Harry and the Horrible Prom
There is a reason why I call my dating life “Flirting with Disaster.” Things have been awkward and crazy from the get go. My experience with Prom was no different. The year was 1994 and I had a boyfriend, but he was much older than me. I decided not to drag along a man who’d been out of high school for so many years. But in retrospect, it might have turned out better than what actually happened.
My friends set me up with Harry. I told them I had a boyfriend, but they insisted that Harry and I could just go as friends. He didn’t have a date and neither did I, so it we should go together. I agreed since I wanted to at least say I’d been to Prom, which is a typical teenage rite of passage.
It was kind of short notice, so I didn’t have time to save for a proper dress. I was able to borrow my Aunt’s Prom dress, which was about 8 years outdated, but better than nothing. It fit okay, but my Aunt had bigger boobs than I did, so the strapless gown kept slipping down. I found a suitable white sweater to cover me just in case I had a wardrobe malfunction that night, which I did.
Harry picked me up and my mom took pictures. Then we went to my grandmother’s house, so she could take some pictures as well. We swung by his parent’s house before heading to Red Lobster. This was probably the best part of the night. The food was good if nothing else. The conversation turned out to be less than stimulating, but even that could have been overlooked.
We got to Prom at Pioneer Joint Vocational School that chilly Spring night. I had gone to Pioneer my Junior year, but gone back to Shelby High School for my Senior year. Many of my friends like Becky, Dawn and Harry had stayed at Pioneer though. The gym was nicely dark, but nicely decorated. The theme was Set The Night To Music.
Harry sat at the table while Becky and I went up to dance to the fast songs. I love dancing and didn’t care much that Harry refused to join me for the fun. Still, it did bother me when a slow song came on he still refused to dance with me. He had a crush on me the year before and so it baffled me as to why he didn’t want to share a slow dance.
More fast songs followed, so I continued dancing in a circle with my girlfriends. My dress did slip down, but I kept my sweater on so no one could see. Later, I fixed it in the bathroom. But Harry was nowhere to be found, not even to make fun of me. I found out, after I came out of the bathroom, that Harry had left the Prom all together.
The story I heard from friends was that he’d found another girl at the Prom and left to take her home so that he could get laid. Apparently, since he knew I wasn’t going to put out, he really didn’t care much about our date. I was merely his ticket into the dance since going alone was looked down upon. And honestly I didn’t care that he left with another girl. I had a boyfriend after all. What burned me was that he ducked out without a word, leaving me without a ride home.
Friends couldn’t believe how rude Harry had been. They yelled at him for me the next day, but I really could have cared less. My friend Becky and her boyfriend took me to my boyfriend’s house that night and they left to have their fun alone.
I had hoped to have a post-prom dance with my boyfriend. Being alone with him that night would have made up for Harry ditching me in the middle of the dance, but no, my boyfriend ditched me too. Feeling weird about having a girlfriend young enough to go to Prom, he decided to work a double shift that night. I ended up waiting up all night at his apartment only for him never to show up. At 6am, he arrived home dead tired and not in the mood to celebrate.
My boyfriend went to bed and I took down the paper chain decorations I made for him. Our own private prom was just as much a bust as the actual prom. I went home, changed out of my dress and tried to get some sleep.
Years later when I watched Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire, I totally related to the horrible time the Patil twins had with Harry and Ron. I was very much those girls at the Yule Ball.