As I have mentioned on this blog before (such as here and here), I never went to the prom or any other school dances when I was a teenager. My reasons for not doing so were various, from not having transportation to get to and from the dance, to my not being real “prom date” material, to not having the gumption to ask anyone out. Oh, yeah, and I have two left feet. There is a part of me who wishes I had gone to those high school dances, but it would have been a safe bet that I wouldn’t have enjoyed myself, likely being that proverbial wallflower (I would’ve stuck to that wall like glue).
So, what did I do if I never went to the prom, as this writing prompt from F.C. inquired? Well, since Mom worked nights during most of my high school years and used the family car as her mode of transportation, I stayed home, either watching television in the living room, sitting on the porch if the weather was nice, or, in all likelihood, cooping myself in my bedroom and do homework while the Brewers game played out on the radio. Yeah, real excitement away from the school dances.
But I do sometimes imagine what it could have been like had I attended the high school prom. Or if there was a “grownup prom” some party planner throws sometime somewhere for those who want to relive their teen years. Or even a LGBT-themed grownup prom. Such a prom would be an awesome experience, where the partygoers could be who they are, bring who they love, and dress how they wish.
And based on the thoughts of what could have been then and what could be now (if I still would have the gumption — and the charisma — to go for it), I want to turn that above linked prompt from F.C. and turn it on its ear a little bit: Since there was no night at the prom for me to tell you about from my high school days, I could always imagine going to a grownup prom today. I could also imagine going as Allison. And perhaps there would be someone in the same circumstance as I: Shy to others, can’t dance worth a lick, preferring to stay on the sidelines for most of the night. Perhaps the two of us could recall the proms we never went to:
They had my prom in the school gym
It was the usual thing
Lots of crepe paper streamers above us
A basketball court at our feet
Rented tuxes and expensive dresses
A loud rock cover band
And an occasional slow dance or two
Oh, and a prom court
With a king, queen, and others
Who were cooler than I ever was
Yeah, I didn’t go to my prom
Your school had a prom, too?
You say it was at a dance hall, huh?
And the kids came in limos
Instead of their parents’ old heap?
You had food (food?!) and drinks?
And a DJ?
Sounds like it was a fun time
You didn’t go to your prom either?
Guess we were the ultimate wallflowers
Sitting so far off to the side
That we were never even there
Just sitting at home instead
Not stepping on our partners’ feet
Or keeping 12 inches between us
Like the chaperones would want us to do
Or dancing a cotillion
Like our grandparents would expect us to do
But that was then
And this is now
You’re here, and I’m here
Just sitting here
Just watching the others dance the night away
They do dance better than us
But that’s okay
Perhaps this is the prom
That we were meant to have
And while we didn’t go to our proms back then
That’s not all that bad
Because getting to know you now
And getting to learn all about you
Makes for a memorable night
Under stars shining bright
Let the others dance
Because we have the chance
To build a connection that will go on
Well beyond this prom