Saturday, May 17, 2008

Prom Night

It is prom night and I am alone. My daughter is off to her senior prom and her brother is at a friend's house.

This afternoon, the house was full of teenagers preparing for the big night. For much of that time, I was laying in my bedroom in a lovely state of semi-consciousness, a result of a full morning of yard work. I sat down on the bed after lunch and started to read a book and slowly sank into a half slumber.

As I drifted through this particular space, I was conscious of voices in the kitchen, various comings and goings in and out of the house, until a persistent ringing sound drew me back to the present, a reluctant return. Turns out the call was from my son who needed me to get out of bed and look up a recipe in the kitchen for home made pasta. He was going to prepare it for the family with whom he was visiting.

Well then, I was up. Just in time to welcome the prom date who dutifully waited in the kitchen as supernumeraries and messengers made frequent visits to inform him of the progress downstairs. When my daughter finally appeared, she was a vision. Due to the delays already experienced, everyone rushed out of the house with such speed, there was a distinct vacuum produced by their absence.

There was comment tossed over a shoulder as they hopped into the cars and roared out of the driveway - something about pictures in a park - and they were gone.

I slowly went around the house closing windows against the increasing winds in preparation of leaving for what I hoped was the right park. Getting there was a simple thing - finding the right bunch of babes and gents proved to be harder. There were at least three groups of prom goers and all their attendant groupies - parents, siblings, aunts and uncles. I drove slowly around the parking area looking for my daughter's rather distinctive dress. It was harder than it sounds. Kind of like driving through a pet shop looking for a particular parrot amongst many.

Turns out I was in the right park, but the wrong parking area. Before heading back to the house, I detoured around to the other side of the park and there found them snapping pictures of each other in a desperate race to capture the perfection that hours of preparation had produced before the wind wrested and teased strands of hair from the intricate designs so lovingly wrought.

I had time to take a couple of quick snaps before they were off the the next event - the dreaded Grand March, a place where thousands of parents, grand parents, and other hangers on gather in a gym for the express purpose of raising the ambient temperature and snapping badly lit photographs of their offsprings walking the yellow brick road. I, for one, had no intention of subjecting myself to another one of those, having paid my dues and gotten lots of dark pictures to prove it.

That was the plan anyway. I was home, reclining again, contemplating a leisurely evening of doing fuck all, when the phone rang with my oldest child on the other end of the line asking me to bring her purse along when I came because she desperately needed it. Shit. So, off I went to do what I said I would not, but fate smiled on me as a parking space miraculously opened up as I arrived. I walked in and instead of going to the oven of a gym, I snuck around the corner and down the line of couples waiting their turn to make the grand parade. As luck would have it, I found my goal right at the entry door and made arrangements for a quick rendezvous.

Back to the gym door, quick entry, walk to the dead center of the back wall, ignore staff orders to move, snap two horrible pictures of the happy couple, walk back out, around the corner and meet them at the exit. Make the purse hand off and head for home once more.

It is many hours later now. I am waiting for my son to come home. Tomorrow I may have to drive my sleepless daughter to her delayed retreat. Better her than me.



Blogger lime said...

you've survived. congrats. we have a 9th grade formal next week and a prom next year.

12:48 PM, May 18, 2008  
Blogger Moosekahl said...

where's the picture of the dress? You have to show us the dress. :)

7:38 PM, May 18, 2008  
Blogger david mcmahon said...

May I share your pride? I'm a Dad of three ....

9:44 PM, May 23, 2008  
Blogger Sandi McBride said...

Prom night, the most important night of any girls life...more important than graduation even...congratulations on making it through!
ps, David sent me

6:50 AM, May 26, 2008  
Blogger Merisi said...

Thanks to David of "Authorblog" I found another survivor of Prom Night, congratulations! One of my daughters graduates High School in a few days, and this past Saturday was Prom Night for me too. ;-)

6:57 AM, May 26, 2008  
Blogger Daryl said...

What an adventure .. you now deserve a full day of rest and relaxation!

David sent me


10:50 AM, May 26, 2008  

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