So, what’s your Friday night like? It’s Friday night as I write this, and I’m spending it staying home, writing on WordPress (of course), continuing my weight management course… and not going anyplace. Yep, I’m spending the night at home. Again.
That’s not to say I never go out on a Friday. Indeed, I’ve gone out a couple of times on a Friday or Saturday night. And I was thisclose to going out tonight. I say thisclose because a couple of days ago, Male Mode Me saw one of those “add a comment and you could win” posts on my Instagram feed. The deal was this: One of the more respected media organizations in our fair city (a weekly newspaper, if you must ask) posted a giveaway of tickets to an “80s prom” event to be held at one of the concert venues downtown. All respondents had to do was describe their prom experience in the 80s in emojis in the comment section. A random respondent would then be selected, and his or her name would be put on the “free pass” list to the event.
As I’ve noted before on here, I never went to any high school dances when I was a teenager, prom or otherwise. I did fantasize sometimes about dressing up in an awesome prom dress, hitting the (small) town, and knock everyone’s socks off by how good I looked. But looking back on my teenage years, I don’t think I missed very much by not going to the dance. I think it’s that lack of prom experience back then that prompted me to do something I would never normally do: I added a comment to that “contest” post. I didn’t use any emojis, however (not even a frown face). Rather, I typed in a snide, semi-serious, not-as-facetious-as-one-would-think comment about the concert to take place. My comment went something like, “Ah, to heck with the prom [insert eyeroll].”
Yeah, that’s what I wrote. And, yeah, that’s what I meant. And I wasn’t expecting for my comment to be taken seriously. That was until I received a direct message from the paper stating… guess what? They randomly selected me for a free pass to the “80s prom.” All I had to do was send my acknowledgement to the e-mail address they provided and I was on the list.
And that’s when I started an internal debate about the whole thing. First off, I asked myself, hey, why not go? Perhaps it could be a night where I might get acquainted with a new face or two, which is always good. And meeting a new face wouldn’t require me to cut a rug; I’ve never been able to dance and generally prefer to be the wallflower away from the dance floor.
But then my mind went into due diligence mode and started to wonder… what kind of night is it really going to be? Will it be less of the dance the event’s title implied, or more of a concert or even a movie from the 80s? Turns out it’s a concert by an 80s cover band. (It’s taking place in a concert venue/performance theater, for the record.)
The more I weighed the event in my mind, the more I was beginning to think, eh, to heck with it. Still, though, part of me was still wanting to go. But it took seeing a picture on the website of the radio station promoting the event (one of those cheesy assembly line-style classic hits stations) to really, really convince me this whole “80s prom” thing wouldn’t be worthwhile for me. It was a bad picture. How bad? Well, brace yourselves, because I’m going to show it. Avert your eyes if you must, because here it comes:
Yeah, that’s stock footage of a couple dressed to the nines… well, to be honest, dressed to the eights (or even the sevens) trying to turn back time at some “80s prom” type of shindig. He’s the tough jock type, she’s clearly arm candy. (And, yikes, her dress.) Together, they look like they’re clearly wanting to recapture their youths. Or, maybe, they’ve never grown up. Let me rephrase that: They may be a couple in their 40s, but with their godawful expressions, they haven’t matured in the past 3 decades, leaving their radios turned to some classic hairband rock station.
This pair doesn’t appear to have matured… but I have. Every day, I feel less and less like a kid of the 80s and more of a person with refined tastes. Well, mostly refined. But for sure, I’m not one who wishes to live their life stuck in an era of big hair, glittery hairspray, and evening gowns with shoulder pads. Well, maybe I do want that last part, but you do get the idea of where I’m coming from.
So, while the other “kids of the 80s” live their everyday lives desiring to recapture how great they were as muscled “bro” jocks and big-coiffed drama queens (and even giving flesh to that fantasy every now and again, as is the case tonight), I’ll live in the modern day as a (mostly) mature adult with adult concerns, modern-day tastes, and the greater freedom to be the unique multifaceted person I am. Yes, it’s nice to think about living in the 80s, but I know I don’t want to live in the 80s anymore.