12 May, 2012

I Participated in a High School Ritual


So I did something I didn’t think I’d ever do.  I, um, uh, went to prom.

I should clarify it wasn’t my own—it was of a school I used to attend.  I went with a friend who still attends.  Considering I used to go to a sheltered, private Christian school, I was surprised when she asked me—I wondered whether the principal had a heart attack and toppled down some stairs when she asked for permission.  Turns out all the boys chickened out and most girls went with each other.

In a spur-of-the-moment decision, I said yes, and I didn’t know why I had said yes, considering that day was another one of those days where I sit and stare at my wall and think to myself “Why don’t I have rhythm?”  I mean, you’re required to dance at these things, aren’t you?  Not that I would know, my expectations of high school come from low-budget, straight-to-DVD chick flicks.

I straightened my hair for the occasion, and I’d just like to record, for future reference, that it took approximately two hours for our poor friend to straighten the lion’s mane that passes as my hair.  I kept smiling at myself in the mirror, naturally, and making a face every time I realized that’s how I would be photographed.  (Also for future reference: I just came back from the dentist and they told me I still had ten more months with my braces—I’m disappointed.)

The days leading up to the prom were me trying to forget I was invited—I thought that if I ignored it and pretended like I had been invited on that same day spontaneously, then the nerves would go away.  The day of, I kept looking at my feet, urging them not to betray me and trip or to remember how to sway side to side.

My old school was a tiny one—even though in my horrific daymares I imagined there would be a hundred people in a giant dance floor, watching me fist pump the air like everybody’s business, in reality, there were about forty kids in that salon.  Forty kids!  A mini prom, if you will!  Adorable!  Other adjectives that made the nerves go away!

It seemed almost ridiculous to make such a big fuss about my appearance, so I borrowed a dress from my sister, seeing as the most formal attire I own is a pair of black slacks my mom bought me five years ago that have barely started to fit me.

As expected, the only thing anyone complimented was my hair.  “Oh my God, how long did that take?”  You have no idea.

In retrospect, it was never a big deal to begin with.  It was surprising to see how much effort and emotion people put into this event that everyone was going to forget in a few weeks.  Nothing stood out.  The DJ was terrible—except for the latin songs he played (he ended with Suavemente by Elvis Crespo).  Girls cried because their dates wouldn’t dance with them.

I…danced.  I didn’t think I would, and at first, I kept scrunching my face up when someone pulled my hand and tried to twirl me.  “Come on,  you’re Mexican, you’re supposed to know how to do this.”  Indeed, Sherlock, indeed.  In the end, I decided that it could very well serve as practice for my own senior prom.  And that dance floor was tiny, nobody would see me if I danced in the far left corner.

Also:  I hate to do this, because I hate it when other bloggers do it (it’s a true fact that nobody actually cares) but just in case someone does, and also because I want to have a pity party, I’ve been absent because I’ve been studying for my AP US History exam, which I took today, and I think I did well, aw yeah!  Now for my AP English exam on Wednesday!


  1. You looked nice! I loved doing the whole dressing up and going to the formal (prom) thing, but I don't think it's a big a deal here as it is in America.

    Good luck with your AP English!

    1. Yeah, I was surprised at the blood and tears shed for everything to be perfect, even if it was for a few hours! But it was nice to see everyone be so enthusiastic!

  2. You looked so pretty! I've never been to a prom before (which indicates how young and lame I am.)

    Congrats on your history exam, I'm sure you did well! And good luck. :)

  3. You look beautiful :)and good luck for your exam, i'm sure you'll do great x

  4. "Turns out all the boys chickened out and most girls went with each other." That's actually hilarious. So is this whole pair-thing. I always envied Americans for having prom (highschool movies, hello!) but I wouldn't wanna drag along some random dude I'd feel obligated to hang around and dance with. Going with a friend sounds much more fun. But I really don't know much about this, probably not all schools have that couple tradition (and homophobia).

    But you looked great and there's no need to feel weird about going to prom!

    1. Thank you! I agree with you wholeheartedly! It was much more fun to make a complete fool of myself in front of a friend than trying to maintain composure with a guy.

      It did get a bit awkward when all the guy/girl couples danced to slow songs while the lonely girls of the round table sat by themselves, looking around, hoping a boy would materialize out of thin air.

      I liked watching the couples dance!

  5. You look pretty! I'm glad it turned out to be a great night!

  6. My prom was about as much of a big deal as yours but you looked lovely and I'm glad you had a good night!
    We all went stag too but it was honestly a lovely night so...yeah. Prom is good. That was my conclusion.

  7. You looked so nice! When I went to prom, it wasn't what I expected.It was like homecoming, just much more expensive.

  8. I love that dress. The colour is perfect.
    / http://take-it-to-mars.blogspot.com /

  9. Oh my gosh, Jessica, you look SO pretty!
    Awwh, a mini prom sounds so cute!
    Haha, I didn't think I would dance at my prom but I ended up doing so. It just happens! Glad you had a bit of a boogy. :)
    Good luck with your AP English!

  10. you look so beautiful! that dress is wonderful!

  11. Te ves muy diferente con el pelo liso, pero igual de adorable, te lo aseguro!

    Aquí en España no se como va el tema del baile de egresados, pero en Argentina (antiguamente, ahora no lo se) entre todos los del curso alquilábamos una discoteca y ahí invitábamos a quienes quisiéramos, pero no íbamos en parejas, si no mas bien todos juntos llegábamos en un autobús y luego bailábamos con quien uno quisiera. Yo estuve a punto de no ir, pero mi amiga me insistió durante meses y me convenció.

    Pero mi secreto es que siempre adoré las películas o series en las que hay "prom dance" <3333

    Girls that glitter love the dark

  12. In Australia we have these events as well, though I don't think it's as a big deal as over in America :) I went to a prom back in 2010, and I took a girl. I think it's so much funner dancing with a good friend :)

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    LOVE Maria at inredningsvis.se

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Thank you, pal.