It is prom season now, even though the proms aren’t until June. All the signs are here along with the return of the robin. The phone is ringing with boys planning who to ask, how to ask, and Christopher’s question to me this morning, “What’s the name of the wrist thingy I have to buy the girl? The flower thing?” Tickets are being bought. Texting is nearly constant.
I never knew boys suffred prom agonies. I remember going shopping with some of my friends and tears in the dressing room. I also remember, in the days when phones were still actually connected to walls, taking turns "listening" to make sure when HE called, someone would answer. We had a schedule because I don't think any of us ever considered the idea that HE might call back...who says teens live in the moment?
I didn’t go to my own prom. I was way, way too cool for Beatles music and dorky boys who couldn’t dance. I think the real reason was I lacked any kind of knowledge about proms. One boy asked me, and I was shocked: not that he asked me, but at the thought that someone as obviously cool and nonconformist as me would go to something so uncool and conventional. (Maybe that was not how the rest of the high school saw me, as about 144 of my friends also used the same self-describing adjectives - we conformed to our non conformity)
I was surprised at how nervous he was. He bought me a hot dog on the lunch line. Then he blurted, "Are you going to the senior prom because you can go with me." Who could resist that invitation? We started talking, and he told me that his mom told him he had to ask at least one girl. I think he knew that I would decline both the hot dog and the invitation.
I think my real fear was more along these lines:
and of course:
I am trying to think of YA novels that feature "the prom", and I can't.I'm not counting Carrie as that was too icky. I mean normal prom moments -
it's such a rite of passage, yet it's another area that is oddly absent from YA lit. Are proms "bigger" now than they were when the YA writers were growing up? Or is it that the female authors are terrified that those dresses (and probably their hair do's) will be published somewhere on the Internet? For that reason alone, I am glad that I will get my prom ya ya's vicariously.