I know it’s not punk rock to say you loved prom but I like, LOVED prom and I miss prom.
Don’t get me wrong, high school was a garbage fire for me, as it was for 90% of people. It’s a hard time. Besides my ass looking the best it ever looked and the best it ever WILL look, high school was a real shit sandwich. It was just like, I wanted to do what I wanted and act how I wanted and didn’t feel like hearing what LITERALLY EVERYONE had to say about it. Like, get a job. Leave me alone.
ANYWAY I loved prom because I love getting really dressed up and my hair and makeup done and going to an event with other people who are dressed up and also taking pictures. I loved the process of planning and choosing and building and finally wearing my outfit, and I really, really loved to see what everyone else came up with too.
As an adult, I really, really miss prom, and I say it every year. And I try to think about adult things I could participate in and force others to participate in with me that would be as great as prom. And there aren’t any. Weddings come close, they’re pretty cool. If I was rich and attended more GALAS maybe they would be more like prom, but I’m not rich and don’t really attend GALAS.
So now I’m going to reflect on the proms of my past as a nice walk down memory lane. Or like…A PROMENADE.
Yeah there was no “sophomore prom” at my school but this is when I went to someone else’s junior prom as a sophomore. I regret not also going as a freshman so I could say, “I went to 4 proms!” But no one asked me and it’s too late for that now.
The prom I went to my sophomore year was at the high school of the guy I was dating. The high school was Phillipsburg High School and even though it wasn’t my own high school I had many happy times there and glance at it fondly if I’m ever riding or driving west on Route 22. Personally I think Phillipsburg as a whole is a super interesting microcosm of the American Experience but I digress. One day I’ll write a book about it, swear.
Phillipsburg High School’s prom was BADASS and better than my own prom in one way: there was actually a “promenade”! As we walked down the sidewalk into the gym, parents and younger kids and other citizens of the town gathered to cheer us on. I wasn’t expecting it and it was super fun, like a red carpet! I felt famous and fabulous and loved the attention! I can picture most other high schools probably doing this, but my high school was a regional high school and it wasn’t so easy for local folks to stroll over and wait around for a show of adolescent finery.
Beside that I don’t remember much else about this prom EXCEPT what I wore.
An orange-y kind of dress, selected precisely because I couldn’t figure out what color to call it and that was exciting to me. It tied in the back and cut in on the sides to reveal some skin. LOVE TO SHOW SOME SKIN. I have my mom looking for a pic of this dress for me at my parents’ house, standby. Edited: she sent them!
One of my friends helped me do my hair as she was working at her part time job at a video store. I do miss video stores. One of the video stores in this small chain became a tanning salon at one point. I miss tanning salons too.
I was in a golden jewelry/accessories phase at this point (as I am now), so I had gold shoes and earrings and maybe a bracelet? I have to look at the photo more closely when my mom finds it for me. Edited: I don’t see a bracelet, case closed.
K that’s that one.
Junior year of high school was when I returned the favor to my boyfriend at the time and invited him to MY school’s prom! Woo!
Our prom, ostensibly for the whole history of time, has been held at the Hunterdon Hills Playhouse. I still don’t really know what their deal is, besides being our prom venue. There were fountains and a gazebo there so that was cool for pictures.
A FREAKIN GAZEBO YOU GUYS HOW LUCKY WERE WE?!
My junior year prom dress was my favorite prom dress. I loved them all but this one was ALL SEQUINS ALL OVER. And purple. Which isn’t a color I usually wear but I thought it was fun.
I got the dress at a seemingly now defunct store called Cache, inside the Lehigh Valley Mall. It was a different time for obtaining prom dresses, people didn’t really use the internet or Instagram to find and buy things, so it kind of seemed like it was hard to find. But I found it AND I LOVED IT. And by “people didn’t really use Instagram” I mean that INSTAGRAM DID NOT EXIST YOU GUYS.
The problem with this dress was that someone else in the senior class had the exact same dress but in a hot pink kind of color. Why is this a problem, you ask? To this day, I’m still not 100% sure, but I think it had something to do with a story someone made up about me saying I “looked better than her” in the dress. Which I did NOT say, at least not until later AFTER she attacked me during our powder puff football game and I had to kick her in the face, in self defense. I do remember actually kicking her face but that could just be the memory that has been created over the years. Did I Mandela Effect kicking her face? Maybe. This was almost 20 years ago.
OH MY GOD THIS WAS ALMOST 20 YEARS AGO?!
Either way, I remain disappointed that both of us gals fell victim to this common ploy handed down by the patriarchy. They only pit us against each other to distract us from doing bigger and better things and I honestly didn’t have time for their shit and I don’t now but I think you know that.
I don’t think it would be completely out of line to guess that the boys on the football team, our peers and classmates we grew up with, who coached the powder puff teams, spent some time thinking about which girl fights would be the most entertaining and easiest to orchestrate on a powder puff game stage. Once the plan was made, they planted these seeds of discord in the angriest, most likely to start a fight girls and before I knew it I was on my back on the grass, completely blindsided, kicking for dear life.
We existed merely for their entertainment, after all.
Beyond the dress, THERE WERE SHOES. They were pink and they had really high heels and giant fake lace flowers on them and they were from Bloomingdale’s at the Bridgewater Mall so I felt GLAM AF.
I don’t think I have any pictures of them and that is a travesty. And I am PISSED that I cannot find these shoes. They’re in shoe purgatory somewhere with the shoes I loved that I wore to my brother’s wedding. IT IS AN OUTRAGE. After an extensive Google search I can’t locate either of them even in internet form. I hate everything.
At the time I had just entered into a pretty serious silver phase that lasted through college (I have Tiffany to thank for that, but my blue box phase is FULLY OVER), so I wore silver jewelry this time around. That feels significant to me because I hate silver jewelry and would not wear it right now, BUT I used to feel the same way about yellow gold jewelry (or more specifically in my life, yellow gold COLORED jewelry) when I liked silver.
It’s a tangled web.
Senior year I was in Miami/Key Largo for Spring Break and it was bad ass. Unfortunately I decided at the very last minute that I wanted to look for a prom dress at a huge mall when we were on the way to the Miami Airport to go home.
We rushed around the mall and I tried things on and it seemed hopeless UNTIL we turned a corner and ran right into a nice little store called Group USA (it looks like it’s called Camille la Vie now).
JK the store was huge.
There were so, so many dresses. Every style, every color, organized in a rainbow of color. My head exploded. It was like shopping on the internet before the internet because the level and quality of choice I was given was seemingly INFINITE!
We only had like 7 minutes in this store. It was a whirlwind. I wanted to try on everything but could only try on a few things and I had to make a split second DECISH. I thought about how my sophomore dress had been like “trendy” and my junior dress had been “sexy,” so I was like what HAVEN’T I done?
And then I threw myself a real curveball because I went with a classic pale pink one. This isn’t really my style but that’s the fun thing about clothes because you’re just wearing them and can change them at ANY TIME. And I had fun with it!
Senior prom was fun, it really was. I went with a guy friend and not a boyfriend. We went together in a big group of friends.
The next day we went down the shore. It was the whole shebang.
I don’t remember the shoes or jewelry with this dress, besides that my mom let me borrow a pretty necklace of hers. THANKS MOM K FIND THE PICS NOW.
I really had an awesome time and I’m genuinely sorry for the high school folks that don’t get to have a prom this year. Virtual prom is not the same vibe and they should have a real prom next year but that ALSO won’t be the same vibe because they all will have had a year at college or in Europe or smoking bongs in their parents’ basement but out in the open now and no one will be the same person anymore.
Basically you can never go back and do prom again, good or bad. And you cannot try to do prom a year later. The youth this year are screwed. And I’m sorry.
But I miss prom.