I Try to Act Formal, But I’m a Hot Mess

Formal is easily one of the most important events of the semester, with a lot of thought and effort going into each and every detail (especially your date). Every girl has a multitude of text convos discussing the who’s, what’s and how’s of formal. If you’re me, those conversations might look a little something like this:

71 days, 21 hours, and 48 minutes until formal

Joy: Why aren’t you at chapter?
Me: I accidentally forgot to move today.
Joy: Didn’t you already miss? They’re gonna make you be a sober sister at the mixer next week.
Me: No they’re not. First of all, I already emailed them and told them I’m dead. Second of all, they would never trust me of all people to be a sober sister. Most importantly, if they somehow forget who they’re dealing with…I will vehemently refuse. I’ve never been a sober sister before, and I’m not going to start now. Plus, Ethan will be there so there’s no way. Not happening.
Joy: You’re unreal. I thought you’d like to know that formal was moved up a week.
Me: WHATTT!!! OMG NO! Can they do that? Shit! What am I going to do? Do they realize how crucial that extra seven days is!
Joy: I mean…you have like 2 months. I think you’ll be ok.
Me: I’m not going.
Joy: Shut up. Yes, you are.
Me: We’ll see.

43 days, 6 hours, and 4 minutes until formal

Emily: Are you going to formal?
Me: I don’t know
Emily: What! No! You have to! Why not?
Me: I have fratdaddy issues.
Emily: Babyyyy noo! Don’t be silly!
Emily: Ask Paul!
Me: Paul like…sucks. I don’t want to ask him any favors. I feel like formal sends this super serious message, and I don’t want him to think I care about him.
Emily: You do care about him…
Me: Not the point. He’s just the worst. Aside from the fact that I’m positive he’d be a miserable date, I also just doubt he’d want to go. There’s no way he’d give up a night of being a poon warrior for good behavior at a sorority formal.
Emily: No way! People love formals! Think how excited you are when you get asked to a formal. I’m sure he’d be equally as excited!
Me: You’ve been in a relationship for too long and your optimism makes me want to vomit.
Emily: But you’re spectacular!
Me: Yeahhhh…maybe I will.

43 days, 4 hours, and 33 minutes until formal

Me: So Emily thinks I should ask Paul to formal.
Little: If you ask Paul to formal, I will expose those pics of you from fam init, fill your shampoo bottle with Nair, and file for emancipation.
Me: So…no?
Little: Is this a joke right now?
Me: Kinda.
Little: I hate you. I thought you were going to ask Dave.
Me: Idk. He’s like…so new. Is that too much to ask of him?
Little: What’s so much about it? You’re making it like formal is this miserable thing. It’s fun. Who doesn’t like getting dressed up and drinking heavily? Just ask him. Don’t be stupid.
Me: I feel like I need to systematically plan it out somehow so that we’re at sleepover two nights in a weekend status. At least for some weekends. We do text a lot. Idk…thoughts?
Little: I mean, I really think you could have MO like twice and it would be fine to ask him, but if this tickles your lady parts, it’s not that hard to get to that status.
Me: Wait, though…howwww?
Little: Why are you acting like this? You’ve done this before. Everyone goes to the same places. You will see him out, and he likes you. All you have to do is be seen, and you can go home with him. It’s not that complex.
Me: Idk…Paul’s just been around longer, ya know?
Little: If you say that word one more fucking time this conversation is over.
Me: But don’t you see the appeal?
Me: ?
Me: Little?

42 days, 19 hours, and 20 minutes until formal

Me: Daveeeee
Me: What are wont doing?
Dave: I’m at ***. Are you here?
Me: Omg sameeesssieeeessss
Dave: Come upstairs drunky. I’ll buy you a drink.
Me: Whe
Me: Where are?
Dave: Upstairs…
Me: Where are tou?
Dave: Upstairs by the back bar.
Me: Daveeee
Me: I thin swell tellinog of kids
Me: Him jim
Dave: I don’t know what you’re saying.
Me: You’r meanx
Me: I jury yact you to mak out with of
Dave: I see you.

42 days, 9 hours, and 16 minutes until formal

Joy: You like…disappeared last night. What’s your status? You can use one word answers. Examples: Alive, Dead.
Me: Unsure.
Me: I’m with Dave
Joy: Oop. Morning Sex. BYE.

42 days, 7 hours, and 54 minutes until formal

Me: Dave just dropped me home. My outbox is tragic.
Joy: Oh God. What did you do?
Me: It’s actually not that bad. Mainly because it’s not legible. Some double texting though. I wish I had documentation of everything I said all night though. I recall repeatedly telling him that I have perfect nipples.
Me: He didn’t disagree. So I guess that’s a good sign.
Joy: Def
Me: Hope I didn’t ruin my chances of bringing him to formal. But I guess I could always take my back-up.
Joy: Paul?
Me: No, I was thinking I might just bring my showerhead.
Joy: Oooh. You’ll have the MOST adorable pics I feel.
Me: The very most adorable.

20 days, and 30 minutes until formal

Formal Chair: Hey girl. I’m looking at the sign-up for formal and under your name you just wrote “Sober sex is overrated.”
Me: Still true.
Formal Chair: Well, I really need to know if you’re coming.
Me: Yeah, I’m coming.
Formal Chair: And it says here that your date is “someone with a giant giggle stick.”
Me: You can change that to average-sized.
Formal Chair: I need a name.
Me: You’re really being a bitch right now.
Formal Chair: Are you drunk?
Me: Don’t judge me.

12 days, 23 hours, and 26 minutes until formal

Michelle: Did you ask Dave to formal yet?
Me: Of course not. I’m the procrastinatey-est one. Plus, I didn’t want to ask too far in advance and seem like…needy.
Michelle: Man up sister!
Me: I hate formal. I hate having to like…do the asking. Can’t he just tell me he wants to go. He must know it’s coming up, and like his whole fraternity is going to be there. Is James coming?
Michelle: Ugh no! He has to be on call that night! So mad! #medschoolproblems. OH.
Me: Who are you taking? Kev?
Michelle: Naturally. I really thought the whole having a boyfriend thing meant I was going to have a formal date who was going to penetrate me at the end of the night, but I’m once again destined to have the most fabulous date at the party.
Me: #fruitfly
Michelle: Ohh…likes that.
Me: So how do I ask him? I want to make him an offer he can’t refuse.
Michelle: Just ask him what he’s doing that night. He’ll say nothing, because he doesn’t plan two weeks in advance, and the only other sorority formal that weekend is *** and none of those girls are pretty enough for him. Then you ask him if he wants to go, and then he’ll say yes, and you live happily ever after.
Me: Okieeee

12 days, 23 hours, and 14 minutes until formal

Me: How do I ask Dave to formal?
Emily: You should invite him over for dinner! You’ll be so cute! You can drink wine, and make a home-cooked meal! And then you can ask him!
Me: We don’t really have a wine-and-home-cooked-meal relationship.
Emily: No trust me, he’ll love it.

12 days, 23 hours, and 13 minutes until formal

Me: How do I ask Dave to formal?
Joy: I don’t know.
Me: Thanks for all your help!
Joy: I’m sorry!
Me: I was thinking of trying to be like…funny. And just being in the middle of a conversation and suddenly say, “Well speaking of formal, how would you like to come to mine?” Is that funny?
Joy: That’s not funny.
Me: What! Yes it is! That’s totally funny!
Joy: It’s really not.
Me: No, it’s funny because we’re obviously not talking about formal when I say that. So it’s like ironic.
Joy: Yeah, I got what you were going for. It’s not funny. How about just be normal for once?
Me: Ehhh.

12 days, 22 hours, and 59 minutes until formal

Me: I’m about to ask Dave to formal. I’m secretly nervous.
Me: And by secretly, I mean openly.
Me: What if he says no? I’ll die
Little: He’s not going to say no.
Me: What if he’s “busy?”
Little: At the very worst, he’ll actually be busy. But he won’t. He’s like in love with you. You’re fine.
Me: I’m going to go do my hair and make-up and ask him.
Little: I thought you were texting him?
Me: I am.
Little: You know he can’t see you right…
Me: Yeah, but I’LL know what I look like. I need to look perfect. What should I wear?
Little: Sometimes I just can’t with you…what are you going to say?
Me: I haven’t decided. I think I’m just going to drink lots of wine and whatever happens, happens.
Little: Yeah, that usually works out in your favor.
Me: Whatever. Fuck it. I don’t care.

12 days, 22 hours and 1 minute until formal

Me: Do you feel like having sex with me two Fridays from now? All you have to do is hang out with me for like 6 hours at formal beforehand.
Dave: Haha, I’d love to.

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Veronica Ruckh

Veronica (@VeronicaRuckh) is the Director of Total Sorority Move for Grandex, Inc. After having spent her undergraduate years drinking $4 double LITs on a patio and drunk texting away potential suitors, she managed to graduate with an impressive GPA and an unimpressive engagement ring -- so unimpressive, in fact, some might say it's not there at all. Veronica has since been fulfilling her duties as "America's big," a title she gave to herself with the help of her giant ego. She has recently switched from vodka to wine on weekdays. Email her at [email protected]

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