Starting last year, HBA has held an annual new, modern, more casual “girls’ choice” banquet in the late fall. Named Skatie Hawkins, the event is the only HBA event where girls are specifically encouraged to ask their favorite guy to an exciting night at an ice skating rink.

While it may seem like a simple exercise in role reversal, many pre-banquet customs take on a different look or don’t take place at all. There are no crowded bathrooms or hushed conversations in small groups as guys anticipate which girl will ask them to Skatie Hawkins. There are no nervous boys dropping hints to their crushes. Most of all, few guys worry about what suit to buy months ahead of the event.

The stark differences between a girl’s and boy’s idea of social events become blatantly clear not just around Skatie Hawkins, but also around banquet and prom seasons. Unlike girls, guys do not begin planning for banquet and prom a year in advance. Some guys plan ahead but many just think of having a fun, relaxed night with a nice person. And while this may seem like a simple expectation, it’s in fact a very an important one that we take very seriously.

[one_third]There is nothing worse than a socially awkward evening with your date. [/one_third]

Guys simply want to have an enjoyable time at Skaties, banquets and prom. There is nothing worse than a socially awkward evening with your date. This kind of uncomfortable night can be avoided long before the event. Girls, if you’re being asked, please understand that you are not obligated to say yes and do something you don’t want to do. In fact, I encourage you to say no if that is how you honestly feel. For guys, there is nothing worse than going to an event with someone who is with you out of obligation or as a gesture of politeness.

In these well-intentioned situations, the result is often an awkward night filled with forgettable conversations and being alone. If a guy has to dance alone, he’d rather not have to answer questions on where his date is. If girls don’t want to hurt a guy’s feelings and save them from embarrassment, they should say no in the beginning. It might seem mean at first, and the rejection will most likely sting, but it’s better to save him from an entire night of feeling inadequate and deflated.

The guy will survive the rejection because, no matter how dreadful the moment is, it’s better than living with the constant reminder of that miserable night from social media picture posts, and your aunt asking, “How is your date doing?” every time she sees you. Saying no is actually the kinder thing to do.

[one_third]A girl who advertises that she “just wants a date” should not be picky.[/one_third]

Above all else, the biggest problem I have seen are girls who say “I’d be happy to go with anyone” and not really mean it. A girl who advertises that she “just wants a date” should not be picky. When a girl, who said she’d go with anyone, complains about her date, what she is saying to her date is that she’d go with anyone, except him. It’s hard to understand why a girl would complain about going alone, and then grumble when she has one. This ingratitude is worse when the date has put a lot of thought, time and effort into his plan to ask her out. It’s quite absurd for girls to complain both ways.

Finally, guys or girls, please be respectful and thoughtful towards your asker. In the end, we all just want to have a fun time at Skaties, banquets and proms. So let’s keep it clear and simple: Don’t say yes if you’d rather say no, and stick to what you say you want. Also, keep in mind that these events shouldn’t be about who has the best looking man or girl candy in hand. Do whatever you need to have a good time, whether it’s with someone, or no one at all.