The Gala: a guide
The stress level beneath the pines has risen significantly
in recent weeks, and it's not because of finals. Okay, maybe finals have
something to do with it, but we all know that everyone typing away furiously
in the electronic classroom has something else on their minds: namely,
THE SPRING GALA.
In case we don't have enough to worry about already, the
Activities Board has given us one more thing to add to the list. Who to
go with? Who not to go with? Who to ask? Who will ask? When is too late?
When is too early?
If you're in a serious relationship, this may not be a problem
for you. But for the rest of the student body, the Gala can add a lot
of unnecessary pressure to an already-overloaded brain. Not to fear, my
fellow Polar Bears, I've compiled a list of possible dates for you right
Option 1: Your platonic friend. This is always a
great and safe option because no one ever has to worry about hurting feelings,
and either the girl or the guy can ask without fear of rejection (or at
least if you are rejected, you won't be too upset about it). You know
you'll have a great time and there will be no awkwardness involved. Because
there is absolutely no sexual tension, you won't even care if your date
hooks up with someone else at the end of the night!
This situation works out even better when one half of the
couple is gay. The only problem that ever arises out of this sort of date
is when you ask too late (i.e., the morning of the Gala) and your trustworthy
friend has already found a date. In such a case, the least they can do
is promise a dance.
Option 2: Your possibly-more-than-platonic friend.
The Gala is one of those nights that can turn a friendship into either
a relationship or a disaster. If one of the two friends has plans to hook
up, things can go either way. Sometimes the unsuspecting date sees something
he or she has never seen before in their friend-like what they look like
in a dress or suit, for example-and a wonderful thing can come out of
On the other hand, things can go terribly awry with hookups
or attempted hookups leading to awkwardness. My advice is to feel the
situation out (figuratively, please) before the Gala or early in the night
before making any moves. At the same time, it's one of the few nights
where weird things can happen without any consequences, so I wouldn't
worry too much either way.
Option 3: Someone you've hooked up with a few times.
In such a situation, it is always the guy's prerogative to ask. Unfortunately,
it happens too rarely for of fear of rejection. This anxiety is generally
unfounded, because if you two have hooked up multiple times, there is
at least enough attraction to last you for one more night. This date generally
turns out to be a fun night for all involved, so I urge all people who
are considering this option to go for it!
Option 4: Someone you've had a crush on for a while
and/or someone who has been suggested to you. Once again, it is up to
the guys to do the asking for this one. It is a chance for two people
to get to know each other, when they are all dressed up and on good behavior.
If they are attracted to each other, the outcome can only be positive;
if they are not, then they will have made a new friend, at very least.
The tension and nervousness that can come with going with a hookup is
not there, and everyone comes to the dance with at least the expectation
to have a good time.
The Gala can be a great catalyst for a nice end-of-the-year
fling, if you two do hit it off. The only possible problem with a couple
lacking an established relationship (be it romantic or friendly) is if
a date decides that he or she is not only not attracted to you, but is
actually attracted to someone else, you're left virtually dateless.
Option 5: An ex. This date can resemble either the
platonic or not-so-platonic friend date. It may prove to be ideal, because
the dates are very comfortable with each other. As long as the exes have
an understanding (either they hook up even though they are no longer together,
or they simply don't hook up anymore), things should be fine. However,
there is always the risk of one person thinking the date is more of a
reconciliation, while the other is not thinking the same. My advice for
this sort of situation is that the two of you, who should obviously be
able to talk to each other easily, actually establish how the night will
end beforehand. It may sound cheesy, but it can save a lot of trouble
in the end.
Option 6: Go stag! There will be lots of people there
for you to dance with and talk to and you will never have to worry about
what your date is doing. I know going alone takes a lot of self-confidence,
but I seriously urge you all to consider it as an option.
So while the Gala may seem at first to be a stressful affair, you shouldn't let it. As long as you don't take the night too seriously and do not plan your night around hooking up after the dance (and unless you're going with your boyfriend, girlfriend or hookup, you shouldn't) you can't go wrong.
Everyone's expectations should center on dancing a lot and having a good time. All of your friends will be there and no one spends the whole night with their date anyway. Ask whomever you want and if no one's asked you yet, do it yourself or go by yourself! It's only one night, so enjoy it!