PROM: Then …

The table shot from my Senior Prom - that's me in the middle

The table shot from my Senior Prom – that’s me in the middle

Everyone’s prom experience is a right of passage; a chance to step into the world of independence and young adulthood. The truth is that for a girl the preparation for her prom is just as monumental as the rest of it. Because for every generation of girls, that preparation becomes the main event as much as any dancing and dining. I’m interested in understanding how this preparation has changed since I attended my prom – all those years ago. And I will be doing my own investigative reporting in the next few weeks to understand prom as it is today.

First, I must go back. The year was 1978 (from this photo you can see there is no denying that it was the 70s!); I was a senior in high school and this was … my Senior Prom. Here is what I remember about the preparation: overall, I didn’t experience much pressure. My cousin Drew (a year younger than I) lent me the dress which I adored! It was a long, one-shoulder, soft chiffon style dress with a light peach background and pastel-colored flowers. So there was no shopping craziness or pressure to find the perfect dress – the dress came to me. I don’t remember doing my hair in any special way or what makeup I wore, although I think it was minimal, and I didn’t get a mani-pedi. At the time I didn’t know what that was. Looking at myself I see that I have a tan, which is rare for me; I’m pretty sure that I haven’t been that tan since. But the tan was natural because I knew nothing about spray-tanning. My date and I met at my house and my parents took a few snapshots, simple and easy. There was no pre-party photo-taking. And in this picture I am sitting next to my friend Karen who is still my dear friend.

In about a month, high school juniors and seniors will be attending their proms. Girls will be shopping for their dresses, and preparing for the special event in whatever way they can. I’ve heard that often means registering your dress on Facebook so that others won’t buy the same one, and not only getting your hair done in a salon, but having a mani-pedi, and perhaps getting a spray-tan as well.

to be continued

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2 thoughts on “PROM: Then …

  1. Melissa…one of the few things I regret is: I didn’t go to my prom junior OR senior year…both times my boyfriend at the time had promised another girl, before we had started dating, that they would go together! Looking back, I should have pitched a fit, gone as the “third wheel”…or just found another date! I wasn’t upset at the time but thinking back I NOW feel like I missed out on a big moment…and sometimes I feel embarrassed while everyone else reminisces about THEIR prom, I am the loser who didn’t have a date!
    A few of my daughter’s friends were on the fence about going. My advice was get thee to the prom. No matter who your date! Go with a friend…go with a cousin, from out of town that nobody knows, 🙂 JUST GO! Its a story to live over and over again throughout your life…whether on Maury Povich’s “Prom Dates from Hell” or over a glass of wine with your girls or on an amazing blog by a creative writer.
    Aaaaaaaaaargh I DO hate missing out on being able to tell a good story! But, I get to sort of share in my daughter’s prom experience…cause SHE got a date!!!!!

    • Thanks Kylie, as always, for your thoughtful comments. Don’t feel bad about not attending the prom – live the experience through your daughter and when she gets her salon time, you do the same and treat yourself! xx Mel

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