Thursday, May 19, 2011

Prom Date, Anyone?

So, it's prom season.  And like all things everywhere these days, it's become over-the-top.  Back in "my" day, prom was about getting really dressed up, making plans for fancy dinners with a group of friends, then hitting a party afterward, either at someone's house or in a hotel.  So I guess not much has changed in that respect.  But as I looked through the local high schools' pictures on our small town paper's website the other day, I was floored by the number of kids arriving in limos, the huge crowds of parents and siblings taking pictures paparazzi-style, and just the fact that the PAPER sends a photographer and then splashes them all over the internet. 

Styles vary, from "What is holding that dress together?" to "Mrs. Roper wants her muu-muu back," floral style. 
I would totally wear this.

Some were appropriate for high school kids, and some were only appropriate for strippers.  But I guess that's in style now, huh?  Sometimes I feel really old.  Here was my idea of the ideal prom dress in 1988-89. 
What was I thinking?  Maybe I was inspired by the haunting images of Miss Havisham in Great Expectations? Or maybe I was just trying to be this...
or this...

But...I never went to prom.  Shocking, I know.  But I'm over it.  Mostly.  It's a long story, but suffice it to say that it would have been a great movie, only not with a happy ending.  I was the female Duckie Dale, and the boy I fancied myself in love with (who was also my best guy pal) was asked to prom by one of my "friends," who totally (hey, we're talking about the 80's here) knew I was planning to ask him.  She was one of the hot girls, the party girls, so I don't blame him for saying yes.  But then she dumped him (what a hosebag), just a few days before the prom.  So, I worked up my nerve to call him from the long-corded kitchen phone in my best friend's kitchen (I think I hung up about four times first---I could almost throw up thinking about how nervous I was) and I asked him...only he had already scrambled around to find another last-minute date, and of course it never occurred to him to ask ME.  It's tragic, I know.  So, I never went to prom.  "Stuff" happens.

But then, along came a 2nd Chance Prom, long after I was married, and long after my deeply wounded psyche had recovered.  Only THIS prom featured none other than...Rick Springfield.  That's right, my first prom was also RICK's first prom.  Read about it here, because this was way before we had a digital camera, and I'm too lazy right now to go dig up pictures and scan them.  But I will never forget it, because this was the very first time I laid eyes on the man in person...from an atrium balcony where I watched the interview linked above happening.  Only to later have my JC Penney formal gown sweat upon as the man himself wandered from the stage through the crowd.  (I have never cleaned the dress, which now that I think about it, might be kind of gross by now.  I didn't avoid cleaning it to preserve the Rick Sweat, because that would just be...icky...but because I'm bad about things like that.  My wedding dress never got cleaned either.  Shame on me.)

So, today in class, as the students were taking social studies notes on the Reagan administration and we listed to a Pure 80's CD that is always in my desk, my co-teacher remarked to the kids that he could just see me now, dancing and bopping up and down at my prom to this strange music that more than a few of them knew the words to...and I smiled.  Because while Andie got her man in Pretty in Pink, and Kevin Bacon tripped the light fantastic with the preacher's daughter in Footloose, no one who went to my school's prom can say that Rick Springfield was the band. 

1 comment:

Alices Wonderland said...

Proms now-a-days are just another form of excess. But us parents pay out like crazy. Yes, the limo's or the classic car rentals are one cost. The dresses are quite pricey now usually several hundred dollars and the actual cost of prom tickets in our town is about $75 per kid. (yes really)..Prom no longer happens in the school gym with paper mache decorations...The venues are quite large. Not only do they have music going with a dj and finger foods and drinks (quite different than the cookie and punch tables out parents set up for our prom) but they also rented gambling tables and dealers for my daughters school. I know some locations also do special things like photo booths. Not like our prom....

In the meantime, I had to laugh about not having your prom dress or wedding dress cleaned and I hang my head in shame--cause my wedding dress was never cleaned either.