Picture it: Miami Beach Senior High, June 1994.
Everything that could have gone wrong did.
1) I picked out my dress four months before prom--my mother's friend Teddy was a stylist and owned a shop that rented out clothing, sets, and props for fashion shoots. I was her personal assistant for a while, so she told me I could have anything I needed for prom. I picked out a silver chainmail tank dress in March. When I went pick it up the week before prom (while Teddy was out of town on business), the dress was... gone.
One of her employees had inadvertently rented it to someone for a shoot.
2) I spent three days at various department stores with my mother trying to find a suitable replacement. Finally, in a boutique on South Beach two hours before my date was due to pick me up from my apartment in North Bay Village, I found a dress.
3) A couple of weeks earlier, I'd been rudely and publicly uninvited from the limo I was supposed to share with friends because of my date--my "friend" Sascha (who, in retrospect, was much like Rachel McAdams' character in Mean Girls) banned me because of Lokesh. Her best friend Julie (with whom I was also friends) had fooled around with him off and on for years but was no longer speaking to him. Lokesh and I went with another couple, my good friend Ann Marie and his best friend Damien, instead.
4) I took a bite of a cookie at prom that, unbeknownst to me, contained macadamia nuts. I am allergic to nuts. Severely.
5) Twenty minutes after taking a bite of the cookie, while dancing with my date, the room began to spin. I couldn't see--the room went to red, then to black. I tried to get Ann's attention, but my throat had closed up such that I couldn't speak. I staggered to the restroom in a cold sweat, vomited, broke out in hives, had a quick and miserable case of diarrhea, and began praying for death. Like many of our friends, the four of us had rented a suite at The Mayfair House (which was the hotel in George Michael's "Careless Whisper" video). I sat in a restroom stall in tears, thinking I'd be spending the evening at Mt. Sinai instead of our hotel.
6) Eventually, my friend Ann Marie found me in the restroom, cleaned me up, and bopped me back into prom. They all insisted I drink a pitcher of water. I still couldn't see normally for the rest of the night. Dancing was definitely out of the question.
7) Upon arriving at the hotel, I unzipped my overnight bag. My mother (who did HIV/AIDS trainings in schools throughout Dade County) had repacked it without my knowledge. I guess she thought this was going to be my big night: while my date's best friend Damien stood beside me, I opened my bag to find a Ziplock full of condoms nestled on top of my bathing suit. I was mortified.
8) After specifically asking my friend Ann not to leave me alone with Lokesh in our suite's hot tub, she left me alone with Lokesh in our suite's hot tub. I spent two hours moving from one seat to another to get away from him and his groping.
9) In one of only three pictures taken of me that night, I am sitting in the hot tub, my face still swollen from the nuts.
Does it really get much worse than this? Come on, does it? I mean, there's actually even MORE that went wrong, but I've got too much work to do to get into it.