Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Prom Date Challenge

In 1988, I went to the Junior Prom with this young man. We were friends and I invited him. He learned to drive his dad's old stick shift BMW to drive us there, which was charming.

I was in a Victorian phase - pictures from Victoria magazine were taped all over my bedroom walls - and chose this classic black cotton Laura Ashley frock. My date was too painfully shy to ask me to dance. My official stance was: if I ask you to the prom, you have to ask me to dance. My pride was too great to do both, and I have to say, I stand by that. So I danced with some other guys, but never once my date, despite the fact that I knew he liked me.

This date went on to Cornell and is now a rocket scientist. Seriously. As in developing things that NASA sends into space. He's still a sweet guy and thankfully not quite as shy. He has a lovely wife, and I'll bet money he has danced with her at least once.

The next year I attended Senior Prom. Since the only photos I have of both of us show this dress with a lacy shawl around it and you simply can't get the full effect of its 1980's va-voom, I have been kind enough to provide you with two. (Brave, huh?)

I just have to compare these photos with the one above and wonder what kind of teenage transformation occurred in one short year for me to go from black Laura Ashley to lavender Jessica McClintock lace-and-shimmer, and to have permed my hair. I wish I knew.

My date to this prom was also a very good friend of mine who surprised me greatly by asking me. So surprised was I when he asked me that I believe I said, "Shut up!" and walked away, assuming it was in jest. He was fun to go with, but he hooked up with another girl at the after-prom beach party. 0 for 2 on the prom dates!

This date went on to Yale and then Penn, and is now an ER doctor in rural North Carolina. He has a wonderful wife and three adorable little boys.

Thanks to The Snarky Squab for this Prom Date Challenge! C'mon, ladies, who's next?! I DARE YOU! Link to your photos in the comments section! (Or just laugh at me. Either way, really.)


Lori at Spinning Yellow said...

So many of your posts to comment on, but had to say this is hilarious!! I, too, have several ex-date/boyfriends who went to prestigious school and are now very accomplished. And I have some scarily similar dresses. I would love to post them, but it will take too much time to dig them up and scan and all that. Suffice to say that my junior to senior prom (2 years prior to yours) went the same way - black and white Laura Ashley (made by mother's friend) to a shimmery, metallic green dress that my mother feared would light on fire!

squab said...

Holy awesome outfits. Ah, Laura Ashley and Jessica McClintock - two names that evoked pure magic in my high school dreams. I think my mom must've made me 2-3 Laura Ashley dresses in high school. Sooooo flowery. Soooooo girly. Soooooo would make me kind of gag now. Way to rock the prom challenge!

kristen said...

Sadly, my senior prom date also hooked up with another girl, but he has remained a lifelong friend and wonderful source of support to my whole family. He's an awesome guy, so I kind of have to forgive him his indiscretion way back there in 1979. I don't believe I was invited to my junior prom. I don't remember. Either way, I guess it didn't faze me.

And the dress? Well, for senior prom it was a navy blue silky Qiana thing with a slit up the front. No poufs. This was pre-pouf.

Luckily, I missed the pouf-era. By the time I got married, the pouf was on it's way out!! Though some insisted on keeping it alive...

Matt said...

I just have to say that I suddenly feel like a slouch -- you went to prom with a rocket scientist and an ER doctor and then settled for a namer.Thanks for lowering your standards!

Jordan said...

No, Matt...I went to the prom with two awkward teenaged boys. I *married* the brilliant, handsome, sweet guy who makes all my dreams come true.

Cara said...

Awwww...you guys are too cute (and I mean Matt and Jordan!). :-)

I went to someone else's junior prom in a pink and white STRIPED gown (the first time I have seen "striped" and "gown" in s sentence in a while). My date wore a pink tie and cumberbund (sp??) and got drunk in the corner and literally ignored me the whole time. Turns out he "like" liked me, too, but was apparently too shy to let me know. I went to my own junior prom in a more sedate peach dropped-waist dress with the exchage student from Spain. Ah! Such crazy memories!

Sarah said...


I never thought my brief surf through your blog during a break in the day would bring me BACK TO HIGH SCHOOL! Whew!

You totally rocked in high school, by the way. What a role model and what a great Best Friend!

Jordan said...

Sarah, I was just waiting for you to discover this post and am glad it was sooner rather than later!! I wish I had some photos of you at prom up there, too - of course, I have them right here at the ready but you looked too GOOD, there's nothing to make fun of! And anyone who was cool enough to wear a sari to the prom is the one who actually rocked in high school, my friend. ;-)

Shan said...

The good thing about not going to prom is that years later there are no humiliating photos! That is what we should all tell our high-school selves when we don't have a date for prom, right? Oh wait--am I the only one who didn't have a date for prom?

tulipmom said...

Jessica McClintock ... now that's a name I haven't heard in a long time.

You are very brave to post your prom pics (even though you look beautiful in both photos). I wore a black velvet strapless dress with a big white satin bow to my Junior Something or Other (can't remember the name of the dance) and a royal blue with black velvet polka dots (are you picturing this?? I still have it and it's purple now)strapless dress to my Senior Prom. I remember spending a significant portion of both evenings pulling up those damn dresses. I took a "boyfriend" to the first and an acquaintance to the second. Wouldn't you know I had a MUCH better time with the guy I barely knew.

Emily, as some know me said...

Please, you two. Get a room. ;)

I don't even know if I have prom pix. What I do know is that I dress exactly the same as I did 15 or 20 years ago (black, white, khaki, denim), and I have the same hair (short, brown). Yes, I am that boring. Marshall and I were just talking about how old some of our clothes are...like, from when we first started going out FIFTEEN YEARS AGO.

I believe that to my senior prom, I wore a silk dress by some designer--a real one--whose name escapes me. It was dark, drop waist, and I'm pretty sure I could still wear it today. It's just not even worth digging out pictures, is it? :)

Good post! You look soooooo cheerful, and that's some serious Julia-Roberts-circa-Mystic-Pizza hair you've got going on there. Along with a similar 50 kWatt smile.

Anonymous said...

i love those pictures! and that you've kept in touch with your ex-prom dates enough to know what they ended up doing and with whom (!).

slouching mom said...

oh, laura ashley. i loved laura ashley with adolescent fervor.

we didn't have proms at our teeny high school in new york city.

can you imagine?

no prom for me.

Casdok said...

Very cute pics! Proms sound like fun!
No proms for us in the UK!

Anonymous said...

Reading your blog is part of my every day routine, in a good meaning. Your blog is like a cup of coffee in the morning...one have to have it...I have to say this is so far the funniest post EVER..EVER..EVER..These photos are just too funny...You are the best!

Niksmom said...

Ok, I've been avoiding this liek the plague b/c, well, yeah the Julia Roberts Mystic Pizza thing...cracks me up! I never officially went to my OWN prom as I spent my last 2 yrs of school at a very small Quaker school in PA. But as a sophomore I went with a Jr. to his prom. Wore a pale pink, empire waisted spaghetti strap gown with a white lacey, fringed shawl. We rode in his turquoise vintage T-bird convertible. It was pretty slick. We were just friends though. Don't know what he's doing these days; haven't thought of those times in many, many years.

Christopher Tassava said...

@ Matt & Jordan - Valentine's isn't until next month. Sheesh.

@ Shan - Your husband didn't have any prom dates, either.