Thursday, April 10, 2008

Return to Prom Night...

It’s that time of year again. Prom time. And all that comes with it. Last year my son opted not to attend, but made a pact with his gal pal that this year, as seniors, they would go. I’m no prom virgin. I’d been through this last year with the two girls. But whereas girls approach prom with serious appearance anxiety issues and over-the-top angst, boys have a totally laid back attitude about this big night. So much so that my son put off getting his tux until this week--and the prom is two Saturdays from now. Nothing like planning ahead.

“So, did you order the flowers?” I asked when my son came home from finally ordering his tux.

“Flowers?” he asked and I nodded.

“You know. Her corsage. Your boutonniere.”

“She doesn’t want flowers,” he said and I frowned.

“No flowers?” I asked.

He shook his head.

“How about a wrist corsage?” I suggested and it was his turn to make a face.

“Too eighties,” he said and I raised an eyebrow.

“Uh, you weren’t here in the eighties,” I reminded him. “How do you know?”

“Sheri mentioned it.” (Gal pal’s mom)

“I see,” I said. “Did she also mention you’ll look like a total cheapskate if you don’t spring for flowers?” I asked.

He shrugged.

“Less is more,” he said.


“What about the dancing?” I asked, expressing my concern about his readiness to trip the light fantastic. You see, we’re a little--challenged--in the ballroom dance department in my family. It’s safe to say none of us will ever receive an invite to Dancing with the Stars. Unless we’re folding chairs up and sweeping the floors after everyone goes home. "You ready for a few pointers in dance department?” I asked him and my son gave me a ‘get real’ look. “I got some pretty swift moves,” I added.

He suddenly looked like Jamie Lee Curtis in the original Prom Night.

“Are you serious?” he asked.

“Sure,” I said, performing some of my best moves across the living room floor—or what had passed as my best moves, say, twenty years ago. “So what you do think?” I asked, somewhat breathless from my exertions.

“I think you look like you just broke a hip and are attempting to walk anyway,” he said.

Gak. Nice visual.

“I’ll have you know that a physical therapist I went to once told me I had a dancer’s legs,” I informed him.

“Well, you better give ‘em back,” number two son said.

“In a past life I could have been a dancer,” I told him.

“Yeah. Dancer as in a deer-like animal with two left feet,” the smart mouth responded.

I took hold of his shirt.

“I don’t think you quite understand the gravity of the situation,” I said. “How one unrestrained moment, one lapse by an overly zealous mother can spoil what is meant to be a magical moment for all eternity,” I explained. “And turn your prom night into---well, Prom Night,” I pointed out.

He gave me an uneasy look.

“Maybe I could use a dance lesson or two,” he conceded and I smiled.

“That’s my boy,” I said. “Now about those flowers,” I tried and he cut me off.

“Don’t push your luck, Mom,” he said.

Who? Me?

So, any of you have prom night memories or horror stories to tell? What do you remember most about yours or a family member’s prom experience? What would you most like to forget?

~Bullet Hole Bacus~


Christie Craig said...


The one move I'm interested in the most is the one where you took your son's shirt in your hands and got him to pay attention.

Can you give me more "dance" lessons on that one?

My eighteen year old doesn't buy into my threats anymore.

He just looks at me and says, "You love me mom, and I know you're really not going to pinch my head off."

Crime Scene Christie

Kathy Bacus said...

It doesn't hurt that I've had training in defensive tactics, Christie. And,for the moment at least, I'm taller. (We won't mention the weight factor.)

I'm also just unpredictable enough to keep the kids guessing as to what I might cook up next. Plus I have to get my kicks in before the kids head off to college this fall.

Seriously, though, we have have great fun razzing each other and I'll miss them terribly.

~Bullet Hole~

Anonymous said...

I didn't go to prom. *sigh* Not that I really had any desire to go, but still. *g*

Terri Osburn said...

Love this scene. Especially that description of how you looked dancing. Very creative.

I never went to prom. No formal dances of any kind. My sister never went and by the time my little brother (17 years younger) went a year ago, I lived too far away to take part.

My daughter is only 8 so I have a while to prepare for this. I'm going to need that time....

Kathy Bacus said...

I didn't go either, Tori. I lived it vicariously through my daughters. And, like you, I never regretted not attending.

~Bullet Hole~

Kathy Bacus said...

It's kind of fun to go watch the couples walk in to prom, Terrio. Well, providing the weather cooperates, that is.

My advice for when your daughter is of prom age ten years from now?

Get a good set of ear plugs to wear leading up to the dance and make a spa appointment for the Monday following the big night.

~Bulllet Hole~

Keri Ford said...

I went to both of my proms and after it was over with, it wasn't as big a deal as what I thought it was cracked up to be. Yeah, I enjoyed getting dressed up, but eh, the event was rather boring. I did attend a small school and we didn't have the whole king/queen thing. It was like the point of going was to get a not-so-great meal and a photo for mom to put on the wall. The dance afterward was also disappointing.

Hopefully your boy's will be a LOT more exciting.

Kathy Bacus said...

My girls definitely enjoy the dressing up part, Keri. It seems, that there is so much of a build up to it, though, and then it comes and there's a big let down. And with the tanning, the dress, and the hair to mess with, I'm thinking it's more bother (not to mention expense) than it's worth.

Of course, that's coming from someone who didn't attend her own prom.

Oh, and I bet you looked like a million bucks both years you went, Keri!

~Bullet Hole~

Terri Osburn said...

Thanks for the advice. And I have a friend who always goes up to her old school on prom night to watch all the kids walk in. It's a small rural area where everyone knows everyone and no one finds this strange. It's really just to keep up on the gossip if you ask me. LOL!

Kathy Bacus said...

It's funny how small towns react to things like prom, Terrio. People bring their lawn chairs and line the sidewalks as the couples walk in.

I'm thinking somebody could make some extra cash by opening a concession stand and selling kettle corn and hot dogs.

~Bullet Hole~

Jenyfer Matthews said...

I went to my senior prom with a guy pal of mine. He sported a mullet and shell necklace with his tux, but he did at least think to get me a corsage (it *was* the 80s!!) We ended up having a fight and I ended the evening early to go home and do homework. How's that for a memorable evening?

I hope my kids skip theirs!!!

Ed Mahony said...

Ah, this is a top-notch example of how to do good dialogue .. thanks!

Kathy Bacus said...

Arrgh! What a crummy prom experience, Jenyfer! Makes me glad I passed on the event.


Kathy Bacus said...

Ah, thanks, Eamon. Writing dialogue is my favorite part of the writing process.

~Bullet Hole~

RM Kahn said...

When I was a sophomore, I was asked to the prom by a friend who was a senior and had broken up with his girlfriend. We had a great time and it was fun since we both loved dancing. Now move two years ahead to my own senior year (different school too) and I was asked to the prom by a friend but I turned him down because I was casually dating someone (a year older) and I was hoping he would take me to the prom. Nope. On prom night the older guy took me out to dinner and then proceed to dump me. Did I mention that prom night was also my birthday?

Kathy Bacus said...

Talk about a bummer prom, RM! Betcha wished you'd gone with the friend. Hindsight is twenty-twenty, isn't it?

Thanks for posting!


Anonymous said...

getting dumped on prom night and your birthday, that really sucks.