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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Prom Stories: The Chicken Lady & The Martyr

My mother is an excellent seamstress. She made all of our prom gowns, sometimes to wonderful results, others to, well, memorable results. My junior prom dress was a dream...



Seventeen (yes, that's 17) yards of raspberry colored chiffon made up into an elegant Vogue pattern that made me feel like a movie star. I didn't happen to have a boyfriend at prom time that year, so I went with my best guy friend. It wasn't particularly memorable as proms go. In fact, the only thing I really remember is the fabulous way I felt as I swished across the stage to make a few announcements with the other prom committee members, and the uncomfortable way my date and I slept in the car (separately!) as we waited to meet my friends for breakfast since we couldn't find the house that the after party was at. But boy, the dress was good. And a size 1.

My senior prom dress was one of those that started as a brilliant idea but was a disaster in reality. Here it is. Be sure to focus for a moment on the martyred look on my date's face, who clearly had not seen the dress before he agreed to escort me...

What?! You said you think the dress was pretty? Did you not SEE the head-to-feather ratio? Let me show you again...

I had seen a dress with feather sleeves the week my mother and I were fitting my gown. I thought they were wonderful. I wanted them. Badly. My dress was supposed to have sheer puff sleeves to the elbow. That would have been wonderful, but at 17, I clearly was too stupid to realize it. So my mother, in a moment of crazed inspiration, cut her old black feather boa in half and, voila!, feather sleeves were born. Then, of course, to balance the sheer volume of those sleeves, we had to extend the length of the fitted, knee-length dress to be floor length with the addition of a taffeta ruffle, a la mermaid style. Ahhhh. It was an unforgettable dress. Unfortunately. Boas, as you might imagine, are not meant to be cut. My sleeves shed--yes, I SHED--feathers on the dance floor all evening. My friends, my dear, close, friends, could not help calling my Chicken Lady through the whole prom.

My original date cancelled on me 2 days before the prom because his mom had left town on business and hadn't paid for his tux or left him any money. This was actually fine with me, because I didn't like the guy that much anyway, and it gave me the opportunity to ask the guy I really liked (who was a sophomore and couldn't have asked me anyway) to take me. The first part of the evening was great...well, except for my constant fear that I would set myself on fire at the fondue restaurant as my feathers swung precariously close to the flames...but by the end of the evening and all the Chicken Lady comments, he wasn't so interested in making out in the car. -sigh-

I still have that dress if anyone wants it for their daughter. I can guarantee that if she wears it, she won't be getting any action on prom night. Maybe that was Mom's nefarious plan...

15 comments:

MommyTime said...

I love the Chicken Lady! And I think we should start a subscription fund so that that dress can make its rounds during prom seasons in a few years, and keep ALL of our daughters from getting preggo on prom night. A worthy cause, I'm sure. :)

lattemommy said...

You were just ahead of your time. Feathers are very glam.

Aimeepalooza said...

I don't have a daughter but might I borrow it for when my son takes a girl to prom. Looks like it's probably tough to get on and off...and for my senior prom a I wore a short dress and had sex in the back of the limo BEFORE dinner. YIKES!!

MIQuilter said...

You never told me the Chicken Lady story!!! Oh, wait... that was probably my freshman year in college - the year I spent drunk. Maybe you did tell me. In any case, it's fun like this that can be laughed over now :) Thanks for the hysterics :)

Karen MEG said...

That certainly is an unforgettable dress LOL.
And your mother, she rocks!!! What a talent, seriously! Very ingenious.

The pix look sorta hello dolly -- but I'm sure that wasn't the intended effect ;)

Karen said...

I can totally see where you were trying to go with the dress. Just didn't quite make it, did it? Glad it didn't scar you for life! Thanks for sharing!
ps The red dress? Is gorgeous! Your mom is oh so talented!

Lynette said...

WOW. I think maybe I should borrow that for my daughter in a few years. Her dad has been threatening to take her to her prom.

Kelly said...

love it! and great idea, I had fun with mine as well. where is mr. linky?

OHmommy said...

I have 2 daughters.... let the bidding games begin.

I would take out a loan if it secured the fact that they would not get any action. ;)

BusyDad said...

Oh my god, that had me rolling. Not good. I am at work mind you. If Cinderella had the Chicken Lady dress, Prince Charming could have just followed the trail of feathers back to her house.

mommytherobot.blogspot.com said...

i love that blue gown on you! and yu looked so cute!!!!! actually compared to most prom looks, you had a 'look!"

Melanie said...

Great photos! And feathers are fun. Your mom is awesome!

Kristen said...

That is downright fabulous!!

I loved the descriptions, and the fondue restaurant?? You were close to catching fire!

Size 1?

Dare I even dream.

Great post!

Katie said...

Oh my gosh..the chicken lady. My lungs hurt from laughing so hard. Your mom is fantastically talented but oh my goodness...lol

foolery said...

Yeah, I remember being a size 1.
No I don't; I don't remember ANYTHING from when I was 1.

The raspberry dress is divine and the cut looks a lot like the dress Sarah-Jessica Parker wore to the premier.

 

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