Alas, The Pony's team lost his smartypants district championship by TWO QUESTIONS. That's right. A narrow margin. According to Farmer H, The Pony was taking it hard, but his paramour asked him what he was sad about, because he did so well throughout the tournament. I believe that took the sting out of his wound.
Farmer H rushed The Pony and Datey over to prom, which was held in bill-paying town, about 20 minutes as Farmer H drives, from Newmentia. Mr. Principal drove the other prom-going smartypants, as he had promised them if they would all show up for the tournament. I'm sure they were the best-dressed team there.
Farmer H dropped the kids off, then pulled over on a side street and called me. Because, of course, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is the center of the universe. He gave the whole tale of the day's activities.
Datey lives an hour away. Farmer H and The Pony left the Mansion at 11:00 to pick her up, with the corsage safely ensconced beside a plastic quart hot-and-sour soup container full of ice cubes in a baby-blue soft-sided zippered silvery-lined cooler that Farmer H got free from one of his contractors. The Pony, unbeknownst to Farmer H until a lull in the smartypants tournament, was frantically texting a teammate about how nervous he was, and how he didn't know what to do. Indeed. Farmer H reported that when they arrived at the house that Garmin led them to, The Pony just sat there.
"You have to get out and get her, bud."
"Oh. Okay." Then The Pony stood in the driveway.
"Go knock on the door!"
The Pony came back and stuck his head in the car window. "What if this isn't the right house?"
"It's the address you gave me. Go knock. And if they talk to you, look them in the eye and answer them. None of this head-nodding that you like to do."
After the mom and sisters came out and took pictures of the handsome couple (the dad was working on a car in the back), it was off to Newmentia for the 1:30 team meeting. The corsage was safely stashed in my classroom mini fridge. Farmer H and Datey went to watch the competition. Numerous faculty told The Pony (and other decked-out teammates, I would imagine) how fine they looked.
The rooms thermostats must have been jacked down to the lowest allowable temperature, because Farmer H said that Datey was shivering. He had to tell The Pony to give her his jacket. At the next match, in a different room, Farmer H saw that The Pony was once again wearing his tux jacket. "Hey, bud. She's cold. You've got long sleeves and a vest, and she just has that dress. Giver her your jacket."
"But I LIKE wearing my jacket!"
"Give it to her!"
You can dress up The Pony, but you cannot make him care about people. Datey got along swimmingly with all the other smartypantses on the team. They treated her like one of their own. Mr. Principal gathered all the prom-goers for pictures. As they were getting ready to head over to the prom, he told Farmer H, "Those kids are going to be jealous of The Pony. She's a pretty little girl." I suppose nobody thought The Pony could snare a date, much less one who was not Quasimodoesque.
Poor prom-goers! They got to prom around 8:15. It was scheduled to end at 10:00, but after the king and queen coronation at 9:30, everybody left. Farmer H, who had been walking through the bill-paying town's Devil's Playground, was summoned back to pick them up. He drove them to Steak-n-Shake for a frozen treat, and let them go in alone. And promptly called me again, and chatted for 30 minutes. Because, if you remember, the world revolves around Mrs. Hillbilly Mom.
"You gave him money, didn't you? He didn't have money."
"Yes. I gave him $20. I hope he brings me the change. I could imagine him just handing over the money and walking away."
"He knows he's supposed to pay for hers, too, doesn't he? Because I can imagine him just buying his own, and expecting her to get hers."
"I HOPE he knows that! I had to tell him to walk around and open her door."
"Does he have his phone? You need to send him a text to tell him that when you get to her house, he should walk her to the door. He might just sit in the car and wait for her to get out."
"I'll send him a text."
"Maybe tell him he can ask for a hug."
"Have they been getting along?"
"Yes. He's been talking to her. He's told her about three times that she looks pretty."
"Did she say anything back?"
"I think the first time she said 'Thank you.' They've been talking about school."
"I hope she's having a good time."
"I think she is."
When they got to Datey's house, The Pony got out and walked her to the door. Just as they stepped up on the porch, the lights blared on. According to Farmer H, The Pony gave her a hug.
This morning, The Pony was grousing a bit about feeling guilty for the tournament loss. I told him to get over it. So many kids would LOVE to have had his performance. He's not a one-man team. Besides, that shouldn't take away from his prom experience.
"Oh, believe me, it didn't. Prom was great."
"Did you dance."
"Yeesss...but by the time we got there, they didn't play any more slow dances."
"Oh, you poor thing! But you danced? Did you hold her hand?"
"I danced, but I didn't hold her hand."
"What did you have at Steak-n-Shake?"
"Um. A SHAKE! Chocolate chip cookie dough. We both ordered exactly the same thing!"
We packed up the tux for return between 1:00 and 3:00, lest they charge $50 for being late. As we were driving home, The Pony in the seat behind me, I told him what Mr. Principal had said about Datey. He ducked his head.
"Yeah. Dad told me."
"Did she smell good?"
The Pony met my eye in the rearview mirror, a big smile like the Cheshire Cat lighting up his face. "You're not supposed to ask me things like that!"
He is SO smitten.