Friday, May 7, 2010

Wonderful Tonight

There is something about longer days, warmth and sunshine that leads me to reminisce about my "youth", probably because I always spent some time at the beach on a towel "planning" how the following year would be better/different. This morning "Wonderful Tonight" came on the radio and it brought back memories of high school since that was the prom theme our senior year.

I went to my senior prom but not because I particularly wanted to; I just didn't want to look back on my high school and think I "missed" something. It helped that my mom agreed to buy my dress (green satin purchased as Macy's, with white satin gloves). I drove a bunch of other single ladies in my mom's minivan (an opal colored Toyota Previa). I know that my sister Stacey had a date (the awesomely fun Ross) but I think my other sister Allison, Natalie and Lauren were in the minivan. I think I even got my hair done. After prom a bunch of us went up to New Hampshire for a co-ed sleepover at one friend's summer home - without parents. Most of my friends didn't drink in high school and I didn't (was even part of a group that pledged not to) so despite sounding risky it really wasn't.

It was kind of shitty being at a prom without a date. You can pretend you are having fun and all but it is not an experience geared toward non-couples. Looking back I guess it was good that I went and probably empowering to be able to tell my kids I "went alone". But the truth is after I got to college and realized that boys will like you even if you are aggressively vocal about liking and being good at school then I decided that high school boys are stupid. It took the sting out of unrequited high school crushes and made me sigh about the amount of time I spent worrying about boys. I can't even imagine how little I would have gotten done in high school if I actually had a boyfriend - all those hours frittered away fretting about not having one!

I want Penny and Spyder to grow up and not be afraid to be vocal about their education and part of me hopes that they too will mostly just have unrequited crushes - it will give them time to figure out who they are before plunging into adulthood.

When you reminisce now about your youth does having kids put it more in perspective? What is one high school experience you would or would not want your kids to have?

P.S. I wish I had a prom photo to include so if anyone has one and can send it I will update the post.

11 comments:

ElizabethEK said...

What a great post. Very well said.

tovarena said...

In my culture, dating is strictly for the purpose of getting married. So no dating until well after high school (oh, and no touching until marriage :O ).

I went to an all girls high school where even talking to boys was an absolute no thing. While there was the occasional girl that broke the rules, by and large, we all lived with and were generally happy.

I wouldn't change it for the entire world! I will either send my daughter to the same high school or one similar. I don't miss having the experiences of prom or other traditional high school rites of passage - especially when the trade-off is not dealing with the teen angst.

Leigh said...

Well, first off, D & I love "wonderful tonight" - on that list of top love songs I posted :)

Then, I did ballet from 3 right through school and so I was never involved in sports because I had such a lot going on (yes, even then).

My wish for my babies is that they're a bit more well adjusted than I was. In retrospect I think I may have missed out on some good things although I'm so single-minded it honestly didn't seem like it at the time.

P.S. are you on maternity leave yet>?

Stacey said...

I am very glad that I barely dated in high school. It was much more fun to experiment with that in college where you can reinvent yourself as needed. Going to prom with Ross was a total blast :-) Remember how the big thing we did at Hampton was drive around the strip again and again to people watch? Total innocent awesomeness.

Leigh said...

p.s. I meant from AGE 3 :)

ABS said...

I didn't go to my prom, but I think "Wonderful Tonight" was the theme - either that or "I've Had The Time Of My Life". (So cheesy!!) I also skipped my recent 20 year high school reunion. I had a good excuse - I was 30-something weeks pregnant with my twins!!

I agree; looking back, high school dating seems really lame.

I chuckled when I read about boys liking you even if you're vocal, etc. Can we get a chime-in on that from Husband? ;-)

Donna said...

I didn't go to my prom(s) at all. My sister was more or less forced to find dates for both her jr and sr proms and both were diasters. After that my mother stayed quiet when I said I wasn't going. I didn't feel left out at all - though rumors flew as to why I didn't go. Who cares? I hated parts of highschool, especially the dating scene since no one was interested in a bookish girl.

jungletwins said...

Wonderful post. I plan on telling my daughters (repeatedly) that high school boys are SO NOT WORTH IT. College, on the other hand, rocks. I had lots of unrequited crushes too, and dated a guy I wasn't into at all just to be with someone. Seems so silly now. I also saw a lot of girls dumb themselves down in the hopes of attracting boys- and that shiz really bothers me.

H said...

Dearest- there was some fact checking that may have been necessary from your oldest friend with the longest memory- Prom theme was "We've Got Tonight"

I did come back from the bathroom that night and find you slowdancing with my date/boyfriend, so you did ok that night:) And remember the three of us danced together and then the whole gang a la 9-0. I have pictures of you in that fabulous green satin dress that I will definitely forward.

Stacey- the cruisin' hampton strip night was the night of the junior prom when we all didn't go and stayed up there together in solidarity as girls. (And didn't we rock my parents' minivan!) Senior year was the coed night as referenced by KJ.

Wish I had the experience that the rest of you had in college- but I peaked in high school:) But there are plenty of things that I will empower my own girls about. (I told one of my female students today, "we don't do work for boys"
Start young right?)

susanne13 said...

I like to think that if I stayed in Andover, I would have gotten us all to rebel (in a good way) and do some damage (again, in a good way). OK, probably not but fun to think about!

jerseygirl77 said...

a) Our prom song senior year was "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday" by Boyz II Men. Because that's how we roll in Jersey.

b) I went to prom with a friend. Guess what, it sucked even with a date.

c) I bought my dress of a clearance rack for $11 and change. (score!)

d) I never had a HS boyfriend. I was. not. cool. I'm still not cool, but I'm a lot more ok with it now.

e) I hope my daughter is so busy with sports/drama/student council/home ec club/ninja training or whatever else strikes her fancy... that she won't have too much time to worry about boys.