It’s that time of the year again. Making dolls out of old pantyhose? No-it’s Prom. Woo-hoo!
I had no intention in going to my Junior Prom 1976. Although all my gal friends were excited about this high school tradition, I thought it was dumb and too girly. But my serious party friends Lolita, Laurie and Cristina insisted I join their debauchery because Laurie’s parents were going to be out of town–meaning: booze, drugs, skinny dipping in the pool and at least one time in the bathroom puking. Oh the sophisticated rituals of teens from a Catholic high school.
I didn’t have a boyfriend at the time and I wasn’t about to ask my cousin Chavo, although I did think I would look cool in his metal flake blue lowrider with the thick chain link steering wheel. It was discussed amongst the tribe that Laurie’s brother Frank was going to supply me with a date–his friend Rick; a cool dude I had shared a bottle of Dos Equis with at the last beer guzzling soiree. I’m pretty sure I kept my top on.
My girl drag: my sister’s fancy maroon halter top dress and super high sandal platforms. Rick wore a white tux with tails and a light pink ruffled shirt that blended well with my pink baby roses wrist corsage that he placed so gingerly on me. I felt like a grown woman–no, I felt like…Maria del Carmen!
Of course the night started at the party house where we dove into bottles of champagne and we all shared a conservative joint–normal size. Not a Cheech and Chong super size. Miraculously we arrived at the restaurant on time and we dined on scrumptious salisbury steak dinners–the meal of all low budget Prom goers. We were going to have cake but Lolita announced she had something better, Thai stick–super potent marijuana of the 70’s. I’m getting all emotional thinking about my American history.
We left the elegant restaurant that was next door to a penitentiary and headed to the school auditorium but before we arrived we pulled over two blocks away, parked and lit up our dessert. Oh lordy!
I don’t know how we did it but we managed to float onto campus. It wasn’t a surprise that we were laughing uncontrollably as the nun chaperones were questioning why some of us were not wearing shoes.
“Is there a problem, Ms. Palacios?” Sister Sebastian stated giving me a sharp look. I could tell she was dying to quote the Bible. Or was that Dolly Parton? I stared into her holy eyes and said, “Sister, I love you.” I gave her a big smile and hobbled to the dance floor–Rick had my left sandal in his pocket–don’t ask. I joined my crew dancing to our favorite song “Play That Funky Music.”
Somehow an hour had passed and we knew it was time to leave when Cristina and Eric tripped over each other, fell and slid down the Soul Train line. That only brought on another out of control laughing jag.
We left the premises screaming the lyrics, “Do a little dance, make a little love, get down tonight, get down tonight!” We maintained our obnoxious behavior as we walked the five blocks to Jack In The Box for those stellar tacos made out of socks.
Initially I was protesting this evening but it turned out to be a fun ensemble date; everybody in the group was chill and nobody was throwing out heterosexist vibes. I even felt comfortable in my dress–I had on my jockstrap underneath.
Now I know you kids are getting ready for your Prom and I’d like to say: just because my generation was engaging in mood enhancers before, during and after this special night doesn’t mean you have to experiment. Be safe kids–just say NO to plaid.
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