My original plan was to avoid talking about prom since it just seemed too corny to write about, but after reading my friend Katey’s post on the topic, it feels appropriate to finally discuss this “right of passage”. And I know there’s far more important/interesting issues I could be talking about thanks to California and Texas, but I’m currently on vacation and this seems light-hearted to write about while recovering from a food coma.
For me, prom was completely about lifting my parents spirits—both of my grandmothers were in ailing health conditions as well as some extreme family drama on the other side of the family….so the joys of prom seemed to make sense. I even had a fantastic date who was extremely laid-back to the point where most of our prom conversations went like this:
Me: “where do you want to eat for prom dinner?”
Date: “Somewhere with food.”
As for who-asked-who, I asked him (see below for how) because we’re close friends, we both had similar reasoning for going to prom (gotta love parents), and he’s extremely shy/quiet so my asking him took a lot of pressure off his shoulders. Finding our group was a bit of a pain, but once we had a group, everything flowed perfectly—to the point where our entire group was decked out in blue. Nine people; three couples and a triplet thanks to a similarity in shades of blue.
How to ask someone to prom just like Haley:
- Take 3 semesters of French with desired person.
- Decide to ask person during one of your busiest weeks.
- Find 4 people that each have a different class with person you wish to ask.
- Make brownie batter. Add frozen caramel bits to it. Let your Kitchen Aid go to town.
- Freak out when Kitchen Aid stops; thinking you broke it.
- Realize Kitchen Aid isn’t broken. Move on to finding a pan.
- Debate with yourself over a square pan, a cake pan, or a jelly roll pan.
- Sit on kitchen floor on verge of tears wondering why life is so difficult.
- Pick a pan. Tell yourself “fuck it”. Put brownies in oven.
- Take 4 flashcards in a color that resembles something from the persons life. In this example, green was picked simply because he always wears a green jacket.
- Google a French translation because it’s been a while since you were really good at French.
- Divide phrase up on flash cards. French on front, where you plan to meet person on back. “Avec moi” on a small poster for you to hold.
- Freak out over whether or not the brownies are overcooked.
- Give up fear.
The next day:
- Everything will turn out okay even if people in charge of flashcards mess up.
I got my dress for $95.
Shoes were around $20 thanks to DSW’s clearance section.
Hair and nails were done by local places my family has been going to for a while.
My sister did my makeup.
Earrings found at TJ Maxx.
Purse was borrowed from my mom’s closet.
Everything seemed to be going perfectly until about 5pm two nights before.
My mom had received a phone call from one of my aunts that basically said my grandmother was on her deathbed. By 7pm, my mom was on a plane to possibly see her mom for the last time and I had made cookie dough with the notion fresh baked cookies make everything better. Instantly, prom felt almost pointless to attend—my own mother would be missing an even
t she had dreamed of longer than I’ve even thought about and besides, she was part of the reasoning behind why I was even attending in the first place.
That night, I gave my prom group a brief update on what happened and left my date a much more detailed message.
Prom prep carried on as expected minus the obvious absence of my mom filled with texts, telling the woman doing my hair that I’d like “in the words of my mom, a tasteful hooker bump with curls”, and even Face Timing her during prom pictures.
The night before prom; I maintained a promise I made in middle school as I got my nails painted with an old friend. She tried teaching me how to grind in the middle of a street in the pouring rain. Let me just say, I’m a fairly awkward person and every time she tried getting really close to me, I jumped back and frantically proclaimed how learning this would be pointless because my PD wouldn’t be down for dancing that close.
Needless to say, prom was actually a lot better than I thought it was going to be—even our corsage and boutonnière matched after being told by our mothers that a rose is too overdone so the other flower option was chosen. I’m genuinely glad I went, but I wish my mom was there in person.
The icing on the cake?
I was 100% correct with my prom dancing—no grinding needed and ample Holy Spirit room between the two of us during both slow dances. And by both slow dances, I mean one where it was so uncomfortable I told him it felt awkward enough to stop and the other where we swayed synchronized with a “couple” who was too nervous to focus on dancing to the extent of asking me about AP Bio deadlines the entire time.
When I came home from prom around 2am and took the 17 bobby pins out of my hair, I was relieved it was over but happy it happened. The time spent with my peers was freakishly relaxing yet didn’t even come close to being greeted by two meowing lonely housecats that didn’t care if I smelled like sweat or teen spirit; they just wanted my attention—just like dancing with my prom group, they wanted me for me not my appearance.
Connecting Katey’s trend observation to my own dress:
When I first saw the dress I ended up getting, I was almost disgusted because it was this massive, flowy cobalt blue fabric bolt sized dress that didn’t fit at all. Really the only reason why my mom got me to try it on was to gauge to see what size I was in the store. And yet, when I stood in front of the mirror with gobs of fabric pulled back, I loved its overall simplicity and timeless elegance.
I completely agree with Katey on how most prom dresses observe a certain trend(cut outs, high-low, tribal prints, neon, etc). Yet just like my bat mitzvah dress(a white cocktail dress that’s very similar to my prom dress but with a much more simple bodice and less forgiving fabric), I knew the dress I picked wouldn’t be looked back on with regrets.
Deep, rich blue color that’s free of recent Pantone trends.
A flattering silhouette.
Slight train in the back.
I was even one of those people who spent countless time searching online for “the” dress.
But even now; not much time after prom, my dress played a limited role in my prom experience—beyond people stepping on the train of course. I don’t even think my date noticed I was wearing a prom dress….let alone three times the amount of makeup possible. No one even had the same dress as me. For me, the only way the dress I wore really mattered was if I felt confident enough in it to enjoy my time at prom…and I had a blast. Honestly, I’m glad I only spent $95 on the dress because by wearing it once, it lived a life off the hanger that wasn’t hindered by fear of ruining something worth so much materialistic value.