How Two Rick's Accidentally Traded Prom Dates

March 7, 2009
Junior Prom
Junior Prom was a blast. Easily one of the most memorable nights of my life. All I remember was that I was sweating bullets when I saw my date that night. She was beautiful, absolutely stunning. I remember the exact words I said to her when I saw her in that dress. Three magical words.
?Nice dress bi***!?
?Oh grow up, Rick.?
Did I mention I was being slightly sarcastic when I said Junior Prom was a blast? You see I caught Tabitha making out with my best friend Rick (yes, I know there?s two of us) just the day before, and I think it would be an understatement to say I was still a little peeved. But it was the day before, far too late to get a refund on my tickets. Besides I was in the band playing for the prom, so I was more or less obligated to go.
Tabitha wasn?t obligated at all but 10 she cared way too much about popularity to pass up prom, even given the situation and 2) she?s a huge freeloader. I guess that explains why we broke up since I?m a cheapskate (or was it ?cause she cheated on me. Hard to tell. She kinda controlled the argument).
So here I was stuck on an embarrassing prom date with my recent ex who had already told me she planned to spend the whole evening with rick (my friend, not me).
?Look, I just wanna get our pictures done, do my gig, and get out of here.?
?Fine with me, baby.? Baby?! How is it that ?baby? used to be so cute, but now has magically become so condescending?
The inevitable meeting was worse than I thought it would be. Rick 2 noticed Rick 1 first. Rick 1 briefly considered hiding from Rick 2?s sight but decided it was pointless since they would both have to play on stage and normally that involves at least a little bit of looking at each other. Rick 2 tried to look a little guilty but wasn?t really a great actor. Rick 1 tried to hide his rage but also was a bad actor. Rick 2 started the horrible conversation.
?Hey Rick, nice tux.? Wow, Rick did you think of that yourself? ?Heh, uh sorry ?bout last night but uh?? Change the subject. Change the subject. ?Wow T., you?re lookin? really hot in that dress!? My God, he managed to make an even bigger arse of himself. May I just state for the record that he calls her T. because he?s never been sure how to pronounce her name. And man, I felt sorry for Rick?s date. Poor? Rick?s date. Alright so I forgot her name, so sue me. I?m really bad with names. She was cute though. That?s easy to remember. She wanted to be an uh, uh, veterinarian! That?s it! Ah, 9th grade vet girl. Worry not, cynicism will show its true colors in a few long high school years.
?I?m gonna go get some punch. You coming, Rick?? Tabitha, you bi***.
?Sure thing, T.? Great, the 2 cheaters leave me here with Vet girl. Though I guess I could be left with worse people.
?It?s Rachel.? The Vet girl speaks! ?I, uh, I could tell you?re trying to remember my name. Don?t worry I forget names all the time.? Rach, huh? She?s pretty cool. ?Except for your name, that is. It?s pretty easy to remember. Same as Rick. Plus I already knew you guys from your band.? My God, she?s seen our crappy band. ?I saw you guys on YouTube. My folks still won?t let me go to concerts.? Alright she hasn?t personally been to a gig, so what. ?But I really liked it, especially that really fast ska song where you transition out of nowhere into dub.? This girl knows her music. Me likey. ??ahem. Uh, do you wanna get a drink too?? Crap. It would probably help the conversation if I talked sometimes too, huh?
This is interesting. Granted my best friend stole my date, but maybe I can steal his in return. It?s almost poetic. And she?s really cool for a freshman. Come on Rick, let?s think of something cool to say. ?I?m sorry but you?re totally gonna be ignored today.? What?
?What??
?I mean by rick. He?s kind of pre-occupied with Tabitha.? Nice save.
?Tabitha, that?s her name. I?m totally gonna forget that. Ice or no ice??
?No ice please.?
?So polite. I like that. Here you go.?
?Thank you. So, uh, how?d you hear about the band??
?MySpace. It?s kind of a hobby of mine to search for local bands.? Me too, how creepy. ?Found yours. Hate the name by the way.? As do I. ?Liked the music though. Plus, I looked at your influences, and then my iPod, virtually identical. ?That?s 3 in a row. We?re made for each other? God, that sounds stupid.
?Well that makes sense,? I replied trying to sound sly. ?Since I basically copied my iPod alphabetically.? Don?t talk about yourself too much man. Get to know her. ?So, how d?you know Rick??
?I don?t. He just posted this bulletin, begging someone to be his date. I figured ?what the heck. I?m a freshman. Going to junior Prom can?t really hurt my social status and besides I already really wanted to go to see you guys. (I was kinda gonna try and sneak in.)? I already knew the story, but not from her point of view. ?So here I am.? Then she took a big long sip as if she was embarrassed that I?d find her creepy. On the contrary. I loved it that I wasn?t the only nervous one.
?Yeah, that sounds like something he would do.?
?So what time do you go on?? Now she wants to change the subject.
?Don?t you already know??
?Yeah. Eight o? clock.?
?Well, I already knew about Rick?s stupid bulletin, though I hadn?t heard your side of the story yet.? There I threw her a bone. She doesn?t need to be nervous anymore.
?It?s not stupid!? Interestingly, I had no idea what to say. ?I?m here aren?t I? Then she linked arms with me, the one not holding punch. ?Come here.? She dragged me to the dance floor. As flattered as I was, and oddly turned on, (I have a thing for forceful women) I was terrified of dancing. ?Aren?t they the ugliest couple you?ve ever seen?? she said looking at T and Rick. T and Rick, hmm. Like a T-Rex.
?Like a T-Rex.?
?Ha. Clever. I like it. Just as vicious and just as stupid.? We both laughed then. It was followed by one of those amazing sighs you can only get from a great laugh. I don?t know what possessed me to say what I said next but I?m eternally grateful that I did.
?You know, you?re something else.?
?You?re right. I know.?
Moment ruiners are awful, and never would I have thought that a gig would be a moment ruiner. Eric, our drummer tapped me on the shoulder with his sticks. He was wearing one of those awful T-shirts that are designed to look like a tux. ?Dude, we?re late. We gotta set up.?
?Oh man, I forgot we had to play tonight.?
?Right, that?s funny!? he deadpanned. ?Now hurry up.?
Rach giggled at me. I took this as a good sign because she either 1) thought I was joking, which I wasn?t (though Eric thought so) or 2) she thought it was cute that I was so entranced by her that I forgot about the gig, which I was.
Eric continued. ?I still gotta find Rick. Rich is on stage already.?
?Rick?s dancing with Tabitha over there.? Not T!
?Isn?t T. your girlfriend??
?Long story.? Short story, actually. She cheated. He cheated. So we decided to trade.
?Yeah well, we?re late, and Mr. K?s making a big fuss.? Mr. K?s the princi-Pal. Everyone hates him but as far as principal?s go, he could be worse.
The gig was fine, I guess. I always like playing music, even if it?s crappy alternative songs in order to please the pop crowd. But I just couldn?t get immersed in the music. At first it was perplexing, troublesome even. But then I realized you can?t be immersed in two things at once. I was immersed in Rachel. She was holding me back from the music, or was the music holding me back from her? Regardless my fingers flowed over those black and white keys from note to note, chord to chord, song to song as if on auto-pilot. My soul wasn?t really in it and I knew it, but for the 1st time I didn?t really care.
When we finished the MC came back on and said ?How about a hand for our band ?Off the Rick-tor Scale.? Rick chose the name I chose not to fuss.
Normally I?d help with the breakdown but I figured I could play the pissed-off-date-who?s-ex-just-cheated-on-him-for-his-best-friend card. That should last me awhile. Besides for the 1st time I had a fan who I knew would like my performance.
?It was awful.? Wasn?t expecting that. ?Okay, it wasn?t awful, but you held back. Don?t ever hold back.?
?It?s hard to get into repetitive Blink-182 covers. Plus, I think I was distracted? by you.?
?That?s not a good excuse. You got talent. You?re a real artist. If there?s one thing I hate, that the audience hates, it?s missed potential. They usually won?t know why they like or hate a song, but they just will. Nine times out of ten, it?ll be for that reason. Don?t ever hold back.? Then she grabbed my hand. ?Not even for me.? Wasn?t expecting that.
?You know, you?re something else.?
?You already said that.?
?It?s still true.?





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