Memory Lane - Nostalgia in the Mid Atlantic forum: Proms of all Generations

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Imagestormyla
Feb 11, 2010 8:47 AM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Were you a prom goer? Did you save your photos? Have your kids gone to any proms? Proms are an ever evolving American cultural phenomena. Did you have the wonderful experience of prom dress shopping with your daughter? What was the theme of your prom? What were your post prom activites? Please post your photos and share your prom stories here.
Imagestormyla
Feb 14, 2010 1:22 AM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
I missed out on the whole prom experience. The small private school which I attended up until the end of 11th grade did not hold a Junior prom. My family moved just before my Senior year and I pretty much didn't have many friends at the new school. I graduated in 1972 and at that time, the world and our view of it was changing.

That was the first year that any of us decided that if you really wanted to go to the prom, you didn't have to have a date. In fact, a number of my class members decided that a group of girls going to the prom together would be a good thing. Some kids went together as a group and a few brave ones went by themselves.

Many of the kids who were enamored of the back to nature movement and the hippie culture didn't approve of proms. They considered Proms to be a borgeois frivolous experience supported by the establishment as a rite of passage to lead youth down the path of conformity to their stifling meaningless way of life. Ha! remember the era. Many of us felt that the money that was being spent on the prom activites would be better off being used to feed migrant farm workers or the poor in Appalachia.

Having dates and not going to the prom at all were not the only changes afoot that year. In junior year in most schools, getting those incredibly intricate expensive prom hairdos were still the biggest prom day activity. The Franco Zefferelli Romeo & Juliet Movie starring Olivia Hussey had taken the country by storm that summer of 1971. Now the rage was all for long straight hair. At least everyone was spared that expense.

The prom dresses also changed. No yards of tulle that year. The psychedlic prints, particularly those of Pucci and Peter Max, graced long slick polyester knit dresses and floor length culottes. It was the year of the halter topped knit print dress. Imagine wash & wear prom dresses!

The Beauty Parlors weren't the only victims of this minimalist trend. Gone were the required bouquets and wrist corsages. It was the era of Flower Power. A single Rose, Daisy or Carnation was the appropriate garnishment. There were some girls who wore wreaths in their hair of daisies or babies breath, but most of these were home made.

For those of us who weren't buying into the whole prom routine, there was, on the same night, an anti prom protest party. The girls all showed up in jeans or peasant dresses, and somone had brought daisy mums to give to each girl. It was a heck of a great party, with an impromptu band that had never played together before. The music was great and the cannabis was equally good. Of course, we still all particpated in the post prom drive to the shore.

Now, you know my prom story, what is yours??
Imagesallyg
Feb 22, 2010 9:22 AM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland
slef employed writier
Very interesting . I have never thought about the prom experince as a way to study American life. SOmebody should write a book...

Hm, I went to Junior Prom in 1976. I made my own dress, from cotton with a mini floral print. Sort of a ruffley layered thing. My date was a fix-up, turned out slightly scruffy, in a suit, and with a glass eye. Kind of unusual for an eighteen yr old boy I have no idea where I got him . It occurs to me only now how that eye must have seemed a huge hardship for him socially. I doubled with a close girlfriend so we all rode together. Guys in front, girls in back! I can only imagine what my mother thought when she saw all this. evolving. We drove to school and had the prom in the gym. Catholic girls high school. Nights In WHite Satin won out over Do You Believe in Magic cuz of the girls (hussies!) who had actual dates or boyfrineds and wanted to slow dance. I remember spending part of the evening in the Science teachers room with wnother girls or two shooting the breeze. Thats when one of them told us she had three boobs. I;'m still not sure what she meant--a cyst or something? Didn't want too much information!
Senior prom was a step up then. I think a few but very few girls went with other girls. to it.Got fixed up with a nice fun guy who got a tux like most pf the guys did. (I had asked a boy we all knew from the school play but he said he couldn't afford a tux. And told my girlfriend I had allergies when she saw me red eyed backstage.) I may have worn the same dress! I can';t remember any other and that was the dress in the picture with that guy. No fancy hairdo either time--I knew how to flip my own 'wings' (Farrah Fawcett) so that was good enough, and I think the other girls in my group were of the same opinion.
And all I knew of makeup was mascara, green eyeshadow, and lip gloss. That was a big affair for us, we went to a hotel ballroom in Columbia MD and got portraits, dinner and dance. It was very fun, and after that a couple families hosted non alcoholic after parties or breakfasts. I got dropped off at home early in the morning, at dawn, and walked into my backyard and felt very grown up and magical. Never saw that guy again either. But none in our group was very big on dating at that phase.
Well that was very nice reliving that memory-thanks stormyla. I should share it with my DD tonight.

My DD went to Homecoming dance last fall. Not quite a prom but many kids make it just as big a deal as could be! My hairdresser tells me that weekend is an ordeal for all the hairdressers, doing hated (by them) Updos. I am sure there are limos rented for this, as I have even seen limos at fifth grade ceremonies around here (anybody whose kids go to that school like ours did, really should be saving the money towards college, like we did) DD went with BFF. THey got knee length dresses, did their own hair and makeup, and stood at the side of the room pretty much all night watching the 'festivities' From what I hear from a teacher /friend, the festivities (public school) can be completely disgusting if the principal is not a strong. presence.
"If you bring joy and enthusiasm to everything you do, people will think you're crazy" W. Haelfeli, New Yorker cartoon
Imagestormyla
Feb 22, 2010 9:56 AM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Great stories, Sally! Did you know that Nights in White Satin is the most popular prom theme of all time and also the most requested song on radio stations? Your dates glass eye is memorable and I'm sure was a hardship for him. So many girls end up disliking their prom dates and never see them later on. Updoos were out for the longest time, and the Farrah Fawcette era would have been one of them. Now they are all the rage again. How nice to make your own prom dress!

Limos were not a part of my era. Kids who had cars drove two & three couples, yes the cars were big enough then. Many parents also would drive two couples.

Hope your daughter enjoys your story! Smiling
ImageHollyAnnS
Feb 23, 2010 1:34 AM CST
Name: Holly
South Central Pa
Well aren't we a threesome, All with bad prom stories. My dates were terrible but my dresses were just beautiful. One of them was covered with short ruffled lace and it was white and had pastel speckles all over it. Looked a lot like and Easter Egg. LOL I might still have that in the Halloween Box. I have got to dig up some pictures.
Life is Great! Holly
Please visit me and learn more about My Life on the Water a Personal Journey Thread in the MidAtlanticMusings Cubit.
http://cubits.org/MidAtlanticMusings/thread/view/5752/
Imagedixiegalpa
Feb 23, 2010 8:14 AM CST
Name: Debbie S
Central PA
Hitting lots of milestones this yea
I never went to my own proms...but did go to Jamie's prom...Junior and Senior. ( I'll have to see if I can find pics. I'll add them if I do.)But they were great cuz I was with him:)
mama of a 7yr old Wolf Scout.
wife of wonderful hubby of 9 yrs:)
Secretary of Pack Committee 284
Asst Den Leader,PTO mama,SAHM
Imagestormyla
Feb 23, 2010 11:07 AM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Rolling on the floor laughing Holly, isn't it funny when we think back on what we thought was so cool then, and regard it now with somewhat Big Grin mature eyes? I'd love to see your Easter Egg dress. Sounds like it would have been a good dress to wear with one of those little Bunny Fur capes. Remember those?

Deb, What a nice slice of romance. I just recently ran into a gal from high school. She was a cheerleader who ended up marrying the Football team captain. Now he's a teacher and the school's football coach. I told her that her life sounded like something right out of a movie. She said that he hadn't changed a bit. What a nice gal she was. I recognized her by her dimples when she smiled. Would love to see your prom photos. Smiling

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