Tomorrow, my dear students will be attending our high school’s annual prom. They are abuzz with excitement, of course (or most of them are, anyway; we cannot forget those lucky ones hauled painfully along for the ride). For many adults, the event is one that brings back a slew of mixed memories. Ah, prom. Maybe it was a social scene we rejected, or an incident best left forgotten, but a lot of us can say we were there, awkward or not, and that it had some sort of meaning for us.
Whether we were the odd duck in the corner, watching everyone have fun; the girl who stressed all day over whether her dress looked just right, or if her nails were the wrong shade of pink; the boy who dragged his feet to pick up his not-so-spectacular date who he’d asked out on a dare; the popular kid who just went to hang with her friends because she was bored; the boy who went because his girlfriend finally said yes to the hotel room; or even the sassafras who couldn’t decide, taking two dates to prom—no, no, that wasn’t me, I swear <cough> ;)—there is some piece of the high school memory that we probably recall, and hopefully with smiles on our faces. It is a custom passed down through the generations, a celebration of what it means to be a teenager, and something that we hope they can enjoy as much as we did.
Prom itself is a fantasy, after all. For the girls, it’s often a preparatory process: dress, shoes, hair, nails, and maybe even a jewelry gift from a proud mother, beaming as she sees her daughter fancily dressed for the very first time. For the boys, it can be preparatory in clothes (though I have yet to hear a teenage boy share how excited he is to get dressed up for prom), but also in the pride of perhaps taking that special date on his arm, or even just going to hang with his pals. The corsage, the hotel room, the limo—all of it brings so much delight in a way that has usually never been felt before, an onslaught of glee, dancing, and teenage hormones churning about to music as they celebrate their youth. Inevitable drama will abound, but still the moment will live in each attendee’s memory…for at least a few years. Prom: the fantasy, the fun, and the dream for so many of our children.
So, as my students head out tomorrow night to enjoy their prom, I wish them a wonderful time. Be safe (in all ways, please), have fun, and enjoy your high school prom fantasy. It only happens once.
Or twice. 🙂
Now, for my adult readers—do you have any fun prom memories to share?