I didn’t have a boyfriend.
It was senior year. I had written SENIOR PROM in large capital red letters on our wall calendar
in the kitchen the moment the date was announced.
What could I do? Stay home? Admit I had nobody to ask? Confess to the world or ever worse, to the
popular clique that no boy had asked me to go? Not a chance. No way would I admit that to anyone.
The humiliation would be too great to bear! I’d have to think of something drastic.
Who could I invite? My mind turned over its Rolodex for names from every walk of my seventeen year
old life. Distant cousins, brothers of friends, the delivery guy from the drug store. Nobody seemed
At the time my family belonged to a swim club, staffed mainly by a group of college students. One
particularly handsome lifeguard was Mike, a blonde, muscular He-Man type that every girl at the
club had a crush on. Could I dare ask him?
“You have nothing to lose. All he could do is say No,” advised my mother.
If he refuses nobody has to know I ever invited him. So, I reasoned, I would not lose face or be
mortified. But if he said “Yes,” I’d be the envy of every girl in the senior class. Imagine walking
into the prom with Mike, the dreamboat lifeguard.
I became my own best friend and gave myself a pep-talk, mustered up my courage and approached Mike
one afternoon during his break. “Hi, Mike. Um, I was just wondering: like would you maybe sort of
like to come to my senior prom with me?”
“Sure. That sounds like fun.”
Wait a minute. Did he actually agree to be my date for the senior prom? As if it was
no big deal? As if it didn’t matter who took me to the senior prom? That was way too easy! I was
incredulous and excited beyond belief; it took total control to keep from screeching and jumping up
I primped, I fussed, I did everything I could do to look grown up and sophisticated. After all, my
date was a college man, not some sniveling babyish high school kid.
With great expectations I opened the door the second the doorbell rang that night. But something
had changed. Mike no longer had that wind-blown casual, blonde sexy hair he did at the swim club.
Someone had chopped his hair and cut it way too short. And it wasn’t the summer blonde I
remembered. He didn’t look cool any more. He didn’t look hip. He didn’t even look handsome. And
worst of all he looked old. He must have been at least nineteen, and looked over twenty. Mike would
be out of place at a high school dance; he’d never fit in. And I’d be the laughing stock of the
I never found out what my classmates said about Mike and nobody said anything about him to me. My
memories about that night are vague and totally forgettable. But never again did I invite a date
for the shallow reasons I invited Mike to the Senior Prom.
He never called me after the dance. I never saw him again.
Comments on: "MY SENIOR PROM" (30)
Every official-type school event was considered uncool by the kids I hung out with – including, of course, proms. We boycotted everything.
Looking back,I feel like I boycotted high school! What a waste.
I’m glad you at least joined in – and with some spunk, too!
Proms are not happy occasions for many of us. My date had a burst appendix and ended up in the hospital. Sent a courage that read…sorry I could not deliver myself. Too sad.
Poor young guy. Did you see him afterward?
I think we’ve all had a similar experience. I know I did. It wasn’t my prom, it was a large formal event. I was 17 and the dreamboat I invited was 21. I’ve never forgotten it.
For whatever the reason the occasion was memorable all these years later.
You triggered the memory :).
Wow, a completely different spin on a classic tale. My daughter went with a boy/girl group of friends to the prom. It sure was a whole lot less pressure than “back in the day”.
That’s a much better idea, Inger. But we’re all stuck with going along with the “way things are” when we’re young…
We are so lost to ourselves when young. Sad little story, though well told.
Isn’t that the truth?
This post is an excellent illustration of how we so often want something, and then when we get it, the appeal of the thing — or the person — immediately begins to fade. But I’m also curious. What was the prom itself like? Did you and Mike talk, or dance? Was it awkward?
The prom was loud and active, with groups of young people chatting over each other. No, it wasn’t awkward, but I have no memory of the time with Mike. It is strange but I don’t remember dancing with him or talking to him; it’s all a blur. I guess that proves how insignificant the high school prom is in the scheme of things…
That was a harsh launch into adulthood Ronnie but made for a charming post! I had a similar experience – no one asked. But a boy who traveled a lot with military parents returned a week before prom and asked me if I had a date. I said, “Yes, but I will break it to go with you.” Ha! I just remember feeling special since Dean was very handsome and most of the regular kids didn’t remember him. Still, it was all based on a lie and I feel guilty to this day about using him that way.
We little teen ages vixens! I felt as if I was using Mike in the same way, but it sort of backfired.
Ronnie … kudos to you. That was a gutsy move and what’s even better is he didn’t shoot you down.
I also didn’t attend my Senior prom with a date. That year – or maybe it was my Junior Prom – I ‘worked’ the event in a borrowed Japanese kimono. That was the theme that year. I figured my ‘cool’ factor would improve if I worked it rather than showing up dateless. 😉
Clever strategy, Judy. That was a good idea, and you sound very cool to me!
Oh my goodness, this is too funny! Here he thought he was all primped up to attend the prom and little did he know that he looked better all shaggy and barely clothed! 🙂
Maybe the key is “barely clothed.” He look much more exciting in a bathing suit than a boring old black tuxedo.
Another wonderful story Ronnie and what a lovely comment from Harvey. Gaye
Thanks, Gaye. I appreciate your comment.
Look at it this way- maybe you did a great favor by showing him attention. Anyway, sweet story and memory. Now a days, kids go in large groups and don’t bother about dates.
Yes, styles of getting together have certainly changed. “Going together,” I’m told, simply means texting exclusively, and breaking up means not responding to his texts any more!
Great writing, Ronnie, as always.
Thanks, Ann. Great response, as always.
I didn’t go to my high school prom. It was the fact they kicked me out of high school four months before the prom that made me not want to go.
That sounds like an interesting story, Andrew. Do tell!
But you went for it and asked him. That is pretty impressive for a high school girl!
Impressive? I thought it was pretty desperate of me! But thanks for putting a kind spin on this action…
Well, I am sure glad I didn’t know about this. I would have worn a blond wig and rented elavator shoes, but you know,things worked out just fine, who needs Senior Proms? when you have each other
You’re sweet to offer, but I’d have had to test your swimming skills first.