This set up an unrealistic expectation or hope by the OP. Then it is further compounded by M who knows his parents are lobbying for him to take the OP to the prom, so what does he do? Like a clueless clod he asks to use her bedroom phone to call and ask another girl instead. And I’m not entirely convinced he was clueless either…what better way to get an annoying little kid off his back then to make it quite obvious he was inviting another girl to prom?

Reply

SML June 30, 2014 at 8:28 am

Ouch admin! OP said that she and M were friends so perhaps insinuating that she was an “annoying little kid” is a little harsh perhaps? Clearly he didn’t find her that terrible if they wound up dating later. Not sure that was entirely necessary . . .

Reply

admin June 30, 2014 at 10:02 am

The OP herself states that M “saw me as his good little buddy” which implies that he did not view her as an equal peer in age and certainly not someone he would enter into a dating relationship with even after his parents suggest it. It would take almost 2 years before the light bulb went off in his head and he realized she could be more than “his good little buddy”. The “annoying little kid” comment is actually more derogatory towards M than the OP as it was intended by me to speculate why an 18 year young man would want to hide a phone call from his mom by asking to use “his good little buddy’s” bedroom phone to call a girl when he knew his parents were strongly encouraging him to invite the OP instead. His intent in doing so was to send a clear message to the OP that he had other plans and to dash any expectations his parents may have encouraged in her.

Reply

S June 30, 2014 at 11:00 am

“One day he came over after school and he asked me . . . if he could use the phone in my room to invite J to prom because he didn’t want my mom to overhear him and tease him.”

It doesn’t say he wanted to use OP’s phone to hide the call from his mother, but from her mother.

Dee June 30, 2014 at 12:14 pm

“M” may only have turned 18 at the very end of that year, and the prom may have been as early as May of that year, thus making him 17, not 18. OP is two years younger. That could have made her 15 and younger over the course of the story. Of course “M” would not view her as an equal peer in age; the differences, at that age, are too great. It seems natural to me that he would view OP as his “good little buddy” instead of a romantic interest, and that that could change as they both age and mature. I cannot see any hint that he regarded her as annoying.

JWH June 30, 2014 at 12:30 pm

I should point out that guys, both teens and adults, can be pretty darn clueless when it comes to the opposite sex. Not malicious, just clueless.

Cat June 30, 2014 at 9:03 am

If he was graduating from high school, he would have been eighteen or about to turn eighteen and she would have been about sixteen.
I don’t know if you have seen any sixteen year-old girls lately, but I would have a hard time thinking of them as “little kids”. I would also tell my son to use another phone and stay out of the young lady’s bedroom. It’s not a phone booth.

Reply

SML June 30, 2014 at 9:43 am

Here here!

Reply

Library Diva June 30, 2014 at 9:51 am

In terms of romance, they sort of ARE little kids at that age. It’s all new to them. They have a hard time telling when someone has romantic intentions. They have a hard time figuring out how to let someone down gently, how to be honest about their feelings (both the good ones and the bad ones) and express them in an appropriate manner. Some people never figure this stuff out and go through life mystifying their potential partners (“I thought we had a great time on that date. Why didn’t he call for a second one?” “She’s always really friendly and nice to me, but yet when I try to get her interested in spending one-on-one time, it seems to go right over her head. What’s the deal?”).

That being said, this story is a scene worthy of a film like Sixteen Candles. I can’t believe this actually happened to OP — how crushing! I’m glad you can laugh at it all these years later, and that it had a happy ending.

Reply

Cat June 30, 2014 at 6:09 pm

You have not worked in a high school, have you? They are not like little kids. Their bodies are telling them they are ready for adulthood even if their minds are all accelerator and no brakes.
Many of the girls and all of the guys have birth control and know how to use it-doesn’t mean they do use, just that they understand the concept. I found a textbook used by a sophomore and, written inside it was, “Pat, if you have not (vile word for intercourse) her by Friday, I want my fifty dollars back.” That was a fifteen year old boy.
They are not ready for marriage, but many have “friends with benefits” long before prom rolls around.

Cat June 30, 2014 at 8:59 am

I would have been tempted to dress and go to the prom. Surprise, M! Now that would have been a story for Etiquette Hell. “How I Hi-Jacked My Dream Guy’s Limo to Go to the Prom!”
I never had a serious crush on anyone. Now I am glad. It’s hard being a teenager.

Reply

Magicdomino June 30, 2014 at 9:50 am

Ouch! M using the OP’s phone to ask out another girl is bad enough, but the chauffuer coming to the house where the OP is babysitting instead of going to the prom adds insult to injury.

To be honest, I’m a little surprised by the happy ending. I don’t think my adolescent pride could have forgiven being so obviously stuck in the friend zone. It was bad enough that my high school crush completely ignored me.

Reply

Lisa June 30, 2014 at 10:36 am

Pretty in Pink with Molly Ringwald, but true. You poor dear! Glad you finally got to date your true love. I never got to date my highschool crush and was just as tongue tied when we met up again at our 20th renuion.

Reply

hakayama June 30, 2014 at 10:48 pm

My sympathy’s with you. Unreciprocated crushes can be, and are, truly crushing in that you remain prisoner of the emotions that should have no bearing on your life. Especially after a few years.
A somewhat similar experience kept me hoping for the impossible for a long time. Fortunately, I’ve come to discover some less than wonderful traits of the object of my devotion, and then it all went PFFFT!
Could YOU think of/discover/dig up some uncharming aspects of your Prince Charming’s persona?
For eons, wise individuals did well in selling love potions. “Moi”? I think I could make a fortune with an “un-love potion”. The big question is how do I get around the FDA? ;-)

Reply

Daphne June 30, 2014 at 1:19 pm

So, he wasn’t even in the Limo to pick up his prom date? What?

Reply

Yasuragi June 30, 2014 at 6:48 pm

I was thinking the same thing! Where on earth was M? What date doesn’t knock on the door himself? Greet the parents? Corsage? Photos? If he was in the limo he would have been giving directions. Was he waiting at his house?

And would the chauffeur say “I’m here to pick up M’s prom date.”? Wouldn’t he say “Good evening. I’m here to pick up miss Jane Lastname.”

Reply

JO July 1, 2014 at 11:02 am

Perhaps the date’s house just happened to be closer to the limo company headquarters, and the driver was picking up the date first because she was on the way to M’s house?

Reply

Daphne July 2, 2014 at 12:47 am

But a huge part of prom is the taking of pictures at the girl’s house. Her parents would have wanted photos of the both of them. (Prom is an important life moment for most people.) At the girl’s house he pins the corsage on–stuff like that. All golden, juicy photo ops for parents! And also, this is when the father tells him her curfew. It just doesn’t add up that he wasn’t in the limo, unless there is something really rude and wrong with this guy, M.

Reply

Jewel June 30, 2014 at 3:57 pm

When I was 18 – 20, I used to think the boys my age had it all together. If they ignored me, it was because they didn’t like me. If they were thoughtless or abrupt, same thing. Now that I’m MUCH older and a mother of boys who are that age, I realize that most boys in their late teens/early twenties are pretty much clueless on how to interact well with girls (both those they like and those they don’t). There are some exceptions, but many of them stumble through life with very little concept of how their actions and words affect others. Glad that the boy in the OP finally figured out that he had had a gem in his life the whole time.

Reply

A different Tracy June 30, 2014 at 4:12 pm

This whole thing is confusing. He came to your house to use the phone to ask another girl to the prom? And he was worried your mom would overhear him? Did he not have a phone or something? And yes, why would he send a limo to pick up his date, without being in the limo himself?

Reply

JWH July 1, 2014 at 11:43 am

OP said that he didn’t want to use his home phone because he was embarrassed his mom might overhear him talking to the girl he was asking out. And I have a feeling this took place in the pre-cell phone era known as the “1990s.” Back then, we had to walk nine miles to school, through the snow, uphill both ways ….

Reply

A different Tracy July 1, 2014 at 7:41 pm

No, he said the OP’s mom, not his mom.

Reply

NostalgicGal June 30, 2014 at 4:51 pm

Glad you could rise above it, and eventually have the last laugh. And, you did get to go to your own prom, with him even.

Age for graduation could be just to turn 18, or a solid 19… so that could make the OP 15-17. It probably was 16-18 and during the clueless age for some.

Long story, I didn’t get to go to my prom at all; but two years later on the same day, I got married (and still am married). I recently realized that; after decades. A limo would have shown up on my doorstep on that night, I would have known it wasn’t for me….

Reply

Miss-E June 30, 2014 at 5:24 pm

Ouch! That made me cringe with sympathy.

I’m sure the OP would have figured it out pretty fast though, even if the driver hadn’t confirmed the address. What kind of dingus wouldn’t give a girl a little warning before prom!! Dress! Hair! Makeup! That can’t happen in fifteen minutes!

Reply

The Mrs June 30, 2014 at 5:39 pm

OP here. I tried to keep the story short and to the point and, in doing so, left out some key details. First off, M had been born right at the end of December so he was seventeen when he graduated. I had just turned sixteen and we were about eighteen months apart. Secondly, my younger brother was his best guy friend (yes, younger) so it really was not a case of me being an annoying little kid.
M lived in a very small house with two little sisters and next to no privacy and was always at our place. He didn’t want my mom to overhear because he was really shy. I had found out about his parents wanting him to invite me because our moms were close friends and they were talking over tea when I was in the same room.
As for M not being in the limo, he was already at J’s place where they were both waiting for it. When M and his family found out what had happened they were all mortified. Just in case anyone was wondering.

Reply

don't blink June 30, 2014 at 9:34 pm

Ouch!! But I love the fact that this does have a happy ending. You did eventually get to go to prom with your crush, and you dated him long enough to know that he wasn’t the one for you. Hopefully you were able to remain friends after that :)

Reply

MM July 1, 2014 at 7:41 am

We’ve all been there, OP! *Internet hug* High school is one of the hardest times because hormones mixed with little life experience is not a good combo.

I can’t wait to have girls so I raise them with confidence to ask a guy out herself instead of acting like a groupie hoping he’ll notice her. Hopefully they can learn from mine and others’ mistakes.

Reply

Library Diva July 1, 2014 at 1:41 pm

Cat, I was talking about relationships and romance, not sex. They are two different things. It’s quite possible to know the advantages and drawbacks to an IUD vs. the Pill vs. condoms vs. the ring, and still not be able to express your feelings to a boy. It’s possible to brag about sex in the most vulgar terms and still not have a clue as to how to tell that a woman is interested in you. It’s perfectly possible to place bets on sex without having the foggiest notion what you’re supposed to do when the lights come back on. I never said that I imagine them to be innocent and naive about sex. I remember being that age, after all. But when you’re in your teens, you do still have a lot to learn about romantic relationships, and you practice on one another. That’s why I said they’re like little kids when it comes to relationships. Like toddlers learning to walk, their minds and bodies are telling them to RUN RUN RUN before they’ve developed the necessary control and awareness. Few people get out of their teens without going splat at least once, or causing someone else to go splat.

Reply

startruck July 2, 2014 at 2:42 pm

you poor thing. that had to feel like a slap in the face. but, the bright side is that at least you caught the mistake before you got dressed up and got in that limo. that would have been horrifying

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: