Blog Prom 2008: The Wallflower’s Tale

Yikes. Prom. I can’t believe I agreed to go again…and if anyone other than Sunshine were throwing this party, I’m pretty sure I’d have skipped it. As it is, I’m attending as Designated Wallflower, which means I’ll probably be watching the cool kids have fun. Some things never change…

Here’s what Sunshine has planned for this week-long(!) extravaganza:

  • Monday April 28 – Let’s talk about our Prom theme songs.

  • Tuesday April 29embarrassing Prom stories. Talk about the good, the bad and the ugly on your own blog about a Prom memory and I’ll link to the whole list.

  • Wednesday April 30 – favorite movie Prom scenes! Because it seems like all of us watch way too many movies and know an inordinate amount of dialogue by heart.

  • Thursday May 1 – submitted Prom photos will be posted with links to participating bloggers

  • Friday May 2PROM! Start sucking up to people now, we’ll be voting on some things far more interesting than Prom King and Queen.

As you can see, I’ve missed the timing for the first two events (although I will be talking about them in just a minute), and I don’t really have anything to contribute to the second two, so this post will be my only official Prom appearance here.

My high school held a combined Junior-Senior prom; the junior class was in charge of planning it, with the seniors as “honored guests.” Underclassmen could attend only as the dates of juniors or seniors – most of the time those “underclassmen” were girls, but I did bring a sophomore to my senior prom. (Yeah, I know – cradle-robber!) As a junior, I was head of the Centerpieces committee for the prom. The theme was “The Best of Times” (the song was by Styx – welcome back to 1981, folks!), and the centerpieces were black mortarboards with white clocks on each side. They took some time to make, but I heard they looked very good on the white tablecloths that night at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club. (I didn’t go, so I had to take other people’s word for it.)

As I mentioned, I did attend my prom senior year. My sister, then a junior (so her class was hosting) and I doubled with two guys from our church youth group – one younger, one older, neither of whom had ever attended our school. The location that year’s junior class selected, the St. Petersburg Hilton, was nicer than the one my class had picked the year before, but the theme, “Through the Years” (song by Kenny Rogers), was lamer. Fortunately, there were very few pictures and I don’t know what became of them over various moves, so no one will have to see what it all looked like. However, I do remember that my dress was a pale yellow one with spaghetti straps, a long skirt, and a matching sleeveless wrap, and I spent $25 on it. I didn’t think the thing was going to be worth an expensive dress, and I was right. Also, since it was the early ’80’s – meaning almost no one had seen MTV yet – the hair still wasn’t all that big, unless it was reacting to the humidity.

Speaking of prom themes – this song really sums up the whole experience.

My overall prom experience is summed up best in one word – “meh.” It wasn’t awful, but it was certainly not one of the peak experience of my life, before or since. However, it was more than made up for by the real highlight of senior-year festivities for lucky Florida kids (and California ones too, at Disneyland) – Disney Grad Nite. Six hours of unlimited access to all the rides and attractions of Disney World’s Magic Kingdom park – in May of 1982, that was actually all of Disney World, period; Epcot opened later that year, and the other parks probably were barely a glimmer in some Imagineer’s eye then – just for high-school seniors, their dates (if allowed by the school) and their chaperones, plus mini-concerts by the hottest groups on the music charts. (I actually didn’t go to any of the shows, so I don’t remember everyone who was there, but on the bus ride back home some people did mention seeing Tommy Tutone and Night Ranger. Again, it was 1982…) I went with my friend Rick, who was going through his “I’m trying to figure out if I’m gay” phase; that was the night we discussed whether we should try dating and see if that might help him. Fortunately, we decided against it, thereby allowing me to dodge a potential “gay ex-boyfriend” bullet. (I really didn’t date in high school, but at times like that one, the fact that I was really a bit scared of having a boyfriend sometimes worked out for the best.) But around that conversation, we actually had a very good time. The lines for the rides weren’t long, we stayed awake all night, I went on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride for the first time (although I refused the Mad Tea Party), and I didn’t lose my (then-new) contact lenses on Space Mountain.

If you ever have to make a choice between Prom or Grad Nite, go to Grad Nite.

Wallflower out. Stop by Sunshine’s place on Friday for the Blog Prom – see you there! Meanwhile, share (or exorcise) your own Prom – or Grad Nite! – memories in the comments.

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