If you went to your high school prom or helped your daughter or son prepare for their prom, you’ll never forget the night. Just ask women (and men, too) about their proms and the memories start flowing.
Carol Mawyer —A month ago … I came across it — a wad of coral fabric. My prom dress! Smoothing out the winkles, I saw the dress as I remembered it from more than 30 years ago –form-fitting and floor length with spaghetti straps and a low cut back. I recalled wearing a pair of heels with black patent leather straps fastened to a wooden base that clunked when I stepped. Finding that dress took me back to a night more than 30 years ago at the Old Cavalier Hotel on the Virginia Beach oceanfront. I felt beautiful. I’m 50, for heaven’s sake, and I’ve purchased no less than five prom dresses for my own daughters. So, why, did I still have this dress? Despite not being able to answer that question, the dress went back in the box and up into my attic.
Melissa Gay —I was a lucky daughter. My mom was a wonderful seamstress. She made most of my school clothes using McCall’s and Butterick dress patterns. My junior year she made my prom dress. It was a smokin’ hot red halter dress. It had a white, sailor-styled collar in the front. I had matching white patent-leather pumps. It was the seventies so the pumps had square toes and thick heels. By my senior year I was too cool to go to prom. I stayed home and watched that crazy new TV show, Saturday Night Live. I think my mom was glad she didn’t have to make another prom dress.
Taya Jarman– My best memory was going to a nice restaurant. We went to the Tobacco Company and it was my first time at a restaurant that nice. Since I’d been voted ‘Most Spirited,’ I wore a navy blue dress with silver accessories to go with my class colors.
Dougie Bowman–We decided to take a full day and drive up to Tyson’s Corner and have a mother/daughter bonding day. Also there would be a larger selection to choose from. I knew what I envisioned….a beautiful pastel long strapless gown that “flowed.” Unfortunately, it was not at all what my daughter was looking for. She chose a short skintight silver dress, shimmering stockings, three- inch silver heels and long dangling earrings. And it was one of the most expensive dresses there! Today, my granddaughter is in her junior year of high school. I can’t wait to see how the mother/daughter bonding event takes shape.
Merri Incitti — My senior prom was in Anchorage, Alaska. I wanted my dress to be different from what everyone else was going to wear. I had the opportunity to travel with the school to Nashville, Tennessee about a month prior to prom and I did my best to find a dress that was nothing like I had seen at the few stores in Anchorage that had prom dresses. Of course, what I found, I couldn’t afford. I took pictures home and my mother made a dress! It was beautiful.
Mirta Martin–I can remember my prom as well as my children’s proms vividly. They are memories that stay with you as long as you live. I remember what I wore. I remember being surrounded by friends, good friends. I remember also thinking this was the last time we would ALL be together in one place. Twenty-five years later, I am still in touch with many of those friends.
Cyndy Kelly- As a freshman in high school, I was invited by a junior (woohoo!) to go to the prom. I spent three hours at the local beauty salon to have my then way-past-shoulder length hair styled into an “up-do”. At that time there weren’t before and after prom parties so everyone did their own thing. Ours was to eat early and then head to prom (in the gym at the local high school). I wore a lemon yellow full length dress with am empire waist. Can’t remember the shoes, but my date was very tall, so the shoes would have been high, high. My date wore a tux with a white jacket. Must be I didn’t think much of prom. Never went again.
Jonathan Young -Too long ago to recall what color of dress my dates wore or what I ate, perhaps none of that mattered now or then. I can really only remember what was important; fellowship. Distinct memories of spending the evening at a friend’s house after prom. I think that’s what prom should define: fellowship.
Peggy Reid– Our prom was all about crinolines, corsages, and lots of good music for dancing. We wore ballet flats. My Mom and I drove to Raleigh, N.C. from Greenville N.C. to purchase the dress. Because it was so pretty, I went to two proms that year, one with my now husband, Bob, and another boyfriend. What a lot of fun!
This is part of a series,Virginia Tapestry: Reflecting Our Rich Diversity produced by In Your Shoes Media.
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