Or some other cheesy theme like that.
Ah, prom. After high school, I liked to think that I always was too cool for prom, that I knew better than to get caught up in the excitement of it, like the cool artsy kids in the movies. But, if I'm totally honest with myself, I kinda really enjoyed it. The dresses, the photos, the dancing, feeling a bond of unity or something with all of my classmates. It really did feel like a night to remember, and I'm sure in some high school journal I spilled my feelings of the night with some lines like "I love my friends SO MUCH! They are the best, and I am going to miss them TONS when we are all at college. I'm SO GLAD that we had prom, because it seriously felt like the best night of my life. I LOVE dancing and especially with my best friends."
I went to seven proms in high school. Before you go thinking that I was cool or popular or possibly even slutty, let me assure you that I was none of those things. I just happened to go to a really small high school and have friends from church in other really small high schools in surrounding towns. I was a fan of dances, I was friendly and could get along in groups of strangers, and I cleaned up fairly well when I got out of the field hockey pads and put on a fancy dress. It was fun. However, after high school, I started to feel ashamed of going to so many proms. I was in college and prom was a high school, immature thing. All of the friends I made really had been the too cool for school artsy types who had shunned this torturous rite of passage. And so, I stuffed the pictures into boxes, wrapped up my tiara in a scarf, and audibly mocked the teenage drama of going to prom. One day soon, those excited seniors in high school would also realize how pathetic their expectations for prom really were.
It's been 10 years since my last prom, 10 years since I was a fresh faced senior, anxious to move on, yet melancholy over leaving behind all these people I'd known for year (and suddenly became friends with only at the very end). Proms have become a blip on the radar for me, when a younger sibling is preparing for their turn to pass through this gateway.
And then grad school happened and it is prom season all over again.
We had Wagner Prom a few weeks ago, right in the midst of all the papers that were due. And just a few nights ago, i went to BAM prom (Brooklyn Academy of Music), which was the opening event for their Sundance Institute at BAM. They showed this documentary called American Teen, which, unsurprisingly, is about 4 teens growing up in suburban Indiana. When it makes it to the indie theaters, i recommend that you go see it. It was hard to think of the kids as real people, because they were such stereotypical teen characters: the mean popular girl, the jock, the arty creative type, and the geek. I had to keep reminding myself that these kids were real, and when I remembered that, I kind of choked up also remembering the awkwardness of that age and how my life seemed so important and my thoughts so unique and grand. I went with a bunch of Wagner kids (Melissa, Melinda, Kathleen, Alexis, Rachel, Andrew, Sindri, and some other friends) and we all kind of sheepishly admitted to tearing up. We made our way to the prom upstairs, decorated exactly like any other school dance would be. My 10 years of self-trained prom-mocking kicked in, and with the cheesy music playing I was ready to make a quick exit. But it was BAM, and it was ironic. And because it was ironic, and because we were all dressed up, and because people were actually of legal drinking age, and because we'd all just been reminded of the awkwardness of prom, and because we were there together as good friends from school, and the music wasn't that bad, and there were some cute boys to hit on, and the dance floor cleared up, and Melinda has some moves, and we had to ham it up for the cameras, and and and and and
it was a night to remember. i love you guys and don't ever change.
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