Senior Prom, Class of 1993

Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, I’m getting back in touch with people from high school I haven’t spoken with in about 15 years. That brings with it a rush of memories, old anxieties and, of course, pictures we all look at and wonder “What was wrong with us?”

Among those pictures, some from my senior prom have come up. None with me in them yet, but still things that would normally stir some vague memories into full-blown reminiscences.

The problem is, when it comes to the actual night of my senior prom, I’ve got nothing. Not a single memory of anything that went on, no matter how hard I try.

As those who come through here semi-regularly know, high school is one of those touchstones for me. I more or less hated it, but I can’t deny that things that went on there were very formative experiences that (eventually) led me to be who I am now. Chief among those experiences were the numerous dances I attended.

Needless to say, the idea of prom was a big deal for me back then.

I managed to go to three proms while in high school. Of the three, my Junior Prom was OK, nothing spectacular (aside from the neat fountain we built in the school cafeteria… that was kind of awesome) and the one that wasn’t mine, well, I’ve talked about that at length (it was awesome). But my senior prom remains an incongruous blank in my memory.

Leading up to the prom, there was the normal problem of finding a date. As had been the case with the junior prom, I hemmed and hawed and, by the time I get around to asking anyone I was interested in, they were already going with someone else. My buddy Rob handed me a solution to the date issue: he asked me to take his girlfriend, since he couldn’t make it.

That’s right, I was the “safe” date. The unassuming, non-threatening, totally trustworthy schlump who had no reason to not accept the thoroughly non-romantic, non-standard option of going to prom with someone else’s significant other.

Needless to say, I wasn’t exceptionally enthused by the prospect, but I figured it was better than nothing.

Preparations proceeded as normal–tux rental, transportation logistics, plans for after the prom, corsage purchase. I have vague memories of a bunch of us heading to Kutscher’s hotel together (I don’t quite remember who all was there, where we met or what, if anything, we did beforehand). I do remember that Ali looked wonderful (as was to be expected).

And that is pretty much where my memories of my senior prom end.

Now, one would think that I’d really tied one on that night. A legitimate thought as proms are well known for their drunken teenage debauchery. Problem is, back then (as now) I didn’t drink.

Perhaps there was some traumatic event that caused me to blot the evening from my mind in a fit of self-preservation? If so, I’m hard pressed to imagine what that could have been.

The bottom line is, there is a distinctly disconcerting hole in my memory. No doubt there are many of them, but this is one I’m aware of and can’t for the life of me fill with even the vaguest bits of anything. This makes it highly unusual.

Now, I remember the day after the prom quite well. I have pictures of that. There was a trip down into Jersey to hit Great Adventure. A wonderfully entertaining ride through the safari there (which gave me the best picture ever of a giraffe–with its head in our vehicle… they apparently mean it when they say “keep your windows rolled up”). I remember leaving and returning to Tina’s place. I remember how much fun it was.

I have no pictures of my own from my senior prom. Oh, I paid for the full set that was offered as part of the prom package. But I never made the connection with Ali to pick them up. Theoretically, she still has them somewhere, probably gathering dust in some long-forgotten trunk.

Maybe some day I’ll see them.

Until then, I’m just curious to see if anyone else has any proof that I actually existed that night.

Because some days, I doubt that I did.

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