It was THAT kind of night. . .twice.

I stopped by over at 2nd Cup of Coffee today and read a lovely post called “The Princess and the Prom Store Dress.” Go check it out–some girl is going to be so excited that Linda listened to that inner voice–and who could RESIST for $1???? I couldn’t link directly to the post, but it’s right under her Ash Wednesday entry.

Anyway–it’s nowhere near prom season, and I never even attended an actual prom (we had banquets–don’t ask), but I still have a story or two.

Like, for instance, my Jr. year when I wore my sister’s hand-me-down bride’s maid dress. It was a lovely shade of mauve–one of my FAVORITE hues at the time–and it had a bodice embroidered in the SAME shade of mauve–and I had coveted it since she came home with it 5 years prior. She hated mauve–and she hated that dress–but I had PLANS for that dress–and five years later, I got to wear it.

My date, not by choice but because we were both desperate at that point and neither wanted to go alone, even had a matching mauve cumberband. Sweeeeeeeet.

So all was well until time for the presentation of gifts to the seniors. I was emcee for that particular part of the evening, and all night long, I’d noticed a funny sort of noise when I would move. . .kind of a popping noise. Who knew what it was. . .maybe the underwire in my strapless feminine garment?

Finally, about 10 minutes before the gift ceremony was to commence, I realized what that little annoying popping noise was. It was the stitching on my dress–and not the benign EMBROIDERY–oh no, no, no. It was the stitching holding together the SEAMS of said embroidered bodice.

My dress was popping.

Popping. . .popping. . .POPPING.

Every move, every second, every twist and turn there was was more and more and more popping.

As I have mentioned before, I was a statuesque young lady, and the thought of the bodice of my dress POPPING assunder was NOT a happy thought at all. Evidently in the ensuing five years hanging in my sister’s closet, the thread had dry-rotted and just could not hold up under the strain of a very active and busy 16 year old running around in it.

I frantically grabbed the nearest friends I could–I remember Stephanie and MaryLinda distinctly– to try and come up with a plan. The only thing we could do to save the situation was to turn to theft. The latter half of our banquet was held on a sort of deck/courtyard area overlooking one of the bayous in the town. It was May and humid and warm, so the guys had taken their tux jackets off. I don’t think any of them ever knew why their boutonnieres were lying on their jackets rather than pinned to their lapels–but it was because my friends STOLE their floral hardware and PINNED me into that dress lest I be shamed forever.

And just in case you didn’t know, boutonniere pins are very, very long and very, very sharp–but I didn’t complain, ’cause it was better than the topless alternative. Oh, my.

Senior year was SOOOOO much better. There were no wardrobe malfunctions, but I feared having to drive myself in my 1976 Lincoln Continental (it was 1987 by the way), and everytime that thought came to me a new torrent of tears began. Going stag is small potatoes now–lots of kids even do it on PURPOSE– but at the time I was completely overwrought.

Yes, that night began with my MOTHER having to buy my corsage because my “date” had taken finals at college early so he could come home and save me from a fate worse than death by having to attend the function alone. He was a very dear friend, and drove in THAT DAY after his 10:00 a.m. test just to take me.

I am not so very graceful, and had managed to cut my finger that morning on something. I poured hydrogen peroxide over it to kill the germs. Right before my date showed up, I was in the bathroom and dropped my earring on the floor. I bent to pick it up, then, when I stood up, I cracked my skull on an open cabinet door causing my head to bleed.

Did I mention the part about not being graceful? Just checking.

My head hurt so much that I threw two Tylenol in my mouth and grabbed the cup of water on my desk, FORGETTING that I had poured the hydrogen peroxide over my finger and into the cup that morning. Grace-ful. Not.

Don’t ask me why I didn’t use the sink. I was 17. I made sure to tell the same friends that had pinned me into my dress the year before about my peroxide shot so if I passed out, they could tell the paramedics.

AND for all of his trouble, my date was rewarded with an unflattering photo of his MOTHER (who taught at my school) being flashed on the screen during the slide show. She wasn’t a very popular teacher, and someone had taken a profile shot of her through a classroom door. At the same time, she had raised her hand to do something making it appear as though her index finger was deeply ensconsed in her left nostril. Understandably, we skipped out on most of the other doings that night and went to play pool at a nearby student center.

Good time, folks. Good times.

If those are character building events, well, I should be a GIANT.

I’m hoping that girl who is blessed by Linda’s purchase has a fairytale evening–stays away from the peroxide–and her date’s mother is not in the education business.


12 thoughts on “It was THAT kind of night. . .twice.

  1. Those are good friends to have around in a pinch.

    And you went back for more next year??? You’re a brave, brave soul. We’re having a prom store at the high school here in town. I don’t know how any of those girls can find a dress otherwise, unless their parents can afford to drive them down the mountain. All they have is WalMart. Ugh.

  2. oh my word!!! how funny. My banquet was POURING DOWN RAIN and my dyed shoes ran. Navy blue. And my date didn’t even kiss me good night. I was pretty miffed. 🙂

  3. Whoa. That would have been me, had we not moved to CA. But those girls were hecka mean (to use the Northern CA lingo). I had my one friend, sometimes two, and that was IT. How on earth did you do high school like that? I’m guessing your classmates were friendlier than my class was. I would hope so, anyway. Sheesh.

  4. Becky–L-O-V-E “heckamean”–never heard it–known lots of girls that it fit.

    Fortunately, there were only a few heckamean girls in my highschool. . .imagine, if you can, going to school for 10 years with the same people–as in, I sat by the SAME exact people on graduation night as I had sat by in 4th grade and 8th grade and 10th grade. That was my highschool–which was also my Jr. highschool–which was also my elementary school.

    And it limited lots of things for me–but I would not trade the experience for the world.

    And as much as most of those people loved me, they STILL didn’t want to take me to the Jr.-Sr. Banquet–but they also didn’t want to see me go alone. 🙂

  5. I am reading your comment, Roxanne, and I smile, marveling at how we became friends, but also how very very different our childoods were.

    By the time I graduated high school I had attended thirteen different schools, in eleven different cities, in two different countries. And no, my parents were not in the military!


  6. First of all, thank you so much for the kind reference! You made my day. Now, this post was hilarious! That whole bathroom scene is the stuff sitcoms are made of. We have a small private school in town that sounds very much like yours, banquet and all. No dancing. Period. You’ve inspired a lot of prom writing, it seems. Great post!

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