Monday, March 31, 2008

Memory Lane Monday - Prom

Spring is here, though you couldn't tell it from the temperatures. Spring arrives and young woman's fancy turns to thoughts of....prom.

Back when I was in high school, it was the epitome of social success if one was invited to prom before one was a junior or senior. And even though I had friends who were part of the "in" crowd and I had a measure of popularity, I wasn't an "it girl" by any means. Yet somehow, I managed to score an invitation to the prom all four years in high school.

First off: Freshman Year.

This year was probably the strangest of all. I went to prom with a boy, a senior named Brian that I barely knew. In fact, I don't think I had ever spoken to him before he called to ask me. I only knew him because earlier in the year he had been in an accident and had broken one of his vertebrae and had walked around school in one of those head mobilizing cages that was screwed into his skull. So yeah, he stood out.

He had a mutual friend call me to pre-ask me. I told him I would say yes and then when the real call came I did. It didn't matter to me to that I barely knew him. He had a crush on me and wanted to take me to prom. I was a freshman with a big head and starry prom eyes, so I said yes.

Next mission? To Find THE DRESS! I had the perfect dress in mind. I wanted BIG. I wanted POOFY. But most of all? I wanted a hoop skirt. Yes, my Scarlett O'Hara fetish was in full force. I had been watching Gone With the Wind every year on television since I was child and had not yet been able to fulfill my hoop skirt fantasies. I mean, it's not every day that one gets to wear a hoop skirt, even in the south. Unless you're in the pageant circuit, which I most definitely was not. (Not that I didn't want to be, but my mom wouldn't let me. But that's another story). Or unless you were a re-enactor. Or a museum docent. But I digress.

My mom and I went on a search. And in a tiny little store in a neighboring town, I found it. It was one of a kind. To be sure, there were no other dresses like at the prom.

And being my first prom, I had to have my first real "up do," right? I went to my hairdresser, whom I trusted, though she was known for her heavy hand with the hairspray. I always used to want to ask her "Did I come IN here with my hair this stiff and poofy? No? Then what makes you think I want to leave here that way?" She worked and slaved and teased and sprayed for ages. When she was done I was left with a hair sculpture that swooped all my hair to the right side of my head, completely exposing my left ear and not doing much to hide the right one.

I hated it. First of all, it was the ears. She didn't hide my ears of shame. She practically shone a spotlight on them, what with all the baby's breath she had wedged in there. Plus, her "vision" and my "vision" had not meshed in the slightest. I had wanted a simple twist. Perhaps even a bun, with a few loose tendrils hiding my ears framing my face. What I had was a hard, twisted mass of hair, a few gajillion bobby pins, and a boatload of baby's breath.

And no time to wash it out.

So, I went to prom with a guy a barely knew. With stiff art hair. All night I stared longingly over Brian's shoulder at my new boyfriend who was there with another girl. Could you get more teen angst-ty? I think Brian was a little peeved that I didn't stare into his eyes during a slow song and fall madly in love. At least I didn't ditch him before the prom so that I could go with my new boyfriend, though perhaps in some ways it would have been kinder. And Brian was a nice guy. I could have done worse (and often did!).

Just like Scarlett...I never knew what I had until it was too late. I bet Scarlett never would have stood for that hairdo, though.


Amanda said...

Ain't fittin'. It just ain't fittin' - what that woman did to your hair. Well, actually, I think you look darn cute!

Any idea whatever became of dear Brian?

Lauren said...

Thanks for sharing!! I love the poofy dress...I never got to wear one.

Are we gonna get to hear about the other three proms????

Fannie Mae said...

Just shopped for Precious Youngest's Prom dress last weekend. ;)

ImpostorMom said...

I love this! That dress is priceless.

I went to prom three of the four years of high school. Freshman was with a friend who wanted to be more than my friend but I had a boyfriend. Sophmore was with a guy I barely knew because a girlfriend of mine didn't want to go alone with her date.

My junior year was with my actual boyfriend who DID NOT want to go and sat sulking in a corner most of the night.

I decided that I wouldn't be going my senior year. Same boyfriend and it just wasn't worth the fight. Plus I was way too cool for the prom by then, at least where my stoner friends were concerned. :P

1blueshi1 said...

that is a fantastic dress! too bad you did not have a better time. I myself only went to prom as a junior--it was the year Salvador Dali died and there was a Salvador Dali Memorial Sock Hop (yes, SOCK HOP) downtown the same night as prom. my friend Kirsten dyed herself blue and I dyed myself purple (it's amazing what a few hours of bathing in RIT will accomplish), we wore dresses that clashed with our skin and combat boots and went to prom to get photos then left for the Sock Hop to get wasted with all the other cool kids (that is "misty watercolored memories" you hear in the background as I reminisce, BTW!)

Tootsie Farklepants said...

No. Scarlett would have made the prom wait for her until her hair met with her approval.

You look soooo pretty!! I remember in the 80's when those hoop skirts were the thing. Yes, even in SoCal.

Susan at One-Woman Show said...

"I mean, it's not every day that one gets to wear a hoop skirt, even in the south."

Really? I had no idea.

Just kidding. Well, I enjoyed your story -- and I'd love to hear about the others -- but I have to say prom is kind of a dirty word for me. Not dirty as in "dirrrtty", but in the badddd way. I had to ask 3 guys to get a date for my junior prom. Yeah. Me. Ask. 3. Of course, you can imagine being a starry-prom-eyed 15/16 year old dreaming of THE MOST ROMANTIC NIGHT OF YOUR LIFE (before the senior prom) and you wind up with your dorky-but-sweet pal -- i.e., Bachelor #3.

Senior prom turned out ok in the end, but my on again/off again beau wanted to disinvite me during one of our "off" stages -- after asking me during an "on" stage. I told him no way. He was going with me. We went to the prom, had a good time and then dated for 2 years with no interruption.

Prom is the baddest of 4 letter words. ;)

Colleen said...

love the dress! I always wanted a hoopskirt, too...still kinda do, but haven't quite figured out where I'd wear it at.
And if it's any consolation, the hair doesn't look that bad.