Spin Cycle: We've got tonight, who needs tomorrow?

Oh, prom. The poofy dresses (Looking back, I am glad I went with a more classic, simple dress. The fact that it was only $60? Even better). The bad music. The hours of hair and nail appointments. The lack of a proper date (some things never do change...).

It's hard to believe it's been ten years. It's almost enough to make me feel old. That, and the fact that I can barely remember it...I am going senile, apparently.

Things I do remember:

-Bob Seger. Our prom song was We've Got Tonight which is a song I had already loved, and still love to this day. I'm not sure that it was entirely appropriate, since it's about having a one-night stand and knowing it's not going anywhere. I don't mind the sentiment, but really? I am kind of surprised that at a school where we couldn't show bare shoulders for fear that amount of flesh would be distracting, they let that song get chosen.

-My date, Phil. (Yea, I've talked about him here before). He was my default date for dances in high school, and was a pretty good one. Even if he did pull my chair out from under me so I fell down (it was to lighten a somber mood, so I didn't really mind)

-Going to Farmer Jack after prom cause nothing else was open, and stealing a 'Caution: Wet Floor' sign.

-Standing in a giant circle on the dance floor with a good chunk of my class, all singing 'Lean On Me'.

-Dancing with the guy I had a crush on for way too long, since he was really not that amazing.

-Dress shopping with my girls. I think that was actually my favorite part - all trying on dresses at David's Bridal, looking like freaking Easter eggs, but all looking gorgeous.

Annnnnd that's about it. It's funny, because prom is always built up as such a huge event, especially for girls. I remember always thinking that something would happen, something would change - like being dressed up and realizing high school was almost over would make the guy I liked realize he wanted to be with me, and we would dance all night and fall in love and live happily ever after. Instead, we danced and then awkwardly one-arm hugged each other, and went back to our respective dates. I just pictured it as being something more than it was, and once I realized that it wasn't going to be some life-changing event like it always was in movies, I guess I was a little sad. Maybe not sad, maybe that's not the right word....But I was disappointed. And maybe that's when I started to become a little more cynical - because that was when I finally realized that happy endings and fairy tales are all basically bullshit.

I still have my corsage, though. I guess I'm just a sentimental fool about some things (who keeps crap for way too long for no good reason) (I think the one on the left is from Homecoming the year before - also a dance that Phil was my date for. Boy BFFs are the best!)

With the ten-year reunion coming up (and me undecided if I'm actually going to go) I wonder if the event can possibly live up to the expectation - seeing old friends, catching up with out-of-towners, wondering who turned out better than expected and who just completely fell apart.  Facebook has kind of negated the need to do this, which is why I don't know that I'll bother. In movies, the 'cool' kids have all turned out to be losers, and the outsiders are the most successful and the happiest. But I already know that's not totally true, and I really don't need to see evidence of other people's successes when I have so many failures.

Mostly, if I go, I think I'll just, once again, end the night feeling a little bit disappointed, a little bit relieved it's over, and a little bit more certain that there are no happy endings in sight. At least not the stereotypical Hollywood ending, and while I'm not necessarily sad about that, and I am good with my life for the most part, I am a little sad that I've just stopped expecting one. I think back to me at seventeen, and how hopeful and optimistic I was about life and love (and yes, naive) and wonder how I got from there to here. And I wonder if I'll ever look at anything with that wide-eyed enthusiasm again.

I'd give anything to...


Sprite's Keeper said...

Wow, you look beautiful in those pictures! I agree, it really is more for the girls than the guys with the entire production it becomes.
The expectations are hard to meet when they're high, but you can still have expectations to make it the best for yourself, that way you have a good time no matter what the movies or shows promote.
You're linked!

gathering dust said...

Thanks darlin :-)

CaJoh said...

I didn't go to prom since I usually liked to go to dances in packs and my friends weren't going.

Sure looks like you had a grand time.

Thanks for your spin,

Anonymous said...

Awww you look so sweet. My class only had it's 10 and 25 year reunion and then we had a "Big 50" party that I organized and we had a blast. Small bring a dish potluck and just hanging out.

gathering dust said...

Thanks peg :-) I have definitely lost some of that sweetness in the decade since :-)

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