Thursday, February 22, 2007

We were hip to be square.

I've been reading some great posts by Linda and Roxanne about the prom. Be sure to read Linda's post for her story about obedience to The Holy Spirit's tug on her pocketbook and a beautiful prom dress fit for a princess. Roxanne's post reminded me of my own prom experience and made me laugh out loud.

I was so excited about going to my junior prom. How many times does a girl get to wear a pageant dress, big hair and rhinestone jewelry out in public?

Mama and I shopped for a dress all over Albany, but the one we finally found was at The Bridal Barn in Moultrie. If memory serves me right, the dress shop was shaped like a barn. But this wasn't just any dress shop. This "barn" was stocked with wedding gowns, mother-of-the-bride dresses, prom and pageant wear, and of course, lots of accessories.

It was like I had died and gone to Southern girl heaven smack dab in the middle of an old cow pasture.

My dress was crimson red with white satin bows on the shoulder, a sweetheart neckline, and a white ruffle inset at the hem. Just darling. And the shoes? Dyed to match. What else?


My prom date, whom I will call Tim, was a really sweet friend and I had planned to ask him to the prom if he had not asked me first. He worked after school at a local video store and saved his money for months to take me to the prom.

His boss offered to let him drive her car so that we could ride in style. I can't remember the make, but it was a big, white sedan with a bench seat in front. Just before the prom, Tim's boss was in a wreck and he was worried that he wouldn't have a car to drive. I'm not sure why he didn't borrow his parents' car, but my guess is that they needed it that evening. His boss assured him that the car would be repaired in time for the prom.

Just before Tim picked me up, my parents took the typical "Pose here in the front yard, honey, you look so grown up in that red dress" pictures. I still have the photos. I had just colored my own hair with Sun In, the at home haircoloring kit which involves the spraying of chemicals from a hairspray bottle and "setting the color" with a blow dryer. What person failed chemistry and invented this product?

I thought I was cute. Oh, yes I did. Red dress and orange hair. AND pearls with rhinestones.


So Tim picked me up and gave me the most beautiful orchid wrist corsage. Mama pinned on his boutonniere, and took more "Awww... don't they look nice?" pictures. We got in the car and to my chagrin, the front seat was covered with a huge bedsheet.

To cover the blood stains from the accident. Tim apologized for the blood stains and promised me that it was OK to sit on the seat. I guess I should be glad I was wearing a red dress. (By the way- His boss? She was perfectly fine.)

We met some friends for dinner at one of the nicest restaurants in town (public appearance in formal wear!) and then headed for the dance. The room was all decked out in 80's glitz, with tacky, low budget decorations, a "theme" and really bad punch.

As we slow danced to a 1980's ballad, Tim conjured up all of the courage he had and whispered to me, "You sway like a Georgia Pine."

I think he hoped I would swoon at his romantic line, but instead I just smiled, held in my giggle and kept dancing. It was a sweet moment of teen awkwardness.

After the dance, we went to a local lake that is nestled in a quiet neighborhood. The lake is bordered by quaint park benches, families of geese and migratory ducks. We strolled along the placid waters, looking on as the lake reflected the moon. The humidity hung thick in the night air. It was a quiet, peaceful evening.

Then the geese attacked my dress.

This information is probably documented in a yellowed, dusty National Geographic archive, but I will go ahead and tell y'all this- Geese are highly agitated by the sound of crinolins bustling in the wind.

My only hope was to seek safety on a park bench where I could quiet my crinolins and pray that the geese would just give up. They squawked and pecked at my hem, flapping their goosey feathers. Tim finally shooed them away and they swam off with their precious gosslings.

I was Causing A Commotion as the Lady In Red.

Don't Get Me Wrong. I Had The Time of My Life.

I know. That was Bad.


No geese were injured in the making of this memory, but my red taffeta dress suffered minor damages.


Big Mama said...

How could any girl not swoon to a line like "you sway like a Georgia pine"? It's really every girl's dream.

~~ Lily ~~ said...

Melanie, I've come across your blog, and I really enjoy it! You make me smile. I've read some of your blog posts that really crack me up to my family, and they agree: you are a hoot! You are now in my favorites!

Clemntine said...

Oh, those WERE the days, yes?

Great post!

Grafted Branch said...

Eek! A bedsheet -- to cover the blood?! Well, then.

I didn't have rhinestones. I wore lace, fingerless gloves up to my elbows -- in the tradition of Prince's girls. (Not THE Prince's girls, but The Artist Formerly Known As Prince's girls.) And I was "all that." Ugh.

You should get yourself a button and do this as a theme!

Barb said...

I'm laughing my head off at the image I'm getting of the geese attack and your remark about none of them being harmed in the making of this memory. Who knew? But next time I wear crinolin, LOL, I'll remember this.

And your here kitty, kitty, kitty remark over at my place made me smile. Even I am not brave enough to try to spray anything on a cat.

You're too funny. :-)

PS - white satin, made by my mother, and very, very big hair. No jewelry. Pretty corsage, though. And I had to be home by 11 because my father ruled the curfew roost. Ridiculous but I still had a "ball."

Dreama said...

That is priceless...after our prom we all changed and went to a rodeo. The guy I went to the prom with had to go and ride bulls afterwards!!!

Linda said...

ohmygosh, Melanie, I cracked up at the geese attacking that red dress! Honestly, the fact that you really live or have lived or know someone who has lived these stories is too much! People are always saying that other people's posts make them spit or laugh out loud--I believe this is the first time I've ever done that. It was just the goose attack that put me over the edge.

Roxanne said...

Bless Tim's heart. . .he'd probably imagined using that line since he was 13. . .and oh my, I'm so glad you shared because I have had my laugh for the day. . .

UNTIL I got to the little known Geese Crinolin Phenomenon, heretofore unknown to the rest of the free world, discovered by a teen girl in the late '80's. I think they should name the syndrome after YOU, Melanie.

And then I told my husband and got to laugh all over again. . .hilarious.

Susanne said...

Orange hair, red dress and attacking geese! I can just picture it all! :vD

Rebecca said...

He must've been something special for you to hold that giggle! I would have died laughing right there on the floor. Poor guy.

Linda said...

Hey Melanie--will you link at my mr linky about this post?

Chrissy said...


Antique Mommy said...

I knew things were going to go horribly awry as soon as I read "Bridal Barn". What a funny story. I think I've blocked all memories of my prom dates/dresses. Especially the year I decided to cut my hair very very VERY short.

Mommy Dearest said...

I'm not sure what was the funniest:
"You sway like a Georgia Pine," covering the bloodstains on the seat, or the geese attack. You truly had a memorable prom!

Kelli said...

Oh My Word!

My date armor-all hit font bench seat to make it all shiny.


Any idea what Satin does on ArmorAll'd seats? Slide baby, sliiiiiide!

I spent the whole time in the car clutching the door and bracing my matched shoes into the carpet to stay in one place.

The 80's truly ROCKED!