Yessir, it's that time again- birds are chirping, the sun is shining, summer is nearing, and...high-schoolers everywhere are contemplating donning uncomfortable eveningwear in an awkward and expensive attempt to get laid.
It sure seems a lot different now than when I went in the 80's. The dresses are so...adult, the hair isn't so big, the eyebrows are plucked, and the pantyhose are nonexistent. I'm also guessing that none of this year's prom-goers will be slow-dancing to "Eternal Flame" by the Bangles.
I went to two proms, actually. The thing is, I didn't really want to go to either of them at the time. Despite my dreams of a Pretty in Pink-type prom experience, ending with me getting the guy I really wanted (instead of my actual date) and speeding off into the night with him in his BMW, it just seemed kind of stupid to me. (On a side note: am I the only one who totally wanted to violate Steff [James Spader] in all sorts of dirty, dirty ways back then [well, OK, now too]? Me-ow. Wimpy Blaine can kiss my wrong-side-of-the-tracks ass.)
I went to my boyfriend's prom when I was a junior. He was a senior at one of the only private High Schools in the area, we'll call him Crew Cut. Crew Cut came from a very respectable family who lived in a lovely old brick house in a quiet pocket of the city. His Mother hated me. I guess showing up for Sunday dinner wearing a Punk Rock t-shirt and ripped jeans while sporting a 4" high hairdo held aloft with the better part of an entire can of aqua net hairspray will not necessarily endear oneself to her boyfriend's conservative parents.
I've shown you this dress before, but it truly bears repeating. When searching for a dress for this event, I had difficulty finding anything at the Miller Hill Mall that satisfied my contrary tastes, so my seamstress Mom agreed to make it for me. I believe it is about a size four and approximately 45 yards of taffeta were violently sacrificed for it's construction:
I have previously compared this hairdo to Lindsay Lohan's pubes, and I stand by that assessment. I wanted to be "classy", so I accessorized with 2" black pumps, tasteful rhinestone jewelery, and eyebrows that were threatening to stage a coup against my face. My boyfriend was super-pumped here, because he totally thought he was getting some action that night (he was wrong- there was no way I was wrestling that poofy black beast off just so he could work on his "game") (Plus I had a curfew of like, midnight or something at that point.)(Plus I didn't want to and was actually thinking of dumping him at this point- sorry, Crew Cut).
I actually like this next picture- we look pretty cute despite my so-stiff-we-could-clean-pans-with-it bangs:
Aaaanndd, the actual "professional" photo from the event:
In the year between this prom and MY senior prom (1989), it seems that I joined a gang of lesbian Amazon warrior women. All I'm missing is a tan, a bow & arrow, and a tattoo of Grace Jones:
I originally had no plans to attend my own prom, but when all of my friends all of a sudden decided to go, I enlisted my Mom to felony assault yet another bolt of non flame-retardant fabric. Going against the grain yet again, I opted for a "klassy" short number that ended up being about as flattering as wearing a graffiti'd roll of bubble wrap.
The worst part about my prom was having to ask my 23 year-old boyfriend if he wanted to go. The whole time I was on the phone asking him I was silently pleading "No, no, no say no, no say no please, NO..."
Of course, in going with the theme of Universal fuckery that is my life, he said yes. Ugh.
Yes, it was nice of him to go, but...seriously?
The obligatory picture taken by my (less than happy that his daughter was dating an "older man") Dad:
My date was an artist, and I'm just freakishly pale, which should explain our complexions that seem to blend into the wall behind us. Now that I look at this picture again, I'm noticing that it looks like he's wearing clown shoes. Huh.
And once again, the "professional" shot, this time with 100% more balloons!!:
You can kind of see here how ginormous my earrings were- they were black & clear plastic flowers, which is so very, very awesome.
No making of the love was executed on this dreadful evening either, despite me and my friends having cleaned out and sanitized non-aerosol hairspray bottles, filled them with vodka, and smuggled them into the event (at the lodge of a local ski resort) in our purses. No amount of "Extra firm hold Smirnoff" was going to loosen me up for anything beyond a little make-out and maybe a quick feel under the dress- but over the bra, Mister.
So I wish all of this year's promsters well- may your dress not make you look like you are being attacked by oompa loompas, may your date not reek of Drakkar Noir and crotch sweat, may your punch be spiked with the finest spirits, and may your after-the-dance activities not involve accidental impregnation or herpes.
Go forth and prom away, my sparkly taffeta ponies. Go forth and prom!
I love those pictures.
WM, If you have any clue what happened to Michael, let me know, we were fairly close at one time, we went to both high school and college together and were in the same circle then. Lemme know through here or fb. or
If I had been up your way back then, Crew Cut and Artist-boy would have never been in those pics. It would have been me ... obviously assuming that you would have approved of the likes of me and my kind.
But that would mean that today you and I both would probably be hating each other's guts. So I guess its a good thing that we only know one another in the blog-o-sphere.
What the hell happened here? Did you keep Crew Cut's tux and force the artist to wear it a few years later? Does your husband wear that tux now?
In Pic #3, is that a CASKET you're posing in front of? Awesome!
I skipped the whole 'prom' thing.
If you saw the girls I went to High School with, you wouldn't ask why...
Wow the '80's were not a good time... I know we thought we looked good but really we didn't.
I went with my gay boyfriend who was the standing prom date for anyone in our little group of friends that wasn't attached at the time. We all laugh about how many times he went to prom.
I went because I felt like I'd regret it later if I didn't. You know like that scene in Pretty in Pink where she says her girlfriend checks her keys, counts her kids and nothing is ever missing...turns out it was a side effect of missing her prom.
We stayed for all of 1/2 hour if that, then hit the clubs downtown with our fake ids.
Man I miss those days.
That first photo is soooo "Pretty in Pink". Your date looks amazingly like Ducky in that shot.
So you're saying your 23 year-old boyfriend had big feet, eh? In-ter-esting. Verrrry in-ter-esting.
You're my hair idol.
Casket-- AHAHAHAHA! ;)
The funny thing is, you still look like a cool chick even with the pubic bangs and pale skin.
And I have to admit, I kind of wish I had a sample of drakkar noir to rub all over my pillow like I did in 10th grade. Memories....
I love the pictures and admire your ability to turn prom into a verb!
OMG, I am so glad you are back. I love you......I honestly love you.
I, too, was looking back at prom, and have determined that I will be the 'older' partner in this relationship as MY prom was in 1984. I have the HOOP skirt to prove it.
I didn't have a live-in seamstress, so I had to commence one to alter my dress. I had to by a size 9 to fit the ta ta's and had the waist altered to NOTHING to accomodate my itsy bitsy.
While dining with Daddy, husband and Daddy's lady 'friend', we wandered into our local restaurant with prom goers.
You KNOW you are old when you look down over your reading glasses (what? it's freaking DARK in there) and think that skirts are too short, that boobs are too big and boys are looking in all the wrong places.
I hate being old. I just hate it.
Oh, and I loved Pretty in Pink. And I especially loved Andrew McCarthy and all his squinty yummyness.
This is bringing up way too much teen angst, and movie star crushes. I may steal your theme and blog about it myself.
Dinner at Crew Cut's house must have been like something out of "Punk Rock Girl" by the Dead Milkmen. "His mother took one look at me and she began to squeal." Awesome.
One of the (very many) reasons I love you is that we are the same(ish) age so that whenever you make 80's pop culture and high school references, I just feel that much closer to you. Yes, I did (and do) want to violate James Spader. I wanted that dress from Pretty in Pink so fucking badly but the closest I came to it was a horrible pink confectionary cupcake dress straight off the rack of my local JCPenney's. Prom dresses have come a really long way.
Young Whiskey's hair freaks me out but I'm totally on board with senior year Whiskey's look. Hubba hubba.
You know what they say about big feet.
So funny! All in all, I went to four proms, and was not allowed to go to two more that I was invited to, because they were in different towns... I miss dressing up for things like that.
Did they seriously wear red cummerbunds and ties of almost identical on their own? You can tell me you made them do it.
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