It’s Prom Season! Break Out Your Worst Story!

by admin on April 23, 2013

Since it’s now prom season and 17-18 year-olds are not always experts on etiquette, I thought you might consider featuring your readers’ prom horror stories (everyone has one). Here’s mine to start:

When I was a senior in high school, my best friend Loni had a really serious boyfriend, Greg (now her husband of over 30 years). On the other hand, I wasn’t dating anyone and so really had no interest in attending our senior prom. Loni was just appalled by that and insisted that we HAD to double-date , so she fixed me up blindly with the son of her mother’s best friend, a boy who went to another school. The plan was that Greg would drive us all in his parent’s Cadillac. I begrudgingly went along with this because it was so important to my best friend, so Loni and I shopped for dresses, coordinated our dates’ tuxedos (it was 1979 after all) and made dinner plans for the four of us.

On the afternoon of the prom, Greg confided in me that he had planned a special surprise for Loni. Right after the prom we would be driving to a motel outside of the city where he had reserved a room for the two of them for some post-prom lovin’. I asked what he expected me and my date to do, since we were to be passengers in his car. His reply was, “I guess you could get a room too?” Wrong answer! I told him to go ahead and do what he wanted after the prom, but my date and I would not be riding along with them. After a bit of scrambling, my date found a car he could borrow so we could drive on our own. Greg, upset that we were ruining Loni’s double-date plans, decided that he didn’t even want to have dinner with us and changed their reservations to another restaurant.

As glad as I was to not have to deal with the motel situation, I then found myself alone on a dinner date to my senior prom with a boy I didn’t know. I was uncomfortable, Greg was angry, Loni was floating on a cloud of enchanted obliviousness, then when we arrived at the prom, my date announced “Oh, I don’t dance.” 04220-13

{ 72 comments… read them below or add one }

peep April 23, 2013 at 10:07 pm

Sadly I didn’t get to go to my prom. I went to an all girl’s Catholic school and didn’t have a boyfriend. Only couples were allowed to buy tickets, and you weren’t allowed to take a friend of the same sex because the implications were improper. So I stayed home. I always wondered if it was fun.

However, I do have a non-prom dance story. For New Years Eve, my parents dragged me to a New Years Eve party at the local Ukrainian community center. I was 16 at the time, and I had a nice dress that I had gotten for an event a few months prior. I was not a particularly social person at the time, and the idea of dancing was really not appealing to me, particularly dancing with a bunch of strangers. I tried to hang around the table with my parents since I knew *nobody* there except for my parents and and the few other family members who invited us. Apparently a 16 year old girl in a pretty dress was THE THING at this particular party, and all manner of freaky guys came up to me all night long. I was with my parents, and every time somebody came up to ask me to dance, my parents made me do it because according to them it was the height of rudeness to refuse, and supposedly a lot of important people in the community were there that night. It was all older men, not teenagers, and I guess my parents thought everything was completely innocent due to the massive age differences. I didn’t have much say in the matter, so I spent the night getting felt up by random men while my parents sat at the table talking to people.

There were two that stood out from the entire evening. The first was the old man(probably in his 70s) who barely spoke English, but spent the entire time we danced talking to me, very loudly and quite excitedly. I didn’t understand a word of what he said, but at least he seemed happy and was a gentleman to me. It wouldn’t have been my first choice to dance with him, but he was sweet enough and at least he kept his hands to himself. The other guy was a lot younger(30s maybe) and 100 times creepier. He kept asking if I was *sure* I was only 16 while staring down what passed for my cleavage at the time. It was the first time I had a guy have an entire conversation with my chest. He also tried several times to get me to drink beer even though I said I didn’t want any. I was never so happy to get away from a guy! Ugh! Fortunately after that guy I managed to find someplace to disappear until the party was over, so he was the last guy I was ever forced to dance with. Ever.

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Missusmidas April 23, 2013 at 11:03 pm

I am loving these stories! “Awkward 8th grade dance!” made me lawl, and so have some others.

I wasn’t particularly popular but somehow managed to attend prom all 3 years of high school (and 2 different ones my Senior year!). I think my Junior year though stands out as the most memorable.

My Junior year, I ended up playing matchmaker for 2 different friends who needed dates. My best friend (Michelle #1) had just broken up with her boyfriend – she had already bought tickets for them plus the dress and all, and really wanted to go, so I asked a mutual friend to be her date even though he was a Sophomore. Nice guy, funny, they were already friends so that worked out well. Another friend, SB, a Senior, was as shy as he was good-looking which is to say, EXTREMELY (plus majorly talented – he later went on to graduate from Juilliard and now performs as a soloist and teaches piano at a university). He could have had his pick of any girl but he didn’t realize it. We were good enough friends that he asked me for help (I had a boyfriend or I would have happily volunteered!) so I set him up with a friend of mine from the youth orchestra we played in (Michelle #2). She was gorgeous, extremely outgoing, and also a Senior at her school. I had a pink, lacy, frothy gown and found it hilarious that M2 showed up to my house in the same lacy, frothy gown, only in all white. Anyway, we three couples went out to dinner at a nice place where M2 had a wardrobe malfunction at the table. We got her fixed up and went to the dance, where no fewer than 3 other girls came up to me all mad that I had set SB up with M2, who were by that time obviously getting very into each other. My boyfriend and I had a lovely time as well, dancing all the slow songs at least and being all mushy.

After prom was over the 6 of us went to a park to be all romantic and got kicked out by security, and ended up at my house. We were having a fun time until SB’s mother called at 2am demanding to know where he was and ordered him to come home immediately. He got grounded for the rest of the school year! I still have pictures of all of us young and beautiful, and enjoy the memories of a fun, sort of chaotic night.

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EchoGirl April 24, 2013 at 1:41 am

I went to prom 4 times with the same guy. We weren’t dating, but it gave him someone to go to prom with (because apparently it’s still weird for guys not to have dates even when girls are going in “packs”) and I invited him to mine partly to reciprocate, partly so I’d know someone would be there I’d know who wouldn’t be distracted with a date of their own (I had a fair number friends but they were all “paired off” or weren’t going), and partly, frankly, because it was a good excuse to turn down the random guys I barely knew asking me 2 weeks in advance.

My sophomore year: the year it all started. That was probably the best one, and TBH I’d also admit that some of the reason I went with the same guy was trying to recapture that night (never did, of course). He was a junior, we’d been friends a few months, and he asked me. The one and only faux pas happened right after and is a good example of why I hate the grapevine. So my friend is worried my parents will say no and appeals to the woman who first introduced us, the mother of a girl in my year I’ll call J. So this gets back to J, who tells our mutual friend A, who proceeds to ask me about it in front of 40 people at our school. Fortunately most of them didn’t know me, but it was still embarrassing, and I hadn’t even had a chance to tell my best friend yet (luckily, I was able to before the rumor made it to her). The night itself was really great, as I said, and the post-prom event was so much fun I didn’t even really realize how late it was until the car ride home where I almost fell asleep.

My junior/his senior year, we decided to go to both proms, with the understanding that he would pay for his and I would pay for mine. His prom was pretty good, albeit a little “recycled” feeling because they used the same exact venue, albeit a different theme. That was, however, the prom where the adjustment clips on both straps of my dress broke, and I basically had to tie it up as best I could (luckily my hair was really long so it wasn’t so visible). The post-prom party wasn’t quite as much fun (although having the bouncy castle deflate around me is a memory I’ll certainly never forget) but it was okay. All good, I thought. Until the next week which was my prom. My mother had stitched down the straps so my dress fit, but the music was deafeningly loud and so we couldn’t even dance (I’m very sensitive to noise). In addition, my one single friend who was a bit self-centered basically monopolized my date and so I didn’t really have anyone to hang out with. (We’re not friends anymore, in large part because of her complete inability to be considerate to others. That and her paranoia, which is deserving of its own post.)

Senior prom: where do I start? The woman who had been planning the proms since time immemorial retired at the end of my junior year, and the new planning committee was remarkably tone-deaf. They booked a hotel reception room for the prom, which would have been great except it doubled the price from the year before. In a school with a large number of low-income families. They also completely messed up prom court elections. In previous years you would vote when you got your ticket, which made perfect sense to everyone except, apparently, the new planners. They held the court elections IN CLASSES. On a day when a large chunk of the student body was out on a field trip (they were given no way to “make up” the missed vote), and a bunch of people who weren’t going to prom (including some freshmen and sophomores) voted because there was no oversight. I admit that part of the reason that was so upsetting was because it was clear that the vast majority of the people at the prom itself supported me (they chanted my name in the pause after the teacher said “and the prom queen for this year is…”) but another girl won. (Don’t worry, I didn’t make a scene. Not my style.)

Oh, and at both of my proms, the post-prom events got cancelled. My date and I ended up going straight home because we couldn’t find anything open to under 21s.

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whatever April 24, 2013 at 5:47 am

My senior prom ended at midnight, with an after-party that went until 6am. I had no interest whatsoever in the afterparty, but I did want to stay until the end of the real prom. However, my mom insisted that I be *home* by midnight. I argued with her, telling her that prom ended at midnight, but she held very firm. So, my date had to drive me back well before the end of prom, and we ended up missing the announcement of the prom king and queen. We were both pretty resentful that although my mom allowed me to go (there were a lot of places she didn’t allow me to go), she forced us to miss the climax of the event.
Years later, my mom and I had another conversation about this. It turns out that my mom thought the *afterparty* ended at midnight and that I was purposefully exaggerating the truth when I said “prom” ended then. She comes from a much more conservative country, and I guess she assumed that a school-sponsored event would not encourage children to be out into the wee hours of the morning. It was still a bit infuriating, both because she never even asked me about the afterparty and because she was heavily involved in the PTA, and one of the major functions of the PTA is to plan the prom and the afterparty. However, she did sort of apologize, saying that if she had realized the true schedule, my curfew would have been extended to 12:30, and that was very nice of her.

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Jenny April 24, 2013 at 5:56 am

Sorry to post again, but I noticed more than one poster said “Only couples can buy tickets” to prom.

What a silly, backwards rule. Why on earth would you force a bunch of 14-18 year olds, who may or may not have even dated before, to bring a date, especially with some of the stereotypical expectations other posters have talked about. I don’t think high schools should determine when students begin to date. Additionally, there should be no reason to male friends or female friends (or romantically involved same-sex couples) shouldn’t be able to choose to go together. Trying to force high school students into matching couples sounds a little bit like a bridezilla trying to match groomsmen and bridesmaids for the whole night.

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Jess April 24, 2013 at 8:35 am

4 years ago I had my junior prom. I was going with a group of friends (none of us were dating anyone at the time); I was also wearing this big, $800 ballgown (like, 7 layers of tulle). It was absolutely gorgeous; I looked great. Dinner and pictures went well. We got to the dance. Naturally (like most proms everywhere) it was underwhelming. We didn’t care–it was our first prom and we were excited 17-year-olds. Then….
I got sick.
I felt naseous and dizzy; I spent the entiriety of the prom in the corner sipping water. My friends thought that maybe my dress was too tight–it turns out that I had bronchitis. We didn’t find out until my mom took me to the doctor the next day. So, that was my big junior prom. No after-prom, very little dancing, and the guy I had a crush on left early to go get drunk with his friends (God I don’t know what I was thinking…he was such a loser).
The silver lining of this cloud: one of my friends, who did not like dancing/parties/being social etc. anyway, sat with me the ENTIRE night. He got me water, he talked with me, he even danced a slow song with me (during my few moments of actually feeling decent). Of course, I didn’t pay too much attention to him, as I had my eyes on the previously mentioned loser crush, and I thought that this particular friend had a crush on another friend of mine (he didn’t). Cut to 4 years later…..
We’ve been dating for just over two years. He asked me out a month before our senior prom. We’re both now sophomores in college and there’s no sign of us breaking up any time soon. :)

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Jess April 24, 2013 at 9:22 am

Wait–I just realized that my timing doesn’t make sense….My junior prom was the April of 2010. I was 17 going on 18. I’m 20 going on 21 right now; it’s April 2013.
If BF and I have been dating since March 2011….then it’s only 3 years since junior prom….
I can name all 62 chapter of LOTR in order.
I can name all of the monarchs of England since 1066.
I’ve read practically every book known to mankind (except “Twilight.” Never “Twilight”).
I have memorized and researched practically everything that has ever been written in a National Geographic since the age of 3.
I know the Latin names for all of the big cats.
My math skills are the equivalent of those of a monkey with a lobotomy.

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cwm April 24, 2013 at 9:25 am

My junior prom was fairly boring. It was at a country club and I went with a sophomore who was in my group of friends. It took nearly a can of aqua-net and a borrowed strapless backless bra to fit into my dress, but our group of girls made a day out of getting each other ready, hair and makeup. I didn’t get a single dance out of him the whole night and barely saw him, which turned out being okay for me, as I got to spend more time with my girl friends.

Fast forward a year and everything was different. One of my friends had a boyfriend who had a job, so he was taking her out somewhere for dinner that nobody else in our group could afford. She had bought herself what at the time seemed like a really nice dress. It was a halter top covered in sequins and nearly fell off of her, it was so heavy. I was lucky to go to a consignment store a week before prom and found the PERFECT dress. It was going down from $80 to $40 the next day, and I had to have my mom pay for it, so the store agreed to hold it until she could come see it. She took one look at the tag and nearly screamed “You want me to buy you a VERA WANG dress? No way!” Except she didn’t look at the price, and I didn’t realize it was a designer dress. It fit perfectly and she agreed to get it for me. My date was a great friend of mine, and he was absolutely sweet. We couldn’t afford dinner, so he came to my house and cooked us a steak dinner. He wouldn’t even let me get my own drinks, only tell him where things were in the kitchen. My parents came back to take pictures of us and then we went to the dance at one of the newest venues in the city. Well, oldest, but it had just recently reopened.

I’m kind of glad I went with David, I’ll never forget those memories. My friend’s date sat around all night and complained that there was nothing to do, she nearly fell down several times because her dress weighed about forty pounds, and our other friend got stood up and was extremely upset and awkward about it.

One of my jobs was across town in a sporting goods store. Except it’s kind of a big name one in the area. It had a nice restaurant in it, and I can distinctly remember several couples coming in at this time for their nice dinners in the restaurant at our store, dressed in their camo formals. I even heard one girl very excitedly talking about how her boyfriend was the best because they had planned to make sure they had the same pattern and how terribly unclassy it was that another couple’s camo patterns didn’t match. Those kids were absolutely polite when they were walking through the store, though. The epitome of manners and upbringing. I always wondered, though, where they managed to find matching camo prom dresses and tuxes.

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MollyMonster April 24, 2013 at 9:30 am

@ Jenny (#53), my public high school had that rule too – only couples. Opposite sexed couples I assume, but it was also a time when a same-sex couple probably wouldn’t attempt to buy tickets. Tickets were quite pricey also and at least one person in the couple had to be a Junior or Senior.

I didn’t go either my junior or senior years. I skipped junior thinking I could go my senior year. I asked one of the guys in our little clique of goth-animegeek-nerd if he wanted to go as friends, but he had already been asked by one of the girls from the group who had graduated the previous year. Which was cool since she was one of my best friends and she wanted to hang out with the group again, but it meant that I didn’t have anyone to go with as the girl-to-guy ratio in the group was skewed. My one friend offered to see if one of her boyfriend’s friends would go, but since I didn’t even know their names…I declined. In hindsight, we probably didn’t have the money to spend on a fancy dress, a limo, dinner out, amusement park the next day, etc. Looking back it is a bit disappointing that I didn’t suck it up and go with the guy I didn’t know (especially since now that I think about it, maybe he wanted to go too but didn’t know any girls to ask), but it didn’t ruin my life. I would have gone solo, but that wasn’t allowed.

Eventually, I was able to go to a ball in college where my date wore a kilt and I filled out my dress amazingly, so I feel it evened out. :-)

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SimplySam April 24, 2013 at 11:26 am

I went to four different proms over the course of my high school experience.

My first one was as a freshman, I was then dating a junior who went to an all boys private school. Being the sheltered and quiet person I was, I really didn’t have a clue as to what a prom dress should look like and ended up going in what I can best describe as a “church lady” dress. I don’t remember much from that evening, except for feeling out of place in my dress.

The next year, I went to the same boyfriend’s senior prom. I had learned my lesson, and picked out a dress that was much different; it was cute, short, and very red (not a color I would normally wear myself). I remember dancing quite a bit that night and feeling bad for the guy I was dating as he didn’t like to dance, but would follow me up on the dancefloor because he was afraid someone else would try to “steal me away.”

I didn’t go to my own junior prom as I had just broken up with the boyfriend of the last two years (and proms) the month before prom. I made up for it my senior year though. My high school did prom a little differently, they had a Junior/Senior Prom and a separate Senior Ball about a month later, seniors were welcome to come to both. So that year, I went to the Junior/Senior Prom with a guy that I had a crush on for most of the year. I ended up wearing the red dress that I had worn two years earlier (hey, why let a perfectly good dress go to waste?). I almost didn’t go to the prom with the guy though. In the weeks leading up to the prom he had been acting like a jerk and was avoiding me. When I spoke to a mutual friend of ours about it, I told her that I was getting frustrated and was going to let him know that he was free to still come to the prom (I had bought his ticket), but we didn’t have to go together. She must have sat him down and told him to be nice to me, because he had a sudden change of heart and started acting much nicer. Fast forward to that night, he had bought me a corsage, and offered to pay for my dinner when we went out with our group of friends (I ended up having to pay since our table was still short on the bill), and told everyone that we were there together as a couple. I had a great time, but didn’t really take any of it seriously considering his previous behavior.

About a week later I decided that I’d ask him to come to the Ball (and pay for his ticket again–this one was $60, trust me, for a high school kid it was quite a bit) since we had so much fun. He then began to give me a laundry list of excuses why he couldn’t go. It was then that I had enough and decided to go by myself. My best friend told me that she would give me a ride to the ball with her date (a guy I had met only once before). So I picked out a very sophisticated, slinky, black dress, did my own hair and make-up, and waited for my friend and her date to arrive. Low and behold, a beat-up white pickup truck pulls into my driveway and out hops my friend and her date….sporting a foot tall mohawk! It’s funny now, but I remember being completely caught off guard, and trying to convince my dad that I wasn’t aware that my friend’s date didn’t have a “normal” hairstyle (my dad’s very conservative). We all went out to dinner, and my friend and I took our pictures in front of our “busted down limo” and then for giggles “borrowed” someone else’s for more pictures. I had a blast at the ball, danced to every song I wanted to and talked for what seemed like hours to the man I eventually married (he was there with his current girlfriend, but she had ditched him to dance with random guys). I still have the black dress, and have worn it again. It makes me laugh to think back on the drama that seemed so important back then.

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Holls April 24, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Mine is a weird take on your typical prom story becuase my only “prom” experience occured when I was 21 and wasn’t (thankfully!) an experience at all…but it was etiquette related at points and above all, super stressful!

I was homeschooled and becase I didn’t have one available to me and never was asked to go with a friend who was not homeschooled, prom wasn’t available to me. Honestly, I didn’t mind – in my highschool years prom wasn’t really my “thing”. Years later when I was a 21-year old adult, this was unbelievable to my then boyfriend, Scott. In a very heartfelt, super well-meaning grand gesture that year, he announced to me that he had a big surprise – I was going to be able to go to prom after all! At his former highschool! I can still feel my stress level shoot up when I think about how mortified I would have been – the only adult in full prom dress, hair & makeup, playing highschool at another class’s prom….the problem was that with his eager, excited face I just couldn’t scream “Nooooo!!!!” and flee like I wanted to – I was just too afriad of hurting his feelings. So for days I agonized about how I was going to break it to him that I just couldn’t make myself go through with the plan. I ended up calling the school to ask about non-students attending in the hopes of getting out of the whole ordeal and blaming it on school rules and THANK GOODNESS! Non-students were not allowed to purchase tickets. Phew!

Sweet, misguided Scott was crushed. He decided that we should “pretend” like we were going to prom by dressing up (he had already rented a tux! Erg.) and going out to a popular pre-prom fine dining restaurant ON prom night. It seemed kinda awkward, but I’m a great sport usually so I agreed. I wore a semi-formal dress that I already had, did my hair myself and basically did a casual version of getting ready for prom. He picked me up, corsage in hand, on our town’s big prom night and took me to the restaurant where we were seated amongst a dining room full of kids all decked out with their dates – I felt pretty out of place, but was determined to have fun. Until we ordered. Scott said he was going to be a “gentleman” and order for me – lovely! He ordered himself a steak and for me, he allotted me the salad that came with his meal. He said that he “knew I liked salad” and that he had spent a lot of money on his tuxedo, so he was on a budget. Halfway through the meal, he got uncomfortable and took off his clip-on tie. Yup. Afterward he took me home and that was that.

I know he meant well, but the whole ordeal just seemed absurd….we didn’t date for much longer after that and to this day (10 years later) I wonder if he looks back and chuckles, like me!

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Sansa April 24, 2013 at 1:01 pm

@Jenny, comment #55- I think that is a silly rule as well. The first high school I attended (freshman-most of my junior year) was a smaller, rural high school and the prom was in the gym, catered by the home ec class (it was actually very good!). You were not required to buy tickets and you could come “stag” if you wanted to. It was good time, no worrying about if you had a date or not and was one the best school sponsored events I ever attened.

The second high school I attended (last semester of jr year- graduation) was much larger and the senior prom was at the Hilton in the capital city, approximately 50 miles from the city I lived in. You had to purchase tickets, ($50 each) and you had to have a date. The hotel was decorated nice, the food was mediocre and it was nowhere near as fun.

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AnnaMontana April 24, 2013 at 2:33 pm

My ‘prom’ (in England we have Leavers Discos, which amount to the same thing as, I think, senior prom) was awesome, apart from the transportation issues. I live out in the countryside, near my best friends’ house, so when we all arranged to go to our prom together (as a group, there were about 6 girls and one lad) we decided to book a limo to take us all. Cue a different friend (lives about half an hour away) saying she would book it, and just tell us the times, prices etc.
Day before prom (I borrowed my Aunties ‘mess dress, which is a dress worn to millitary parades and suchlike, so it has to be incredibly pretty.) and my friend tells us we have to be at her place by 6pm the next day. Not exactly the plan we had been told, but my dad says he’ll drive us to my friends’ house and pick us up from there too. When we get to my friends’ house we have the photographs, wait for the two others to arrive, then head towards the hall where prom is being held, picking up three others on the way. The limo only holds 8. We’re at maximum capactiy, as we had agreed and all of us cough up our £20 (a lot to us then!) for our trip there and back.
Prom was FANTASTIC. Until home time. Come midnight, my friend tells us she is ejecting me and my other friend in favour of some others’ in our year, with the words “That’s what we arranged before. Anyway, your dad can come and get you.” I reminded her that in no uncertain terms, we had paid for the limo on the way back and would be returning to her house that way. Again she argued and threatened to ‘call her mum’ (dunno what she thought that would do?!) and again I told her ‘No way, we’ve paid for the journey, so suck it up.’ Eventually she backs down and comes to the conclusion she has to tell her other friends’ they wont be coming back with us. But, she refuses to tell them, and instead tries to ‘sneak’ them in through one of the open doors. At this point, the driver comes around and headcounts, says we have 2 people too many, and someone will have to leave. My friend starts complaining it is me & my other friend who have to go. No dice. I’m not playing that game. So we sit in our paid for seats and eventually she climbs out followed by her two other friends.
We haven’t spoken since, and frankly I cannot tell you what a joy it was to ride back without her there!

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Kali April 24, 2013 at 2:34 pm

I’m concerned about Loni. Her date *surprised* her with the idea that they were going to share a bed?:o

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NostalgicGal April 24, 2013 at 7:49 pm

@ Jenny, it depends on the era you are talking about. My experiences were over three decades ago, and despite having a gay classmember, (who was fighting the fight of appearing straight because you ‘had to’ back then) there was no stag, and no same gender couples. It Just Didn’t Happen.

Heck it was during my junior high years they allowed us gals to wear SLACKS not skirts and dresses in Junior High and High School… and during high school (we were 4 year) they lifted restrictions on some classes that had been gender restricted (girls could take shop, boys could take home-ec)

That’s why. No stagging, no going with a group of your friends, and no bringing your same-sex date. You had to had an opposite sex date to go to Prom.

High school they allowed you to take 1/2 day off, for either the start of hunting season (morning in fall), or to have your hair and makeup done for prom (afternoon in spring). I *did* take my half day… to go hunting. Totally shocked the Principal and Superintendent, and they were trying to argue me into ‘well you can’t take off for prom then’ and I stared that person in the eye and replied ‘my odds of prom are a lot lower than me getting a deer’ and I took the appropriate morning off. I got deer, I didn’t get to go to prom.

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Heather April 25, 2013 at 10:03 pm

This wasn’t quite a prom, but I have a funny high-school-date-event story about being the *beneficiary* of someone else’s faux pas… which made for an awkward moment for me!

On our senior trip, we were scheduled to go out to a nice restaurant together, and the Powers That Be decided that they were going to have the guys of the class ask the girls & go in pairs. Since there were two more guys than girls and two guys immediately announced that they would ask no-one, the numbers worked out. Isn’t it nice when the numbers work out? On the morning before the outing, I was the last remaining un-asked girl; the last remaining guy asked me, in a mumble, to go with him. I said yes; we went together; we quickly discovered how little we had in common, and then he spent the rest of the dinner cracking jokes to the girl beside me. Then after dinner the Powers That Be took the class on a walk to a landmark of the city we were visiting, and my date promptly lost me in the crowd, for which I was not sorry.

And then a good guy friend of mine, who had asked someone else, finds me in the crowd and spends the rest of the evening hanging out with me, and gives me a rose. Totally redeemed my evening. Isn’t that sweet?

Till I found out *that was the rose his date had given him.* I kept shifting it from hand to hand to keep it out of her sight!

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PWH April 29, 2013 at 9:27 am

@Mlerin: Nice to see a fellow Canadian on here. I’m not sure what province you’re from, but I know that Ontario holds Prom. I’m sure some schools may have done away with it in recent years due to staffing/venue issues and cost, but up until 2 years ago they were still having it – at least in my area (my youngest brother attended with his GF).

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Shea April 29, 2013 at 10:49 am

My third year of HS, I had dated a guy for a few months in the late winter/early spring, then broke it off with him because he was, as it turned out, a massive jerk (he tried to, well, I’m not sure I’d call it date rape exactly, but it wasn’t far short of that, so I dumped him promptly). So I didn’t have a proper date, but I wasn’t particularly bothered. One of my good platonic guy friends was a year younger, and could only go to prom if asked by an upperclassman, so we went together, in a group of our friends.

When we got to the venue, my ex-boyfriend saw me and made a beeline in my direction. He grabbed me and attempted to start dancing with me in a manner that involved rather a lot of bodily contact. I pushed him away and told him to knock it off and leave me alone. He left, but returned to attempt the same dance/assault throughout the night. I went to one of the chaperones and told her what was going on, but I was just asked why I couldn’t just dance with the dude and make him happy. Because that’s clearly the appropriate response. Sigh. Fortunately my friends did their best to keep him away, and eventually we all left and had fun watching movies until the wee hours at one of our houses. But all in all, not really the best night!

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Leah S. April 29, 2013 at 2:27 pm

I don’t really have a disastrous prom story, but I do have a slightly weird one.

During the first half of my senior year of high school, I was single for the first time in four years, so I asked my best male friend to go with me. He was planning to ask a girl he liked from a different school, so I decided to ask to be his backup date. He agreed.

Later, my other best male friend asked me to go with him. Since being a backup date was good enough for me, I assumed it would be good enough for him, and offered to go with him if BMF #1 said no. The poor guy agreed to be a backup for a backup! Unfortunately for him (or was it?), BMF #1′s preferred date couldn’t make it, so I went with him. We all had a great time anyway, and I think BMF #2 ended up going with the girl he eventually married, so that worked out well.

That was the Junior Girls’ dance during my senior year. I didn’t even end up going to my senior prom, because the guy I was dating at the time didn’t really dance, and I just didn’t want to go with him. So we decided just to go out for a nice dinner and have a date instead, maybe go out for a movie or something. The trouble came when an enthusiastic friend of mine set me up with a different guy for prom (we’ll call him NBF for Non-Boyfriend). Between my spinelessness and having been told that it was okay to go to prom with someone other than your boy/girlfriend, I agreed. Then my mother and boyfriend found out- and suffice to say, I learned my lesson quickly! (The really weird thing, though, was that the enthusiastic matchmaker friend was my boyfriend’s cousin! Apparently, she didn’t know that I was dating him.)

The weirdest thing, though, was what one of my acquaintances did for prom. She was kind of a genius who was in the same GT program with me in elementary school, but sometime between then and junior prom, she skipped a grade, so I hadn’t really seen her since then. Anyway, she brought a date who she’d met online (in the early 2000s this was very rare, especially in high school!), who was a 16-year-old in college already because he’d been home schooled. He also lived quite a distance away. And he wore purple leopard print pants. To prom.

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The Elf April 29, 2013 at 3:12 pm

I really disliked high school. So did my then-boyfriend. We were also head-bangers, and I knew the music of choice at the prom was going to be hip-hop, so we passed. Plus, the tickets were quite expensive since we weren’t “members” the senior class. (I refused to pay to “join” even though I was a senior in high school, once I realized it was about things I had no interest in. When they voted to make the graduating class motto “We Out”, I felt validated. You really want t-shirts indicating you graduated from high school but apparently failed English?)

Instead, we went to a lovely French restaurant and then went to see “Phantom of the Opera” (the play, not the movie). It was a very special day, and I don’t regret missing it in the slightest. From what I heard from my friends who did go, it was fairly boring.

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Asharah April 29, 2013 at 6:39 pm

@Mojo, I assume you were living someplace where drinking at 17 was legal. That being the case, I think you may have dodged a bullet with the guy. A guy who gets put off by you ordering vodka or any other drink you wanted sounds a bit controlling. What would he not like next, your clothes, the books you read, the movies you like? If a guy can’t accept you for the person you are, you are so better off without him, no matter what your mother says.

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Goodness May 7, 2013 at 4:52 pm

Senior prom, 1964. The school administration decide that Rock and Roll isn’t classy enough. They want us to sample the joys of a ‘proper’ prom, and override the prom committee’s choice of a band to hire the sort of lame ‘jazz’ quartet associated with low-budget weddings and bar mitzvas.

After about half an hour of this guff, the students had all had enough. Instead of dancing sedately to the jazz band like we were supposed to, we started gathering in large groups in the middle of the floor, jumping up and down and screaming Beatles songs at the tops of our lungs. The quartet on stage gamely kept playing, but nobody could hear them — which was the point.

Come Monday, unkind words were aimed at us all over the intercom for our ‘rudeness’ to the band. Sorry, but it was our prom, not the staff’s; they don’t get to force us to dance to the same music they danced to. We should have been given the band we originally chose.

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