Thursday, September 22, 2016

texas mums and my prom (throwback thursday)

When I first moved to Texas there were many things that baffled me about the local culture. One of those things was the tradition of the Texas mum.

What is this you might ask? Well, I'll tell you. It is an oversized boutonniere-esque monstrosity that young teenage girls affix to their dresses for homecoming. They appear to be something that is between a floral wreath and an equestrian ribbon. Also, there may be a hubcap involved, I am not completely sure.

Photo Courtesy: WeHeartIt
I find the practice completely bewildering. It could be said that perhaps my northern sensibilities get in the way of understanding this tradition. Though, I doubt that. In the entirety of my school career (this includes both junior high and high school), I went to a total of two school dances. My first dance, was literally my first school dance in junior high. I left early. My second dance was prom.

Ah prom, the highlight of a young person's social calendar. Where the popular girls obsess over dates and gown options. And the weirdos? They rebel and resist the prom. Or so Hollywood movies teach us.

I wasn't planning on going to prom for the singular reason that I was broke. To be clear, by the time I was a senior in high school I was basically providing for myself. As in, my parents were more broke than I. 

Now, everyone knows that prom is expensive. There is the dress, the shoes, the hair, the makeup, the transportation, the possible after party, etc. How did I end up going to prom then?

Three days before the event my best friend informed me that I was going. She purchased me a ticket and told me that I would pay her back. My first problem then became a lack of a date, I considered going stag but I decided against it for practical reasons. I really didn't want to have to call a cab to get to prom.

I had my friend survey the boys for those who remained dateless. From that list, I selected my date, walked up to the poor fellow (Sorry Keith), and informed him that he was going to prom with me.

After school, I went straight to the local thrift store and snatched a twelve dollar bridesmaid's dress that was from the eighties. There was a lot of pink satin, lace and bows. When I got home I altered the dress (removing 50% of the design), found some old white shoes, borrowed my mother's antique jewelry, destroyed one of the silk plants on top of my parent's television (so I could put flowers in my hair) and called it a day.

Sorry kids. No mums for me. 

The one and only picture that I have from my prom.

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