It was supposed to be junior prom at Stoughton High, but it got cancelled (thirteen years before the movie Footloose). Pat wasn’t going steady with anyone, so she wasn’t too upset.
At the last minute the school arranged a dance in the high school gym, but with no decorations, no court (no prom queen), and no pomp. Pat’s friend, Sheila, suggested that she double date with her college boyfriend’s friend. He was coming back to his Wisconsin hometown from the University of Iowa and bringing Paul.
Pat agreed. She borrowed a formal dress. Her mom bought her a nosegay in pinks and burgundies to match, so that she’d have it for her scrapbook.
“You look so pretty, honey,” her mom said.
She got out the Kodak Instamatic and took a photo.
Pat smiled for the camera. A college boy! How exciting!
Sheila called to say that the guys got there safe and sound. The weather was nice, and Pat was nervous, so she walked five blocks to Sheila’s house for her blind date. When she got there, Sheila opened the door, looking embarrassed. Both her guy and the blind date, Paul, were drunk as skunks.
After an uncomfortable half hour trying to make conversation with a loopy frat boy, Pat walked home. No gym. No dance. No date. It would be another night of TV with her family –first Mission Impossible, then My Three Sons, and ending with Mary Tyler Moore.
Couldda Wouldda Shouldda
If Pat would’ve gone to the dance with Skunky Drunky Paul, she would’ve met a shy but cute boy who worked in the audio visual department. She would’ve left S.D.P. puking behind the punch bowl and would’ve danced with AV dude until their eyes locked and she would know he was the one for her. They would’ve dated through senior year until he went to University of Wisconsin at Madison and she went to Beloit. They would get back together after college and find they still had the same passion that they had felt at the dance during junior year in high school.