Where do I even begin when it comes to describing my prom night? Should I start at the sleepless night beforehand? At the beginning of the day waking up with my stomach a- flutter with butterflies- for all the wrong reasons? Or walking down stairs with my heart beating out of my chest into a room full of friends and family? Where does my story begin? When did prom begin…
I woke up that September morning, glowing from tan in a bottle, and feeling the exact opposite from a previously sleepless night. I had a hair appointment, early- too early, and no matter how hard that poor hairdresser tried, my hair just would not go right. I could tell she felt so bad taking my money as I left feeling and looking like a freshly groomed and clipped poodle.
Then it was on to the next stage. Makeup. I hate that word. A piece of advice for anyone thinking of doing their own makeup for prom is a good idea- it’s not. And yes I could have went to a makeup artist, save the stress, well it was unfortunate that on every trial run I ended up looking like a drag queen. Although nothing wrong with that, it just wasn’t really the look I was going for on my debs. So as I attempted several ambitious eye looks (thanks YouTube) each looking more muddier than the last as I attempted to blend out the various shades of brown on my eyelids, the temperature rose steadily and humidity set in. Fantastic for sticking long dresses to your body, frying your hair and sweating makeup off your face. No matter how hard I tried and how desperately I prayed, the foundation I was frantically slathering on to my face would not stick. Despite what I thought to be a good three-hour head start, I still managed to be an hour late, my hair limp and frazzled, (similar to my mood at that point) gluing my false nails on in my back garden on top of a wheelie bin after realising my date was still not there because I had forgotten to tell (my date)- whom I had never met up until that point- where I lived.
The worst however, was definitely being centre of attention. I hate it. I hate it so much. That’s why I never wanted to go to prom in the first place. But my craving for normality, to fit in and be normal led to my purchasing of a ticket. Mentally preparing myself as I tried not to trip on the way down the stairs for the worst feeling in the world. Sweating profusely not because of the heat but because of my anxiety, anticipating everyone’s eyes, and cameras and criticism swirling around me. I dreaded that moment so much, but I had no time to think as I twisted the doorknob and entered the room, and I stood there, awkward and fumbling, the biggest fakest smile plastered on to my face as if it were part of my makeup. I felt everyone’s eyes on me, burning into me, like there was no escaping- which at that stage – there wasn’t.
Then he arrived. Yes, he whom I had never met finally found his way to my house through a mutual friend and honestly, it wasn’t that bad. It wasn’t bad at all, we hugged and it seemed natural as this stranger placed the delicate orchid corsage on my wrist and posed awkwardly for an inordinate amount of photographs. All in between being quizzed by my family about himself, his grades, and “future plans”. And yes, this is a surprising change of tune, blacksans… being optimistic? Well it’s true, and in that moment I was hopeful, for that moment.
In a medley of flash photography as my date stood by my parents and I he hurriedly re- did the button on his suit jacket which had just come undone. “Aw that’s so nice”, I remember thinking. “He wants to look good for my photos”. I wish this was just a trivial detail needlessly included.
All dread and fear had escaped my mind when it was time to leave. Apart from feeling extremely self-conscious about how I looked my heart beat with excitement as the limo pulled up and my best friend Harley got out. I was actually looking forward to the night that lay ahead.