The Prom


The limos are booked, the dress has been selected, makeup and hair are all coordinated and it’s almost time to party. I’m talking about prom. It’s about that time, when high schooler’s everywhere will be getting dolled up to participate in this teenage rite of passage.

My own prom experience was…well, let’s just say it was a disaster all around!

It started out with the booking of our limo. We booked a stretch Rolls Royce. We got one that wasn’t stretch.

For 6 people. 

Without air conditioning.

 In late June.

Our prom was held on Toronto’s waterfront at the Atlantic Pavilion, Ontario Place. The location was so nice, but you can’t just drive up to the door. So we had to walk through the enclosed walkways – in heels – with dates in tow, to the hall.

Speaking of dates, between my two friends and I there were three guys, I’ll refer to as: Smoker-Date, who spend most of the evening smoking outside. Mean-Date, so wasn’t so nice to those around him. And finally there was Dancer-Date, which is self-explanatory. (I refuse to give more detail to protect the innocent!)

 The dinner and dancing was good, I think we all enjoyed ourselves, as much as possible. Then we walked all the way back to our not-so-stretched Rolls and made our way back home. That car was old, and made a lot of noise. However, as we were about 10 minutes from home, it started to make this clicking noise. Before we could ask what that was, the driver pulled over, in front of the mall and popped up the hoods (yes, there are two on those cars).

After inspecting the car, the driver determined that it was done for the night. He had to walk to find a payphone and call for a tow. (no cell phones those days)

What?! What do we do now?!

What any group of prom-goers would do, dressed up to the nines and stuck on the side of the road…we walked. It only took a few moments, before others from our school passed by on their way to their respective after parties, and honked at us.

But didn’t stop.

What did they think we were doing?!

Eventually one of them stopped and took Smoker-Date and Mean-Date to get a car to come back and pick us up. As Dancer-Date and the three ladies continued our hike, in heels and dresses, eventually two more of our peers stopped to pick us up. As Dancer-Date and my friends got into one car, I got to squeeze into the back of a sports car a friend rented with his girlfriend. I told the driver to keep an eye out for a big blue car, as Smoker-Date was sure to be back to look for us. Before I could even finish my sentence, he took off at high speed, wind blowing through my hair, and I was dropped off at my friend’s house, within minutes.

Meanwhile, the two dates who got their car, couldn’t find us and ended up circled the mall many, many times. I guess eventually they figured that we must have been picked up too and came back.

After this disaster, we couldn’t wait to get to the hotel to party with the rest of our friends.

We get to said hotel, and unpack all the junk food and stuff needed for an after party (again, no more detail to protect the innocent). We danced and hung out and had fun. But it was short-lived. Suddenly…

Knock. Knock. Knock.

The security guard was at the door, accusing us of jamming the ice machines, jumping off the roof and into the pool and causing a ruckus. There was more than one group at this hotel, and while we may have been loud, we certainly didn’t do the things he was accusing us of. We were a pretty good bunch.

The security guard then took post right outside our door and threatened to kick us out. By this time I had missed my curfew by hours and I was done. We packed up our stuff and my date brought me home.

When I look back, while it’s funny to think of how the night unfolded, it’s certainly not how I had planned it to go. If I could do it all over, I definitely would have changed a few things:

  1. I would have gone alone, no date
  2. I would have worn flats, or at least lower heels
  3. I would have driven myself, perhaps in a sporty rental
  4. I would have skipped the after party, or picked a hotel with no other prom-goers

There are other anecdotes and stories from that night, however telling them may incriminate some people, so we’ll have to leave those stories out. I would also like to mention that style back in 1992 was not….um…so stylish. So while we all thought like we looked awesome, thinking back, it wasn’t good. But I’m sure most people feel that way when looking back on their younger years.

Did you go to prom? Did you have fun? How many things went wrong for you?

12 responses to “The Prom”

  1. I loved prom! Our prom after party was a party at a friend’s house who’s parents were out of town. She had a pool which is great in theory, but not great when you combine that with teenagers and alcohol! The crazy things you do when you’re young! Even though it wasn’t perfect, it’s the imperfect memories I find that I remember the most!


  2. As you know from my post, I graduated a wee bit before you — in 1985. We were among the first to get hotel rooms. Before then, it was basically unheard of. Um, let’s just say nothing good happens in a hotel room after a prom. I am TOTALLY not letting my kid do that. I’ve never been a drinker, so I watched a lot of the action without being under the influence of anything. I can’t even believe our parents let us do that.

    Meanwhile, I think that things have kind of slid out of control when it comes to prom. Yes, it’s a rite of passage — but these days people take it much too seriously. I am so glad that I can look back at my goofy photos and laugh.

    And yes you had Smoker-Date and Mean-Date and the guy who was apparently Dancing With Himself.

    And yet.

    If you had a perfect time, well…there wouldn’t be any story there. I say NEXT year, put a photo up there and show us your gawd-awful dress! 😉


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