Posted by: soupysays | April 23, 2006

Those damn Dawson’s River kids

This past Thursday marked the 7th anniversary of the Columbine Massacre. As someone that was in her junior year of high school in the Denver metro area 7 years ago, the date brings back strong memories of vulnerability, fear, and a million other ineffable emotions.

This past Saturday was Prom a few local high schools. At work, I saved one high schooler’s night by finding a replacement dress when she and her mother discovered (an hour before prom) that the cleaners had messed up her original. When the mother called the store, she had moved into a realm beyond hysertics. If this woman had mowed down several pedestrians on her way to pick up the dress, I would have willingly testified on her behalf for her to be declared criminaly insane.

Prom also brings back strong memories. I didn’t go. I wasn’t one of those kids that thought it Prom was Dumb and wanted to say FU to student population. I was one of those kids that didn’t have a date, and I had 0 self-confidence on reserve to actually ask a boy myself. During high school many adults told me, “it’s not the best time of your life. There are better things to come.” But then I sat in on a conversations like one in my junior year AP English class in which students and the teacher talk about how they knew ___ didn’t go to HER (it’s always a female) Prom. Thanks, please just mash whatever is left of my self esteem into pulp.

But those people that said “better things to come” were right. And Prom, well, I don’t feel like I missed anything. I didn’t like high school dances I did go to. However, it is interesting to see people’s reactions when I say I didn’t go. Some say, “I didn’t have fun.” Most people get quiet and say, “Really?”

Columbine has no direct relation to Prom, but thanks to this horrible article (don’t read it), I did get to thinking how Prom polarizes high schoolers into 3 main groups

  1. Prom = Major Life Event Kids
  2. FU World Kids
  3. No Date Kids

Those people that ask me “Really?” today were in group 1.
10 Things I Hate About You contrasts the last two groups quite nicely

Kat Stratford: Can you even imagine? Who the hell would go to that antiquated mating-ritual?
Mandella: Um, I would, but I don’t have a date.
Kat Stratford: Do you really want to get all dressed up, so some Drakkar Noir-wearing dexter with a boner can feel you up while you’re forced to listen to a band that, by definition, blows?

I wanted to be Kat, but I was totally Mandella. College turned me into Kat.

Instead of going to my junior and senior Proms, I hung out with some Baptists that thought God didn’t believe in dances. Or something. At least one of these Baptists thought Rock and Roll was the music of the devil. Her dad wrote a book about it.


  1. Wow. I haven’t thought of prom in a while; your post reminded me of all of the heightened feelings that make high school such a mundanely surreal time.

    I didn’t go to prom either.

    My mom was convinced I was making the biggest mistake of my life by not going. I think I skipped just to spite her.

    I even had a date. (Theoretically anyway; we’re even still dating.) And a dress. (Three, actually. Thanks to my overzealous mother)

    I saw The Matrix III instead. Horrible movie, but decent evening (if only because I was completely caught up in self-righteousness).

    Looking back, I’m not sure what I would have done if my decision wasn’t effected by a hell-bent determination to defy my mom.

    I may have gone. I probably would have hated it.

    Either way, high school seems like ages ago now. I’m not saying I regret skipping it, but it is weird that people make such a huge deal over what amounts to a wedding ceremony preparation. What a strange cultural phenomenon.

    Oh well. Thanks for the post. It brought back so much I thought I had forgotten.

  2. i went to my junior prom. i think i fit in the 4th category…my reason for going was that i was junior class treasurer and therefore did a lot of work to make prom happen. i’ll be damned if i wasn’t going to see how all my hard work turned out.

    and i hated it.

    didn’t go senior year due to lack of caring.

  3. I did not know that our fellow classmate’s dad wrote a book about how the devil created rock music. That amuses me to no end, and yet seems appropriate for said family.
    High school is interesting. I think most people morph in to said groups due to lack of confidence on everyone’s part. The hierarchy is established by the level at which each group shows such vulnerability. I really don’t think the popular kids were any more self confident than the rest of us. The confidence they demonstrated came from the fact that they bonded together with the other kids who skated through puberty with few akward moments. Damn biology anyway. I will say there were probably 2 or 3 kids in the entire school who actually had a sense of self and true self confidence.
    I went to prom because I love to dance, even if I’m no POMS team member. I had to ask guys both times. Junior year was better than Senior but both were good. I don’t think that it is the end-all experience for high school though. Hollywood and society builds it up to be so, but it’s not. I believe the everyday events and hanging out with friends who were collectively figuring out where we all fit.. that was the good part of high school.

  4. I went to our prom myself… We were required to give in our contributions, plus I have nothing else to do… So I went, nothing much happened, I just hanged out with friends and laugh our hearts out.

    Jonathan Lewis

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