For many girls, senior prom is a time of magic and love, memories and fun!
My senior prom was a hell-forged waking nightmare.
It began when I suddenly passed out cold while getting my makeup done. Sliding out of a salon chair like a crash test dummy in a no seat-belt test while the eyeliner drags up through your hairline is usually an indicator of danger.
The poor girls at the counter drug my body back up to the chair, and offered me orange juice like I was motherfucking Shelby in Steel Magnolias (and demanded to know if I was driving nails up my arm). I drank a little, remembered violently that I really hated orange juice, and when I opened my mouth to tell her, my throat decided it might rather just throw it all up instead.
That is the moment in which I realized I had severe food poisoning.
That is also the moment in which I decided, come hell or high water, I was going to Prom.
They were very sweet at the makeup counter, and after cleaning me and the floor, they straightened my jacked eyeliner and wished me the best of luck. The artist who narrowly dodged my projectile hatred handed me a lipstick on my way out and said, “I think you’ll need to reapply a few times before the day is done.”
I had an hour to kill before my hair appointment, so I went to my car, lay my head out the window, and intermittently cried and threw up.
After the 5th time I threw up, my hair stylist just insisted on doing my hair in a bathroom stall so that at least I didn’t have to keep running back and forth. I know now from the photos that she probably vindictively chose the curly-mohawk style accented with rhinestones and purple-ass glitter. Not what I asked for, but definitely what I deserved.
The next 4 hours are a total haze.
I know that for at least 2 hours, I wandered through the Hobby Lobby next door. I have flashbacks of leaning against a stall wall, crying after throwing up for the 9th time, and I know that I was escorted out of Hobby Lobby when 2 elderly and smocked bouncers drug me out of the scrapbooking aisle after ripping 12 packs of stickers out of my hands. I had, apparently, fallen asleep in the aisle like that. Hobby Lobby is not illness-induced-delusion friendly.
As I sat sprawled out like a toddler, I had a quick pep talk with myself on the sidewalk in front of Hobby Lobby. If I was going to go to Prom, I was well enough to drive myself home.
My mom immediately thought I was drunk, and then in remembering that I was a loser in high school realized that wasn’t possible, and rightly surmised that I was very ill. She handed me some Pepto-Bismol and shoved me into my dress.
My mom was a big believer in the sickness strategy, “just get up and brush your teeth and you’ll feel better.” I’m sure even she knew it was against better judgment to let me go to Prom like that, but my mom is not the kind of lady to back down on a lesson she’s instilled in you. In the 15-minute window she had until my date arrived, she had me in a dress, hair fixed after the Hobby Lobby aggression, jewelry on, and opera-length gloves to polish it all off. She packed me a flask of Pepto in my purse, and made me brush my teeth. No one will ever bother to ask me what’s in the flask.
I have photo proof that I was not all-there during family photo time at my house and at his house, and I don’t remember any of dinner. I was later told it was a buffet, and that I got 2 plates full of food and ate none of it. I just stared blankly at it like a model in a Luby’s cafeteria.
The only part of the actual dance, and truly the rest of the night, that I recall was when we lined up for Prom royalty crowning. I was a candidate, and my poor King-Candidate escort was straight-up drunk-dragging me up to the front, insisting I stop grabbing my rose if it’s stabbing me, and trying to talk me out of puking in front of my entire school. It’s the closest thing to a war flashback that I can imagine, being stuck in front of so many flashing cameras when I’m still not sure where I was or if I was even alive. I saw Jesus telling me I looked pretty in my dress.
Looking back, it might have been my science teacher, which is still very weird.
I was so relieved when neither of us won, because that meant I could finally be sick. He drug me to the bathroom, threw me in a stall, and–like a gentleman–didn’t let anyone else come in until I was done. Later, I’ll find out that so many people thought I was distraught over losing the title, or possibly pregnant. Hilariously, our actual prom queen was pregnant.
I spent the rest of the night taking deep drinks out of my Pepto-flask and attempting to dance what was described by my dear friend Louie as, “like an iguana attempting to aggressively mate with a flamingo.” My mom assures me I didn’t wake up for a solid 24 hours when I was finally dropped back off at my home.
Some people make bad life decisions at Senior Prom.
Some people relive the memories their entire lives.
I’m thrilled I survived.
I LOVE Prom stories. What’s yours?– Favorite Comment From The Last Post: From Jen: “I want to hold hands with her and cavort in a meadow singing “Salt-n-Pepa” tunes whilst eating Little Debbie snack cakes. ‘Cuz I think she’d be into that shit.”