Prom. It’s the single event 96% of teen movies are about. And although some of you may have experienced your first prom decades ago or even just weeks ago, I thought I’d share my not-so-prom experience with you.
Although I am very pro-tradition, sometimes I look at traditions and say “why on earth do we do this?” I mean, not to shoot down high school experiences, because I love them as much as the next person, but there comes a time when I’ve learned it’s ok to throw out a tradition and try something different; to go the road less traveled if I were to quote Mr. Frost. So that’s what I did.
My date and I decided we were going to filter the entire prom event into what we wanted to do and what we didn’t. We dressed up. (Doesn’t he clean up well?!) We took the group pictures (which he hated). We were bombarded by the swarm of moms embracing their inner paparazzi. We smiled until our cheeks started to twitch and become numb. We tilted our heads and swiveled our hips and finally, once every parent had gotten every angle with every possible combination of people, we reached our limit; and fortunately they did too. While the rest of the prom-going group gathered up their dresses and sunk into the dirt trying to get to dinner by their reservation time, my date and I headed a little farther south to a tasteful place called The Melting Pot with plenty of time to spare. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the concept of a fondue restaurant, but let me tell you, put it on your bucket list if you haven’t already. From someone who has a weakness for any and all foods not on the Weight Watchers guide, this was heaven. It was the first formal restaurant I’d been to where they expected you to play with your food. I won’t spoil all the secrets that The Melting Pot holds, but we had the time of our lives.
Once we had reached our maximum capacity and I thought I was feeling the sequins on my dress splitting, we met all the prom-goers at a huge arcade to play lazertag, in our dresses and tuxes of course. I decided that if I was going to dress up and ask my date to do the same, there ought to be some sort of James Bond moment created. It was an intense battle, but in the end, one of the boys took home the title of lazertag champion. I guess you win some and you lose some.
The rest of the night consisted of a breakfast buffet at a friend’s house, sitting around a fire pit sharing stories, bundling up on couches to watch Spiderman (the new one with Andrew Garfield not the weird ones with Tobey Maguire), and getting chocolate wasted on donuts and candy. It was one of the most unhealthy and memorable nights of my senior year and I will cherish every moment of it.
Although I didn’t technically attend prom, I learned prom is not really about the dance, but rather about the people you spend your evening with. I learned prom is when girls get to look like Greek goddesses decked in glamour and sugar-addicts slumping in sweatpants all in one evening. I learned it’s one of those events where girls break out the makeup they haven’t worn in four years and try to remember all the makeup tutorials they’ve watched and never tried. I learned that sparkly dresses from consignment stores can be just as glamorous as custom-made gowns shipped in from California. I learned that I’m not that great at lazertag. And I learned that tweaking traditions is more like customizing an experience and that sometimes it turns out better than the original.
Small note of thanks to not only the classy ladies I’m privileged to call my friends, but also the handsome guys of the evening, thank you for smiling and enduring the pictures. And to the moms, thank you for being relentless paparazzi.