Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Blast from the Past: Prom Night!

A few days ago it occurred to me that it was coming up on 10 years since my prom.  I've been having those moments a lot this year because I graduated high school in 2001.  I went to a really big school, so we just had a senior prom.  (Homecoming was huge too, and it was almost like a mini-prom in and of itself anyway.)

The Date:
I nearly stabbed him with the pin four times before my Dad finally stepped in and did it.
I was utterly frustrated by the fact that all of my good guy friends either had girlfriends or platonic dates that they entered agreement with first, or were underclassmen who didn't want to go.  My senior year I was close to a few sophomore guys in particular, and I was turned down by two (or three?) of the ones I asked.  I thought I scored when I asked my art class buddy--a junior--if he would go and he said yes, but his mom put the kybosh on that when she said that she believed the prom was for seniors only.  In the end I did go with a junior that I was acquaintanced with through the band geek network, and he proceeded to blatantly lust after my friend Amanda, who was in our pre-prom dinner party.  He was a nice enough guy I didn't really care as long as I wasn't making that walk during the Grand March alone.  Haha.  So let's just say that I really related to last week's episode of Glee when Rachel and Mercedes had trouble finding dates.

The Dress:
I got my dream dress.  It was an Alfred Angelo prom gown in black with embroidered flowers and it came with a matching purse!  I saw it in one of my many special-edition prom magazines and I tracked it down at a local bridal shop.  It was way too big, so it had to be taken in.  I thought they could've taken it in even more--the tight corset look was huge when I was a senior in high school!  I still love that dress and I wore it again my senior year of college at the last Kappa formal.  When I texted my BFF Lindsey today to remind her that it's been 10 years, she wrote back (aside from reminding me that I am crazy for always remembering these things) that she would so totally wear her dress again.  As would I.  I am just looking for the next opportunity...
Just look at all that pouffy glory!  There was a petticoat underneath that gave it the real "oomph" that it needed.

4 years and about 20 lbs later, sans magical petticoat

The Pre Prom Party:
We went all out.  I called and got us a limo and everyone met at my house.  Pre-prom dinners are a must, the fancier the better.  And the groups you end up in can get kinda strange.  I only say that because of the way your networks of friends and politics work out.  Sometimes a group forms and then decides that they are full, so you join another or start your own, etc.  So that's kinda what ended up happening in my case, which is why I didn't go with aforementioned BFF Lindsey and some of the other people in my inner sanctum.  That said, my group was awesome!  We went to dinner at a restaurant that overlooks downtown Pittsburgh.  I don't remember much except that it was a real laugh riot when Amanda and I tried to be in the bathroom at the same time because we were both sporting some serious gown-age and they took up a lot of room!
A ragtag group of seniors, juniors, and fellows from other schools
Dinner at the Georgetowne Inn in Mt. Washington overlooking the city

The Entrance:
Grand March
Our limo driver was late coming to pick us up from dinner and he missed a turn driving back to the school, so we damn near missed the Grand March.  I don't know if this is common for high school proms, but at Seneca Valley it was our red carpet.  SVTV taped it and everything.  The gals in our group were on pins and needles afraid that we would miss it!

The Dance:
This is a blur.  My date and I didn't see much of one another from this point on and I probably spent most of my time dancing and/or catching up with people that I hadn't already seen at dinner or the March.  My buddy Pat Sandora choreographed a dance to Jennifer Lopez's "Play" that he taught to a few of us in the weeks leading up to this night, but the damn dj never played it!

And a word about prom kings and queens...all of the movie and tv portrayals about the queen bee bitch and the stupid jock always getting crowned make me laugh.  That's not how I remember it.  The girl who won, Megan Gilliland, was extremely friendly and well liked by all.  She was athletic and smart too.  The guy, Josh Butia, was a thespian with a beautiful singing voice.  That's right--being in music theatre and/or choir at high school was not always a death sentence!  At my school, it was actually usually better than being a jock because we had such a strong music program and consistently won notoriety for our school district because of it.  Our athletics program could not always claim the same.  So that's the part of Glee that I do not relate to at all.
Poor Mandy forgot to wear the garter we all bought.  She was not happy about this.

The After-Prom:

We went on a river cruise down in the city.  This part was totally optional, but most of my friends went.  Unfortunately for me, I had a bad head cold that I was still recovering from, and the meds wore off by the time we got down to the river.  I promptly took Dan's jacket and spent most of the rest of the night on the top level of the boat sulking and watching everyone dance down below.  They had some local radio personalities hosting and hypnotists and such.  It was "meh".  I probably would have enjoyed it more if I wasn't sick and if more of my regular posse was there, but a lot of people opted to have parties at their house with movies and pizza.  Smart.

Slow dancin' down the Allegheny River

The After-After Prom:

Which I like to call "coming home and passing out".  I think that by the time we got on the busses and made it back up to the school, it was 6am.  My friend Amanda drove her date Toby and Dan and I back up to my house, where I proceeded to make everyone breakfast (tater tots and waffles or something like that) and then pass out in my basement.  I pulled the sleeper sofa out and we all crashed on that and the couch attached to it.  That's it.  But imagine my Dad's horror when he walked down into the basement and saw four seventeen and eighteen year olds passed out together.  That still makes me laugh.

Inside the Limo, my favorite picture.  Non-alcoholic beverages for all!

All in all, it was more fun getting ready for prom than it was actually being at the dance, but I treasure the memory of this rite of passage none the less!