I went to both of my high school proms, junior and senior, with the same boyfriend. I think we went to Mallard’s on the Stockton waterfront for dinner both years. The first year was a blast, although we’d just got together so we spoke sparkles and walked on rainbows. Prom was held on a riverboat on the Delta. We gambled. We danced. We met up with friends afterward. (And hey, wouldn’t you know it, one of those friends happens to be my Husband. Funny how things work out.) By my senior prom there was tension. Pictures were too expensive. I wanted more keepsakes to remember the night, he wanted to save money for “the real world”. I wasn’t ready for post high school reality just yet. We broke up not long after high school, after I met up with that after-prom friend again.
Things just clicked. Values stepped toe to toe. We laughed at the same goofy shit. We wanted the same things. He was drop-dead gorgeous to top the cake. Fun followed us wherever we went. We couldn’t stop being together. (We’ve been together thirteen years now.)
When I was asked to chaperone prom this year at a high school I used to teach at, I was ecstatic, as I always am when prom rolls around and I get to spy on all the hot dresses. It’s a fun night with sequins, sky-high heels, tuxedos, flowers and smiles…that is, until I see couples fight.
It always happens. There’s that one couple that can’t get along for one stressful night.
Side note: What’s so stressful about prom anyway? Shopping for the dress, shoes and jewelry to make you feel like a movie star? Spending all day in a hairdresser’s chair getting ready? Seeing your date at his most handsome? Going out and feeling like a princess? I don’t see the problem. I don’t understand why couple’s fight on prom. Maybe the pressure and expectation? Maybe the sparkles–the princess dream world–are too enticing for her and too blinding for him? I don’t know.
Anyhow, this year, couple’s fought. A handful of couples left early and went their separate ways. I even saw a couple fighting over a cell phone. The guy was holding out his hand, demanding her phone, she wouldn’t give it to him, he nearly pushed her outside to get to it, thereby ensuring she wouldn’t be able to get back in again. (Once outside, the security wouldn’t let kids re-enter.) I couldn’t help but watch the train wreck, thinking back to my own prom.
I realized that prom wasn’t the problem. It was me. It was my date. We didn’t see eye to eye on what we dreamed, what we expected and what was real and we didn’t care enough about the dreams and expectations of the other person to change. I think I was more the dreamer, wanting to be whisked away somewhere magical and he was more of a realist, not wanting to dream about anything for fear of wanting something unattainably great.
So this year I went with another dreamer–my Husband. And together we dreamed of going back to Titanic.
I seriously had one of the best Prom’s ever. Okay, okay, it may have had something to do with one or three lemon drops I had right before the dance. Whether it was the company, the dream date or the drinks, I don’t care. It was great.
Can’t wait for next year.