To this day I can’t remember what kind of reasoning or excuse I must have given to my prom date (who also happened to be my brother) when I drove us to my teacher’s house before heading to the prom.
This action is something that plagued me with intense self-disdain and embarrassment for years.
‘How completely ridiculous am I that I did something like that?’
As an adult I can understand why I did it and I have been telling myself to cut the teenage me a break.
My home life was not stable and could be fairly volatile at times. This teacher was one of the few people in my life that made me feel safe.
I was attending prom despite the fact that I desperately did not want to go. I had never been interested in attending a prom. But, it seemed important to my mother that I attend, and then my brother offered to go with me and I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or let anyone down (see my “People Pleaser” post).
Because I felt like I had zero control over anything and was about to walk into a world that I believed would chew me up and spit me out like I was yesterday’s gum, I needed to see a friendly face.
I went to his house to get some confidence.
If he said that everything was going to be great and that I looked lovely, then just maybe, I could survive the horror that lay-before me.
When I look-back on photos of my prom I’m always struck by how much I look like the ghost of an old grandma who died on the way to a wedding. Truthfully.
Our prom theme was, perhaps, the most disgusting theme ever used for a prom: “Truly, Madly, Deeply” based on that, ‘oh so amazing’ (makes me want to puke to this day), song by ‘Savage Garden’. We didn’t walk in the grand march, but I think we watched everyone else doing it as that horrible song played over and over and over again.
While at prom I did have some fun, despite myself. My brother and I danced a fair amount. He was incredible and kept saying things like: “Let’s show these assholes how to dance’.
I think I ditched him pretty unceremoniously at the end. I can’t really remember the chain of events, but I don’t think I stuck-around prom for that long. I remember going to a friend’s house afterwards and eating a crap load of junk food while watching a movie or something.
Most of me just wanted to forget that the whole, horrible, night had ever happened.
But, years later, after being able to forgive myself for the stupid things I did when I was a lost teenager, searching desperately for security, acceptance and self, I think back on my prom and the words that come to mind are not that it was lame, torturous, unimportant or stupid.
Now, when I think about that night, these are the words that float to the top: My brother is amazing. He loves me so much that he was willing to do that for me.
And, we really did show those assholes how to dance.