A month of completing the Alexis Ren ab workout every day, staying up until the early morning scrolling through Pinterest for makeup inspiration, nearly burning off your hair with a curling iron, failing to be able to book appointments due to booking them too late, and trying to balance the excitement with exam prep can only mean one thing. Prom. As a little girl, you are told through every chick flick known to man that this will be your night. A night where the geek turns into a goddess and all of a sudden every steamy jock ditches their dates to be with you. When I hit grade eleven, I realized that prom is not so perfect as I overheard stories in the hallways of people breaking up at the after prom venue. I knew Prom was just another over-hyped North American celebration to show off the status of one another, yet once you are caught up in it…it is hard to escape the glory of prom night.
I knew that the season had arrived when the infamous Promposal Instagram page requested to follow me. I looked at my screen, looked at the Prom dress I thrifted three months before and thought one thing; “Oh god…it’s happening”. Since prom and being fed up with high school was all that anyone could think about, it became all we as a collective talked about. Instead of starting conversations off with “how’s your day” it changed to automatically asking
Do you have a date?
What are you doing with your hair?
What are you doing with your makeup?
You are not buying shoes?!?!
How are you getting there?
Which pre-prom are you going to?
The questions never stopped and I did not want to be the odd one out, so I made sure that I checked all the criteria (boy was that hard to do).
My favourite part of it all was the school going completely on standby before the prom even occurred. Instead of having normal lunches in the cafeteria, it became a quest to go see who got “promposed” to today. Instead of tears in the girl’s washrooms being because of boys, they were because of someone else having the same prom dress as you even though you posted it in the group chat three weeks ago (even though all the dresses looked the exact same anyway). Instead of stress for a unit test, it became stress that you would not look toned enough for the big day (even though your dress already makes you look like a queen). Yet it really all came to reality for me when I bought a second prom dress, brought it home, hung it up in a bag, and had to stare at it for two weeks before I could put it on. It was the anticipation of it all…it made me giddy!
I loved the way I felt in my dress. I loved the way it hugged my body. I loved the fact that it was not spaghetti strapped and made of silk. I loved everything about it. It was a miracle that my indecisive self found something so wonderful that did not make me think twice. I thought after I found my PERFECT dress on a budget, life would be easy peasy lemon squeezy.
I was wrong.
To my chagrin, the finishing touches, that I saved to the last minute, were difficult difficult lemon difficult.
First, we had the fake nails. I got acrylics once before for my semi-formal and I am sad to say that my bitten tiny nails have never looked the same since. But my DIY queen self decided that I would try to use stick on nails instead. Turns out…they fell off at prom so I had to carry around nail glue with me in my purse all night and try to hide it if my nail fell off in my food. *shivers down spine of PTSD*
Next, there was makeup. I cant do makeup. I try, yet can never fully master the wonders of eyeshadow. Instead of buying my own palette and doing it myself, I decided to go to Sephora and get the free makeover with a 50$ purchase. Which may have been the best decision of my entire prom experience. Toula I love you thank you for gassing me and my makeup up. After getting my makeup done, my mum and I sped down to the hair salon to get my Hollywood waves and complete the 1920’s vibe I was going for. Sitting in the salon with my hair in rollers gave me flashbacks to the Beauty School Drop Out scene in Grease. I had never been happier. Leaving that salon I felt like a million bucks!
Then the stress hit at the pre-prom. I decided to go to two…it was a dumb idea. I got to my friends pre-prom, then met my date at his friends pre-prom, then we came back to my friends pre-prom to drive there. The funny thing about pre-prom is that is the time when you get all of your popping Instagram pictures. You expect to get a photo with you looking straight out of the prom Pinterest boards and of your squad looking like this:
Yet you end up either:
a) not getting any at all because you arrived late or b) having one person not looking at the camera, you looking god awful, and only one of your friends looking like a movie star (…guess who is the one who posts it?!) Sadly, I did not get one single photo of me that made me say “wow I look stunning”. All I can say is thank god for the free champagne. All jokes aside, seeing my friends happy as can be and living their best lives in their prom dresses made me so excited for the night to come yet also made me terribly sad that high school is nearly over and that I will not see them every day screaming in the hallways over memes, vines, and hot boys.
When we arrived at the venue, there were an array of fancy people who cleaned up GOOD. Every other girl you passed would give you this look of, “we are both fine as hell and we know it”. Then there were the people who ran up behind you and hugged you yelling, “DAMNNNN”. Both of those were amazing feelings. Yet something made me feel uncomfortable. I looked around and saw my ornate vintage looking dress compared to everyone’s modern gowns and felt so self-conscious. Everyone is looking at me. I look so weird. Why can’t I just fit in?! Maybe that’s why he keeps staring at me?! Then out of nowhere, it all stopped. My best friend came over told me how stunning I was and then I started to remember why I chose my dress; to be different in my own way.
After I pretended to be vegetarian to avoid the rubbery chicken and crunch Dorito salad, the awards began to be called. I was sitting on the edge of my seat as I was nominated for three awards: best-dressed girl, platonic duo, and most likely to be famous. I wanted to win platonic duo so bad that I even began putting my blister inducing heels back on just in case. Luckily, they paid off. Bethany and I ran up on stage, grabbed the Dollarama trophy and ran back to our seats. Then I ran up AGAIN for the best-dressed girl award and thanked Value Village in my heartfelt “shoutout to value village” speech.
It truly was a night to remember…
Right when it was getting good, the DJ (who might I add did NOT take recommendations???) started spinning, and the dance floor cleared out for a round; everyone began to leave.
WHAT?! That was the best part?! I spent over a hundred dollars for a night to end at 9 pm? OH no, none of my friends were having that bs either so we danced our hearts out until 9:45 then left for the after prom.*
*Oh after prom. I wish I stayed at prom dancing instead. After changing into different outfits, we rolled up to after prom in check. Our after prom was at a suss club/ restaurant (that was the first sign that it was not a good idea) and it was pitch black inside. I’m going to let you decide what happened next.
All in all, prom was quite the extravaganza.