The memories made
Prom season is in full swing, and high school seniors everywhere are making that transition out of school and into the real world. Dresses are being chosen, tuxedos are getting rented, and limousines are getting reserved. Parties are being discussed and dates are being secured. The energy of enthusiasm and excitement is in the air, and it has awoken distant memories of my own prom night, which was now nearly 20 years ago.
First of all, I need to stop and take a moment to fully comprehend the amount of time that has passed since my own experience. 20 years is a long time! That is 2 whole decades dedicated to adulting. It surely doesn’t feel like it has been that long to me, but indeed it has. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t surprised because I really am. A flood of memories come to me when I start to think back. A lot of life has happened in that time, and I’ve certainly made some tracks in my path.
The dress that I wore to prom reminds me of the woman from the Chiquita banana commercials, where they sing the phrase, “Chiquita banana, whoa…”. My sister and I have long had an inside joke about it, and when I saw it, I just knew it was for me. For all my other school dances in previous years, I designed my own dresses and my mom made them. She is very talented at sewing, and I have always had my own sense of style. Not to mention, I didn’t want to end up wearing the same thing as anyone else. However, since prom is the final and last hooray, she took me to a private boutique to choose the dress. That was the first and only time I ever wore that dress though. After that night, it stayed preserved in a closet for about 10 years, until I passed it along to a friend's daughter.
I’m hard pressed to wonder if it was really worth what was spent on it, because it was expensive. In all honesty, I probably would have been just as smitten if my mom had made me another of her one-of-a-kind gems, regardless of how many pin pokes I may have had to endure in the process. Mom, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry that the dress cost so much. I know you and Dad worked hard for every single penny we had, and I just want you to know how much I truly appreciate that. It did not go unnoticed.
The highlight of prom night for me, is pinned by the opinion that I went with the hottest guy in school. Every time I think of him, I hear that song by LFO in my head, because I use to sing it all the time when I was dating him.
“I like boys that wear Abercrombie & Fitch,”
And that is exactly how I still remember him. He always looked like he had just walked out of a magazine, and God only knows what the hell he saw in me and all my awkwardness. Back then, he was a total good boy. We had fun but just didn’t fit. After the dance, he went home, and I went and got drunk with my day 1 homies on the block.
Today, my date is fully tattooed and pierced and a totally different human. He’s still very attractive but his wife is even more gorgeous. He rides a motorcycle and plays the drums, and on FB we’re still friends. He has even crossed paths with my long-lost cousin and didn’t even know it. It’s crazy how things work out, isn’t it? If there are 6 degrees of separation, I must be like, the 7th. Thank you for being my prom date memory, Kevin.
My school days were spent being gifted and talented, and troubled but hard working. I went to 3 different high schools, and I never really fit in at any of them. My first real job was acquired at 14, and I continuously worked 2 jobs at a time until I graduated. I didn’t have very many friends, and when my parents took me out of the 2nd school and into the 3rd because of my bad behavior, block scheduling worked in my favor with the number of credits needed to graduate. Consequently, I ended up skipping an entire semester of junior year. By my senior year, I was only required to attend high school for home room and yearbook committee. The rest of my time was spent in what was called “dual enrollment” and I took basic courses at community college.
Under no circumstances, was I considered to be a good kid… I was smart and excelled academically, but I grew up quick, with a lot of hard lessons and grown-up experiences while I was still an adolescent. By the time prom came around, everyone else near my age was just beginning to experiment with sex, drugs, and alcohol, while I already had a favorite drink, smoked cigarettes, had tattoos and piercings and knew my favorite position. I was different, and I always knew it.
Today, I am a college graduate with 3 degrees and a multi-tasking mother of 3. I am an energy worker with 3 spiritual certifications. Despite a physical disability, I have started my own business and am currently involved in several different endeavors. I am a writer and a creative artist. My life has done many flips and has taken many turns since that prom night. So, to the current seniors looking forward to prom, this is my advice:
Just be present. Don’t worry so much about the outfit, or the date, or the transportation. The point is that this is a special occasion. It is a moment in time that is temporary and meant for celebration of achievement. Graduation and prom are rites of passage that you will remember for a lifetime. Don’t get so distracted by what it looks like that you forget to enjoy it, because 20 years from now, those memories will be golden.
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