Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Hear You Me: Prom, Glee & the Dude.

I just finished the newest Glee episode. It was about their prom. Towards the end, when you see everyone dancing, I got a little nostalgic. Slightly. But only in the "blinded by 10 years distance" sort of nostalgic.
Let me do some explaining.

 For whatever reason in my brain as a young teenage girl, I thought it was still 1955. I, being the idealist I was, thought that if at the age of 16 I could have a steady boyfriend, my little life would be complete. I would eventually go to college and marry this steady boyfriend, thus making him my um, steady husband.
Dating: In my brain.

You cannot imagine my surprise when 4 days after my 16th birthday, I was asked to be someone's girlfriend. Quite simply, I was pursued. I had never been pursued, I had only ever had a crush (more on that in a moment). I was pursued to the point of this person getting detention for ditching classes to come see me. Yes, I was blinded. I thought it was perfect. I thought we were the match made in heaven. A few of my friends warned me, but I could not be swayed. My knight in shining armor had arrived.
 We liked the same stuff, held the same basic values, had a similar sense of humor. When I showed his picture to certain friends, their eyebrows went up. He was so not my type they said. One of my friends asked me if his name was Blane. Close, but no cigar.
This is Blane. Yes, I should have gone with Duckie. I know that now.

He was the jock, I was the ska kid/punk rock girl? I don't know what I was. I was 16. Hello Valley Girl 2000! You see, I had always had eyes for this one dude. He was older, he had dark hair, played guitar etc. He never liked me. I had pined over him for 2 years. Gee, I wonder why he didn't like me in my light blue dickies, Five Iron Frenzy shirt & fake cat eye glasses? I can't imagine... But then with boyfriend, these were the things he liked. I was a bit off and for whatever God-forsaken reason, that worked for him. 

A year after we started dating, we had our first prom. Gee, it was swell. It was held at the Gene Autrey Museum, which I now drive by every time I go to the Doctor's office. It was beautiful. I had a big white pouffy dress, these weird clear shoes (no, they were not stripper heels) & super curly hair. I cannot for the life of me remember the name of this prom. All of my stuff is put away too, so I can't look it up. 

It was like this maybe? The theme was "You're Delusional". 
We danced the night away, went home in the limo, it was fantastic. I don't remember so much about this prom, I remember seeing friends, dancing, eating, gum getting confiscated, etc. Magical. So freakin' magical.

Fast forward to Senior year. This perfect boyfriend was done. He was going to college, I was staying in town and going to not "real college" (his words from when we broke up, not mine. Sorry for the spoiler). He had already found another girl at his future schooling institution. I did not know this at the time. He was cheating on me. That would explain the distinct odor of indifference anytime we were together. It would also explain the one compliment I received during that Prom night: "Your hair looks nice." Gee, thanks. You're sweet. Never-mind the replica of Elizabeth Taylor's Place in the Sun dress that I'm wearing. My Mother only put her whole heart into it. But yes, my hair looks fantastic. 
See, I told you I thought it was the 50's.

Montgomery, you would have been a better date. 
 Our prom was held on a backlot of Universal Studios.  You know the dancing scene in Austin Powers that's suppose to be on a London street? That's where my Prom was held (for you more TV savvy folks, it was Wee Britain from Arrested Development). It was beautiful. You could walk out and see the lights of LA. It should have been the best of everything ever. Shoulda, woulda, coulda. There is one fleeting moment that I hold onto, it didn't come from boyfriend, it came from one of the cutest guys in school. He sweetly took me aside, whispered in my ear that I looked beautiful. When I think about my senior prom, I think about that one moment. It made my night. I'm sure he doesn't know that. He won't ever know that. I doubt he even remembers me. That moment was replayed in my head hundreds of times. A small comfort in the middle of my high school dream fading. The last dance? Hear You Me by Jimmy Eat World. That part was nice.
 That night, I was treated to lackluster dancing, impersonal talking, him focusing on other girls & finally, him leaving me at home to take another girl home. Let me clarify, it wasn't her fault. Nothing happened. On her end, she just simply needed a ride home. I don't think it was that cut and dry in his book though. 
Yes, you read that right. My boyfriend left me on Prom night to go take another girl home. Hello doormat Leigh!
   I watched an episode of "The Office" last night and Pam describes her worst date ever. She describes that she was taken to a hockey game, went to the bathroom and was promptly left by her date and his brother. They had to come back and get her. Jim quickly realizes that the story is about her current fiance, Roy. Who would still date someone like that? Much less want to marry them? Oh, just me. Pam, I relate to you. 
I never had a cute guy pining for me though. Mugging at the camera and all.

I wanted so badly for my ideal to work that I was willing to be treated poorly, walked on and whatever else.  It had to work! Personally, now I know it came down to pride. My pride. I had my ideal and I couldn't sacrifice it. I even falsely believed that God wanted us together. Amazing how your brain works. How silly your heart gets.

Before you go off thinking that high school boyfriend was all bad, he wasn't. He made some poor choices and wasn't honest, however, he was fantastic at first. I will give him that. I will also give him kudos for those tapes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 he recorded. I can also say it was fun winning speech trophies with him. I guess there were other okay dances. We were also both into black and white checkers. Ska was the soundtrack of our lives. Oi-Oi-Oi, then.

The point of all this is that there's this idea that you shouldn't change anything about your past, you shouldn't want to go back. It's what made you who you are. Let me tell you something: If I could go warn myself, I would. I would say to enjoy high school. Don't have a steady boyfriend. Be with friends. I alienated certain friends and bothered others by being so dead-set on having a high school boyfriend. I really regret leaving my one particular friend in the dust for my  boyfriend. It was stupid. I really would rather look back on prom and see this moment where I was the epitome of teenager. Dancing, laughing, singing with friends. That would be glorious. Instead I watch an episode of Glee and only think of missed opportunities.  In the infamous words of The Dude, It's a bummer, man. 

Yes, I just worked the Big Lebowski into a prom blog.

 Here's the part I wouldn't take back: the break-up. The devastation. The hours of listening to Dashboard Confessional. I really found myself. It was that time that broke me down so that God could build me back up. I found out who I could be and who God wanted me to be so that I could meet this super cute dude & marry him. When I rewind in my brain, I know that gut wrenching hurt was momentary and that I needed it to purge me of a prideful idealism. An idol by any other name. 
80% of my music listening in College involved Chris Carrabba.

As Prom arrives for high schoolers, I hope they enjoy it. I really do. Enjoy it for me. Make good memories, not bad. I hope in the year 2021, you look back and say "I'm glad I did it the right way." Also, please dont' let your school play Friday. That's just common sense.

Better than Prom. <3

P.S. I'll let you fellow Thunderbirds decide who the cutest guy at YHS was. :)


good+hardy said...

I love your P.S. because as soon as I read that part I started speculating! I think I know who... of the cute ones, there were only a few that nice. :) Also, I associate Dashboard with my big high school boyfriend break-up as well. Perfect break-up music, of course.

Leigh said...

Jess, You have to Private message me on FB to guess. Kelly guessed too! :)

good+hardy said...

Oh gosh, not that he would have had to be overly nice to say that. That sounded weird when I read it back. Geez. You know what I mean... ;)

Leigh said...

P.S. When I think back, I think he was being over nice. Haha. Dashboard is the cure all for young adult heartache.

Mrs. B said...

By the way, I loved reading this. Every single part. Well done. :)

Mrs. B said...

Wow. I can't believe how similar we were. Well, I can, but...your whole ideas about finding that perfect boyfriend to become the perfect husband and leaving friends in the dust, and not breaking up b/c of your own stupid pride. All of that was me at 16, too! Except we only lasted 9 months and I was RELIEVED when it was over. Didn't shed a single tear. I may have even thrown a party. Haha. Love you!

Post a Comment