Prom Reminisces

Boy, I know I can’t spell anymore but “reminisces” doesn’t really look right no matter which vowels I put in.

Anyway. I have now watched the “Glee” performance of “Friday, Friday” a hundred bajillion times because it’s Zoe’s new favorite. (Really, guys, life does not get better than your preschooler in her nighting gown jumping up and down screaming “Best Prom Ever!”) And the first several times I noticed Santana making a kind of weird head move but I didn’t see why but then I did – she’s giving a weird look to a girl wearing the same prom dress as her. And then I got all nostalgic because that happened to me, too!

My junior year, I went to a friend’s senior prom at a different high school. I almost turned down his invite because I didn’t want to buy a dress; that’s how aggressively un-girly I was being at the moment. So when my mom and I went shopping for the ensemble, I was very much pushing towards sale racks and items that can be worn to non-proms as well as proms. I got this simple black dress with sort of pastel embroidered flowers up the front and it was very nice and elegant and not too prom-my and cheap. And then when I got to the prom, another girl was wearing the same one! But she also did not go to this school! She actually went to the same high school as me, but we didn’t really know each other much. So instead of either of us feeling, “Oh, no! I must write to Teen about my tale of ultimate embarrassment immediately!” we were like, “Sales rack at Macy’s? Nice.” And we went on with our night.

And, as it happens, I did wear that dress, to a couple of B’nai Mitzvot and to a formal in college which was called Screw Your Roommate, because you were supposed to set up your roommate, presumably with someone objectionable. What was funny was that I had talked to my parents about the dance enough that they were familiar with the shortened term “Screw.” Then when everyone was having breakfast one morning my stepmother asked what dress I was going to wear to a coming Bat Mitzvah, and I said, “The dress I wore to Screw.” My stepsister, not having heard me talk about the dance, dropped her jaw on the table. “You tell our parents stuff like that?” It was sort of amusing.

I remember two other things about the purchasing of that outfit. The first thing is that I did keep my mother on track with the mantra of “Sale, Sale, Sale” for most of the purchasing, but she got the hair doodad without me. (She wasn’t being controlling or boundary-overstepping; IIRC, the invitation to the prom was a little late by girl standards and we were just running low on time so she ended up going shopping on her lunch hour, which I, as a high school student, couldn’t do.) The hair doodad was nice, but it cost $40, which I considered too much money for a hair doodad for someone else’s prom. BUT. The following year, when a) I was no longer quite so aggressively anti-girly, and b) it was my prom, I picked out a hair doodad for $40 – and my mom wouldn’t get it for me! She said it was too expensive! She did come up with a much cheaper and much cooler hair concept, though.

The other thing is that my date was, like, 6’5″ or something (and presumably still is), so I insisted on getting sky-high heels. I cannot walk in sky-high heels. It’s one of the Girl Classes I flunked. I had on these shoes for maybe five minutes of the prom. By the time I actually slow-danced with my 6’5″ date, the shoes were off. And this was not a lesson I learned; I also purchased sky-high heels for our formal my senior year of college. Which I also could not walk in.

I was, however, very happy to go to my own prom with a more normal-sized guy so I could buy the easy 1 1/2″ heels instead.

And while I’m at it, I’ve got to give props to my date for my own prom. When we got there, the junior guy in charge of filming stuff for the school television station, who I knew a little, asked me and my date to come be interviewed. He asked how I felt about this being senior prom, and I said something I do not remember now, and then my date went into this long, emotional speech about how it was the last time we were all going to be together and all the memories he had of everyone there and how he was going to miss all of them so much – all the cheesy stuff you’d expect, only he really sold it. The best part? He didn’t go to my school.


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