The other day I looked into my real-life diary (whoa) and found an account of a conversation between me and the girl who has the locker two down from mine. I was talking about how maybe I was just weird by our school’s standards and that when I graduated I would be normal and THEY would be the freaks.

It’s not that I insist on listening on Fleet Foxes and wearing flannel. In fact, I often unironically listen to Justin Bieber on the radio while wearing a polo or baggy pants. Sometimes I wear both AT THE SAME TIME. It’s just that, as one friend told me, I’m “incapable of taking social cues.” I once started a conversation with someone I had just met by saying that I wanted to have Tina Fey’s surrogate babies or at least get to play Liz Lemon’s awkward love child. Apparently you save those conversations for your friends.

Every year during homecoming season I watch my classmates pair up for the dance. It’s like watching the animals enter the ark. They desperately want to survive. I usually sneak onto the ark alone, hoping that I don’t stand out. In fact, it’s always a partaaayy and I always enjoy myself. But senior year is different. Senior year, the whole grade chooses a theme and dresses up accordingly. This year, the theme was famous couples. It was a giant “screw you” to all us loners. How do you dress as a couple alone? YOU DON’T.

Then it hit me. I would be Gaga. I’m a free bitch, baby. So I went to my senior homecoming alone as Lady Gaga, and I can’t describe to you how much fun it was. I was Mother Monster, I was as free as my hair. I gave a speech at our grade’s uber-fancy dinner as Gaga (verbatim excerpt: “Put your paws up, little monsters, because you were born this way”) and later embarrassed myself on the dance floor. When “Bad Romance” came on, my friends pushed me to the front of the school cafeteria and surrounded me. Unable to escape the growing circle of people, I did what Lady Gaga taught me to do all those nights I spent in my room looking up her videos online. I danced. When the chorus came on, I knew the moves from having watched the video an insane number of times. I made a complete ass of myself. It felt wonderful. Gaga had allowed me briefly to transform my freak status into something enjoyable. Also, I felt stupid and self-conscious. But mostly I felt Gaga. ♦