Monday, April 11, 2011

The Horror of Prom Night

It's prom season and I can't help but think back to my own prom when I see all those dresses in the stores.  I almost didn't go.  I wasn't the most popular girl in school.  In fact, being one of the few punk rockers in my high school was kind of alienating at times.  I had a circle of friends sure, but other than that, most of the time I think people just didn't get it.  So no one asked me.  Part of me was sad, part of me was glad, part of me was annoyed because my mom had been planning my going to the prom for the past several years.   Seriously.   I'll never forget when I got a boyfriend when I was in 10th grade my mom said, "You'll have a date for the prom!"  Um, mom, it's two years away.  And of course, that relationship ended when he went to college and I was still in high school. 

I did most of my male mingling very early in my high school career and by the time I was in 10th grade I was too weird for most of the guys.  I was in love with Adam Ant and wore my homemade I heart ADAM (with a backwards D of course) button on my school uniform every day.  I was going to Adam Ant, Duran Duran, Billy Idol concerts while most everyone else was going to see The Michael Stanley Band and Bruce Springsteen.  All my punk friends were chicks.  So no dates.  I don't really remember caring either.  We were having too much fun.

But I did end up going to prom.  My BFF  had a guy in school, J, who was so in love with her.  He pursued and pursued her to no avail.  She just wasn't interested in him as anything more than a friend.  He was brotherly and she couldn't get past it.  But he asked her to the prom and she accepted on the condition that he get his friend B to take me.  I knew both J and B quite well.  Along with their friend G, they were probably the funniest guys in school.  B already had a contingency plan in place with another girl.  You know, that promise you make that goes "if you don't have a girlfriend and I don't have a boyfriend when we're seniors, we'll go to prom together."  B, always wanting to please J, blew off the other girl and agreed to take me.  Wow, it really sounds pretty pathetic now that I'm putting it in print!  The poor guy practically had to be blackmailed into going to the prom with me.

In probably one of the most ill advised moves ever, I bought a pale lavender full length dress with white trim.  Ugh!  I have always hated pastels.  The dress was so precious and totally not me at all.  I got my hair and make up done that day.  Not me again.  I suspect the mom influence in all these things.  Yes, that makes sense.  Give mom this one last time of seeing me look how she liked me to look because the day I graduated it all changed.  Everything.  Going to a Catholic high school in the 80's, we weren't allowed to dye our hair.  I'm not sure why I waited until graduation to cut it, or to get contacts, but I did.   So mom had prom and graduation and that was the end of long hair and big honkin ugly glasses.  I had to do it.  My sister totally screwed mom over when she went to prom.  Sis graduated in 1975 and bought a black wrap around dress with full black lace back (meaning she couldn't wear a bra with it).  Mom absolutely refused to let her wear it and went out and bought her another dress, this hideous floral number.  Well when sis's date arrived (in his blue crushed velvet suit jacket no less) and they left sis grabbed the sleeve of the horrible dress and tore it right off.  She came back in the house and told mom there was no way she was going to prom in a torn dress, so she had to wear the black one.   Sneaky!

J and B picked up BFF and then came and picked me up.  BFF was also in a lavender dress and both guys wore white tuxes with lavender accents.  I could almost puke thinking back on it.  If we didn't already know of J's love for BFF, he presented her with, what was called back then, a huge nosegay.  Basically a large hand held bouquet of flowers, like a bride would carry.  It must have set him back a bundle.  The thing was enormous.  B got me a lovely wrist corsage.  My mom fell instantly in love with him.  She probably started planning our wedding after we left for prom.  In her defense, what mother wouldn't love B?   He was sweet and cute and he was planning, at the time, on being a priest so she probably figured I was safe from the threat of sex.  Everyone knows priests aren't interested in sex!  

I don't really remember too much about the night other than it seemed like it took us forever to get there.   It was being held at a party center that was not exactly near where me and BFF lived and the drive was long.  No hotels for Catholic school proms!  That sends a bad message you know.  Newsflash, just about everyone was having sex back then.  Everyone but me, everyone but BFF, probably a few others.  So having the prom at a hotel wouldn't have mattered.  Hell we all got rooms at a hotel for after anyway!  And we did go, but it was a party not an orgy.  The girl B ditched was there, having not found another date.  Awkward!

I remember getting home around 3 or 4 am, and B just saying goodnight to me.  No kiss, nothing.  So I grabbed him and gave him a hug.  Sheesh dude, I know we went as friends and you were a few weeks from the seminary but live a little!   I was pretty cute back then.   

I guess if I didn't go I'd probably feel like I missed out on something.  But having gone, I don't think it was a big deal at all.  In fact, it was kind of lame.  The people you would expect to win king and queen were.  The music was absolute crap.  The theme was embarrassing ("Almost Paradise" you know, that horrid Ann Wilson and that dude from Loverboy duet).  But how many people do you know can say they went to prom with a priest?

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