In the mid-nineties, high school students did not have cell phones. We had to make our calls from a home phone or a now extinct payphone, where you had to scrounge around for a quarter. If you were lucky, your parents would let you have a phone in your room.
Some kids of the nineties, even had their own direct line, call waiting, call screening, and an answering machine. I actually had a phone in my room too, but we didn’t have any of the perks like call waiting or separate lines. I also had a fairly nosy family that sometimes would pick up the phone in their room and listen in to other family members calls.
In the nineties, you had to either use the Yellow Pages, have an address book, or memorize telephone numbers. Personally, it took me about three calls of any number to have it memorized. For instance, I had all of my best friends numbers memorized.
To this day, almost twenty years later, I could recite a lot of friends now defunct home numbers for you. Now-a-days, you don’t have to memorize any numbers because they are all stored in your phone. I could also recite Domino’s number of 657-0097 to this day, because their thin crust was a meal of choice at our house.
In 1997, I was preparing for my junior prom. There was a girl that was a year older than me that I had a major crush on for a long time. A long time for a high school male is about a month. Kelsey was a three sport star and very attractive. I was friends with some of her friends from the senior class and I would see her at several parties.
We took physics together that second semester. Being the scholar that I was in high school, I spent the majority of the time playing games in my notebook. To my luck, the teacher had Kelsey sit right behind me in her third quarter seating chart. I spent several of the forty-five minute physics classes of my junior year playing games like dots or hangman with Kelsey.
As the quarter ended, I got the wonderful news that Kelsey had broken up with her boyfriend from a rival high school. She had dated him for the last year, and this glorious break-up happened just a month before prom. I knew I better move fast if I had any chance for Kelsey to say yes.
I was too chicken to ask Kelsey in person. She was one of the lucky ones to have her own phone line her room. I called a friend that had her number and pretended that I needed her number for a question about physics homework. I wrote her number down 658-0097 and I had it memorized right away, because I was thrilled to actually have it.
I waited for a night that nobody was home at my house so I could call with peace and privacy. I actually dialed 658-0097 three times and hung up before it rang twice out of pure fear.
On my fourth call, I started to slam our beige phone down after I heard the ring, but some rare moment of bravery had me pull the phone back towards my ear. When it reached my ear, I realized somebody was on the other line.
I blurted out: “Hey, uh, Kelsey this is Jay. You know Jay from physics and the soccer team. I, uh, have brown hair. Well, I was just thinking, uh, I know I am younger, uh, I was thinking maybe, uh, just as friends, you know, that maybe we could go to the prom together.”
On the other end, there was a bit of a gasp, stifling a laugh potentially. Then a guys voice started to talk. Was it her dad? Nope. Or a brother, I did not know she had? Not quite. It was Domino’s. The guy said, “I am sorry dude, but you got Domino’s Pizza, man.”
Holy shiznit, I thought. I just used every ounce of courage in my body and then some to ask Kelsey to the prom, and I had dialed a seven instead of an eight with the third digit that fourth call. I quickly slammed the phone down.
I was too embarrassed to call Kelsey back that night. Luckily, for me, I found out the next day that Kelsey had gotten back together with her boyfriend from the other school, so I avoided the rejection I would have received if I called her number. I ended up going to my junior prom with another girl and had a great time.
I also received a free pizza less than thirty minutes later after my call to the wrong number. The people at Domino’s saw my number and had our address in their system. They must have felt pretty bad about my situation and sent me a free pizza.
On the cardboard box, somebody wrote: “Hopefully, you get in touch with Kelsey and she says yes.”