Prom Night: Then and Now

Parents at my sons’ school hosted 80s Prom Night this weekend as a fundraiser on behalf of the Parents’ Association. The buzz beforehand made it sound like fun. So my friends and I discovered a local thrift shop called Flossy McGrew’s, which has racks of clothes hanging together by decade. Trying on 80s prom dresses had us all giggling like schoolgirls, trying to zip things we had no business zipping, and worrying that we would miss carpool.

With the dress picked out, I got my husband a matching cummerbund. Then we invited some parents over for drinks before the big dance.

It was a blast. Best night I’ve had in a while. And I keep thinking of the differences between my high school prom in June of 1985 and this one.

In 1985, I wore a much nicer dress. It was black. Classic, but admittedly with a bow in matching material. This time I picked the dress for the bow, the red rosebuds around the neckline, and its overall tackiness. No need to look good as long as it fit. And no worries if someone else wore the same dress.

In 1985, I drank less.

In 1985, I ate more. We went to a Japanese steakhouse, where they cooked at the table, and I thought I’d gone to heaven.

In 1985, I wore a corsage that annoyed me and flat shoes.

In 1985, no one complained about crow’s feet in the prom photos.

In 1985, I don’t think I danced as much, or had as much fun doing it.

In 1985, there was tons of relationship drama. And friend drama. And who knows what kind of drama I didn’t know about.

In 1985, the after-party was better than the prom, and I stayed up past midnight.

In 1985, my knees weren’t so old, and didn’t hurt the next day…

… after all that dancing in heels and a dress that itched.


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