I can’t say I have ever really been excited for prom. I like the social aspect of going out with friends to a fancy dinner and enjoying an extra-late evening full of activities, but I never much enjoyed parading through crowds and posing for cameras.
I’m not really able to fake a smile convincingly, which made photos a real drag. For me, it’s either a genuine smile or me grinding my teeth together and looking goofy.
I will say, the prom experience in St. James is very different than the prom experience I had at Minnewaska Area High School.
Juniors and Seniors at MAHS (at least when I was young enough to attend) used to park their cars discreetly behind the building. This didn’t stop us from driving fancy cars, but no one really got to see them.
We then paraded through the halls to the home economics room where we were briskly given a breathalyzer. If we didn’t pass the breathalyzer test we were not allowed to walk during the grand march. I don’t recall anyone failing, but I do remember seeing some nervous faces.
The next step was to line up in a back hall and wait to walk through the grand march alphabetically. The gym was dark and the cameras were much less technologically advanced – even six to eight years ago those cameras really struggled to get a nice photo in the large, dark gym.
Basically the only usable photos from the night came before or well after prom’s grand march.
The after-prom activities were basically the same. There was fake gambling and delicious food – with a hypnotist finishing up the night. We were, however, given another breathalyzer before post prom and not allowed to leave.
I suppose living near Sterns County – recognized as one of the drunkest counties in the nation – made us guilty by association. I’ve heard stories of after-prom activities in that part of the state that included an empty house and a keg of beer, so maybe the precautions my school took were necessary to keep us kids out of trouble. All-in-all it made for a pretty fun evening.
If I could go back, having seen the St. James prom this weekend, I would say a fun tradition to begin would be the parking and driving of fun cars to the prom. It was entertaining to see the creative ways the juniors and seniors of St. James High School found to get themselves to the prom – ways that included semi’s , stretch limos and even a fire truck.
It was also fun to watch the young highschoolers struggle awkwardly as they tried to link arms. At MAHS we had the time to practice in the hall before we paraded through the grand march.
Page 2 of 2 - For seniors, prom really is a last hoorah before college separates many of them, and they move on to bigger and better things. For certain, the memories made that night last – whether you consider them significant or not.