Prom has turned into a business. We see depictions of “the perfect prom night” in movies and television all the time. I worry it makes teenagers feel like if they don’t have THE BEST PROM EVER they’ve missed out on a crucial moment in their young adult lives.
It’s simply not true.
Look, prom can be a fun thing. I’ve written about prom hair and prom makeup, so I’ve got nothing against prom. I want you to know though, about my prom experience — how everything that could have gone wrong, did — and why it prom isn’t worth stressing over.
I decided to go, somewhat begrudgingly, to my junior prom. I went to an all girls high school, so I didn’t know many boys. The one boy I wanted to go with was on the verge of being suspended from his school, so he couldn’t go with me. My friend Kelly was kind enough to set me up with one of her friends. I met him on prom night.
I went dress shopping and couldn’t find anything I liked, so I settled on my mom’s Elie Tahari suit with a string of pearls, a giant Carrie Bradshaw-type flower pin, and a $20 black striped bustier-style top. The night I put on my outfit, I immediately regretted not having a dress, but it was too late.
Then, my hair stylist/makeup artist showed up. Utterly devastated. She’d broken up with her fiancé the night before but didn’t want to cancel on me. So she proceeded to drink an entire bottle of wine while doing my hair and makeup, trying not to cry the entire time.
I felt for her, I did, but let’s just say, I was not too happy with my hair and makeup.
Then, my friend Kelly called. Her date couldn’t come because he landed an acting gig (classic LA problems). So this meant we had to share a date.
By the time we all piled into the limo to get to my friend’s house, I was so over the whole thing.
As for the prom itself, it was…fine. I saw my friends, we danced, we ate, and I was home by 11.
When I got the photos back, I was so disappointed. I hated how I looked, I hated that my date couldn’t be there, I hated the whole thing. Now I look back on those photos and smile.