So, do you have someone going to a prom or do you know someone that will be attending? Thankfully, those times are gone for me, but that still doesn't keep me from remembering how it was.
Back in the "Stone Ages" when it was my turn to go to the prom, things were much different than they are now. Prom was on Friday night at the high school, and we got a half day off from school on prom day to allow the girls time to get ready for their big evening. I remember, as a junior high school student, going up to the high school to watch all the couples go into the dance, 'oohing' and 'aahing' over the pretty dresses, flowers, and hair. And oh the hair ... piled so high you prayed there wasn't any wind or sprayed so stiff you wondered if there was any hairspray left at the local Fisher's Big Wheel or GeeBee's! No wonder they needed a half-day to get ready.
Prom was the ultimate, biggest date night on the calendar for high school couples. Going with a group of girl or guy friends like teens do now which is wonderful - was unheard of then. Prom was strictly a couples-only event. For my junior prom, eight of us went bowling. We were all good friends, but not "dating friends," so the reject party it was. (I heard from reliable sources at a later date, we probably had more fun than the prom-goers.) We did have fun and I'm guessing renting bowling shoes and a bowling ball was a lot cheaper than prom dinners and duds.
When senior year rolled around, yet another "reject party" with the same eight friends as the previous year was on the schedule. This year, though, it was a drive-in movie and a party. Part of me does regret not being asked to the prom - girls asking a guy back then was unheard of - but I'm none the worse for wear. My husband, on the other hand, grudgingly went to his senior prom. is mother cried for a week until he caved. He did not have the promised good time, so maybe my parties were the better option.
My older son vehemently refused to attend any prom. Times had changed by the time it was his turn to go and he could have gone with a group of friends. But no, it was not going to happen. Three girls in two years asked him to the prom and he still refused. I almost had him there once, but the girl changed her mind and asked someone else. Ouch!
My younger son, however, was a different story. He embraced the prom experience with gusto. He even rented a tux with a bright bubble gum pink vest, cummerbund and tie to match his date's dress. They did the fancy dinner, pictures, the whole nine yards. The two of them even met up with a whole group of guys later - some with dates, some not - to make it both a date and a friend thing. That's my idea of a fun prom. I hope this made you think back to your high school prom, perhaps with fond memories, or look at this year's prom-goers with a smile. I saw a recent photo of a friend's son and his date for the prom. They looked gorgeous, and I'm thinking her dress probably cost more than my first car. How times have changed! Here's hoping this year's attendees have a safe evening filled with wonderful memories.
Sue Sampson is a longtime columnist for The Parkersburg News & Sentinel.