This is a story of my Senior Prom and how much it sucked. It’s long, but at the end of this post you’ll be glad you weren’t my date.
Let me just say on the front end of this story that I was practically able to laugh about most of this while it was happening. I certainly crack up over it now. I am fine. I am not in therapy (well, not for this anyway.)
I did not attend my Junior Prom. My Love Of My Life, High School Sweetheart had just broken my heart and I was not going to go to a prom without him. I stayed home and cried my eyes out (or watched reruns of the Love Boat or Dynasty or something…) I don’t know what he did the night of the Junior Prom but I am guessing he was doing something that involved his buddies and wild oats.
The following year when Senior Prom rolled around, he was still not cooperating. In fact he had started dating someone else. We’ll call her Sara (because that was her name) and I didn’t like her all that much before she started seeing my boyfriend (poor thing had zero personality and her idea of fun was to be on the Cross Country team. Whatev-ah!) I tell you, if I didn’t like her before, I reeeeeeaaaallllly didn’t like her once she started dating the (uncooperative) Love Of My Life.
He was taking her to prom. Ick.
Well, there was no way I was going to miss my Senior Prom. Greg, a good friend of mine, had recently broken up with his girlfriend. Nobody liked her very much and none of us really understood what he saw in her. (Then again, members of the baseball team had nicknamed her Stretchin’ Gretchen, so maybe that’s what he saw in her.) Anyway, since Greg didn’t have a date either, so we decided to go together, just so we could say we went to our prom and have fun with our big group of friends.
I had a friend’s seamstress mom make my dress. I shopped for shoes and jewelry, etc, but just wasn’t excited about it. I felt like I was getting legally married so that I could get a green card. I’m pretty sure Greg felt the same way. It could have only been a more desperate date had he been my brother.
The night of the prom arrived. Greg picked me up at my house in his dad’s car. My parents took pictures, etc.
|Little Bo Peep called. She wants to know when you’re going to return the dress you borrowed.|
They knew we were not coming back until the next morning, because after prom, a big group of people rented a suite of hotel rooms to “party” in. No drinking and driving, no getting into trouble (theoretically). That’s just what the kids do.
I remember very clearly being amazed that Poppa Greg’s car had a phone in it. A phone! Can you believe this wacky, futuristic stuff?! I’m gonna call my mom from a phone in the car! (I am soooo giving you guys big hints on the guess the year thing).
We met up with friends and went out for a nice dinner. From there we hit the prom, which was in one of the ballrooms at the Anaheim Convention center, right near Disneyland. Now the prom itself was fine. Like any other dance, all the girls danced together the whole time and the guys occasionally would come and dance too. I spent my time pretending like I was having the best night of my life and that I hadn’t even given a thought to My Love and Sara the Sloppy Second. (All the while, desperately trying to keep tabs on them.)
A slow dance? Hmmm. I notice that Greg is dancing with Gretchen. Which is totally fine with me, since Greg and I are just friends.
Towards the end of the prom, Greg told me that he and Gretchen had gotten back together, and would it be OK if we switched dates? She was there with Steve the Wrestler. (Oh wait, maybe it was the wrestling team that called her Stretchin’ Gretchen. That would make more sense…) Anyway, Steve the Wrestler and I were friends and I was totally cool with that.
Now here’s the part where things really start to head South for me.
A large group of friends had rented the suite of hotel rooms for after the prom. My Love and I were both in this circle of friends, so we would all be “partying” together at the hotel. Now as I mentioned earlier, I didn’t go to my Junior Prom, so I wasn’t planning very well. Back at the hotel? I was the only person there who did not think to bring a change of clothes for later. Everyone else was in comfy clothes and flip flops. I looked like Little Bo Peep Who’d Lost Her Boyfriend.
And her date.
Steve the Wrestler quickly became so drunk that he passed out. He was placed in an empty bathtub so he’d be out of the way. Great. I figured I was now oh-for-three as far as getting a date to the prom. I wandered in circles through the suite, sipping my Boone’s Farm or a Bartles & James (again, another big hint at when this was happening…) As the evening wore on, the party started winding down. I was tired, I was bummed out, and I just wanted a quiet place.
I went into a bedroom and lay down on one of the two beds and tried to take a little nap. I think I was just about dozing off, when I heard My Love and Sara Boring come in. I had my back turned to them, and they thought I was asleep. (Ew! No, don’t go there! Nobody got physical.) They just talked… about me. My Love confided in her about how concerned he was for me because I wasn’t “moving on” and that he wished I would “give someone else a chance” etc. Good grief did that suck. I couldn’t get up and leave because I didn’t want them to know I heard them, so I had to just lay there and listen.
I learned at that moment that having your heart broken was bad, but having your heart broken and being pitied was even worse.
Finally they left and rejoined the group. (I must insert here that My Love read this part and says he had absolutely no idea I was in the room when he was saying these things and didn’t know I heard any of this until about 5 years ago.)
I followed shortly thereafter.
It was probably about 4:00 in the morning. The whole gang was hungry. I was hungry too… and in a prom dress. We piled into a good friend’s van and drove to Denny’s. So at 4:30 in the morning, I am in a large, taffeta prom dress, at Denny’s, eating pancakes, while sitting across the table from My Love and his date. At that moment, I thought that it was not possible for my prom to suck anymore than it already did.
Oh, but wait! The night ain’t over…
As we left this fine 24 hour establishment, the sun was just about to come up, no one was on the street. Katella Ave is one of the main streets running past Disneyland, and at that hour, it was pretty much empty. Piled into the van, heading back to the hotel, we noticed a police car behind us. Its lights and sirens turned on. Scott, the driver, began pulling over as we all wondered what he did wrong. Scott was the driver because he was (and still is) the most responsible person there and he was also the Designated Driver for the evening.
From the loudspeaker in the police car, the officer ordered Scott to put his hands out the driver’s window and drop the keys into the street. Scott complied. He was then ordered out of the car with his hands in the air. (Really?! What. The. Hell?!) Then we were all ordered out of the car with our hands up. When I got out, with my hands up, (as far as my off the shoulder prom dress would allow, anyway) I saw that there were at least 4 police cars, the officers had their guns drawn, and that Scott was kneeling in the middle of Katella Ave with his hands on his head. We were all ordered to do the same.
That’s how I ended my prom night. When the sun came up I was in front of the Happiest Place On Earth, on my knees in the street, wearing a dirty, ripped, white taffeta prom dress, my hair thrashed, my make-up smeared, my heart just a teeny tiny bit more broken… and my hands on top of my head and guns pointed at me.
It turns out that the first officer thought Scott was speeding and thought that he ran a red light. He also thought Scott didn’t pull over quickly enough and therefore thought we possibly robbed something. We were all sent on our way and Scott got a hefty, undeserved fine and a ticket.
I forget who drove me home.
I forget what time I actually got there.
I do, however, remember my mother’s face as I dragged my sorry ass in the back door. She said something to the affect of Gee, I’m glad I saw you leave all clean and pretty yesterday, because now you look like something the cat coughed up…
Here is the photo from my 9th Grade Dance. I went with John, my Junior High Boyfriend. (As I’ve said, I keep in touch with everyone, him included.)
So. Thank you for tuning in to the Humiliation Network. Please contact your cable provider if this station is not currently offered in your area. How was your prom?