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 herebefore). 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.