There I was sitting face to face with a toothless tiger… Anxiety was rising within me. I didn't know what to do, or what to say, or if there was danger in doing such. But not for the reasons you might think. I wasn't in a rain forest and this wasn't your conventional tiger. This time the tiger came in the form of a fairly well sought after, tall, handsome, 18 year old boy with the beginnings of a receding hair line. And in this moment he was also referred to as my prom date.
We all have moments in our lives where we casually wonder, "how did this happen?" Well, the night of my junior prom was an evening that question deserved to be asked.
That morning I started off the day, bright and happy. I was so excited!! I was really going to prom!! The end all of high school experiences!!!! While most of those experiences were less than amazing, to put it nicely, prom wouldn't be that way at all. Prom would be perfect.
First, we went to get my hair done. After meticulous hours of mind numbing scientific research on Pinterest of hairstyles, I had finally found the one. My hairstyle soul mate, you could say. My mom nudged me to show the salon stylist the picture I had screenshotted a thousand times and then some on my phone. I had to make sure that in case of some military induced world-wide technology shut down that I would still have the picture. The stylist looked and it and looked at my hair length. This style was going to take a while because my hair was longgggg. 2-3 hours was the estimated length of time for what I'd chosen.
There are some people that you would tell not to quit their day job for sarcastic purposes but the lady doing my hair shouldn't quit her day job because she had talent. She straightened then curled my hair.
Piece by piece I saw my dream coming together.
With every warm curl that fell back on my head the anticipation for the event itself got a little bit more. If you take how many curls I had multiplied by the building anticipation you can probably conclude that the amount of curls led me to a near death situation. I could see my obituary now…"Nat : Age 17; Cause of death, overload of anticipation for the prom." Time passed. My hair was finally done. My stylist whirled me around in the chair to see how it looked. I was ecstatic!! We paid the lady and were off to get the final part together. Putting on the dress. The ride home was a unique one. I wanted so badly not to mess up my hair that I sat sideways in the chair so that not so much of a strand would touch the back of the seat and potentially be my hairstyles downfall.
Fast forward to arriving at home. The dress was tied up in the back by my mom and my family and I sat in a very clean house waiting for my date to arrive. He was scheduled to come at 5! At around 4:45 there was a knock on the door. Must be my date!! I jumped up, then sat back down so I could be nonchalant as I waited. I told my mom she could get the door. And as she walked up I peeked around the corner to see him! My date's name was Fallin Sandeep. But to my surprise who was at the door was not Fallin Sandeep, and to make it worse it was not even a UPS guy, it was someone who had the least reason to be at my house, and the reason I say that is because he was another girl's date!!
"Hi Fallin!! It's nice to meet you! Come on in!" my mom exclaimed!
She had never seen fallin in person so she had no idea this guy wasn't my date.
Nervously, the boy, Hazard warrnen answered "I'm not Fallin. I'm hazard!!"
My mom was taken aback, understandably so.
"Well, then, hazard, come on in, take a seat." Said my mom kindly.
I had known hazard for a while but what I didn't know was why on earth he was in my house and how on earth he got my address. Once he sat on the couch, we were all silent for a little bit. Sensing our utter confusion hazard finally spoke up.
"Is my date here?" Hazard inquired.
"No, why would she be here, hazard?" I replied.
"Well, I was sent this address to come to meet up with my date. When is she getting here?" Hazard continued.
I didn't know anyone was meeting at my house besides my own date and I was beginning to get a little anxious as time went on. My own date had not arrived and it was already 5 pm. I was sitting dressed up in my house with someone else's date and apparently my house was being used as a prom group meet up spot which I was failed to be informed on. But looking back, hazard was in an unfortunate situation as well. The poor boy just followed the directions his date gave him. So naturally, my family and I continued to be as nice and understanding to hazard given the circumstances and sat together for a good awkward 15 minutes of silence. I checked my phone multiple times. No text from Fallin. In fact, my screen came up empty. No texts I had missed telling me about the change in plans to meet at my place, either. 15 minutes later another ring on the doorbell. YES, FINALLY. It was my date, I just knew it! Only he could save me from this uncomfortable situation and then soon enough I would be back on track to enjoying the perfect prom!! Turns out, this wasn't my date either but it was Hazards date and two others. Hazard and his date were happily united. Meanwhile, Murra Me's date was missing in action just like mine apparently was. I continued to calm my mind by remembering he was on his way. The girl going solo was the identical twin of Hazards date so we had to make sure that they didn't get mixed up. The 3 of us girls all chatted and fangirled over one another's hair, dresses, corsages etc. More time passed…then the twins and Murra encouraged me to call my date and see where he was at 5:30. After all, dinner started at 6. I gave him a few extra minutes and then gave him a call. Thankfully he picked up because 4 people were waiting expectantly for his reply. Once he arrived we could take pictures together and go.
"Hey!! Are you going to be here soon?" I asked with hope in my voice.
"I'm here. I've been in the driveway." He responded.
"You're in the driveway?? Come inside!" I laughed but was a little frustrated.
"Ok." He said and followed my command.
About a minute later, he turned the door knob and entered my house. Notice here, he didn't ring the doorbell or knock. Those are probably good ideas to do. In most situations no one will be upset if you do so. So Fallin being who he is walked right into the center of my house.
"Hi, I'm Fallin." He announced to everyone.
My parents shook his hand and then we went to finally take pictures. Fallin asked if his 2 cousins in the car could be in the pictures. We said they could. Marra's date arrived just in time for those as well. Then it already being late for leaving time we were off!!
In the car Fallin told me I could chose the music. I was welcome to type whatever I wanted into the YouTube search bar. What an honor. I took this oupportunity to have some fun! In the search bar I typed in and found exactly what I was looking for, an hour long video of ocean waves!!
"Ok guys, I picked a song and I want you guys to guess what it is!!" I said.
The ocean sounds had played for about 4 minutes. That is longer than most any song is. All the while, Fallin's cousins were racking their brains to try and think of what song I was playing. They insisted that once it "got past the introduction" they would be able to give me a song artist and title right away.
"Guys, I don't think this is a song…" Fallin explained.
He was quickly silenced by his cousins who just knew that if they had a little more time they could figure out what song it was! I laughed and decided to spare them of hearing ocean sounds the rest of the ride there. I told them what they had been listening to. Fallin's cousins were a little sad to find out it wasn't a song so I directed the conversation elsewhere. I asked fallin about what he liked to do during his free time. Bad question, because this resulted in us have an in depth discussion on pool enclosures and their effects the rest of the ride following.
The actual prom. We rolled up on the dirt road. The place it was held at was a pretty white community center building made for fancy dinners and weddings. We got the pictures they take of everyone as you walk in with the set and headed to get food. The food was OK. I got a small salad. It consisted of one lettuce leaf and one small tomato. My date, Fallin found this hilarious and it was the only time he laughed the whole date. So I consider that moment to have been a special one. Fallin was a very serious soul so the times he smiled and laughed were scarce. In the middle of dinner he looks over at me and smiled. There was something wrong. His two front teeth were gone!! Just like that! As gone as anyone whose tried to visit the Bermuda triangle!! No warning, just disappearance! I decided to ere on the polite side. In my head I thought its best I don't mention to him that his teeth are missing. I took this safe way because I honestly had no idea what protocol is for when your date's teeth are gone! I've learned a lot but never about this!! I quickly thought of several scenarios in my head. Well, I could let him know. You know, in case. No, Im sure he knows. I could ask how that happened. No he may not want to talk about it. So I did what any normal human would do! I smiled back then pretended to be focusing on something else! Then it happened again! He turned and smile even bigger this time!
Then he asked, "notice anything different?"
I responded hesitantly and with as much respect I would give anyone else, "Yeah, ya know, your teeth are gone.."
He continued to smile while explaining his two front teeth got knocked out by a golf ball at a young age. The accident of the century. The rest of the prom he danced with only me. Several times we had to check on whether or not his 2, grown 18 year old cousins were okay and eventually the magical night came an end. Later he told me that prom was not even a date!
In revenge, I changed his contact name on my phone to toothless tiger. That sure got him! But this form of revenge was the only thing I could bring myself to do. So, what would you do if you had an encounter with a toothless tiger? I may not have been prepared but anyone else certainly can be. My number one tip is to avoid the situation all together. My prom may not have been everyone's description of perfect. But to me, it was perfectly hilarious. Every time I look back to prom I remember the shock that must have been on my face when I first encountered a toothless tiger.