This is Dan, Ben and I at our high school formals… Insert laughter here.
Heather, on her way with her then high school boyfriend, sister and best friend.
On a more serious side though. Which isn’t like me in written form I know.
While I see that smile on my face, and think back to the funny little moments across the night.
I remember the SHEER HIGH SCHOOL ANGST behind it too.
Ben Hannant in his delicious Blue suit with his formal date?
I went to Windaroo Valley high, half way through year 11 as I was bullied so badly at my previous school, so the teachers asked me to leave. Therefore, going to this school was really hard. The kids were tough like me, and had already established groups that I didn’t understand.
My mum was already really unwell with a mental illness I didn’t understand and she would fly off in these rage fits… My sister had already moved out of home, and my father wasn’t in the picture.
Heather with her best lady friends... The girl in dark blue was her BFF!
Left to my own devices as to how I would exist… By the time I got to year 12, the last thing I wanted to do was party like it was 1989. Knowing full well I couldn’t afford a dress, and was barely even going to pass with how bad my grades were from not attending school enough.
Face it, you’ve got the formal list yeah? You’ll be ticking it off at the moment if you’re going through it.
I couldn’t go with my boyfriend because he wasn’t allowed to attend.
Dan Anstey looking sharp as a tack!
I was from housing commission, and paid my families rent/ put myself through high school. So spending money on a dress and limo was out of the question.
My mum and I had to get scrap material from her sewing room floor to make my dress, and I saved a bit of cash from my pizza job to pay for a decent car with my best mate Garrett.
Ben Hannant... Is this a different date mate?
My mum totally forgot I was in Brisbane at my formal, when it finished, and we’d all danced the night away… Garrett and I sat out the front, and waited for my mum to answer the home phone to come pick us up. 2 hours later she answered, and then another 2 hours later and she finally arrived. I cried the whole way home knowing there would be no after party. My friend Garrett was mad at me for trusting that my mum would come get us in her crappy rust bucket.
Man, just writing that down. I forgot how sad that night was for me.
If there is one thing I could do to make it better? I wish I could help change someone else’s experience. I wish I could make someone’s formal dream come true. Because it’s one of the most special memories you will hold after school.
If I met young Heather now. I’d say to her… “Mate, don’t let it get you down. At least you went and found a way to win. So many people don’t even get to go.”