With it being May, it means that it’s high time for prom season. If you haven’t already, you’ll be seeing high school kids wearing overly expensive dresses and tuxes, eating at fancy restaurants, and cruising in limos, almost every Friday and Saturday night this month. Prom has become an American rite of passage for high school students. Practically every teen movie you see has some prom sequence that serves as the climactic scene of the movie.
I remember how back then prom was SO IMPORTANT. And now looking back …it really wasn’t.
I went to prom both my junior and senior year. I was even on the prom committee junior year. Basically I did that so I could put it down on my college application. Our prom both years was held at a hotel in the city next to us on the waterfront. I remember we were really trying to push for the theme of “Waiting for Tonight” (based of the popular at the time J.Lo song) but instead got outvoted for some cheesy theme. Senior year was equally cheesy.
As for my dates, well you know how it’s the trend now to have huge elaborate prom-posals? (Just google it) Yeah not the case here. Junior year, there was a guy that was a senior that I asked to go. After giving me the run around for a few weeks (this seems to be a repeat pattern in my life) he eventually told me no because he wasn’t going to prom. Lo and behold, a week later another girl asks him to prom and he says yes. *SWEAR WORD* I ended up going with one of my good friends because his date ditched him at the last moment. We had a good time and it was probably for the best I ended up not going with the first guy. During senior year, there was a sophomore that I asked to go and he turned me down. After weeks of thinking I wasn’t going to go, finally another one of my friends asked me to go with him. Part of me is slightly suspicious now that he asked me because of the group that I ended up going with more so than because of me. This is due to the fact that during the actual prom I danced with him ONCE and never saw him again until we were all leaving.
I got my dresses while shopping with my mom at the mall both years. I chose blue for both dresses, junior year – ice blue, senior – navy blue. (I like blue.) They weren’t overly expensive, nor were they flashy or that memorable. I do remember pouring through all the teen magazines looking at the prom issues and very much wanting a Jessica McClintock dress but alas that one cost $$. The style at the time was for the poofy dresses and while I didn’t want too much poof, I did opt for some poof so that my dress made that nice swishing sound.
(Just for privacy reasons, I’ve blurred my date’s face in case he wouldn’t want his face floating online.)
We got limos both years and did go out for fancy dinners. Prom itself was….ok. I didn’t dance much(though admittedly I probably did dance more than I do at weddings now. Some of the music was just really hard to dance to even though it was popular at the time. (How on earth are you supposed to “dance” to Limp Bizkit?) Basically there was no group dance where everyone dances in sync. Though there were choreographed ‘Nsync dances.
After prom both years, we all went down to the beach in Nags Head thanks to parents who owned beach houses down there. It was a pleasant way to relax afterwards. Though I do remember sometimes feeling a little left out and just of place when going there, almost like I didn’t really belong. Those weren’t good feelings. But it was nice to get away and just enjoy the peaceful nice of the beach after being stressed out from getting ready for prom. Even if we never actually went into the water because the Atlantic Ocean in May is FREEZING.
Then we got back to school on Monday and that was that. Like I said looking back, it does feel silly spending all that money and time and stress for just one night on dresses I never wore again. Prom was not the be all or end all for me. It was just a night with some good (and some not so good) memories. I wouldn’t go back and visit it to be honest but it is what it is. When I do have kids and their prom time comes, I’m sure I’ll most likely go through the same experience with them. I’ll only say once that it’s really not that big of a deal but then I’ll let them have their fun.
Because you know. Everything happens at the prom.