Remember when Prom Season rolled around? If you weren't dating someone exclusively, you had a 50/50 shot you'd get asked to the Prom. Now, some women had nerves of steel and (remember I'm old and women's lib was just starting out when I was in high school) would ask a guy instead of waiting for him to ask her. I wasn't one of those girls.
Now all through high school I was in love with Ricky. (I think I still might be 40 years later.) We dated sporadically, he was All-American in football, wrestling, baseball. He didn't have time for a serious girlfriend. I respected that.
Junior year I waited nervously through April and May for him to ask me. I faithfully went to every one of his sports games during the year, helped him with his Lit thesis (he wasn't very good in English), and basically prayed nightly for him to ask me. He didn't. He asked Kathleen. To say I was disappointed was an understatement.
Senior year was a little different. As luck would have it, we went to a football party and ended up hooking up. (No, there was no sex involved.) We were "together" (although back in those days, if he didn't give you his school ring or his letter jacket, you really weren't). So, I waited patiently. Sometime around the last wrestling match Debbie made a play for him. And it stuck. She had his ring AND his jacket. To say I was devastated was an understatement.
(They've been married for 40 years now. But I'm still not over her underhandedness. EVERYONE knew I liked Ricky. A LOT. And I thought he liked me too. Guess I was wrong.)
You may be asking -- What in God's name does Prom have to do with ANYTHING? Well, ever since I made the announcement I'm going to self-publish, that's how I feel... like it's two weeks before the dance and I'm still without a date.
I've queried my brains out with my three books. Every agent, like a prospective date, and they've all turned me down. Sure, I've had one or two partials and even a full request, (Which is like dinner and a movie) but no one's said, "Sure, I'd love to take you to Prom."
Now back in the day, there was a group of girls who couldn't get dates and decided to chip in and rent a limo and all go together. That wasn't really done in those days. We looked on them with more than a little pity. Not that there was anything wrong with them, they just hadn't been asked. Let me tell you, looking back, if I knew then what I know now, I would have gone to Prom with them.
With this whole self-publishing thing, it seems I'm feeling those same feelings all over again. No date for the Prom -- do I want to scramble for a bad date, or do I want to go with the girls?
Do I want to keep scrambling to try and get an agent? Or do I want to go it alone and join a group of indie authors who seem to be having all the fun?
I've run through both sides of the spectrum, pro's and con's. I've gnashed my teeth, wrung my hands, spent many a sleepless night, pored over blogs and articles. Yes, I have decided to self-publish, but the knot in my stomach is bigger than any I had about Prom.
Tell me -- Is there a situation in your life where you feel like it's Prom all over again?