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Semi-Formal As Told By The Lion King

“It’s NOT?!” my roommate screeched at 8:43 P.M., two minutes before the fated arrival. “You can’t do this to me!”

I had just told her that her date to our semi-formal was not who she thought it was. I had done such a good job of hiding this from her; I wasn’t about to break now.

Our first semi-formal – as sophomores – was a My Tie event. A girls’ friends ask a date for them, so that she doesn’t know who it is. He gives the friends one of his ties, then shows up to the event and has to find his tie, which his date is wearing. Sometimes the friends have told him who his date is, sometimes not, so that it’s a surprise for both of them. Some people simply ask their dates themselves, like I did. And dates don’t have to be male, so please note that my use of “he/his” above is not meant to be exclusive. You also don’t have to give a tie, it can be any item.


What happens when it’s a double-blind

My roommate had strongly hinted to me who she wanted to go with. I had been sitting on my bed at the time, laptop in hand, so I opened an email right then and fired one off to the guy she was still talking about.

Flash forward a few days later: we’re eating at the house, and one of our friends asks us who we’re taking to semi-formal. I give the name of mine, but then had to reveal that I had already asked a date for her, even though I hadn’t told her when I sent the email (that would be too obvious, right?). Well…she freaked out. A little. She spent the next 15 minutes badgering me about who I had asked and why I hadn’t told her. I gave a “yes” or “no” to each of her questions, maintaining my poker face while internally panicking because all of her questions were making me wonder if I had picked the right person. Back in the room, however, her completely oblivious answers to several pointed questions (i.e. “Would you be excited if it were so-and-so?”) confirmed that I had made the right decision.

The ideal date response

So when, at 8:43, I solemnly swore that the person whom she had, by process of elimination, guessed was her date – and it was a correct guess – was not her date, she panicked. She had told me that she didn’t even want to go if it wasn’t this person; she had a busy week ahead and didn’t want to waste time partying if it wasn’t going to be fun for her. She had put on a special dress just for the occasion. I knew what this was doing to her.

I saw her date come in the door, and told her that if she wanted to find him she should walk in his general direction. She didn’t budge. “Tell me who it is,” she hissed at me. A coy smile played across my lips. “Never,” I replied.

I allowed him to wander around for a bit, and finally, when he was right behind her, I threw them a bone. “Tell me who it is!” she urged again, the pitch of her voice a little higher than normal. I grabbed her shoulders and spun her around. Her face changed immediately from a worried frown to a relieved smile. The rest, to borrow a cliché, is history.

The reveal looked a little bit like this

If you want to avoid all that stress, however, simply ask your own date, like I did. He was late and never really put his tie on correctly, but he stuck by my side and pretended to know how to swing dance. I may be a bit biased, but I think that’s the best way to do it; ask someone you know you’ll have fun with, not necessarily someone you have a crush on. And if you have the opportunity, just ask him yourself. My friends probably would have done a good job, but I figured I’d save them the trouble and myself the stress of waiting to find out who my date was.

This is probably what we looked like 

If I had to sum it all up, three positive things came of that night: 1) I got compliments on my crop top/skirt combo; 2) I can now go official as a matchmaker because of my abilities in pairing my roommate; and 3) my cheeks hurt from smiling so much.

Semi-formal? More like semi-FUNmal!

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