A Punk Rock Prom

For reasons that should be very obvious to our regular readership, I never cared for high school dances, and I made it my business not to go to one.

Now, this failed for a variety of reasons and during my full tenure at high school I went to 3 dances. This is the story of one of them.

So, I had made the decision earlier that year to not ask out anyone until college. To be fair, the girls in my class weren’t interested, but also, I had my mind totally fixated on the future. Getting the hell out of my small town and not looking back. As a result, I did not go to my junior prom. Instead, I hung out with a friend and watched a bunch of movies. This was a point of pride in that I skipped the cost of a tux, food, flowers, and limo (or whatever misc sundries kids did back then).

My plan leading into Senior Prom was exactly the same. I still hated my high school, and now I was even closer to the exit. Conditions on the ground had not changed (at least, as far as I was concerned). The biggest difference was that this time, I would be the only one not going. Literally everyone else who i would consider a friend was going.

In fact, my punk rock friends had a whole thing planned out. You see, starting senior year, our punk rock group had expanded to include girls from the high school the next town over. Many of them weren’t dating, but it was a think of, everyone wanted to go to everyone else’s prom. And the math worked except for one. My memory is fuzzy on the circumstances, but she wanted to go to hang with her friends….but couldn’t find anyone to take her. Didn’t go to our high school, so she couldn’t just crash. If anyone asked me, I don’t recall.

All of this mix of drama and stubbornness got resolved from the most unlikely of sources. And, I hate to speak ill of the source, but I’m going to do it.

You ever have those people who are just super stoked about the events of high school. Not that they wont move past it when they graduate, but the kind of person that is just REALLY happy about like being part of the high school. Well, this girl turned to me randomly and asked me if I would go to prom with her. I suppose Sadie Hawkins style, back when it was barely still a think.

I suppose I should be grateful of the phrasing, cause she could have asked what I was going for prom, and I would have said “Nothing.” Cause it would have never entered into my head that she was going to ask me out. Lucky for me, it wasn’t the case so I said, “Oh yeah boss. Taking a punk rock girl from [other high school]. You don’t know her”

Well, shit, I was stuck. I called punk-rock-girl-who-was-left-out as soon as I got home. She had a long term boyfriend, and I was like “Listen, you wanted to go. I gotta go now. Nothing is going to happen. I literally just need a date. You interested?”

And that was it. Done.

The actual night was just planned with the dance being something you had to attend. We would wear the appropriate attire (I did rent a last minute tux and got a corsage).

First, our dinner wouldn’t be at any kind of restaurant where you would have to spend big skrilla. Nope, we did fast food buffet at a friend of mine’s house. We had like a 24 piece of popeyes fried. McDonald’s fries, Wendy’s nuggs, a footlong subway sub. Onion rings from Burger King. And shit I cant even remember. I just remember the sight of all of us dressed fancy eating fucking burgers and shit.

Second, one of the group’s parents insisted on like legit prom stuff, and got us a limo. But we overstuffed it. Think like 20+ people in one limo.

The actual dance was meh. I just remember it being fucking hot. Like the A/C broke or some shit, and I was sweating balls. We all were.

But lastly, and more important than the dance, Mallrats had just come out on DVD. It was the only Kevin Smith movie we hadn’t seen (that at least was made at that point). Cause you couldn’t get it unless you knew someone that had the VHS (we didn’t).

So, we all crashed, sweaty as fuck, in my friends living room and watched Mallrats. And it was fucking awesome. I think there is some sort of preciousness that exists around prom, and maybe this story proves that, but I don’t think so. Definitely wasn’t about romance or wistful highschoolness. It was friends trying to make the best of a bad situation, and we did it our way.

To this day, I think thats why Mallrats holds a special place in my heart, cause of that night and the loud stupid.

Don’t get me wrong, I had other my friends who weren’t part of the punk rock group or weren’t dating girls who would be interested. They had like normal prom shit.

But, this was by far the best way to give the fuck you to high school. I didn’t have the high school romance, and I had nothing but hatred and contempt for anything that my high school tried to do.

That night though. That night, we made our own. And that is how I will remember it.

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