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  • Sam Darling

Fearless nerds and the great prom caper

Being considered the foreign weirdo or nerd at most schools I attended, I didn’t have a lot of friends. I was mostly mocked for my looks.

Bullied, in fact.

I certainly didn’t have a boyfriend, at least not until senior year when I attended an international boarding school.

Looking back on it I find it astounding since I am fabulous, but at the time I believed the kids were right and I was hideous.

This meant I did not attend school dances.

However, I did befriend adults and avoid my peers and consequently, on the eve of my junior prom in South Carolina, I was at home watching television and eating a pint of ice cream.

The doorbell rang. The school sports van was parked outside of our place; at the helm my gym teacher.

The van door slid open and the interior cab lit up revealing my science teacher, social studies teacher, and school counselor. “Put on a dress and get in. You’re our date to the prom.”

Did I hesitate for a moment? Did I worry I’d be the laughstock of the school, able to attend a dance only because the adults insisted? Nope.

Like I said: I’m fabulous.

Or, in reality: Being the butt of every joke is liberating. You have no shame.

At photo time, I posed per the photographer’s awkward instruction, as though part of a couple with one elbow bent out, wearing my mother’s over-sized dress and faux jewelry, a huge grin on my face from laughing the whole drive over. I wish I’d had the foresight to get the staff to pose with me as my “date” but as you can see, the knowledge of it was enough to make the night memorable. They brought me drinks and I danced with the crowd and I laughed.

The photographer got a blurry shot (dude, seriously?), but I’ll award myself extra points for a timeless look that does not look 1990s at all.

Here’s to you, kid. Embrace your nerd status and run with it.

Screenshot 2015-12-19 16.01.46
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