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March 29, 2010

Some Enchanted Under the Moonlight Fantasia

Prom dresses

by Hank Phillippi Ryan

Yeah, so what was your prom called?

Do you remember? Junior, or senior, your call. And no fair looking it up in your yearbook. (If you can find your yearbook.)

But you do remember how important it was, at the time, right? If I remember correctly, and sometimes I still do, we all started wondering about THE PROM beginning in about our freshman year, if not before.

Sidebar: We called it 'The Prom.'  Not: 'Prom.' How about you? For instance, we said--who do you think Bill will ask to The Prom?  If someone had said: Who do you think Bill will ask to "Prom," we would have known they were interlopers from another school (or planet). Is this a regional thing?Prom dreses 2

Geeky me did not have much more than hope about his event. There was, possibly, the potential that in the years between freshman awkwardness and sleek seniorness, I would turn into a swan. I know my mother was crossing her fingers about this. However, that did not happen, and I went to the junior prom only because the school's guidance counselor fixed me up with the exchange student. He did not speak English, and we'll just stop this story right there.

As a senior, when I was voted "Most Individual" and they put my photo in the school newspaper (wearing a micro-mini-skirt and striped tights) upside down, I took the prom matters into my own hands and invited the kid who was such a "troublemaker" he was kicked out of our high school and sent to miltary school.

Somewhere, and you will not see it here, happily for your fashion sensibilities, is photo of us. Craig is wearing a bright bright bright blue plaid tuxedo. And my dress is all pink and green flowered. I mean, FLOWERED. We look like someone took a box of crayons and went crazy. My hair is lacquered into a huge updo, with like a bowling ball sized fake pouf in the back. I loved it. 

Talking about The Prom is one of those things that sometimes makes me wish I had a daughter. A daughter to  tell--don't worry about this, honey. Very soon, it won't matter at  ALL, and if you go or if you don't, it'll make no difference to you in your future endeavors. 

How many prom queens are happy today? I'd love to know.

But if that's true, why do I think about it, every spring?  I think of all the girls waiting for their iphones to ring, or to get the text they KNOW will change their lives. Or gossip over lattes and decide what to wear and what to do after. Pick a dress that makes them feel like Beyonce or Xtina or, I don't know, Miley.


And  there's always the controversy: this year, in Mississippi where the Itawamba County Agricultural High School decided to cancel the prom rather than allow a girl student to bring another girl student as a date. Puh-leese. Have we not outgrown this? Who cares? Dress up. Go to the dance.  Dance. (And it's not okay for her to wear a tuxedo, long pants, shirt, jacket, tie; but it IS okay for girls to wear incredbly low-cut short-skirted trollop dresses and stiletto heels? I must be getting old.)

And now there are events called a "MORP"--prom spelled backwards--where the students take over,dress however they want, invite whoever they want, or not,  and just have their own kind of party.

It is a rite of passage, I suppose. Whatever you call it.  ( I found this lace prom dress on Google. I honestly think this is the dress I wore to high school graduation, and got sent home because it was too short. But that's another blog.)

Did you go to the prom?  What do you remember? What did you tell your daughter or son?  Guys? Did it matter to you? What do you wish someone had told you?


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I went. I went stag. (Do girls go stag? well, anyway, I did.). I had the prettiest dress, though. Our Senior Prom was formal, and I had the Scarlett O'Hara style dress, except it was pink with white lace ruffles, and an off the shoulder neckline. I looked somewhat like one of those porcelain dolls. This was the 80's, mind you, so no updo..just lots of feathered hair and hairspray. I actually did end up having a halfway decent time, since I didn't expect much to begin with, I wasn't disappointed.

My prom experience could be titled Portrait in Courage.
The first task I had to accomplish was to invite a boy to the Senior Event.
Being a student of an all girl's school the boys who sometimes frequented our school for dramas or other events were pretty well chosen.
This gave me the perfect opportunity to ask my lifetime crush to accompany me.
I knew the poor victim, I mean the potential date from early childhood. He knew I had a crush on him...how could he not?
He agreed to accompany me and I wore a pretty yellow formal dress. Since my mother was no longer living I relied on friends and other family members to get me ready.
We danced. We did not talk much. Believe me he always considered me the city girl and he was the country boy.
We got through the evening and arrived at my home.
We danced to a romantic Elvis Presley song in the KITCHEN, mind you. We did not talk.
We did not talk the whole evening. But it was memorable. He went back to the country and I stayed in the city. He was angry that got engaged later to my husband. At least I think he was angry. He did not talk. I did not talk. But everything turned out the way fate would have it.

My best prom memory comes courtesy of my youngest daughter. She approached me and asked what if she wore a tux and her boyfriend wore a dress. What else could I say but, “Hell yes!” I even offered to finance the evening on the condition that I could take unlimited pictures. Fortunately for me and my wallet, her sister is 5’10” with a set of shoulders that would make Arnold Schwarzenegger envious so we had a lovely black chiffon number from a previous formal just waiting for John in the closet upstairs.

Kelly, like her sister, is no petite little thing so she could easily pass for a guy. It was a bit unnerving how well John morphed form dorky long-haired high school kid to drag queen. I thought he enjoyed shaving his legs and wearing pantyhose a bit too much, but what do I know?

They made it through the door and all the way to the photographer. He looked through his lens and said, “Hey, you’re a guy” then “Hey, you’re a girl.” The school administrators took it all in good humor and we all learned an important lesson that night.

A warped sense of humor is hereditary.

Never had the confidence to ask a guy to the prom...and really who would ask the girl who held records in throwing the discus and was non-petite? So I, too, lived vicariously through my daughters. They had hair and nails done, endless hours of dress shopping and FUN. They went with a group and danced the night away. Pretty sure my beautiful ballet dancer friend had many offers, but she went to the movies with me instead. Now that's friendship! We also had fun! Different times, different people!

All through high school, I was the "Good Boy" who was "just a friend" and "didn't act stupid." Little did the Ladies know what was going on in my fevered teenaged hormonal mind. Parents loved me, their daughters instantly classified me as the "Safe Date." If they only knew.

Junior prom was with Kathryn (Katie). Black tuxedo pants, blue ruffled shirt, bow tie, and a white dinner jacket. What amused me was the instant replay of Lunch Hour; everyone instantly gathered into the same groups they did at lunch, no mingling, certainly no co-mingling, and everyone kept to their safe zones. Huge banquet room at the Stardust Hotel, everyone trying to desperately to be grown up.

Girls Reverse (a-k-a 'Sadie Hawkins Dance') with Candace was at the Sands Hotel. Formal tuxedo, white shirt (with studs instead of buttons, thank you!), and very bad music. What I remember most is promptly getting ditched so she could see the guy she really wanted to be with, but her parents would not allow her to date.

Both evenings ended with a brief hug and kiss on the cheek. My first lesson that the Straight and Narrow is very confining; very confining indeed.

Senior Prom, I missed due to a broken leg. That was at Caesar's Palace, and from the stories I heard it was probably a good thing I missed it. Everclear passed around, two physical altercations, and three guys I knew ended up arrested for what they considered a fraternity prank: walk in to the Gift Shop, ask politely for "Wazu Cologne" in rotation, say "Thank you" to the puzzled clerk, pause by door, pull on stocking masks, then race out the door and down the corridor yelling "Move over! Get out of the way!". Unfortunately for them, three armed security guards had paused to chat less than ten feet from the Gift Shop. As they say, Timing Is Everything.

Sounded like it was one hell of an evening....

I went to my Senior Prom, asked by the guy I'd had a crush on all year, but who made it clear to me I was his third choice (his goal apparently was to date a cheerleader before he left high school. I was not a cheerleader). We missed the post prom party because he had a cold. It was underwhelming, to say the least.

As a teacher, I went to 5 proms as a chaperone. My, times had changed. Lots of kids go in groups, dresses are uber-revealing, and rest assured, should you need one, there are cute maternity prom dresses, too.

Maternity prom dresses? Sigh.

Hank, are we related? Seriously.

I only went to Junior Prom (the Prom, always) because my best friend fixed me up with an older guy who was friends with her boyfriend, also older. He must have lost a bet or something, because he spent the entire evening looking bored and pissed off. It didn't help that I had broken my glasses (sparkly blue cat-eye monstrosities) the day before, right in the middle, and was holding them together with a Band-Aid. Oh, my God. I can't believe my mother didn't help me with this, even that little bit. I would never, in a trillion years, have let one of my girls embarrass herself that way.

My dress, though, was beautiful, made of heavy pink brocade that fit perfectly. Naturally, no one took a single photo of it. I made it at my grandparents' house, and when Grandma passed away I bought her machine for the memories of happy times at their home.

Senior prom: New, unbroken and more adult glasses. But I invited three different guys and none of them would go. And no one at my school invited me. In fact, in my four years of Catholic high school I never once went on a date with anyone there, although I had boyfriends from the public schools in the area.

I choose to view that painful time as a learning and strengthening period of my life. Otherwise the pain would be too great, I'm sure. High school ain't for sissies.

My own girls went to every dance, and my oldest and youngest daughters went to their boyfriends' dances, too. And I made damned sure they had what they needed to have (safe) fun.

I love my proms! I went to the ones at our high school and at others - my friends dated guys at other schools.

Our proms were about the parties. If my kids did what we did - renting hotel rooms and partying all day and night - I'd kill them.

I still have funny memories and just heard from one of my prom dates via Facebook.

My junior prom was with my first really serious boyfriend and we both wore off white- we didn't plan for it to turn out this way, but our prom picture looks like a wedding photo. My Godmother told me my parents almost had a stroke when they saw us together. Much to my parent's relief, we broke up. He got married about ten years ago and has 4 or 5 kids - I think he lives somewhere near Atlanta.

That photo is still up in a certain house in my hometown. And it's not my family. An odd, but sweet story.

Skipped my own prom. Went the year before with a senior. Most boring evening of my life. The anticipation was great; the actual event, at the local Holiday Inn ballroom, a complete snooze. Luckily, no significant dollars were spent back in those days in my little rural town. I had much more fun the following year at my "lonely hearts club" gathering of cynical, too-cool-to-care friends on prom night. As I recall, we drank beer on my front porch and counted the days until we would get outta town for college/military/etc.

I never went to my Proms but last year had the fun time of making my daughter's Prom dress. It was deep res and beautiful like something out of a thirties movie. It was actually dress number three. the first was made out of a very diaphanous white material to see how it would fit, the second out of a material she chose which didn't work. But three times the charm and this one was perfect. It was actually made from a jersey type of cloth that hung and fell perfectly. She also had the most comfortable dress at the Prom. This year we have also fell back to the thirties but this one in silver is a little trickier. So wish me luck.

No memories of prom. Geeks like me didn't get asked to proms. The only school event I went to was Grad Night, where I invited the guy (who was in college, and we'd been set up by my best friend because "you two are the only Jewish people I know.") Between asking him and the night of the event, we weren't really dating, but he honored his obligation.

I went to my Junior prom. Nobody from my school asked me so I imported a guy from the city. In the mid-60's, Sandra Dee fluff was the style of choice. I am not a fluffy sort, so my mother made me a matte satin A-line with a matching stole from a Vogue designer pattern.

It wasn't a good night. I didn't know my date enough to converse. I wasn't used to loud rock music blaring all night or the nervousness I was feeling. I got a headache. We left early.

It was a bust mostly because my expectations were that this would be a life-changing, Cinderella experience. It wasn't. I didn't try the Senior Prom.

I didn't go to the Prom as a junior, because I was in a play (and because nobody asked). I didn't go to the Prom as a senior because I'd graduated early and was in college, in a play (and because nobody asked.) I considered myself in heaven whenever I was in a play, so it was okay.

I did go to Sadie Hawkins (because I asked, and he said yes!) Since everyone else was in Dogpatch attire, the guy wore a tux and I wore some flamenco dress he found for me. I still have our Best Dressed Couple Runner Up photo. We stayed friends and occasional lovers the rest of his life until he became a heroin addict and died. I still miss him.

SO--digression--I can't think of proms without thinking of Carrie. Wasn't that the most haunting prom scene?

And in Grease? That's the hand jive, right?

Oh, and in It's a Wonderful Life when the swimmming pool opens between Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed? (Is that supposed to be Freudian, or just funny?)

Harley. How can you take a two paragraph blog comment and make it into a short story?

I can't remember the name of my prom (yes, we called it The Prom), but I have pix from it. I had just started going out with my future husband, and he had shoulder-length hair. I was skinny and wore silver shoes with four inch heels that, sadly, don't show up in any of the pictures. I don't remember much of the actual prom, but we went to an all night restaurant afterwards and spent the next day at Brookfield Zoo. I must have changed clothes at some point, but I don't remember the logisitics of that!

My husband and I were voted "Most Affectionate Couple" in the senior issue of the school paper. I still have a copy of that someplace!

My high school was experimental. Big surprise huh?
You picked your classes and your teachers by intelligence levels so your classmates were a mix mosh of freshmen and seniors. Lots of girls went to all the proms. Some of them were even sleeping with, er, dating the teachers. (yeah like nobody knew...right!)
My boyfriend was the same guy all through High School and we waited. We waited until we were seniors to go to The Prom.
My mom copied an empire white quiana gown with a turquoise sash and beaded see through neck and sleeves. High up sweep with big curls and jewels dangling down. It was a $1000.00 dress in the window on Miracle Mile and no one knew it wasn't the real thing. It was princess time! He rented a tux.
It was at the Everglades Hotel downtown on the top floor overlooking the bay and I was scared to death to get messed up in his TR4 but I remember having a great time and having an orchid wrist corsage.
I remember the corsage because we ended up going bowling in the middle of the night.
In Miami it's the Quince Parties that get the most attention these days. I'm talking like giant photo albums and gowns and choreographed dance numbers and catering and shoot...it's bigger than most weddings! My son was always invited to those. He's had a tuxedo since he was 10. He was in Massachusetts for his senior year at Walnut Hill so I have no idea what went on there.
I had a sweet sixteen party. I was sweet, once Rod, really.
And now you have me wondering where my yearbook is Hank!
Way to sew Leslie!!!!!

At my all-girl school it was called the MID. Since half of us were boarders, our "dates" often had to travel from out of town and were lodged with the families of day students -- instant recipe for disaster. I invited the friend of a friend, sight unseen, and never to be seen again. He was cute, and so, unfortunately, was the daughter of his host family.

Senior prom was ditto of Marie's experience: My date and I didn't speak. It would have been agonizing except we sat with a bunch of chatty pals. Ten years later, at our class reunion, he asked me to dance and he proceeded to chew me out for something. (We were speaking at last, but still not communicating, I guess.) Apparently, I ruined his life. I was clueless.

1987 senior prom. I think it was a night under the stars or something equally silly.

song: You Look Wonderful Tonight

My closest friends went to the Jr. prom and didn't go to Sr. I didn't go to junior b/c I waited too long and boys never asked me out in high school. I asked my big crushes and they already had dates. When I got up the guts to ask Kevin Shea, the QB, who I'd had a crush on forever (and my entire high school class knew about it), he said he was going to Ireland. I remember going to a party of non-prom goers and my friend Dave's house junior year and that was a blast.

Sr. prom I made the mistake of letting my friend, a junior, set me up with her brother. My one request? No WHITE tux. What did he wear. Yes, white tux. My mom and I found me a dress for $25.

Tiger, mOre short story fodder! Nancy, you ruined his life at the PROM? How?

And I think Xena has enough for a whole television series in her comment.

Wrist corsages! Of course. Wonder if people still get those..in those plastic boxes you'd keep in the fridge, the orchids turning brown around the edges..

I didn't go to the prom when I was in high school. I was far too. . .unseen, perhaps is the best word. And I was fine with it.

But as a teacher, chaperoning prom was one of my favorite duties. I loved seeing what the girls' fashion trend was going to be each year.

I taught at a school along the Mexico/New Mexico/Texas border, and it was really conservative in some ways, so when a couple of my students asked permission of the administration to cross dress, we were sure they'd be turned down.

But my administration came up aces, insisted that Chris (the guy) dress formally, and Mary had to be in a tux. The hardest part was finding women's dress shoes for Chris' size 11 feet, but he did it.

And looked better than the principal's wife at the dance!

The students were way cool, boys flamboyantly bowing to Chris when asking him to dance and girls giggling and blushing when Mary asked them. Those who didn't approve stayed on the other side of the ballroom, and it was huge fun.

Geeky me was actually at 4 proms; okay the one my sophomore year doesn't count. I was working there, along with the other top 10% sophomores. And I was the only girl not wearing heels (Hey, I was going to be on my feet all night, at the punchbowl or something & I was going to comfortable). I do remember that the theme was a cruise or something because of the sailor outfits that we wore.

My high school was so small that juniors & seniors went to the prom. Junior year I went with one of my just as geeky guy friends; the one that moved 10 miles before sophomore year & ended up in another school district. BTW, being the only geek girl with a bunch of geek guys, you can get away with murder. Just FYI. I had a strapless, blue bubble-skirted dress that I had to dance carefully, in case I moved & the dress didn't.

Senior year I went with another geek guy; the one that everyone _said_ that we should date so we never did. I had a darling white with red polka dots gown for that one.

Then the guy who'd moved invited me to his prom. For some reason, I thought that I needed another prom dress. Luckily for my mom's wallet, we found not 1 but 2 perfect dresses at the thrift shop.

My lovely, loving mom spent all afternoon before the prom, hemming that pleated, plum, jersey nightmare to fit my 5'3" (with heels) height. That reminds me, I need to thank her again.

Oh, and those 2 dates; we're still friends. I keep up with them & only 1 or 2 others from high school. Go Geeks!

We didn't have proms. Although I attended a public HS (small town) the school board members were ultra conservative and didn't allow any dances. I can't remember the title of the musical we put on my junior year (1962)but it was supposed to have a dance scene. The board made the director change it to something like "skip to my Lou" and the cast members were allowed to hold hands and go in a circle as a group.

I later taught at an urban HS in STL county and enjoyed going to several proms and seeing the kids dressed in whatever was the trend that year. Remember the blue tuxes of the 80's? Other times top hats & canes. Electric Slide anyone?

Side note: one of the most conservative board members was later prosecuted for embezzlement and fraudulant practices at our credit union(but to my knowledge he never danced or went to any movies.)

I didn't go to the dances when I was in high school. I was the geeky nerd. I worked (yes at the Rocky Horror Picture Show) so my friend and coworker could go the Prom.

For two years I worked in a middle school and chaperoned the 8th grade final dance. It was in the gym and the kids had a blast. There were some interesting things: Almost all of the music was from the '80's or, from when Molly and I were in high school. One of the other teachers said "I love the oldies." I think she was referring to the Bee Gees. The principal spent all night preventing "dancing to close." I think she was horse until the following Tuesday, and Stefanie's date apparently tried more than dancing close. She slapped him hard enough to knock him to the floor. It is hard to be a serious adult and keep a straight face in such situations.

Saved for another day. Prom night from the pizza guy point of view.

Oh my god. THE dress. My mother and I searched and found the perfect one. It was strapless, orchid colored with the ruffles and flounces in vogue at the time. Then I arrived to find the same dress in a more sophisticated peach color worn by the P--- twins. There were two of them. In my dress, in a much prettier color. Oh my god.

Hijack: You can listen to our Karen in OH interviewed on Marketplace Money here:

Here is a comment from Debby, who can't get through with Typepad (again - arrgghhh).

I only attended my senior prom, and that was with a younger student. *sigh* Met him in the musical, and he asked me if I wanted to go with him and I said yes.

He spent a majority of the evening trying to hook his best friend (who attended with another of my friends) up with some other girl. Ugh. Dude...you should be dancing with me!

I do still have my dress, though. It was the best. Another friend, who was planning on being a fashion designer, designed the dress for me and I had it custom made. I thought it was gorgeous and not over-the-top.

Rod, I want to see photos!!
My prom theme was "Some Enchanted Evening" and we made many purple crepe paper flowers to hang from the gym ceiling -- yes, long ago, the Prom was at the school. My mother arranged for me to borrow a cousin's bridesmaid dress, which was fine, and she paid for hairstyling into the then-popular updo. I was disappointed in the evening, though. I think I expected some magical transformation, but we were still just ourselves . . .

I didn't go to my Junior Prom because I was dating a College Man -- and only students from our school were allowed to go. I heard that my friends had a great time and was sorry to have missed it.

I attended Senior Prom with my first ex-husband (then boyfriend). I loved my dress - a simple apricot halter number with a long, plain skirt in the age of Gunny Sax and ruffles. Unfortunately, the lamb we had for dinner didn't agree with me, so I spent most of the night just sitting. But I was hanging out with fun friends, so that was nice.

My daughter attended every dance, each time in a dress prettier than the last. She even went to Sr. Prom after her "date" stood her up -- with a bunch of friends and had a great time. I think that was the key for all of her experiences - she went with friends, and the big point was to hang out with them and have fun, rather than to be Cinderella. She was always much smarter that way than I was.

Junior prom (The Prom) was a somber affair. One of my classmates died in an accident a few days before. We had the visitation right before the prom. I went alone. I wore a peach dress with a handkerchief hemline. It was cute. It didn't go particularly well with teary, red eyes, but then again probably nothing would have. I don't remember much about the evening except a lot people sitting around staring straight ahead for most of it. There was a little dancing. More by the Seniors than us Juniors.

Senior Prom (The Prom) was better. I broke up with the guy I was kind of seeing, so I could go alone. I knew it was a nothing relationship and didn't want him in the photos. Wow, that sounds a little mean. I wore a strapless blue dress that was just a little longer than knee-length. I still like it when I see the photos. I wore a wrist corsage of white silk flowers. And, I danced a lot that night!

I didn't really date in high school. I had a tendency to set my sights on someone I knew wouldn't be interested. I had other plans - namely, to get out of that small town.

Mary, it's funny that you mentioned the song "Some Enchanted Evening". I don't know how many people had songs spinning in their heads in their youth but "Some Enchanted Evening" became my theme song after I met my husband.
Actually, "What Kind Of Fool Am I" came in at a close second because I was a little afraid of commitment. And who can forget "Que Serra, Serra" a Doris Day favorite. It's a wonder that I connected with the real world at all since my life seemed to be ruled by Broadway or radio tunes.

Patricia, I think someone (who?) wore that exact dress to the Oscars...

Kerry, it sounds like you did a great job with your daughter!

And do you sing Some Enchanted Evening like Ezio Pinza? (SOHM en-chonted EEEEvning...you may see a STRRRANGOR...) Got to love it.

And I'm still hinking about wrist corsages.

To those who want to see my daughter in a Tux and her high school sweetheart in drag for their prom...


Rod -- thanks for sharing, that is so awesome and it was done in a classy way.

My Junior Prom was okay, but my parents didn't like the guy I was dating because he had a motorcycle and was part Asian (30+ years ago it did matter). I found the most perfect dress in blue, light and airy and beautiful ... AND his sister bought the same dress in peach. Fortunately we didn't hang around with each other, but it was kind of funny in retrospect.

My Senior Prom date got totally drunk on brandy he'd stolen from his dad, so I ended up driving the parkway around the lakes while he threw up every time I pulled over into a parking area. Color My World was the theme if I remember correctly (30+ years, remember)

When the oldest went to Prom, she went as friend's with a boy who'd liked her since elementary school and who I knew wouldn't be stupid (plus the group's parents had rented a limo and they all had to sign a behavior contract). She had the updo hair style; acrylic nails and a pink gown that was just perfect for her petite height and not so petite bust.

Younger daughter is a freshman and asked if we'd let her to go prom if she was asked by a Jr or Sr -- I said we'd cross that bridge when we came to it and since prom is April 24, I don't think I'll have to worry. (knock wood)

Rod, I LOVE those photos! What a great couple! And what a great Dad :)

Rod, they look fantastic!

He really makes a good lookin' girl, lol.

My junior year, my "on again, off again, sorta, semi-boyfriend" wouldn't go because he couldn't afford a tux. I told him just to wear the suit he wore to church, but he wouldn't do it. His twin on the other hand, had no problem with that and took one of my best friends. I was pissed and he became "off" again. But I did get to go because the theme was 50s something and a few of my friends & I had volunteered to be part of the entertainment. I dressed up in one of my dad's sport coats, tie, etc and lipsynced to Perry Como "Oh, My Papa" if I remember correctly. A friend put on this great dress her mom had worn to her prom in the 50s and lipsynced to Teresa Brewer's "Cross Over the Bridge". We had a blast. We didn't stay for the whole night, but stayed OUT all night, lol.

My Senior Prom I had a REAL boyfriend. He was a year younger than me and was new to the school. My mom made my dress. It had an empire waist, puff sleeves, and a scoop neck. The underdress was a bright sunny yellow and the see thru flocked overlay was yellow with flowers & birds. It sounds hideous, but was very pretty. I wanted the blue or the green, but the fabric store was sold out. I get to THE PROM and there were 4 blue dresses & 3 green ones out of the same type of fabric, different patterns, of course. He wore a white dinner jacket, which I hated. I told him that I really didn't want an orchid because it would turn brown before the night was over. My mom snuck him a piece of the fabric & had the florist make a nosegay (that was the thing in the early 70s around here) to match...and he had them throw in an orchid. Half way through the evening it died and I threw it away. I have a picture of us sitting at this table. I'm facing one direction, he the opposite. Kinda reflective of our 2 year relationship, lol.

I worked for a year after I graduated high school to save money to go to college and we would graduate at the same time. We went to his Senior Prom. I found a bridesmaid dress on clearance at a bridal shop. Blue with a VERY deep V in front; we had to pin it to keep from flashing the entire world. Pictures look rather virginal compared to the dresses today, lol. Had a great time, went to one after party, then the rest of the night....well, alone.

The theme to my Senior Prom was "Stairway to Heaven" like about 50 million other proms in 1973, lol. I don't remember the theme to his Senior Prom...I didn't really care that much by then.

My daughter went to her Homecoming junior year with a boy. Wore a very pretty street length red dress. It had black stitching on it and looked a bit Asian inspired. Very pretty on her. They went to his Senior Prom and spent the night with friends at the Radison hotel in downtown St. Louis. I was not thrilled but was out voted by my sisters, Dear Hubby, and my stepdaugher. I shoulda had the kid arrested (I found out just a year ago, lol) for a statutory crime. I made her Prom dress. Very simple black with chiffon floating over the skirt. She looked fabulous.

For her Senior Prom, she was boyfriendless and went with a group of friends. I found a Vintage Vogue pattern of a strapless, boofy skirt dress. It was midnight blue satin with white trim at the bodice. She had her hair done in a beehive and wore flip flops decorated to match her dress. She got so many compliments on her "look". I still have both my dress & hers. Just can't part with them, lol.

both of my dresses & both of hers.

Sheesh, learn English much?

I went to my Junior Prom (1971), but missed the Senior Prom because I graduated mid semester and only came back for the official graduation ceremony in June.

My date was a young lady who had a big crush on me. I thought she was cute, sweet and a bit too shy. We went out to dinner pre-prom with two of my buddies and their dates. As I recall, we had prime rib. we then piled into our cars (I was driving my mom's fire engine red '65 Chevy Impala) and went to the Prom. We danced, we talked and as always, I made the ladies laugh. After the event was over, we all went to an after prom party where things were somewhat less formal. Around 2:30 in the morning, I drove her home. She lived way out in the country. We parked awhile. Fade to black.

It was fun, but not something I would have repeated...except for the prime rib and the parking:)

It was also the first of only 4 times that I have ever worn a tuxedo.

To show how times change, in 2004, my youngest niece went to her prom with her three best girlfriends. I am told that they had great fun and "kissed alot of boys", but in the end they all went back yo my sister's house to watch movies and eat chocolate.

My nephews both went to their proms with dates. Aside from that, they didn't talk much about it. Proms are not high priority guy things.

Junior Prom was fine and lovely. My high school sweetheart was so pale and blonde as to make Grace Kelly look like a tan brunette. She wore an ice-blue sheath with a carefully calibrated neckline. There were long pearls and opera gloves, too (the school photographer burned a roll of film on her). Then she skipped her senior year and was off to college.

Flash forward a year; I'd been a jerk to her (after 14 performances of 'South Pacific,' yes, Ezio Pinza again), and she'd fallen for a charming European emigre at Loyola, It was pretty clear we were done, with much bad feeling.

I didn't want to go to the prom. She didn't. Some mutual friends threw a party that night, which we attended. Not much fun for her or me. We left a slight blood trail behind us when I took her back to her parents' home. I had a lot of growing up to do, and that night was one of the big milestones along the way.

Oh, your stories are so terrific...thank you!

Digression: You know how you save things, and then later find them and realize you forgot you kept them? Well, I just found a page I clipped from the New York Times from 2005, the Metropolitan Diary. You know, how readers write in stories and anecdotes?

Well, here's the one I saved. (A propos of absoltely nothing.)Well, wait. Except, I guess, of Holly's wonderful Passover header.

Dear Diary: My friend Stan Teplick was thrilled he could take his 87-year-old mother to finally see "Fiddler on the Roof." especially since she came from one of the countless Anatevka-like Russian shtetls so many decades ago. He spared no expense: best seats, limo, the works.

After the show, Stan eagerly asked, "So, Mom, what did you think? Did it bring back any memories?"

His mother thought for a moment, and then giving the classic Jewish mother shrug and nod, said, "Yes. But I don't remember that much singing."

I would just like to say I didn't go to "the" prom or any prom. I wasn't asked and spent the night with some friends from a neighboring high school.

Apparently, all the guys at Liberty High in Bethlehem, PA, thought they were too good for me.

Guess they showed me, huh?

Sarah, I bet they are rueing the day now! (Wonder if they saw your movie..wouldn't that be fun to know?)

Is it--"ruing" the day? That looks wrong, too...but you know what I mean.

I don't remember if I went to a Junior Prom or if we even had one. But I know I didn't go to my Senior Prom. My boyfriend was a year older than I and no way was he going to any dance...with me or anyone else. But we did go to one of the after-parties at the Holiday Inn or someplace like that.

About the wrist corsages: Last year, my son went to his Senior prom ("The Prom" for both of us, BTW) and gave his date a wrist corsage with an orchid and some small roses. He decided one week before the prom to go and invited a friend from his work. They had a great time, went to an after party at a friend's house, and then he took his date home about 2:30 am.

So Debrasue...your daughter might still have a chance to go...

Late to the party.....I am so old I went to proms, balls and semi-formals. In Catholic Schools of the 50's and 60's more opportunities presented themselves to make up for the separate boys and girls schools. I mostly wore bridesmaids dresses from older cousins and passed them all along........we had gobs of girl cousins. My own Senior prom, mom actually bought me a dress......she sewed everything I wore so this was a big bargain as it had been put together in the yardgoods dept of a big store to show off a gorgeous fabric, worn at a fashion show and on a manikin. Bargain!
Any leftover wraps, hair trims or dresses went to the dress-up trunk my daughter later discovered.

Junior prom I went with a guy whose mom I worked with. I got to drive because he didn't have a car. He spend so much time bugging me to letting him drive that I threw him out of the car and made him walk home. He was a really cheap date too. Took me to Dennys for dinner and told me I couldn't order anything that costed more than $5.00. This was back in 1978. I didn't go to my senior prom because I graduated early but went to my boyfriend's. We were late getting to the prom because he got arrested earlier in the day for possesion of illegal substances. I guess I was supposed to be happy that he got bailed out in time but all the pictures show me with a pissed off look.

My daughter and son couldn't be bothered to go to their proms. They weren't much for school activites.

Mary Alice-I always thought having a dress- up trunk would be the most fabulous thing...now I have two grandsons, andI fear the stuff in their trunk would not be organza and tulle and sequins--unless that's what Transformers wear.

I do have a darling five year old neighbor-and the other day I was reorganizing, and decided to toss some unused lipstick samples. Then i decided--no, Molly might need them. In five years? Fun.

Bev! Again--a truly amazing story.

I remember receiving a wrist corsage from my first 'sorta real boyfriend' (we met when we were 13 and spent the rest of our teens until college staying in touch but not always actually dating) for some dance prior to senior year, so he might have taken me to my junior prom (which means I had to ask him, since he went to another school). I was pretty shy, from a family who were financially 'poor' compared to our wealthy community, and NOT part of the 'in' crowd at a school in which wealth, sophistication, and being 'in' were of great importance. I did go to senior prom (yes, 'The Prom'), which was formal or semi-formal--wearing a bright, bright green chiffon dress with stitched-on thin rhinestone belt and accents, accompanied by a younger, shorter junior who I knew from the band we were both in. I remember feeling a little self-conscious that my head didn't reach down to his shoulder during slow dances unless I really slouched (wouldn't, 'cause my dress would gape if I did), but we stayed for the whole prom and stayed out until 4 a.m. or so after, and my recall is of a pleasant time.
In college, I went to a military ball with a gorgeous ROTC guy--the ball was a bust, a bunch of ROTC guys wanting to get drunk, and some lovely but bored women standing around wondering if any of them knew how to talk--but my date, who was amusing enough in previous social gatherings, turned out to be all hands and not much actual communication, so my chief memory of the evening is one of us telling the story of the [Ghost] Lady of White Rock Lake (story in Wikipedia for those who are curious!) while he showed me all the various positions that the bench front seat of his car would move into, parked at a lovely view of the lake.

1978. The theme was "Stairway to Heaven" or something equally gag-worthy. Every dance had to have a theme and that was one of them even if it wasn't the prom. Oh, and it is "the" prom not prom. (Similarly, but off topic and for no reason other than how much it bothers me: I will not "friend" you or anyone else. "Friend" is a noun. It is not a verb. That would be "befriend.")

Ok, we're back. I wanted to go to the prom and after being turned down several times (my own fault for waiting until the last minute), I agreed to ask a friend of some friends with whom we double dated. She was as charming as anyone self-centered, bitter, and demanding could be. The date was a bad idea but double dating was wise since the other couple were great referees. We were somewhat incompatible. This was resolved at the after-prom (do these still exist?) where upon entering she turned right and I turned left. Our friends were glad to go off duty and enjoy themselves.

I spent the night dancing with a close friend. Her date refused to get out of his chair. Mary Beth and I salvaged what was left of the night and had a good time.

Come morning, we regrouped and I drove my date and friends home. It was a very quiet ride. By tradition, we were supposed to get a few hours sleep, get back together and spend the day at an amusement park. We unanimously decided this was an overrated tradition, agreed to a truce and parted ways.

I went fishing.

All that after renting the finest polyester tux available.

One year we encountered a small group of high school students having an "anti-prom," all dressed up and having a picnic on the Arch grounds. I think they planned to go dancing on LaClede's Landing later. We told them short stories as their unofficial and impromptu dinner entertainment. Fun!!

Love the photos of Kelly and her date, Rod. Since I've known her since she was a toddler, it does not surprise me that she chose to cross-dress to a dance. She's always marched to a different drumbeat, bless her soul.

Our kids are just not as uptight about the whole dance thing as we were, thank heavens. My girls swapped dresses with each other and with friends. The bridesmaid gown that Robin wore to my oldest daughter's wedding got worn about seven times, between each of the two girls wearing it to two dances each, and friends borrowing it. We finally sold it at the prom gown sale they have each year, and one of the women working the sale told me it sold almost as soon as we had left it. Another popular dress was one we bought in Chicago, just so Robin didn't have to choose from the same 15 dresses available locally. It was very elegant, and totally covered up in front, unlike some, and a sort of celery green. They both wore it, and three friends borrowed it, too. That one is still hanging in the closet.

In the late 80's my oldest daughter bought a couple of sample bridesmaid's gowns for $5 apiece, and I added trims, etc. She wore them to a couple of dances apiece.

But my favorite of all their dresses was the one Holly wore to winter formal the year she had knee surgery just before Christmas. She found an old jersey dress of mine from the 70's, in aqua with a plunging v-neck. I pulled some of the lining up to make a sort of insert to fill in the vee, and then we dyed it burgundy. She added matching ribbons to her crutches, and off they went.

Mercy's prom was totally lame. Held in the gym. The music teachers' old cronie band played the big band favorites (in the late '60s?)The nun's had fun, they danced more than the kids.Best part of the night was dinner at Cheshire Inn.
U. City had theirs at The Top of the 7's. We only stayed about 1/2 hr. Ex#1 was 3 months back from Nam & had a thing about crowds.

A little late to the party here...I went to three proms (all with who is now my DH of 37 years come July.) My junior prom, his senior prom, and my senior prom.

Nice, Peg. Way to choose 'em!!

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