Friday, May 13, 2011

Flashback Friday: Promenade

I lead a semi-charmed kind of life.  However, as a stressed-out, over-achiever with frizzy hair, acne, and a penchant for politics, high school was hardly a walk on the beach.  I saw myself as an ugly duckling with gangly legs, big hair, bad shoes and juggling a pile of books praying I wouldn’t fall down the stairs.  In retrospect, I realize I wasn’t the only one.  The pretty girls wanted to be more athletic, the athletic girls wanted to be smarter, the smart ones wanted to be prettier and we were all praying not to fall down the stairs. 

So, when this boy I had only known for a few weeks asked me to my junior prom, I could hardly believe it.  But then again, he went to a different high school and while he might have known I was the one with gangly legs, big hair and bad shoes, he didn't know if I had ever fallen down the stairs juggling a pile of books.  My mother realized what a miracle this was and made a big deal to find the perfect dress.  Looking back on it, I'd call it darling, but at the time I thought it was stunning.  It was dinner-mint green with a corseted top and a huge princess skirt.  The piece de resistance was the precious rhinestone spaghetti straps. 

Those rhinestone spaghetti straps were no match for the huge skirt.  The first strap bust before even making it to dinner.  Thank goodness, my friend Rosie came to my rescue with a safety pin and I was able to dance the night away before the other popped off during the last song.  My date was mortified.  He could only imagine what my parents would think of this boy who returned their daughter home with a damaged dress.

Much to everyone's surprise, I was still dating that boy a year later.  This time around, I had to attend two proms since our high schools had the decency to plan them for different weekends.  You'd think with two opportunities to get the look just right, I would have had better results. 

For his big night, I chose a lovely sequin number.  Yep, the year was 2000 and I wore head-to-toe aqua blue sequins.  It wasn't a slinky one either, it was big and puffy with tulle layers beneath the skirt. But my Julia Roberts inspired 'do was gorgeous, with the Brenda Walsh curls framing my face.
I should have been all-prommed out, but I had more fashion crimes to commit.  This time around the dress was fine, but oh the hair. I wanted something different, but it really looks like I was done up to play Medusa, the snake twirls up front, the barrel curls pinned up, all topped off with hot pink pearls to draw attention to the hot mess on my head.  Maybe my giant corsage detracted from my hair, but it didn't do much to de-emphasize my gangly arms.
High school can be torture, but for one night a year, I felt beautiful, bad hair, busted straps and all. The best part is, every dress, every hairstyle, I picked out because I thought it was "timeless."  I didn't want something that my kids would look at one day and laugh.  Now, I'm posting it on the internets and it won't just be my kids laughing. 

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