The never-ending upside of hideous awkward

When your old junior prom date comes to town for the weekend, awkward becomes the belle of the ball, for once. You bust out the memories, savoring the ridiculous, each story: a hat out of its hat box, to be held up, tried on, posed for a moment. Yes, we did that. We have the prom photo where you’re holding my waist and I am grimacing, with teased bangs. Yes — there’s that time you held up your yellow-sleeved arm on the streets of Dublin so I could reunite with our tour group, after I got lost while daydreaming. Yes, there’s that time I modeled for an ad in the local newspaper, and you clipped it out. Yes, when we broke up I took the half-dozen chocolate chip cookies that we’d made a few days earlier and hurled them into the backyard snow. These things leave us in stitches now, and I have never been so glad for a nerdy, anxiety-ridden teenager-hood, because otherwise nothing would seem so funny now.

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