There are many, many high-school rites of passage. Your first football game. First bully encounter. The first time you drive to school after getting your license. Rival-school-mascot-abduction. Embarrassing senior photos. I took part in many of the legal rites of passage, eschewing (as far as my parents and the Warren BOE?know) time-honored under-the-bleacher activities and whatnot.
One of the major high-school traditions I?never got to experience was the first school dance. Or any school dance. No proms, no formals, no slow-dancing to Boyz II?Men of any kind.
This time of year, countless teenagers were busy preening and tanning and gelling themselves in preparation for prom. Brightly colored dresses cut high and low enough to make every dad fear for the sanctity of his daughter adorn shop windows.
Limos are being reserved, Dennys are being infested with kids happy to be out past 2 a.m. without having to hatch an elaborate home re-entry plan.
Balloons, punch, the requisite R&B slow grooves punctuated by Justin Bieber's chipmunk yowling. Sounds fun, right??
I didn't go to prom. I?didn't go to any school dances, for that matter. My mom never got the joy of parading me in the front yard or snapping a picture of me with some guy whose name I?would totally not remember today in front of the fireplace. My dad never got the joy of waiting in the front window with a shotgun for the first signs of backseat window-fogging.
Why would I?deprive myself, and my parents, of all this fun? Well, there's a few reasons. Some reasonable, some dumb in retrospect.
Even though I?was part of the spiked-collar-and-black-shirt crowd, I got along with all groups; preps, nerds, jocks, hippies, cheerleaders, clowns, everybody. I?wouldn't have been out of place or anything.
We?also usually enjoyed intruding our lame, lame faux-moodiness on everyone else. You'd think I'd want to show up to prom in some kind of Elvira-looking black gown or something.
I even had a boyfriend through most of high school, too, so I wouldn't have had to go stag.
I could also kind of dance. All you needed to know was the Tootsie Roll, the Roger Rabbit, the Electric Slide, the Cupid Shuffle. Your grandma can do all of those.
Even the moodiest of '90s teens, Darlene from "Roseanne,"?went to prom.
So why didn't I go??
I guess I was one of those annoying "I'm too nonconformist to do any of your traditional high-school ritual" types. We don't do stuff that you "norms"?enjoy! Totally dumb, but every school has 'em.
Also, I guess it all seemed kind of complicated, for a night that usually ended up like most other weekends - at Perkins on Elm Road or at Denny's by the mall. Only prom costs the same as several hundred Grand Slam Breakfasts.
Most go to the actual prom briefly for the photo op, to see who won king and queen, but then abscond to some party, make-out quarry or all-night diner.
I guess it wouldn't have killed me to go; I just didn't think about the idea enough to pursue the actual buying of dresses and whatnot.
Though we did make a cameo to egg the limos.