Monday, July 28, 2008

Blueberry Bomb, or Why I Didn't Miss My Prom

On Saturday, my friend Michelle threw a 1980s prom at Small's. It was a star-studded, gala affair. Well, some of us were more gala than others.

I'm always up for a good costuming, but believe it or not, I did NOT make myself a full formal in the 24 hours leading up to the big dance. I managed to find a choice number at a local resale store -- bright blue, floor-length, puff sleeves, sweetheart neckline, that weird pointy-bottom bodice... A true relic. With the addition of a 20-foot long strand of faux pearls (yes, literally 20 feet; I know because I strung the whole damned thing), I was a thing to behold -- a Disney Princess, as Michelle described, only perhaps slightly debauched.

It's funny how much dressing out of one's norm can alter one's behavior. Normally I don't dance. Normally. But the combination of bubblegum music, vodka and irony was overwhelming to all but the most stoic. There was much joyful jumping about. And sweating. Ohhh the polyester.

Very near the end of the night, a couple of friends and I decided to hit last call at another joint nearby -- a joint that just happens to be a fairly scruffy gay bar on Michigan Ave. As our contingent included me in all my melting blueberry glory, our glittering prom queen (who incidentally was a 6-foot man in drag) and a former-Marine on a half-pint of absinthe, who could imagine a better place?

I'm not sure I was the only woman there (probably), but I was certainly the most visible. Right away I found myself in conversation with a couple of young men who were quite envious of my finery. "THAT is what I need for OUR prom!" one fella told me.

"Oh I think you'd look smashing in it!" I told him. And after a quick sizing by eye, refined by years of resale (no fitting room) shopping, I made him the offer. "In fact, I'll trade you for it."

"Trade me what?"

"Your clothes!"

"You wanna trade me outfits? Really? Where? How would we do that? When?"

"Oh come on, there's a bathroom here..."

So off we traipsed. In exchange for my only slight beer-soaked poofy wonder, I received an old t-shirt and paint-spattered cargo shorts. Oh, and a belt that looked like it had been used to pull a trailer. "I think I got the better end of this deal!" he said. "Well, obviously!" I responded. And it was totally worth it.

I didn't get a picture of myself in the dress -- I always forget to do that. However, I think this photo is even more precious... and sums the night up quite nicely.

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