This Friday while driving home I passed my old high school and saw the local parents setting it up for the Post Prom. The strangest thing happened at that moment, I began to think back to my prom and thought about how great a day it was.
The irony is that it wasn't that great of a day. It was just a regular day with a dance and post-prom at the end. I wasn't excited for Prom and it wasn't particularly memorable. I think that it's the same with everyone else and their prom experiences. It's much better in retrospect than it is in actuality.
Perhaps it's just me. High school I had a tight group of friends but almost none of them were in my grade. By my senior year I was mostly hanging out with College Freshmen and High School Juniors. The handful of people I was friends with from my grade got a limo and invited me to ride along and we sat at the same table. I don't want to pretend it wasn't a good time, because it was but almost everyone at that table I haven't seen for 8-10 years and I don't remember much of what happened that night.
Here is the complete list of what I remember:
1) Post Prom theme was "around the world"
2) Each student got a "poster board" that people could sign. They opened the doors to the public and my best friend Jeff (before his was my best friend) taped a picture of himself dressed as Lloyd Dubler onto my poster board
3) I won an entertainment system in the raffle that night
4) One friend sang "Who Let The Dogs Out" during karaoke. Because this was before cell phone cameras I believe no footage of this glorious moment exists.
I think the problem is Movies (you'll see this come up a lot actually). The modern teen flick as taught us that Prom is this amazing night where all your best friends are there and it's your last party before going away to college. But not everyone moves away for college, most people are friends with more people than specifically the people that they graduated with among other things. All in all Prom had absolutely zero effect on the rest of my life, despite what the world of cinema will have you believe.
I think the problem is that Prom is SUPPOSED to symbolize something about the end of the high school. There were a lot of things that were emotional symbolize of the end of high school, the yearbook signing party, the class trip to Disney, the senior variety show… but the Prom never felt significant to me. I think the problem is that those other things, were exclusive to seniors. There was no Junior Variety Show, the Freshmen didn't host a yearbook signing party, the Sophomore's class trip wasn't to Disney World but we all had some version of a class dance (including a Junior Prom) and those dances all basically felt the same… specifically if you were a wallflower like myself.
I'm not sure why something so insignificant to 18 year old Matt feels like it should be more significant to 28 year old man. Perhaps it truly is just that the "adult" (ha) in me is starting to believe the hype of teen flicks.
Regardless Class of 2014 I hope you all had a good and safe prom this past week.