It's that time of the year. You are a Junior/Senior.

Scene I:

Conformist #1 - "So John Doe, who you going to prom with?"
John Doe - "No Conformist #1, I'm not going, why do you care."
Conformist #1 - "You aren't going to prom, why not?"
John Doe - "Because it's another joyless get-together that requires you to spend lots of money to please your date and your mindless peers."
Conformist #1 - "Oh, someone's got a case of the Monday's! (laughs)"
John Doe - "Shut up"

Scene II (5 seconds later):
Conformist #2 - "So John Doe, got a date for prom yet?"
John Doe - "No you freak, weren't you just listening to what I just said"
Conformist #2 - "Soooo, you aren't going to prom then? WHY NOT! Hey, I can hook you up."
John Doe - "NO, damnit, leave me alone."
Conformist #2 - "Common man! You have to go to prom!"
John Doe - "No, no I don't"
Conformist #2 - "Ok talk to you later"
(5 minutes later, Conformist #2 comes back and asks the same question.)

Final Scene (Scene III, approximately 5-10 seconds later):

Conformist #3 - "So you goin to prom, John Doe?"
John Doe - "Alright thats it. LISTEN HERE YOU STUPID PIECES OF CRAP. I am not going to prom!@#
WHY? Because I don't want to, nor do I have to. If I don't go, I will be the same person.
What is the point of spending a years salary on a stupid dance that nobody is going to enjoy.
Stop friggin asking me if I am going to prom already. GOD!" Conformist #3 - "Man, sounds like someones got a case of the Mon-"
John Doe - "NO, SHUT UP!"

At this point Conformist #1, #2, and #3 are talking about their dates and how much money their parents are giving them as John Doe plots to ruin prom.
John Doe doesn't have a date and isn't going to prom. BIG FRIGGIN WOOP. Get over it.

Don't go to prom if you know whats good for you.
(Pretty pointless, eh)
I had a great time at my high school prom. It wasn't really cataclysmically expensive, and it's a time I look back on fondly. All of my friends were there, and I had a good time dancing a lot. You could argue that there are better ways to spend a Saturday night, and you're probably right. There are a lot of Saturdays, and there are plenty of worse ways to spend them. Go down to the thrift store and pick out any old thing. Grab a friend and have a blast. You can get a date. It's not as hard as you think. (Heck, I even found one!)

Loosen up a bit, and go have a good time. If you think of it as stupid and that you won't enjoy it, you can only prove yourself right. You don't have to love high school, but you can at least make the most of it while you're there. You really don't gain anything by not endorsing or acknowledging it. Your experience can only be as good as you let it be. Discounting it by lowering your expectations and allowances will only result in your denying yourself a potentially wonderful evening. What have you got to lose?

In the 80's, I went to four proms. Four silly, expensive proms that all ended up quite disappointingly. Most of the time, for most people, prom does end up that way, because nothing on the face of the planet can actually be as wonderful in real life as your imagination tells you it's going to be while you're going nuts getting ready for it. My last prom, at my own high school during my senior year, (my "real" prom, I began to call it,) I wore a sleeveless, metallic pink dress with a big puffy skirt because I had to look as much like Cyndi Lauper as I could manage. My date was an enormously cheap dork with two left feet and a perpetual boner. The shrimp they served made me vomit. The ugly, Assistant Crack Whore my very recently ex-ed ex-boyfriend dumped me for wore the exact same dress I did. The "theme" of the thing was Bon Jovi's "Never Say Goodbye" and the infinite wisdom of my school's administration made the DeeJay re"mix" the song so that the lines "with a six pack and a radio" and "remember when we lost the keys, and you lost more than that in my backseat, baby" were scrambled beyond easy recognition. Lame, lame, lame. Exponentially lame. Infinite mega-lameness. But I'm glad I went to the stupid things. Now I'm an old crumudgeon, and I can recognize Bon Jovi's music for the insipid tripe that it was, and I can see that Cyndi Lauper was actually just more strange-looking than talented. But the story value remains reasonably good, and I don't have to wonder if I would have missed something that would have been an important part of my eventual self-actualization as an adult. (I wouldn't have, as it turns out.) I have four silly dresses to show my own kids when they're looking for a laugh. I have four champagne flutes with high school logos on them, and everyone needs at least one of those. I have photos of myself looking completely ridiculous, while feeling like a freaking runway model. (At least for as long asthe requisite "Family Photo Sessions" were going on. That feeling went rather quickly away once I got to the damned dance and noticed that everyone there was taller, tanner, and bigger-breasted than I. That's frequently how one thinks when one is a teenager, you know.

Anyway, going to your prom doesn't necessarily make you an uncreative conformist. It just makes you glad when it's all over that you don't have to do any of that high school crap ever again, and that in itself is worth something.

Back in high school I considered going to the senior prom, but didn't see the point. Sure, I could have agonized for a while like everyone else, spent a bunch of money, and gotten involved in an awkward social situation, but I didn't. (In fairness, I almost did.)

For about a month before the prom, I listened to some of the others (mostly girls) talk about it. They were neurotic messes, but they were happy neurotic messes. The monday after the prom, they were all bitching about it.

As far as I'm concerned, prom is a big celebration for the in-crowd, and it's more like a wake. They're celebrating because this is the last chance they're going to have to live off their baseless popularity and cults of personality. When it became such a big deal, the less popular people started going too.

Personally, I resented the fact that even one dime of tax money went into funding it.

I had a graduating class of about 650. The high-and-mighty popular people from the class haven't done that well. Examples:

  • One "student leader" flunked out of a local community college with a 0.63 GPA.
  • Another "student leader" quit college less than a year after starting and promptly started sleeping around, and managed to get pregnant. The guy promptly ran away.
  • Another popular individual who had dated or been on flirtatious terms with a good portion of the popular female component of the class came "out of the closet" and proclaimed to the world that he is gay. I'm sure this came as quite the shock to the girls he'd dated. No comment.
  • One got shot in the head during a botched drug deal. He apparently figured that he could take the drugs and keep the money.

    Of the 15 or so people I can respect:

  • One is designing sattelite guidance systems and isn't even out of college yet. She's managed to amass enough cash from this to put herself through the remainder of undergrad and through graduate school.
  • At least two are applying to medical school.
  • Several are in some other form of professional program, such as nursing school.
  • One girl, who I respected greatly, seems to have gone off the deep end. Nobody I've talked to has heard from her in a couple years. She sent me a letter and asked me to write back. I did and never got a response, which was very out of character for her. I haven't quite gotten to the point where I'll start doing major detective work on it, mostly because I'm not fond of possibly being labelled a stalker. (Another example of how it's hard to care in a politically correct society.)
  • One is finishing up his education at Moorehouse College.
  • I lost track of the rest.

    With the exception of that one girl, I guess it's another example of how the "losers" in high school (i.e. the geeks) wind up employing the losers who tormented them in the first place.

  • I actually had a very nice time at my prom. It was just the planning that was a bitch and a half.

    See, I invited a nice girl I'd been friends with for a really long time. Most of my friends, however, invited galactic bitches. We had already planned out most of how the night was going to go, and they tried to take control and change just about everything. Half of them weren't even seniors, and they expected to have an equal say in what was going to happen.

    This is NOT, for once, any sort of sexist thing. It's just the fact that it wasn't their senior prom. You only get one, and you have a right to plan it out however the fuck you want. I got invited to a few proms with girls from other schools, and at no point did I try to plan or change anything about the night--it was their night, not mine.

    Well, my friends just couldn't make them understand that. We wanted to go out to the Hamptons like the rest of the universe, and they wanted to go to a comedy club. On prom night. Don't ask me why. They insisted on getting the most expensive limosines, even though we only needed the thing for a 20 minute drive each way and they weren't actually bigger than the cheap ones. Compound that with the fact that certain people in our merry little band absolutely hated other individuals who were in our prom group, and we had some very long and involved strategic meetings on who was going to go into which limo to avoid assaults and murders taking place.

    But the prom itself was great!

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