Monday, March 15, 2010

All about MEme - Pretty or not, here we prom

So today's question is on prom. Pictures have been requested, but "unfortunately" I don't have them with me to upload. Oh yeah, that's a bummer... Shucks and darn... I'd need the witness protection blackout for my face on at least one - which would then hide the hair and ruin the point.

We should start with - I went to an all girls' high school, so it was up to me to ask a guy to prom and pony up for tickets and whatever else. Junior year I didn't have a boyfriend - nor did I yet have my license (you have to be 17 in NJ and I had a December birthday) - so my major requirement for a prom date was a license /car. I didn't live near any friends where it would make sense to do a limo together (nor did I really feel like shelling out for that for my non-date) and I certainly wasn't going to have my Dad drive me! Kill me now... And let's be honest - I'm sure my Dad would totally have wanted to drive out to God knows where to pick me and my prom date up at 11 or midnight (can't remember) to hear me say - but Dad, there's an after prom party at... To be honest, a drivers license was essentially my requirement for any semi-formal. I did go to one (where I was the date to the boys' school) where someone's Dad drove. It sort of hammered in my original thought / point...

So junior year, I went with the pale pink, tea length, off the shoulder Jessica McClintock number with matching shoes and purse. (Molly Ringwald, eat your heart out.) I think I wore enough of those off the shoulder dresses in the early 90's to convince me never to do this again (works well when you're short and dancing with your much taller the date. The fabric strip that fell below your shoulders sits attractively around your ears then and you can't raise your arms high enough to hit his shoulders.) It was very 1992 - though thank God, I'd at least put my hair in a French twist for this (this year...).

My prom was (stupidly) on a Thursday night. It was Ascension Thursday and we had off Thurs and Fri. But really - none of our dates did. A brilliant money saving scheme there, school admins... I asked a friend of mine to be my date, platonically - probably a better move than drooling over a secret crush and trying to assess his every action (I was also a fickle teenager, so there's a good shot my crush would not have continued from the time I asked him till the time of the dance - I say this with confidence because it happened once for a Christmas dance - in that case, his school not mine. So when we essentially weren't talking to each other and I was refusing to dance with him because he kept poking me and tickling me when we danced, it was a LONG night...). He was a decent date - good enough that he was my stand in date for senior prom as well! His fatal flaw was the complete lack of desire to dance - which, when I did convince him to dance, was because of the complete lack of skill in dancing! My favorite line was when he stood still on dance floor and said - "I'm vogueing. This is my position." (I still use this to cover my own bad dancing.)

Senior year was the year of bad prom hair. No conservative french twist for me. Instead I went with spiral curls and pushed all my hair to one side of my head with the stream of curls hanging over my shoulder. Grab the what not to wear people now... I remember thinking - this either looks really cool or really awful and I'm not sure which. As it was NJ in 1993, it was probably OK then. In retrospect - let's burn those pics before my daughter asks to see them. The dress was Jessica McClintock again (yes, there was an outlet nearby. Why do you ask?) - but this time short and white and strapless. Think the original Jamie Gertz Jersey Girl movie... I am so proud. (I'm sorry to say that I can not find an image online to do this justice, so you will just have to use your imagination.)

Yes, there was many a bad dress, bad hairstyle, bad date, bad - everything in those early years of the 90s. But thank God it ended then... Until I was a bridesmaid - I think I'd have a hard time picking a worst dress there. It's between the green satin skirt and white blouse (that looked like you threw your Dad's shirt on over your dress) that the groom (yeah, not even the bride here!) insisted made us look like "Irish lasses" for the St. Pat's day wedding - God help me. And the barbie pink number that my fellow bridesmaid calculated had 10 YARDS of fabric around the bottom (and enough crinoline to support that - and make you have to turn sideways to walk between the tables). But I suppose that is a story for another day...

And you? Worst prom or bridesmaid dress? Or did your fashion sense fail you elsewhere?


  1. Lol Im glad we had the "formal" dresses to choose from when I went to prom.. but that was 2005 so nothing old fashioned for me.. Everyone's stories are so great!

  2. LOL!!! And the word Bridesmaid makes me cringe because then starts the bossy i want this i want that and to make me look like a prettier bride im gonna make all your dresses look like sh**

  3. I had/have NO fashion sense. My mom picked out my prom dress.

    At least you eventually dragged him onto the dance floor.

  4. We had a huge Jessica McClintock outlet in San Francisco too... and that pink prom dress you had sounds EXACTLY like one I wore to homecoming only in dusty rose. I graduated in 1988. Pretty in Pink could have been filmed at my high school.


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