I’m a junior, and spring is upon us. That means it is now prom/formal/semi-formal season.
I am not a cynical ex-girlfriend, betrayed by her heart and fed up with romance, men, and happy things. Rather, it is my conviction that dirty dancing, splurges on prom dresses, and inane teenagers are not happy things.
I’ve been to a couple dances. Not recently, but in middle school there were the sweaty school dances in the gym (I went twice), the Jr. Beta Club Convention dance (same as the prior but dressy and with strangers in Greensboro), and finally, the baddest one of ‘em all: the 8th grade formal.
Oh, all the girls fretted over who was going to ask them to the formal (or if anyone would). I know I did. For months. I would never want to live through that again. One day, I would wish this guy would ask me. Next day, a different one. Third day, I would decide I would turn everyone down. I can barely stand to read my journal entries from those days.
Going to the formal with a guy gives a girl a chance to feel validated, beautiful, and loved all at once, but the climax of it all has the potential to be as devastating as it is exhilarating. You go, but without a date, and when your picture is taken it’s with two friends. You go with a date, but the night isn’t as special as you thought it may be. You go with a date, but you start the next school year at two different high schools. (Then again, there is my friend who is still dating the boy who asked her to the formal.)
I admire my friends who had the common sense to stay out of it all. The 8th grade formal took the place of a graduation ceremony, and it was a poignant goodbye to middle school, but I definitely regret getting so wrapped up in the drama preceding the night.
With that in mind, there’s no reason for me to go to the upcoming “Winter Semi-Formal” or even the prom in April. One thing I am looking forward to, however, is the JAARS [my youth group] Prom Alternate, for people just like me. It has the potential to be ten times as awesome as anything the school could host; last year the juniors and seniors sailed a yacht on Lake Norman in May.
A lovely sunlit evening with friends, minus superficial beauty and hormonal chaos, is worth a bit of girlish excitement.