I want nothing more than to tell you that this column was not inspired by a true story. That I was never denied. That girls were always lining up to go to formal with me. Taking numbers like a boatload of stay-at-home moms queueing up for the supermarket deli counter at 1:35 p.m. on a Tuesday. Sadly, however, I cannot, as I once attended one of my fraternity’s formals with the seventh girl I asked.
You see, I was never a ladykiller like I imagine you guys to be. With so many women after you at all times, y’all were probably invited to a multitude of sorority formals, many of which ended up taking place on the same night. This inevitably led to you double, or even triple-booking said formals and, after realizing your mistake, having to stage a pledge brother’s death to get out of all but one of them. Your plan worked out at the time, but later on that pledge brother was actually killed by a rogue Humans vs. Zombies member on campus who was whacked out on hallucinogens and thought your pledge brother came back from the dead to harvest souls. God, I’m sorry you had to go through that. My sincerest condolences.
But me? Nope. If you hadn’t already gathered it by reading my seminal column, “A Guide To Having A One-Night Stand From A Guy Who Has Never Had One,” you should know that I’m no Casanova, even though my nickname is “Casa? No va.” That may sound contradictory at first, but when you learn that the phrase in question roughly translates from Spanish into a slight at how girls never come back to my house with me, it all makes sense. Side note: I don’t know why I keep hanging out with those day laborers outside the Home Depot. This gringo’s had it up to here with their machismo bullshit.
Alright, time to get down to business. So you just pitched two scoreless innings. 0-for-6. Not only can you not catch a break, you’ve changed your entire outlook on life into one wherein you now believe that breaks are as uncatchable as an across-the-body pass thrown off the back foot of a 75-year-old Peyton Manning. Keep your chin up, man! This is formal, not prison (though you’ll probably be having less sex than if you were in jail) — it’s meant to be a time of celebration, not one of depression. You’ll have a good time yet. We just need to find you a date first.
Or do we? Going stag is always an option, but only one that’s recommended if you have some of your boys doing it with you. Otherwise you’re going to end up feeling like the poor chap in this column’s featured image come the end of the night: sad, isolated, and, worst of all, horny. But you can’t jerk off in one of the bedrooms because they are all taken by people with dates (which is a pretty stag-shaming way of assigning rooms, I’ve always thought), and you can’t fap in the bathroom because Mahi-Mahi Earl is banging some girl on the toilet. So then you’ll end up whacking it in the kitchen, someone will catch you, and it’ll turn into this whole big deal where you end up with a terribly embarrassing nickname when all you wanted was to get your nut. Yeah, go stag at your own risk.
So back to the whole “you need a date you lonely sack of shit” thing. When your first six formal invitees deny you, you bring the safe bet. The girl who’s friends with your friends, who you already know can hang from personal experience, and who you know won’t be a wet blanket come party time. Sure, you have no intention of hooking up with her, but hey — at least you have a date. Plus, maybe one of your buddies who brought their friend might wanna try and swap dates. You never know. Even if you don’t end up swapping dates, that’s fine.
Why? I’m gonna let you in on a little secret: You do not need to hook up at formal to have a good time. In fact, I argue that it actually takes away from the whole experience. Formal isn’t about the girl you bring, the sex you have, or the sheets you ruin. It’s about engaging in bacchanalia that one day you’ll look back upon while telling your lame-ass goth son “when I was your age, my boys and I spent $35,000 so we could go travel to beautiful hotels and get drunk. And what are you doing with your life? Well, you just painted your nails black, requested a Hot Topic gift card for Christmas, and invited me to ‘join the black parade,’ whatever the fuck that means. You’re no son of mine.”
Formal is about bringing a bow tie to impress all the ladies, having your pledge brother tie that bow tie for you because you never bothered learning how to tie one, and then proceeding to make a bow tied ass out of yourself in front of everyone by getting so #turnt that you fall off a stool, whack your head on the wall, scratch up your PCP’s painted cooler and have to be escorted back to your bed by the president. That’s how I formaled at least, and it was a blast.
The way I see it, if you get denied six times and then formal so hard that the dates you wanted to bring wouldn’t have wanted to be seen with you anyways, you’re formaling just right..