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If Life Was A Rom-Com, You Could Just Take Noah Centineo

, , , | Learning | December 17, 2021

I graduated from the Swedish equivalent of high school in 2001. Graduation prom has been a tradition for many years in my school and it’s always been a fun event, but this year, the girls in charge of organising the event seem to have watched a few too many American high school rom-coms, because they have a very firm idea about how it’s supposed to go.

They release the tickets and I go to buy one. I’m female and I don’t have a boyfriend, but I’m planning to go with my two best (female) friends.

Me: “One ticket, please.”

Girl: “Who are you going with?”

Me: “Oh, [Friend #1] and [Friend #2]. Were we supposed to buy our tickets together?”

Girl: “No, I meant, who is going to be your date?”

Me: “Um… no one? I’m going with my friends.”

Girl: “You need to have a date for prom; we want everyone to come in pairs. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a boyfriend. You can just pick someone.”

Me: “I don’t really have a lot of guy friends and no one I’d like to go to prom with.”

Girl: “Never mind, we’ll just pick someone from the list.”

Me: “Sorry, what list?”

Girl: “The list of single guys who got tickets. How about [Boy #1]?” 

Me: “[Boy #1] bullied me for three years in middle school and we barely speak to each other. No, thank you.”

Girl: “Okay? What about [Boy #2]?”

Me: “I don’t even know who [Boy #2] is. Why can’t I go with my friends?”

Girl: “Because you need to have a date for prom! You’re going to screw up the pictures!”

Me: “You know what? I think I’m going to skip prom.”

My friends and I ended up having “alternative prom” — just us, our fancy clothes, a lot of very good food, and not a date in sight.

Was I bitter about missing out on the experience? Yes, a little. Did I really want to go to prom with someone I didn’t want to spend time with just so [Girl] could get pretty pictures in the local newspaper? No, not at all.

The same girl yelled at me at graduation for wearing a blue dress, because the tradition for graduates in Sweden is to wear white and, once again, I was screwing up her pictures. I picked blue because I don’t like white, my family had a tight budget, and I wanted a dress I could keep wearing even after graduation. 

Yes, I’m aware that prom probably doesn’t work that way in the US either, but [Girl] was convinced that it was the only right way to do it and the rest of us had to suffer for it.

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