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Off Like a Prom Dress – a Pictorial

My friend Renee Schuls Jacobson wrote a blog over here about going to prom.  I told her I had done a blog a year or so ago on my old site and she thought it was time to re-reun that bad boy.  So here it is, tidied up a little for present day:

Off Like a Prom Dress

Over on my Facebook Page  (which you should all go and “Like”) I had a little contest as to what I should write about next.  And the lovely and talented Michele Clark Powell won with her prom theme suggestion, due to the time of year.  She suggested I compare proms of today to yesterday and goaded me into posting pics.

This was easy as I have 2 teenagers who are in prime prom season and one son in college who went to about 7 proms.  Of course it’s totally different nowadays.  Now, prom is a cross between a nightclub, wedding reception, bar mitzvah, and Teamster’s Convention after hours stripper party.  I give you some examples:

It’s turned into a God damn circus now.  Starting from the asking part, you can’t just ask a girl to prom, you have to have a “prom proposal” or “promposal”.  It’s a grandiose gesture akin to a marriage proposal.

Ridiculous.  At least these days they will have the prom at a banquet hall or something with dinner included.  We used to decorate our gym, have it in there and go out to eat someplace else beforehand.  And that was usually at some stuffy old place that your parents thought was fine dining.  It usually featured velvet wallpaper.

Then there was transportation.  In my day the boy just borrowed his Dad’s car and maybe double dated with another couple.

Now they do this…

It’s like a modern day Joad family, where 18 couples pile into a stretch Hummer and party like it’s 1999… er somethin’.

The main meat of the prom is pretty much the same  – dancing, awkward socializing, douchie dudes trying to get up and sing with the band, girls crying in the bathroom.  The only slight difference is now there is grinding and simulated sex on the dance floor (unless you have a school policy against it) and there is the occassional shirtless toolbag gymrat/spray tan guy attempting to break dance.

After parties have changed slightly.  When I was in high school, some kid might have kids over in his basement to drink, smoke pot, and makeout after the prom.  Or you just went parking, that’s when Dad’s old station wagon came in handy, back seat goes down.  What?  Don’t tell me you didn’t?  Hey, the drinking age was 18 at the time, it was a different era.  Didn’t you ever see “16 Candles”?  I know they still do the drinking and stuff but now they are renting hotel rooms!  Sorry but I’ll do whatever I can to keep my teenage son or daughter away from a hotel room.  Oy!

However one thing remains the same over time… if all goes well the night will end like this…

Actually I knew a girl in high school that never even made it into the prom, she spent the whole time making out with her date in the car in the parking lot.  Scandalous at the time!

The other thing that bugs me is that girls are expected to go all out (by other girls) to get manicures, up-dos, spray tans, professional makeup application, and give designer flowers.  My daughter just went to a prom and was very disappointed that I said I would do her makeup. Hey I sprang for the up-do, we bought $6 press-on French manicure nails (that actually looked gorgeous, girls thought they were real gel), and decided against spray tan, I only have so much money I couldn’t spring another $40 just to put on makeup.  I drew the line.  She ended up looking gorgeous…

Lib prom

Ah, just look at my baby girl. 🙂

When I went to the prom it was shower, blow dry feather the hair, and lip gloss.  It’s out of control now.

Anyway, here is a little glimpse into my past lameness.  My high school had 2 “proms” a year, a winter ball and Spring prom.  Here is my very first winter ball in 1979.  I was 14 years old, my boyfriend was 2 years older, that’s why I went to so many proms.  Check out his lovely maroon tux:

Here we are in the Spring of 1980 at prom.  I’ve always gone for the stylish ones.  My gown was made out of white cotten eyelet material, the stitching around the eyelets was a light green.  It was actually a bridesmaid dress from my sister’s wedding worn by another sister 4 years before.  Hey, I was frugal:

Then we come to the winter ball of 1980.  Wasn’t I uber preppy in my floor length plaid skirt and black velvet vest?  How he could resist my hotness, I have no idea:

And our final prom together, Spring 1981.  That gown was a beautiful baby blue, you can’t really see in this pic.  And of course John was so handsome in all white. lol  What’s with the fence?:

 My junior year, I moved to a new school which totally sucked.  My boyfriend went off to college and eventually dumped me by the end of his Freshman year for a college coed. 🙁  So I went to prom in Spring 1982 with a friend who acted like a putz after I rejected his romantic advances, so I don’t feel the need to show him here:

Why does my hair look different in all these pics?  Some look dark, some look light.  Oh, lighting, duh.  I swear I never did any coloring except for the chlorine from the pool, I was on swim team I was in it twice a day.

Spring 1983.  My senior year, I had a new boyfriend from another school who I was all set to go to the prom with but he was messing around with his sister and broke a window at his house so his punishment was that he couldn’t go to my prom.  Seriously?  Your punishment is to not let your girlfriend enjoy her senior prom?  His mother was an f-ing idiot anyway.  I still hate her, even though I haven’t seen her in 29 years.   Oh well, I had already gone to 5 proms.

So, what are some of your proms stories?  Worst prom?  Best prom?  Share a picture with me!  If you can’t post it here, (which I’m sure you can’t) send it to me at and I’ll post it!

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