"So," I sighed, letting my words settle in, "am I crazy?"
Lace, my best friend, considered my speech. Then, she took a deep breath. "That's the stupidest idea I've ever heard."
"Is it, though?"
"Yes, yes it is, and I feel qualified to say that since I'm hanging upside down right now."
Lace had recently bought one of those weird exercise things where you hang from your feet in the doorway. I have no idea how it's supposed to help you get fit. It looked terrible. She had these giant, space-age moon boots on her feet, and her curly hair dangled below her, causing her to appear not at all dissimilar to a blond version of Carrot Top.
"I can see how hanging upside down makes you an expert on stupid," I said.
"Listen," she half-said, half-grunted, on account of how she was cranking her torso up in these bizarre dangling crunches, "if I can admit," deep breath, "that what I'm doing right now," grunt, "is tremendously stupid," more grunting.
"Lace. Tell me when you're done working out."
"NO, Gwen!" Grunt. "Only two," grunt, "more to go." Grunt, dangle, heavy breathing. "Okay. So anyway. What I'm saying is, doing what I'm doing may be stupid. But asking Bret Anthony to prom that way is a bajillionty times stupider."
I glared at her. "Really. A bajillionty?"
"A bajillionty CRAPTILLIONY."
"You just made that number up.
"I did not. It exists. Help me down." She held out her arms and waved them pitifully.
Ideally, if I were a good friend, I'd have spotted Lace while she removed herself from the idiotic contraption. I am not a good friend, for I tickled her instead.
"AUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGH!" She screamed, through fits of laughter. "I - HATE - YOU!"
"That's what you get for calling me stupid," I said, helping her down.
There's something I think you should know about me. I don't usually ask guys out.
It's not because I'm some damsel in distress just waiting for a prince on a horse to come galloping along and sweep me off my feet. No, it's more that I'm just a big fucking chicken.
I've had exactly three boyfriends over the course of my high school career. I asked not a single one of them out first, and I am pretty sure one of them asked me out completely by accident. Which is okay. I got a first kiss out of it, and now that I've had time to mourn the loss of that so-called relationship, I've determined it's much better that I exhibited my complete lack of tongue awareness on someone I didn't really care about anyway.
Boy number two only wanted to date me because he was trying to prove he wasn't gay. He ended up winning the Nicest Boyfriend I've Ever Had award, even if our physical expression of love left something to be desired.
Boy the third asked me out because he and his friends had voted (and determined unanimously) that of the available girls in our grade at Bountiful Harvest*, I earned the title of the most attractive girl least likely to reject him. In other words, I scored a perfect 3.5 on their one to ten ranking system. He showed me the list. I guess they were right, I did say yes. And at least I got to second and a half base with him.
But I was tired of being the askee. I was tired of being the girl that people asked out for convenience, or pretense, or lack of awareness. Christmas break just ended. This was a new semester. A new year. A new chance to be the person I wanted to be, if only I could grow the (metaphorical) balls.
And that is how I hatched the plan.
To reveal all the details of the plan upfront would be foolish. A magician never lets his secrets slip. Not that I'm comparing this idea to magic, though it wouldn't have hurt to have some magic in my corner. No, I'll let it unfold for you just the way it happened, so that you may experience the majesty right along with me. Suffice it to say that Lace was not entirely incorrect. It was, in hindsight, quite stupid.
After all, Bret Anthony had been painfully aware of my demented crush on him for the past four years. A crush I'd never had the courage to act on. A crush that had sat, festering, for the entire course of my high school career up to that point. If I wanted to be all that I could be, I would have to get a little bit crazy.
Because you know what they say.
The crazy bird gets the worm.
...isn't that how it goes?
*Yes, I go to one of those creepy religious private schools with a weird name and ugly uniforms. I wear more plaid than middle-aged golfers. Don't judge.