May 19, 2009

This Post is About Midguided Choices in Semi-Formal Wear and Prom, But Mostly About Misguided Choices in Semi-Formal Wear

I am so late with my prom post! I finally tracked down some pictures of me before I learned that less is more when it comes to the volume of fabric and eyebrows. Enjoy…..

I wish I were one of those reasonably cool and interesting 20-something girls who could aloofly reflect on my prom days as a total waste of time. I wish I were the girl that could tell you that instead of attending the highly overrated prom, I spent the evening chain smoking and discussing Faulkner in my basement with two foreign exchange students from Spain.

But, I’m totally not that girl. Letmetellyouwhy…

I’m not a 20-something. I’m in my 30’s. Very well into my 30’s. I’ve never smoked. And as for the foreign exchange students at my high school? Well, they steered clear of me. It may have been because I was a little overzealous in my repeated attempts to get them to help me with my Spanish homework.

No, I was the girl who totally lived for prom. Two times, in fact.

Junior Prom (1989): I was a Junior, Chad was a Senior. We had been dating for a few months and we were destined to go to prom together. I was destined to wear the biggest, whitest most mermaidiest dress ever.

Sadly, I don’t remember too much detail about our actual date, but I know that I had fun and that my night ended with Chad, in a sweet gesture, offering me a single white rose. And now that I look back on this photo, I’m not at all convinced that my dress was hideous. My eyebrows? Well, that’s another story.

In the weeks prior to my Junior Prom I was a permanent fixture at the tanning salon. See what a delightful shade of orange I was? I practiced and fussed with my hair several days before the big night. Here I am trying out my prom hair and my best misunderstood, teenage girl full of angst look.

The most misguided thing about me back then seems to be my high bangs.

My mother, a talented seamstress, designed and sewed my dress with love, several yards of billowy organza fabric and plenty of swear words. The weeks leading up to Prom, my relationship with my mom hung by a thin white thread. You know how sometimes prominent public figures will sometimes undergo a hunger strike to passively protest an injustice they see in the world? Well, I did something in the same vain just prior to Prom that, to this day, my dad refers to as The Cold Shoulder Incident of ’89*. For about three days, I gave my mother the silent treatment over the placement of beading on my dress bodice. I’ll show her! I thought. We eventually made up when I finally came to my senses and trusted my mother’s judgment and because I needed her credit card to buy Chad a corsage. Yep, I was a brat.

*Note: History would eventually reveal that The Cold Shoulder Incident of ’89 would pale in comparison to our infamous Wedding Dress Feud of ’99. Let’s just say it’s highly unlikely that my mom and I will ever be able to work toward a common goal when a white dress is involved.

Junior Prom 2: Electric Bugaloo, The Senior Edition (1990): My Senior year in school, I was escorted by Tyler, another Senior. I wanted to wear something a little shorter, a little edgier but ended wearing something, well, a little bigger. Sadly, I was unable to find that prom picture, but I was able to snag my Homecoming picture with the same guy. Behold the power of puffy satin sleeves. Behold the power of high bangs.

All I remember about that Homecoming dance was Tyler exclaiming out loud when he picked me up, Wow. You’re really wearing black? To a dance?, then me falling asleep on his friend’s couch in the basement during a Batman movie. (And not one of the good Batman movies either, but the first cheesy Michael Keaton/Jack Nicholsen debacle.) When I woke up, it was just me, Tyler and a pair rumpled sleeves.

This promtrastophe post is in conjunction with two of my favorite ladies Stiletto Mom and Blissfully Caffeinated. Be sure to visit them and openly mock their big hair too.


blissfully caffeinated said...

I'm so first!

blissfully caffeinated said...

I love that white dress. And your date's scarf. Tres chic.

I'm not sure why no one was telling us to wax our eyebrows back then. It was only a few short years later that I had mine waxed down to nothing because Madonna told me to.

You are so adorable. Thanks for posting these!

P.S. Michael Keaton IS Batman to me.

Miss Grace said...

My favorite part is the choice to combine the high bangs WITH the wedding dress.

Lisa said...

wow. that is really a white dress. I wonder if your date thought you were going to steal him away to the chapel instead?!

Logical Libby said...

Wow. The hair, the eyebrows, the dress. You WERE the '80s.

ChurchPunkMom said...

so awesome.

no worries, i wore black to homecoming too.. minus the poofy white sleeves. ;)

Becky said...

I think that white prom dress is pretty! Every girl should have a few white dresses/big nights/sewing fights with her mother in her past.

And I'm admiring your poses in the homecoming pic.

Also, you and I are exactly the same age.

Bex said...

i love your wedding dress you wore to junior prom!

and oh my, what sexy arms you have in that senior prom picture! i would KILL to have those arms. no, i won't kill you and sever your arms then attach them to my body. that's gross.

Wicked Step Mom said...

I love your black dress! I would have worn it!!

Captain Dumbass said...

Those poofy sleeves sure were.... poofy.

Michele said...

Bold choice of a wedding dress in Utah when you were about 17. They might have thought you were getting married. Don't they marry young there?

Peggy said...

Well well well...wasn't Chad debonair with his little white scarf and his single white rose? A boy's gotta do what a boy's gotta do to, well, ya know.

You, as usual, look 80's adorable.

PAPATV said...

As an outsider (someone who didn't go to Prom), it's so funny to see what I imagined to happen and the true account in many cases of what ACTUALLY happened.
I imagined Prom as a big picture taking, dinner eating, make out fest.
But so many people claim to falling asleep to 80's movies...and missing the make out altogther.
Or is that Prom secret code? ;)

Jenni said...

if you cut the sleeves off that last one it's not half bad. but holy christ woman did you have some hair. you must have huffed some serious aqua net in your day.

Jess said...

The dresses were AMAZING. I am in awe of your bangs as well...

Dr Zibbs said...

Electric Bugaloo? Sweet.

Ms. Salti said...

Wow! I cannot believe the hair... oh wait, yes I can. I had the same hair style! Except I was a few years younger and didn't have any incriminating high school photos taken! Ha ha ha. Sexy dresses, by the way!

Melanie D said...

I sadly didn't go to prom...but now years later it's probably a good thing, although I graduated in the late 90's so I probably would have been covered in piercings and sporting purple or red hair.......

Your first picture it looks like a wedding dress!! hmmm wonder If I could find the captains grad pic...tee hee.

robin said...

I did the 80s prom thing too, so I feel that I am MORE than qualified to make a judgement.... (Versus all those posters putting up their 90s proms. Psaw! Kid stuff!)
And I have to say you looked GREAT! The dresses are pretty and really not all that 80s cheese-tastic. (And I mean that in a good way!) And the hair is perfectly proportionate... I've definitely seen seriously larger boufs!
Awesome post.

Dana's Brain said...

These are totally awesome, dude! Damn, I need to find my (also 80's) prom pics!

Will you tell us about the wedding dress feud too? That sounds like some good blog fodder.

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Wow, I totally thought I was too cool for prom (I actually just blogged about this a couple of days ago), but I was not cool enough to discuss Faulkner with my friends. No one foreign exchanged into my High School unless they were looking to lose IQ points and be denied eventual citizenship on the basis of adding NO VALUE WHATSOEVER to the USA. As for my friends, they were semi-literate, semi-interesting and more concerned with the tightness of Simon LeBon's pants than anything that popped neurons. What's super funny to me, is the prom that you had looks very much like the prom that I would have had if I could create it as an adult. Big hair, big dress, criminal abuse of Aqua Net.

All in all I think you rocked it out!

The Stiletto Mom said...

Why is your second date striking JC Penny modeling pose number 235?

You are adorable, big 'ol mall bangs and all!

I'm linking you on my post today as well as prom-a-palooza. xo

Pamela said...

Those aren't eyebrows. They are a nation unto themselves.

Jamie said...

That's so wrong about your brows. Does NOBODY remember Brooke Shields!?!!??!

Also? You were sophistimicated! Black to a prom is tres chic! I writhe remembering MY Utah proms in which my mother put me out to prom in Gunne Sax Pink.

(I am a redhead...Gunne Sax=The Little House on the Prairie of red hot evil)

Rebekah said...

Crap. I was signed in as Jamie, but that bit about prom dresses was from me, Rebekah. It MUST BE ANNOUNCED: My husband did not wear pink gunne sax to his prom.

for a different kind of girl said...

SWOON!! You are a vision! I predict that we would have totally group danced to a Jody Whatley song, preferrably "Lookin' For A New Love" had we gone to the same prom, and it wouldn't be the least bit weird if we had even though I would have had to skip finals during my senior year of college to do so.


That's not the least bit weird, is it?

Casey said...

Aww, you were beautimus! A beautiful diva. WTH is going on with the second prom shot, are you guys not allowed to look at each other? It kind of looks like sibling pictures...

Sammanthia said...

I think I saw the first dress in an episode of Bridezillas.;)

ciara said...

closest thing i ever got to poofy sleeves was the bridesmaid dress i had to wear at my friend's wedding. ummm yeah. lol

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

You were adorable, poof and all.

Kat said...

*swoon* I love your poofy bangs!

apathy lounge said...

Being a teen of the 70s, prom wasn't about big hair or high bangs or tanning salons. We had to get our "color" the old fashioned way by inviting cancer over with a cocktail of noon sun and baby oil. And the dresses? Oh God. I'm having some awful flashbacks about the dresses.

GreenJello said...

I'm not sure which is puffier-- your sleeves, or your hair...

Maybe I should drag out my old pics. I have them somewhere.

Your mom made that white dress? Wow. It's nice, even by today's standards. :)

GreenJello said...

Oh-- and bushy eyebrows were in style then because of Brooke Shields. Remember?

Tracy Lynn said...

I didn't go to prom. I think I got drunk somewhere else.

Carolyn...Online said...

The bangs were a work of art.

Petra a.k.a The Wise (*Young*) Mommy said...

Do you know how hard I tried to get my bangs that big? Seriously, HOURS a day. And they never got there...

I am so jealous.

Keely said...

I'm pretty sure swear words are what MAKE a dress.

I wore black to prom too. Black hair, black dress, black lipstick, black flip-flops.

JuleeSLC said...

Wrist corsage. Love it.

Mrsbear said...

I always loved the puffy sleeves, shoulder pads were another story. I love the homecoming photo, you sitting on the fancy cube, your date with his leg up, now that's classy.

Zip n Tizzy said...

I thought I was too cool for prom, (even though I was SO uncool) but then my neighbor asked me to go and when I hesitated his mom offered to buy me my dress! I decided at that point to get over myself, and made my own dress. Which was down to my ankles. What a prude!

p.s. you and I must be the same well into our 30's because I was a senior in '90 too!

April said...

i actually really like the white dress!!!

Susan said...

I can't believe I think I found someone who matched my hair. Seriously.

Jennifer said...

I had the EXACT same bangs!

bejewell said...

Wait a minute -- is that guy wearing... WHITE SHOES? The lean-in guy is totally wearing white shoes. That is SO Clark Griswold it's not even funny.

Well, actually, it IS funny. Really funny.

God I miss the 80s.

DeeMarie said...

I'm sure you could have rocked Prom this year too. I think everyone in our generation lived the puffy sleeves. :)

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