Formal Roulette: The Five Types of Dates You’ll Encounter


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Formal Roulette

Summer is winding down, #winteriscoming, the dog days are over! The upcoming school year is quickly approaching, which means the bane of all existence, the worst task of being in a sorority, the swallowing of any and all pride, is just around the corner: asking a guy to formal. While I wish I could say I just asked my boyfriend of five years, or calmly asked the nice boy from my psych class after class one day, I would be lying to you and to myself if I didn’t admit that my method of choice for asking a guy to formal has typically comprised of asking a guy at a social, forgetting I asked him, awkwardly texting him a few days later, discovering I asked him, and then ending up at formal somehow a week later with “Mike something from Sig Chi.”

It’s not exactly the picture of romance, but the “who did I ask to formal last night?” Russian-roulette style game I’ve created has given me a broad range of formal dates. Some have been better than others, some have fallen short, and some made me think I was truly in love after we’d split a bottle of Fireball. At this point, all I know is I’m prepared for any type of formal date by now, and know that no matter who my drunk, overly-confident alter-ego decides to ask in a month, I’ll end up with one of the following dates, just like every girl does:

1) The life of the party
This guy is fun to bring to formal because there’s a whole element of “will he make it to formal?” added to the night. When he actually makes it on the bus, much to the risk manager’s dismay, you feel accomplished, like a proud parent. Plus, you can take as many shots as you want, stumble your way across the dance floor, cry in the bathroom, eat six rolls at dinner, and nap for five minutes on the table, without worrying about him thinking you’re sloppy. You could literally do almost anything short of killing a person at formal and he’ll think you are the epitome of class because he’ll be just as bad if not worse off than you.

2) The guy who won’t dance
At every formal there’s a few couples that sit at the table literally the entire night. You likely brought this guy because he’s extremely attractive or funny, but every seemingly perfect guy has his downfall, and “the guy who won’t dance,” is one of the worst. Your pictures will be gorgeous, he’ll probably be sweet and nice to talk to, but the whole night will go downhill when you realize you’ve made the mistake of bringing the mayor from the town in “Footloose” to your formal. In this case, the best thing you can do is ditch him, befriend the DJ, and dance with your friends. Some may call this third-wheeling, I call it making the best of a bad situation.

3) The “Mr. [insert your sorority name]”
This guy knows more of the girls in your chapter than guys in his own. He’s probably dated a few of you, definitely hooked up with multiple of you, and straight up thinks he owns this formal. The main perk of bringing him to formal is obviously that he knows everyone. You don’t have to babysit him and worry that he’ll stand there like a lost puppy if you get up to go get a drink. The downside is also obviously that he knows everyone. His Facebook wall the next day will be a string of mobile uploads from each girl who felt the need to get a picture with him. Some of the girls might even forget he’s not actually their date. Plus it’s kind of hard to enjoy the night when half the room is looking at you like you’re his sloppy seconds, thirds, fourths.

4) The random set-up
“I’ll figure it out,” you say to yourself for the weeks leading up to formal. “It’s fine, I have time.” Welp, it’s the night before formal and either your date bailed or you still didn’t “figure it out,” so your sister sets you up with her date’s big brother. The plus side to this type of date is that you have zero expectations, and it’s hard to be disappointed when you expect nothing, unlike when you go with your crush of three years, expect to fall in love dancing to “Thinking Out Loud,” and have the night end in a proposal. The downside to this type of date is that you literally feel like such a loser. In a school of 18,000 you had to be SET UP for formal. There’s nothing more depressing than sitting on your bed the night before formal, stalking your date’s Instagram so you know who to say hi to when he shows up to the pregame.

5) The perfect date
The guy you’ve been eyeing for a month or so. You know each other the perfect amount, you’ve flirted and both seem into each other, and the connection is just there. He picks you up to go to the pregame, because he’s a gentleman who decided not to drink before picking you up for the night. On the way to the pregame he gives you the aux cord and loves every Katy Perry and Beyoncé song you play. You fall in love on the dance floor at formal and he doesn’t judge you when you get seconds of the mac and cheese. On the way home he gives you his jacket since it’s late October. You then finish the night at his place where he doesn’t have whiskey dick, and where he doesn’t pass out before taking his clothes off. In the morning he makes you eggs and coffee.

Haha, just kidding. This has never happened.

I remain hopeful, though, and know that if I suffer through enough lives of the parties, guys who won’t dance, Mr. Sororities, and random setups, I’ll some day meet my number five. Until that day, I can’t wait to see who I encounter (make a slob of myself in front of, yell at for not dancing, ditch, or fall in drunk love with) this fall. Plus, we all know that no matter which date you end up with, formal’s really all just about getting an Instagram with him to make your ex jealous, and grandma think you’re maybe in a relationship.


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