|Photo from sammydvintage.com, fair use claimed|
All across America, a ritual is being observed that is as common in the spring as unrelenting sneezing due to allergies, prom. It's been a while since I went to prom. However, I'm at an age when my friends' kids are heading off to prom. In fact, as I write this, the kids of PVHS are rocking out and (I hope) having the time of their lives.
So just where did prom come from? Let's check in with our good friend Wikipedia for a bit of intell:
"In the United States, and increasingly in the United Kingdom and Canada, prom (short for promenade) is a semi-formal (black tie) dance or gathering of high school students. This event is typically held near the end of the senior year (i.e., the last year of high school). Prom figures greatly in popular culture and is a major event among high school students. High school juniors attending the prom may call it "junior prom" while high-school seniors may call it "senior prom" or "senior ball". In practice, this event may be a combined junior/senior dance."
There you go, that's prom.
Prom actually showed up a bit early this year, courtesy of the Super Bowl and Audi. This commercial shows a kid without a date, and...well, you can watch for yourself (and as this is on YouTube and has, presumably been there for a bit, I claim fair use to post it):
So back to my comments on prom...
I went to prom twice and truth be told, it was uneventful. Somewhere in a box is my prom picture. It's been sent to that purgatory of items not thrown out yet never again to be displayed. Such is life.
But at this time, there are photos being displayed of Prom 2014. After a rather productive yet far from fun early evening of yardwork, I have profoundly enjoyed seeing the Facebook stream of prom photos. These young people look so wonderful. I cannot help but smile. And as I look at the photos, my thoughts turn to the parents, grandparents, siblings and close friends who are thrilled just to witness the moment. That's cool.
I hope the kids at PVHS and across are nation are having the time of their lives. I hope they dance, laugh, sing, engage in that wonderful goofyness of youth. I hope it is great. They deserve it.
And I also hope, this comes to pass:
Somewhere, a love will be proclaimed... and it will be accepted. I hope that two young people will take that leap of faith that they could go to a place where they commit to build a life together. That the silent hopes of parents snapping photos on the lawn secretly hope the prom night of Saturday will morph into the rehearsal dinner of Friday night...after college of course.
I'm half-Irish so I'm an optimist. And yet I'm a realist. I know that prom night will ultimately lead to heartbreak. As I type this, Adele is covering Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me." My God, it is a most honest and haunting tune. Somewhere, someone will learn that their date does not mirror their feelings. It was too close to the event to back out so they went along, they smiled for the photos, but somewhere during the evening, the truth will come out.
And when it does, that truth will sting. It will hurt. A lot. That's life. However, better things await. Trust me, it happened to me on July 5, 1995.
Somewhere else, some young lady did not go to prom. Her date, the only date she would accept is otherwise detained. He's in Afghanistan, likely returning from a mission. First, he'll smoke a cigarette, then, he'll clean his weapon. After these matters are attended to, then he will call or Skype or whatever they do now. It's not that he doesn't want to call her first, OF COURSE he does! But there is business to attend to. They will talk, laugh, lock eyes and await for time when they can have their dance,...after vows are exchanged.
So here's to prom. I hope everyone had fun. I especially hope everyone was safe and that the stains on the tux jackets wash out. To the moms and dads who saw their kids off for prom tonight, I suspect through your smiles you swallowed hard watching your kid head off for the evening. You may be saying, "Where did the time go?"
If you find the answer, please let me know. I'd really like to know too.
Be well my friends,
Note on the photo above- if you're looking for vintage posters or other similar stuff, check out their site, thanks.