A Tale of Two Proms

Hello again! It’s nice to see you! Welcome to Day 18 of the #AKwritingChallenge! “Did you go to prom?’

I am your hostess, AK. Please, have a seat, strap in, and prepare to be entranced in a tale of two proms.


My freshman year I was sorta seeing a senior from a different school district. A long distance for phone calls district. This was back when AT&T and others were excitedly promoting their ten cent a minute long distance and I ran up some hella large bills. Mom was not pleased.

As we all know, I don’t like to name names in my blog. So I’ll use an initial. E. E was a nice enough guy. A little lost, a little dysfunctional … so your basic teen.

I’m trying to do the math and I really don’t want to. Just a sec. *taps foot* The first prom would have been in 1989. If you weren’t around for that year, or just want a taste of crazy nostalgia, go ahead and Google it. I’ll wait.

For those too lazy for Google, or who remember in general, those were the years of big hair. Big hair – like take up half a can of aerosol hair spray to keep your bangs tall. Lots of eye shadow (preferably tri-color), and all sorts of catch phrases I’m too emotionally traumatized to recall.

The waistband on women’s jeans went halfway to their boobs – the zippers were easily six inches long – and they all looked like mom jeans. We were pegging jeans back then, pegging having a whole different definition now. Pegging was when you gripped the hem of your jeans, folded it onto itself, and then gave it a good three or four rolls.

This was a blessing for me. I had a hard time finding proper jean sizes so if they all rolled up, life was good.

Shoulder pads were still in so high shoulders, tall hair … I have no idea what we were thinking.

E invited me to his school’s prom. I was never a big fan of school dances. I think I went to one in eighth grade and after that I was good. I didn’t dislike them on principle or anything, I just wasn’t all that into it.

If I could go back now I would kick myself. I absolutely love to dance and have for a long time now. When my back was healthy I would dance anywhere that I stood. Grocery store, gas station while filling up, at work, whatever. I would kick myself so hard and make me dance until I felt like passing out. But I digress.

Prom will always be a big deal. It’s an occasion to wear beautiful clothes, have our hair and face done, ride in a limo (if our group could afford it), and pretend to be grown-ups for a night. I don’t know the statistics for people losing their virginities prom night, but I’m sure it’s up there.

I was invited as a freshman! Freaking awesome! I had a reason to do all the girlie things all the other girls I knew did naturally. I was an awkward kid/teen and didn’t really understand how everyone else just knew when to stop wearing certain make-up colors, or a new brand of jeans. To this day I don’t know. If I’m wearing something trendy it’s accidental. Trust me.

I had a teal green dress with the poofiest damn shoulders you’ve ever seen. They were easily the same height as the tops of my ears. My bangs were higher than they’d ever been. My friend Kelly knew all about the make up and the hair and I begged. She helped.

We may as well have used a trowel for the eye makeup. I’m stunned I could keep them open with the amount of mascara we used.

I have fine, thin hair. It doesn’t like to stay in position. Not with hairspray, anyway. It flakes right out and is awful. No one knew all that much about mousse then, and I don’t think gel or moulding glues or pastes existed. Or if they did, they were way outside my comfort zone. Aerosol AquaNet ruled back then but, like I said, thin, fine hair that flakes off spray …

So I had that going for me that night.

He picked me up in a station wagon. We ate somewhere inexpensive and went to the dance.

It was prom! It should be awesome!

Reality time. Prom is simply another high school dance. That specific one doesn’t make people dance better, only wear better clothing.

Ultimately I was as bored at the prom as I was at the one dance I went to the year before. E was similar to me in that. He was one of those rebelling purely to rebel types. Such a non-conformist that he conformed to the stereotype. I laugh now, and hope he eventually grew out of that. I wouldn’t know as we cut contact not long after this experience.

So that’s prom one.

The next time I went was as a senior. This time it was my own school’s.

I don’t know what came over me. I remembered exactly what happened at the first prom I went to. I knew it was another lame dance, but in nicer clothes. And yet …

I was dating someone who had graduated 3 years before me. I don’t know why, but I begged. Maybe I wanted to bleach the memory of the first one, I don’t know. I do know that the guy I was seeing was a ringer for Anthony Kiedis and I wanted to show off, at least a little.

He agreed. It seriously must have been love. I can’t imagine the eye rolls he must have been suffering through in silence.

Yet another green dress. This time around I was in that neo-hippie stage which means no puffy shoulders or super tall hair. It was about knee length, quite pretty. If I recall correctly the skirt was suede.

My friend Angie was in beauty school at that time. She graciously did my make-up and hair. Then she went with us to a local forest and took many, many pictures.

My date took me to the cafe for dinner. For those of you familiar with the blog, you’ll know that’s one of the places I did my underage drinking. For those not familiar, here’s a short piece about my actual 21st birthday: The Bacchanal That Was 21

We were served cocktails, of course. Even though we were in prom clothes and they knew every kid wearing formal wear had to be underage. Except my date wasn’t. He actually was 21. The server gave us both alcohol, though, so once again it was situation normal.

Our group of friends had a party planned for that evening. One that included some illegal substances I would prefer not to name here. The deal was we would pop in and say hi to some people, dance a couple of times, and we’re out of there. Off to the deep woods to enjoy our illicit activities.

That is exactly what happened. I don’t remember anything else of that night. We went to an area we called Teenage Wasteland and got wasted. My date and I were in our fancy apparel, and I’m pretty sure it was fun …?




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