Inhale deeply. Tell me what you smell? Try to sniff past the smell of fresh cut grass and blooming flowers. If you have allergies go ahead and sneeze a few times, but then I want you to concentrate. Close your eyes and focus. Zero in on the corsages, the taffeta, the tiaras and the limousines. Feel the excitement and last minute date scramble. Taste the punch and the hours-de-ourves. Hear the thumping music just before the DJ announces the last slow dance. Now open your eyes and see the balloons, the dance floor, the young people glammed up in tuxedos and formal dresses, and gaze at the sparkling decorations. Have a seat and take in your surroundings... You're at the prom.
The Prom is always the climax of a teen drama. Everything in a teen movie happens at the prom. The unsuspecting girl is named Prom Queen. That high school crush finally makes the transition from fantasy to reality. Virginities are lost. Rivalries cemented. You name it... it can happen at the prom... in Hollywood.
In reality prom is just like any other dance. There are couples slow dancing. There are girls dancing in groups. The decorations and dresses all resemble the same decorations and dresses of the past generations. There are flowers pinned to jackets and strapped around wrists, and at the end of the night your life is still the same as it was at the beginning of the night (with the exception of your feet throbbing and aching from the shoes and the dancing). Chances are, Prom is just another event to remember years down the road where nothing significant happened.
I went to Prom my junior and senior years in high school. I went dateless both years (that shouldn't be surprising since I'm perpetually single and I seem to have more fun that way). My school had Post Prom (which was the school's way of keeping the teens from drinking and having sex). Since I was a goodie two shoes in HS, I spent the entire night after prom in the high school gym playing games and getting attendance prizes. I had fun. I went to prom and I had fun.
A friend of mine (one that I graduated with ten years ago) was asked to Prom this year (seriously). The guy who asked her is 18 years old and, evidently, infatuated with her. While he's not exactly jail bait, I think he'd be better off asking a girl his own age. If you think about it... the last time my friend went to prom, this kid was in the second grade. He was just learning his cursive letters. His biggest academic hurdle was distinguishing his r's from his n's. I told her if she were meant to go to prom with him, she should have done it back then... it would have been cuter than a 27 year old showing up wearing a dress and a corsage. Of course, she declined his flattering offer.
It's got me thinking, though. I want to go to Prom again. Like I said, I had fun at the first two, but I want to go to another one. But I'd like to go to an adult prom. I want a prom with booze. I want to go to prom without the awkward feeling that accompanies adolescence. I want a prom without the chaperons. I want to get all dressed up in a formal dress, get my hair teased, combed, curled and pinned into place secured with an entire bottle of hairspray. I want to dance, and dance, and dance, and then dance some more. I think I still want to go dateless. When I went stag I managed to dance with all the other girls' dates. That's a trend I'll keep from the first time around.
I guess we already have adult versions of Prom. Weddings tend to get us to dress up and dance. I guess the bride and groom are comparable to the king and queen, but the major differences are the dresses. At a wedding the bride is guaranteed to have the best dress in the room. At prom, all the girls are wearing something fabulous. All the girls are well put together. All the guys are wearing tuxedos... not just a select few like you'd have at a wedding. Everybody's dressed to the nines and look their best. You can't really get that at a wedding. There's always some redneck cousin wearing jeans, thereby ruining any sort of dress code in place.
The more affluent adults find themselves at elite parties which would be more comparable to The Prom. Dress codes at certain events, fundraisers, extravaganzas can mimic that of a prom. I suppose if you're rich you can show up to an event like this in a chaffered vehicle. For the economically blessed and the social elite, the invitations to these galas are always coming in. They may even be jaded to this lifestyle and don't find it as glamorous shiny as I would.
Why can't we "salt of the earth" peeps get a big dance? I realize it costs a lot of money to do a big event like that. With the cost of admission, the dress or the tux, the limo, etc the grand total is a hefty one. Because of that, my dream of the adult prom will probably never see fruition. I turn 29 this year... and I'm thinking for my 30th I want something fancy. I want to get all dressed up and I want everybody else to get dressed up, too. The theme? Will be The Prom. It's decided so don't try to talk me out of it.