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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Good, the Bad, and the Prom-y

It's finally arrived! Prom Night. I can't wait to hear your stories and see your dresses. As for me...

I had three proms, each of which had its Pure Prom Moment.

Prom #1: Innocence and Endless Hope
As a Junior, I desperately wanted to go to the Junior-Senior prom (you could only go as an underclassman if you were the date of an upperclassman). I had no boyfriend. Never had. Pining away over the tall hunky best friend of my neighbor across the street was getting me nowhere. I asked three different boys to go with me. All of them said no. To be honest, my neighbor across the street initially said yes. He and I had been friends for years. The kind of friends who hang out in each other's rooms, and listen to records, and make up absurd nicknames for each other. (I was "Shodderick." I have no idea why.) The kind of friends who occasionally have little crushes on each other but never at the same time. The kind of friends who ask each other dating advice. He said yes, and then he came over later that evening and said no. It was too much pressure. Too much romance. He didn't feel that way about me. I was sad but honestly not crushed. I was more than a little demoralized when two other friends of mine also declined, however.

I had a dress, you see. A pale pink concoction with off-the-shoulder sleeves and a big, wide sash, and a fluffy skirt. My mother had made me this gorgeous dress, and there I was -- all dressed up and no place to go. And then it turned out that the Cuban Club (of which my Cuban step-father was a member) was having a dance that very same evening of my prom. So while all my friends got dolled up and went out, so did I. The only difference was, I (who adored dancing) got to salsa dance all evening with boys who actually knew how to dance.

Also, I don't think the entryway to the Prom site was filled with old men in guayaberas smoking cigars and playing dominoes.

Prom #2: Pragmatism and Abandonment
My Senior year, there I was again, geeky, fun-loving, boyfriend-less. This time I had a good friend who'd made a deal with me that if we didn't have dates for our proms, we would go with each other. He went to a different school. He was smart, and wrote poetry, and rode skateboards. I figured he would be a fun date. Six of us got together, went out to dinner, gallivanted off to the Junior-Senior prom. In my pink fluffy dress (yes, the same one from the year before; I was determined that it was a Prom Dress, not just a party dress), and my side-ponytail, and my blue eyeshadow (yes, I have brown eyes), I was the very picture of 80s innocence. He had chosen a silvery grey tuxedo to match his grey cowboy boots, and a pink cummerbund to match my dress. We looked lovely. Where lovely = endearingly scrubbed and dressed to our eyeballs in 1987.

And then I lost my date. Seriously. For two hours he could not be found. My friends helped me look. Lots of us missed the dancing, the music, the merriment. We went from curious to annoyed to worried to enlisting the Principal because we were so concerned. Know where we found him? In the hotel bar. Watching basketball. Know what he said by way of explanation? It was too much pressure. Too much romance. He didn't feel that way about me. Story of my (prom) life, apparently.

We all went back to my best friend's house for the "after party" which consisted of marginally watching movies and majorly making out if you were my friends, and marginally watching movies and majorly falling asleep if you were me. I think my date actually watched the whole thing. Know what the movie of choice was? The Shining.

Don't ever say teenagers have no sense of irony.

Prom #3: A Boyfriend At Last
For my Senior Prom, which was held the night of graduation, I actually had a real honest-to-goodness boyfriend-shaped date. He was cute and funny, and he brought me a lovely yellow wrist corsage. In the photos, we look happy. (Sorry, can't bring myself to put him up here without his permission. That's his left arm; his hair was as curly as my bangs, he was tan and grinning and (like me) looked impossibly young; you extrapolate the rest.) I remember that I thought he was a great kisser. But honestly, I remember absolutely nothing about that night except for the very last dance of the evening. And here's why I remember that dance:

My best friend and I, who had been inseparable since 7th grade, had made a pact earlier in the spring. We were going to design and make our prom dresses, both all in white, and they were going to be dreamy and make us feel like princesses. And we typed up all the details of our little pact on a piece of square paper and signed it. And then we shopped for fabric, and her aunt and my mother made us those dresses. Gorgeous, innocent, tiered, princess-dresses. And we wore them.

I assume we danced all evening with our respective boyfriends for the slow dances, and in big groups of half-skipping Madonna wannabes for the faster dances, though I don't actually remember. I do know that our little group was the last group there.

And as the band (why do I think it was a band instead of a DJ? I don't know for sure) finished the last pop song, they swung into a rousing polka -- obviously to clear the dance floor.

The floor was empty, and I wanted to polka. But, of course, my boyfriend didn't know how. Didn't want to. But my best friend did. Oh, yes, she did.

So I led, and she followed, and the two of us in our giant, full white skirts, on the night of our high school graduation, had the entire huge dance floor to ourselves -- and we polkaed and laughed and spun and grinned and sashayed around that floor until the music was over.

I am pretty sure no one in the history of Prom has ever had a dance more filled with pure joy and loving friendship. And twenty-one years later, she is still my very closest friend.

Want proof? In order to post this picture, I had to open the back of a collage frame I sealed 21 years ago on my way to college -- a collage that I still display on the bookshelf in my office at home. Because a truly great friendship can fix anything (like a Prom Night Abandonment) or make anything good even better (like a Prom Night Polka).

Edited to add: PLEASE for the love of all that is Prom Night hilarity, scroll down below this post to read my sister's story of the Chicken Lady. You won't be sorry.

* * * *
So now, let's hear your story. I'm looking forward to hair bigger than mine, dates more oblivious, tales more racy...who knows? But it will be fun finding out. To add your story, just fill out the form below, and please be sure your post links back to this one, so that your readers can come find more fun prom stories (or add their own) too! Thanks. *air kisses* and *princess waves*


Mr Lady said...

That is QUITE the get-up, sister. :) And I'm sorry, but i don't think I can read your blog anymore. This seems like a good time to e-break up with you. It's just, well, It was too much pressure. Too much romance. You know. I just don't think you feel that way about me. :)

Kimmylyn said...

I love the dresses! I can't believe you guys made your own dress.. they came out great.. and I love the hair in the first picture.. :) I also love that you know how to polka, why do you ask? Because I remember doing the polka a at wedding with my grandfather.. it is one of my favorite memeories!!

Can't wait to come back and read more prom stories.. how fun is this? :)

musing said...

What a sweet ending to your prom stories! A good friend is worth a multitude of boyfriends. :)

Aimeepalooza said...

This was fun. I'm really glad it didn't end how I thought it was going to...which was half your dress ripped off while Polka dancing!

Karen said...

Okay, I linked my story and had full intentions of coming right back to comment. Then I got a flat on the way to take my girls to school. Whew, it's been a morning!
So now I'm back and I love your prom stories. This was such a great idea! Thanks for inviting us all to the party!

lattemommy said...

Ok, Shodderick (*grin*) my post is up. Sadly, no photos, but not for lack of searching!

Great prom stories. I had a similar experience a few years earlier with a prom dress made for me and no date. *sigh* Rejection sucks.

Oh, and best friends rock. I think you ended up with the best prom memory of all.

MamaMo said...

We have many things in common: 3 proms, a Cuban, homemade dresses, 80's hair, "I just don't feel that way about you", reckless abandon dancing with best friend, a boyfriend-type person.

LceeL said...

No prom story, sorry. But I gotta tell ya, if you didn't have a boyfriend - then the whole friggin' town must have been BLIND!!

Karen MEG said...

I'm cheating a little as I posted this a couple of weeks ago. Did add a little more detail, but nothing too fun unfortunately.

Your dresses are so cute; and that you made your own, wow. I love that you had such a blast dancing with your BFF; it's memories like that that are the most special to treasure.
Thanks for hosting this great carnival!

Ragtop Day said...

Mine is up, but it makes me realize how much I've forgotten (and how disjointed my memories of it are!).

I love, love, love the friendship story that is your prom evolution!

Lynette said...

I think the best Prom dresses are home made (mine was...and come to find out..my aunt - the maker of my dress- still has it) if only it still fit...LOL

BusyDad said...

Wow, you got it right the 3rd time :) I wish I had three chances. I almost didn't do this here carvinal but sometimes you have to air things to make them right. At least with your conscience :)

insane mama said...

Loving the hair doos
you made your own dresses? wow how cool is that, do you think that if I offer to make my teenager a dress she will freak out?

insane mama said...

I'm going to do the prom story in a few days

mommypie said...

I love these!! I too wore white for my senior prom ... unfortunately, I couldn't find a single photo to contribute to your AWESOME event.

Wah. I tried, MommyTime, I really tried ... :(

At any rate, love the stories. And I think our hair ... as far as the bigness factor goes ... it's a tie.

mommytherobot.blogspot.com said...

awwww finally you get your night! i wanted to participate but i couldn' find my prom picture and when i decided to just write the story, i look at this blog and its already ON! you looked cute w the big hair but i have to say the chicken lady down there looks better w the big hair!

Momo Fali said...

I got dumped a week before my Junior prom. Jerk. I had the dress and everything. My Senior year, I was dating a college guy and he was too cool to go to a HS prom.

Hey, thanks for bringing happy memories flooding back! I'm kidding, really. I'm over it. Sigh.

Sunshine said...

I held my 2nd annual blog Prom in April, it's funny how much everyone remembers whether their prom was good, bad or ugly!!

And everyone's stories were way better than mine, I was very boring!

MamaMo said...

I gave in and decided to share.

MamaMo said...

Not sure why, but Mr. Linky keeps booting my name off your list.
Anyway, here's my story:

MamaMo said...

here's the part that got cut off:

Krista said...

Oh wow! Those are quite the dresses! I'm sorry I don't think I can bring myself to tell prom stories on my own blog quite yet... this summer is only my 10 year reunion!
But I will say that of the 2 proms I went to, the first one (as a sophomore) was a BUST because my date had a boner the entire time and I didn't know what to do about it! The second one was way more awesome as I had a HAWT date from out of town (who I of course had a crush on) and I surprised all the people at school who thought I'd never get a date! ;)

Sandy C. said...

Nevermind the dresses, you are beautiful! Really, you are such a beauty :)

Dude, dancing with guys who actually know how to dance? Priceless!

pb&j in a bowl said...

I couldn't get over the boy's cowboy boots. I think my dad had a pair just like that. Ah- the memories.

MIQuilter said...

I have the most boring prom stories EVER and also no photos, which is why I'm not posting my own story. 1 st prom: it was the jr-sr prom - I was a freshman. It didn't matter to me that the jr that asked me was the geekiest guy EVER.... we sat sucking face (literally - it was all i could do to not be sucked into his vortex of a mouth - and all slobbery too.... ewwwww) all evening. I remember nothing else.

second prom - I went with a guy that took me literally 3 days to remember his name. I remembered immediately that he drove a sirocco. not sure how we met. i think i was more his good buddy than anything else, but i totally dug him. don't even remember if it was my prom or his. all i remember is the dress and the fact that I barely got a kiss afterwards - although i was hoping for WAY more.

no "after-parties" in either - no breakfasts.. nothing beyond kissing.. no drunkennes.... i was really quite the innocent in high school.

IRISHKAT said...

I did my post a few month back. You can check it out here - http://irishkat.blogspot.com/2008/04/friday-flashback-prom-nightmares.html

I have yet to meet someone who doesn't have some sort of good prom story... aaah, youth!

foolery said...

Holy heartbreak, you were pretty! ARE pretty. Really enjoyed reading your post and The Chicken Lady's, too. Have to go check out the others -- WHEN?! AACCKK!

I may have a tteny story, no big deal. Have to think about it.

McMommy said...

Ahhh!! I totally forgot about this!! My in-laws came to visit and things just get hectic when they are around...even my blogging gets pushed to the back burner! Blah.

I have a picture of my prom dress somewhere...if I remember correctly, it looked like a satin nightmare, I mean gown. If I can put my hands on it, I will link up!

Tenakim said...

Lovin' this!!! I will try and post when I can scan the frightening pics of my prom- such a great idea- I enjoyed looking and reading all of them!

MommyTime said...

Ohhh...ladies, bring on more stories and pictures if you've got 'em. I'll love to see more!

foolery said...

Okay, I posted my story, late but it's there. Then I woke up this morning and thought, "GAHH! I don't think Kevin ever went to a prom!" So I think it may have been a lesser dance -- the sophomore sock hop, a turn-around dance, to which I took Kevin. But everything else is true.

Thanks for the chance to do this -- great idea, and very fun!

-- Laurie


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