Blind plate dating

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As if, because we are white, we showed some kind of admirable largesse by being cool with the whole situation. My father took me to see Martin Luther King speak at the Village Green when I was ten. When I ran my finger over the photos of all those boys named Don in the yearbook, I did not for one moment pause on his name or his face as a possible candidate for my mystery prom date.

Then, the other day, after Charlottesville and the President acting like an ass, I escaped to a local public pool to swim laps. Patty Borden was my friend, and Gerald Cooper and Teddy Davis. He was invisible to me on some level, and the only recognition I afforded him was some fleeting noblesse oblige where he played the part of the hapless suitor, lucky to have showed up for a girl whose parents wouldn’t run him off with a shotgun or insults or worse.

We had a nice time, and per prom usual, alternated between dancing and standing around.

We rode home after dark without a light and I was really relieved to get home without getting hit by a car.

But I was beginning to wonder if I really did have a date.

Then I had the brilliant idea to look at all the Dons in the year book.

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Go back to the head waiter/hostess and ask for another table in a different part of the restaurant. When your date finally finds you, ask him/her "What in the hell took you so long in the bathroom?! When the waiter brings your food, hide the potato, wait a few minutes, and ask the waiter for the potato you "never got".

I thought of all the Dons I knew and finally decided it was probably Don Buckingham, a tall rosy-cheeked freckled faced boy in my English class who always wore ironed shirts.

But next day at school he showed no sign we had a date. I kept thinking Don would stop me in the hall or come up to me outside the school and signal that he was the guy on the phone, but that didn’t happen. Another guy asked me, at school, but I turned him down and said I was already going.

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