Last night, Joel and I dressed up and headed to prom to see the parade of gowns and up-do’s. Ok, so maybe that was more of my perrogative, but Joel was sport enough to come hang out with me. I loved seeing all the girls dressed up in their finest. In fact, some looked so different I hardly recognized them. As we got there, my own prom memories flooded my brain as I smiled and made my way to the punch bowl.
My high school (and every other high school in the area) all used the same facility for prom. Because we were the newest school, we got the shaft of prom dates. To have prom at Woodland Hills, your school had to sign a 5 year commitment for THAT date. In most places, having prom the first weekend, specifically the first Friday, in May wouldn’t be a big deal. But in Memphis – it’s a big deal. That weekend in Memphis kicks of Memphis in May – a month long celebration of another country and where there is a different festival every weekend. The first weekend in May is the Beale Street Music Festival. And finally being an older high schooler, my parents were allowing me to go downtown with a group of my friends. In 2002, John Mayer JUST became popular with “No Such Thing” right after it was announced he would be performing Friday night of Music Fest.
My friends and I were torn. Do we go to prom where we will have memories and nostalgia and beautiful dresses, jewelry, and hair styles? Or do we rock out at Music Fest, running around downtown, losing our hearing from the awesome concerts? In the end, we decided to go to prom. Concerts would come and go, but prom would only happen once.
That night, I donned my sky blue strapless dress with the rhinestone empire waistline and posed for the pictures at the mercy of my mother and the camera. My date that year was my friend Will, who had just finished playing Romeo to my Juliet in our high school production that spring. Another friend in our circle actually had a crush on him, but she was dating my best guy friend. To say there was some awkward tension that night would be an understatement. Nevertheless, we had a wonderful time eating, riding in the limo, dancing, and taking photos with disposable cameras.
After prom, not quite wanting to go home yet, we headed to IHOP. I think at midnight, and especially being underage, IHOP is one of the only places acceptable for teens to go. So we sat there, ordering our waters and french fries, already reminiscing about prom memories and talking about our friends who missed out by going to Music Fest. A large (in number, not in girth) group of guys walk in and one of the girls in our group gasps, “Ohhhmigosh!!!! It’s JOHN FREAKIN’ MAYER.”
Not wanting to cause a stir, we all immediately jump up and look. Low and behold, John Mayer walked through the door of the IHOP in Cordova, TN.
Stalker-like Slowly, we walked over to him with our cameras and pathetic grins on our faces. We apologized for not coming to the concert, since we had prom. He looks at us, smiles, and reassures us that we made the right decision by going to prom and we could always come see his concerts again. Then we asked for a picture and when he said yes, we (all 6 or so of us girls) immediately crowded into his personal space and smiled. John stood up, and stopped the photographers (our dates – who were a little annoyed that their dates no longer cared about them) and said, “Since this is prom, why don’t we take prom pictures.”
I died a little on the inside.
Why, YES, John Mayer, I will allow you to hug my 17 year old self, and smile as if you were my prom date. Yessssss sir, I will do that for you.
I did get the disposable camera developed (I even paid extra for the 1 Hour processing. Remember those days?) so that I could stick John Mayer in the clear side of my binder. I would show you the picture but a few things are stopping me: 1. It’s at my parent’s house on my bedroom bulletin board. 2. It’s not digital and that really isn’t compatible for this technology world these days. 3. My dress is almost falling off. I should have pulled it up before the picture.
My prom picture was the ultimate gloating stick to all the other schools who rubbed in our faces how we would miss him because of our prom date. That night, I got to have my cake and eat it too.