Completely off season and off subject... but my cousin just posted a great (and somewhat sad (but I take pride in your courage)) story about her prom experiences from high school. I have had some very unique experiences in my storied prom career.
I was very luckly to have had a warm up every year since my freshman year at the JROTC Military Ball around Valentine's Day. The only one I missed was so I could go with my mom to the Jimmy Buffett concert that I bought her tickets for the previous Christmas. We got to wear our uniforms, buy corsages, and practice picking up the tab for dinner. I took Dhara my freshman year, I took Kelli my Sophomore year, Jimmy Buffett my Junior year, and Ashley my Senior year. It is funny that these three women are still in my life, still great friends.
Here is a picture of Ashley, Dhara, and Emily (mentioned later in the story) at my wedding... we're all grown up now.
My junior year I went to my prom with Kelli. She and I had dated the year prior and I had somewhat struggled to accept the fact that she had moved to Florida and was not my girlfriend. So I saved up money, bought her a plane ticket, I may have even helped her buy her dress. Unlike most teens, I didn't blow ALL of my money on material things, I spent my money on friends as well. This prom was absolutely amazing. We all had so much fun, we slept over at my house and had snacks, watched movies, and I dropped Kelli off at the airport in a blaze of tears as I had realized she was no longer my girl. Despite that bit of heartache, this was one of the best moments in Jon's life.*
Two weeks later I went to Butler's prom with three dates.... they paid for dinner. Uh yeah, I got game.
My senior year could not have been worse. I must premise this tale by acknowledging that my horrible time was completely my fault. So I was going to go to the prom with Ashley. We had been on and off "in like" with each other for about two years. In a fit of raging insecurity I began to date a freshman girl who adored me and gave me all the attention I could have ever wanted. I hurt Ashley really badly. I can't even tell you why. She was the first (non-puppy) love of my life and I was afraid of her... so I ran. (Coward!). So needless to say Ashley informed me she would not be going to the prom with me and who could really blame her. I could not bring my new girl, it just wouldn't be right. At the time I didn't think that we would be together that long (three and a half years later she broke my heart). I was a third wheel to my generous and other best high school friend Emily and her boyfriend Ryan. I drove alone, I sat alone a lot, I dance alone. On the upside I did finish 2nd or 3rd in the prom king court voting and Emily escorted me on the stage to save me some horror. I wore a zoot suit with black and white Dr. Martens and wallet chain (late nineties, that was bad ass then). I got to dance with Ashley during the song "Angel of Mine" and we didn't speak much for over a year after. After the pain heeled and Ashley found a lot of forgiveness, we became friends again. Despite some bright moments, that prom was one of the worst days of my life.
I shared this story with my wife before I posted to ensure that I would in no way hurt her feelings. We discussed how both of our junior proms rocked and the senior proms sucked. We came to the conclusion that it has to do with all the pressure to make the night so unforgetable.
Lesson to all high schoolers should be: Loosen up, it really doesn't matter in the long run!!!
I don't really mean that though, because if it didn't matter in the long run, then one of the worst days of my life wouldn't have happend around prom and one of my top ten days in life wouldn't have happend around prom.*
*my wedding day is #1