Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Prom 1979

I thought I'd write a little post about my own prom, as my daughter's (and the season in general) got me thinking about it.  There isn't a great deal to say about it.  I used to do "people I've known" haikus here and HERE is the one I wrote about my prom date. 

First, let me say that I loved high school.  I had many wonderful friends, got good grades, and participated in a number of fun and enriching activities.  But I was definitely a late bloomer.  When most of my friends were up to all kinds of things with their boyfriends, I was just having little crushes on cute guys that I could never imagine leading to anything else.  Had my first kiss at 15, with a boy on a bus after a choir concert.  Didn't have my first real boyfriend until the summer between my Junior and Senior year.  Didn't have sex until I was almost 18 and had started college.  None of these things are terribly out of the ordinary or super late occurances.  But I was just running a little behind for that particular time and place. 

So, my prom.  I hadn't had any particular interest in going, but my Junior year I somehow won tickets in a math contest.  Very odd because I am not good at math.  Anyway, I had tickets, so I decided to ask a boy I'd had a crush on for quite some time.  His name was Chris and we had a lot of classes together.  We were friends.  I cornered him one day after his volleyball practice and asked him if he'd go with me.  I swear, the rubbery smell of sneakers that have been scraping on the gym floor still makes me thing of him :-)  I was so happy when he said yes.

One thing about my prom that was very different from my daughter's is that we didn't go in huge groups.  We went with one other couple...the guy (who would in a few months be that fabled first real boyfriend) and his date gave Chris and I a ride.  The prom itself was fun.  I know lots of people have strong feelings about it...it was awful or it was magical.  Mine was fun.  I was with a friend, he was a sweet, smart, funny guy.  He didn't like me the way I liked him, but that wasn't tragic to me.  I had the hope of youth on my side :-)  I was going to post a picture of us, but I couldn't fine one!  I have my mom on the case and if she finds my prom picture I will post it.  I can tell you that my dress and hair and general demeaner were much plainer than my daughter's.  Part of that was the era, of course, but part of it was just me. 

I actually saw Chris a few years ago.  My marriage was just ending and he was just beginning a relationship with someone.  We had lunch together and it was wonderful to talk with him.  We've since lost touch.  I guess, though, what I'd say to him if we saw each other today is - Thanks for going to the prom with me and being such a kind and lovely young man. 

Maybe I give things too much importance, but I tend to feel that my earliest "romantic" relationships are what have allowed me to remain healthy and optimistic in my attitudes about love and people in general.  I had a pretty long marriage that, while it definitely had good moments, was not particularly healthy or good...but I do feel like my early knowledge of kindness and goodness  helped me not to become all hopeless and bitter.

As a side note, I did find some other great photos.  I will definitely have to share those, too.

Did you go to your prom?  Did you not go?  Care to tell us a little about it?  Your comments are welcomed and encouraged!


Churlita said...

I went to my jr prom with 2 other girls who were in student council. I was beyond a late bloomer. I didn't even kiss a boy until college and It never occurred to me that a boy would ever be attracted to me. I had a bad home life and no self-esteem. My prom was fun though, and I had a very active inner life...

secret agent woman said...

My prom experience was NOT good. I wrote about it here:

Tara said...

Great story, I loved how you cornered your friend and asked him to the prom! Since I'm also not good with math, I would've been shocked to win those tickets! In grade school, I once won a group photo of the Cleveland Browns. I was more or less like, "The Cleveland who?"

I never went to my prom. I had a crush on a guy, but my friend asked for me if he had a date to prom, and he said he did. Otherwise, most of the boys at school irritated me and were rude.

laura b. said...

Churlita: Thanks for sharing that prom story. It sounds like you had a lot of the strength you display now back then too. And hasn't it been wonderful to do so much better for your own girls :-)

Secret: Oh, what an awful story. I feel lucky to have met so many strong, smart women through blogging! Your own boys are very lucky :-)

Tara: haha! I would have been equally puzzled by most things sports related :-)
You know, I have no idea what I would have done if Chris had said no! That would have probably been it...I woulda had to give those tickets away I bet!

BrightenedBoy said...

My Senior Prom was in 2006 and I didn't go because, at a new school with few friends, I felt too shy.

I really regretted that for a while, but now it doesn't bother me so much. I figure that the best way to make up for opportunities missed is to take chances and be adventurous in the here and now.

laura b. said...

BB: It is certainly nothing to regret too terribly much. A fancy high school dance.
You're right, you will have so many other grand adventures now and in the future!

NoRegrets said...

gotta red this when I have more time. and I will respond. promise!

laura b. said...

NoRegrets: Thanks :-)