Don’t Stop Believing: Prom @ ALA ’11. #alaprom

Prom, circa 1988, with my highschool sweetheart. I was a mere baby!

One way or another (weaseled, forced, sweet-talked), I was able to get on the pre-planning committee for a prom themed charity event to be held at ALA’s annual conference next year in New Orleans. I say pre-planning because nothing is absolutely official yet as some intelligence still needs to be done and money needs grease a few hands to see if this can be a go, but word on the street is even if it’s not 100% officially approved by the powers that be at ALA, it WILL happen one way or another.

All this excitement on the committee got me thinking about my own prom 22 (!) years ago. To your right is a picture of me at 15 with my highschool sweetheart. While we look positively innocent and damned near virginal, the smiles on our faces were a facade of sorts. We had, in fact, broken up a few weeks before prom night (which was also his birthday) with the excuse as he was going off to college, I still had a few years of high school left and he wanted to be a free man or some such crap. If I remember correctly, I cried through most of the night, early morning and for weeks after.1

While over the years I’ve attended various charity events that mimicked the prom theme, this will be the first time I’ll be able to wear my prom dress, which found its way back to me a few years ago.2 Tonight I’ll raise a few to Chuck, who took me to prom, introduced me to R.E.M., New Order and Joy Division and who also broke my heart and later would mend it back again.

While I’m raising a few tonight, tell me about your prom(s)3! Did you love it? Hate it? If you had the chance to do it all over again, what would you do anything differently? What would have made that night magical for you or if you didn’t go, what would have persuaded you to attend?


1. Despite my 15 year old melodramatics, we ended up staying in touch and dated again a decade later. But that’s another story for another time.
2. The dress was in storage at a friend’s parent’s house for nearly two decades. A few years ago, said friend was cleaning out her parent’s attic and found the dress and presented it back to me.
3. I knew people who not only went to their own proms for junior and senior years, but also their respective boyfriend/girlfriends proms.