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Prom RevisitedPosted Thursday, April 23, 2009, at 11:20 AM
I originally wrote the following reflection on my high school prom as material for She magazine, which was in the paper yesterday, April 22. We ended up not having enough room, though; so I thought I'd post this to my blog, as Marshall High School prom is this weekend, and I will be taking photos of the event. I invite your comments about your own prom experiences as well.
I felt lots of pressure about prom, though I don't really know from whom. You needed the dress, the makeup, the shoes, the hairstyle, the nails, the tan, the limo and the flowers, not to mention the date. Where to go to dinner beforehand, where to hang out afterward? And what if you had a zit? It all had to be perfect because everyone was watching. This was the most important day of the year, or at least it felt that way.
My junior prom was fairly picture perfect, but it was not the best day of my life. I got my hair done after I spent four hours taking the ACT. I wore a lavender dress, and my date, one of my best guy friends, had a vest and tie to match. We carpooled with another of our friends and her date to the Chateau on the Lake for the dinner and dance, which, as members of student council, we had also helped organize. The theme was "Come Away With Me" by Norah Jones.
The pictures of my date and me at sunset, with the lake in the background, are beautiful. We were adorable, but we were awkward. We weren't quite sure how to go from being friends for six years and to being prom dates. It didn't help that I wished I were there with my ex-boyfriend instead. So I think we danced some and went home when it was over. Actually, we remain friends to this day.
The next year was much better, perhaps because I had senioritis and was a little more relaxed. For my ensemble, I went with a semi-Audrey Hepburn look. Black elbow gloves and an up-do like in Breakfast at Tiffany's. My dress was also black, but fuller, with a white panel in the back. Before the dance, my mom fixed a prime rib dinner for four couples at our house. We had candles and the fancy china and champagne flutes with sparkling cider. I remember the dining room shimmering.
My date was a boy who liked me, and though I didn't like him more than as a friend, we went together anyway. During the dance we got separated, but I didn't make much of an attempt to find him. I had a great time dancing with a few of my girl friends instead. Afterward, we all went to someone's house for a midnight breakfast. The real fun began when I left there for another, slightly wilder, party.
Really, prom is an ordinary high school dance with a little more glitz and heightened expectations. Everyone thinks it's supposed to be a fairytale evening, something out of "10 Things I Hate About You" or "She's All That." I am glad to have positive memories of my own proms, and I wish those girls going this year the best of times. I just think everyone would have more fun if there were less pomp and circumstance. It's more important to enjoy the people -- the friends and possibly the lovers -- because these are the things that last.
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Sydney is a former staff writer for the Democrat-News. She received degrees from University of Missouri in both music and magazine journalism. She played oboe with the Marshall Philharmonic Orchestra and the Marshall Municipal Band while she was in Marshall.