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Memories of My Prom

Black dress. Black satin gloves. Hair fixed by a professional. Corsage of white gardenias on my wrist. Date in a black tux. Riding in his dad's completely overhauled red and white Corvette Stingray. What could be better? Well, my date could have been my boyfriend and not one of my oldest friends from my church youth group. However, that wasn't going to upset me. We were going to my senior prom and it would be fabulous.
Well, in many ways it was, in some ways it wasn't what I had hoped it would be. We girls often have our own ideas about things like proms and weddings, and very rarely, at least in my experience, do they end up exactly as we imagined. Nope. Many times they end up better. And while I would be left with no romantic images or ideals about this particular prom, I did have more fun than I thought I would have had had I actually gone with someone I had romantic feelings for. I would have wondered about what his expectations would have been for later that evening, as so many couples did. I would have wondered if he would "respect me" in the morning. I would have wondered if I danced weird or if I wasn't letting myself "let go" enough to have fun. I would have wondered what he was thinking most of the night. And, I never would have learned to two-step to more than just country music!

My boyfriend decided that his life in the Navy was a bit more than he could handle at the time, so he said, and he broke things off with me- after I had already purchased our prom tickets, he had been a year ahead of me but had moved away his senior year. I never really gave him much thought except that he had been a total pain in my butt during band and I was happy the little twerp was gone. Then, at the beginning of my senior year, he showed up looking a bit more grown up than he had before he'd moved. There was something "different" about him and for some reason it felt like we were actually friends. It was probably more a case of nostalgia for the both of us and the craziness that had been our band before a bunch of our friends either graduated or dropped out of band. Whatever the case may be, by Spring we were a couple. I briefly even thought of "giving myself" to him. I have been so thankful so many times that I didn't.

After I had purchased the tickets, I had the dress and the gloves, I knew he'd love the whole outfit- he told me so. I kept trying to get a hold of him to let him know the date. Little did I know that during this time, he was planning on going to another senior prom with a girl he had dated after he changed schools. All I knew was I could not reach him no matter when I called his barracks. I finally sent him a letter- pretty much demanding an explanation, since prom was so close at hand. Finally hearing back from him, he let me know, in a summary, that while he cherished my friendship he didn't cherish my body. And that he would not be available that weekend. So, stuck with two tickets I began to wrack my brain for someone to invite. My old girlfriends, who had all ditched band during our senior year to concentrate more on academics, told me I could just go stag with them- they hadn't hardly spoken to me most of the year except at lunch. I flipped open my church directory and rummaged through until I found the name of a guy who had gone to school with me for a number of years but had had to move a few years before, he would know most of the people I still went to school with. He was more than happy to accept my invite! I was relieved!

He picked me up. My mom took the obligatory pictures. It was off to a good start. I did not realize, however, that we had a theme (I was always a little slow on things like that, head in the clouds and all that). But my black lace would go great with any theme though, so it didn't matter too much. The hotel banquet room was decorated in a maze of brilliant colors, with masks all over the walls and tables. The girls were all dressed in equally bright, dazzling colors, with glitter on their faces and their hair all done. Boys all in tuxes, or as the style at the time and location was, tux shirts and jackets with either blue or black jeans and boots- thank you, Mr. Clint Black (now I'm just dating myself). My date and I sat with another guy from our youth group and his girlfriend. We ate a salad, talking and laughing the whole time. Dancing for a little bit, watching all of the other "couples" holding each other close did feel kind of weird. Until my sweet date decided he was going to really kick my heels up, he taught me a few of the very base basics to the Texas Two-Step, then we were off. That boy seriously whipped me around that room as if we were at a hoedown! I couldn't believe a girl totally into 80s Hair bands, with a tossing in of a bit of Christian music on the side, could actually do the Two-step. All I can really remember about that time was the room actually whirling around me, but I didn't get dizzy. Just out of breath.

After our meal and dessert, we had the crowning of our Prom Queen and King, it was a pretty close race, but I didn't care for the girl that won- or the ones that were running against her either. But I was happy they were happy. Instead I continued on in the conversations at our table. I even "let" my date have a few dances with some of the other girls he'd grown up with. Granted, I wasn't it wasn't one of the most magical nights of my life and I was still quite miffed at my ex-boyfriend for having dumped me right before my prom, especially when I found out he went to another prom that same night with his ex-girlfriend who is now his wife. But I really did have a fun night, with no regrets the following morning. And after all, how many girls get to say they ended the night at a Batting Cage?