We had a much-needed friend date last weekend. Chaperoning the senior 2018 prom provided the perfect excuse for us to ditch our husbands and kids a few hours early, throw on some heels, and kick back some bubbles and adult conversation.
We headed to Quartino Ristorante for old time’s sake, a Loop spot popular in our childless youth when we felt like having fancy-ish pizza. A run-in with a former student, now Quartino server, provided us with the first job perk in thirteen years: free tiramisu. A couple of tiny champagne bottles, a 1/2 carafe of vino, and two cappuccinos later, we were deep in the soup-for-the-soul talks about motherhood, aging, and memories past.
All this reminiscing got us talking about our own senior proms, which couldn’t have been more different from each other. Or from prom now. As I looked around the room at these kids in their formal finest, on the precipice of semi-adult life out in the real world [or the semi-real-world bubble of college], I wondered how they would remember their prom night.
MB’s Prom Night:
My prom was something out of a white-girl teen movie. As cliche as it can get, my senior prom date was my husband [and he is probably dying of embarrassment that I admit that publicly]. He prom-posed in the cutest of ways: with a picnic and a teddy bear and a heartfelt note filled with all the youthful hope his adolescent heart could hold. I wore the brightest of bright pink dresses and a tiara [because obviously]. It was a whirlwind of a night with best friends who are still my grownup best friends, dancing to the wee hours of the morning [which in retrospect was probably midnight] with the strapping young man who would become the love of my life. It was all so PG and so so perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing.
Erinn’s Prom Night:
So I wouldn’t say my prom was as glittery as MB’s. It all started when I woke up two weeks before the big night and looked in the mirror. I remember thinking, “oh wow I have a lot of zits…that sucks,” then looking down at my arms and realizing that they were not in fact zits, but that they were chicken pox!! Yep. I spent the weeks prior to my prom taking oatmeal baths and wearing mittens to avoid scratching myself to death. My HS boyfriend wanted to leave pretty much immediately when we got to prom, but luckily I convinced him to stay at least through dinner and a couple dances with my friends. It was definitely not how I imagined!
A 2018 Prom Night:
These kids get a swanky prom. No nondescript hotel ballroom for them, no no; a 2018 prom is pure teen magic in the Crystal Garden at Navy Pier. The dresses are full-on glam, the hair extensions and fake eyelashes are on point, and the girls are all dancing barefoot after an hour. The sense of fashion here is high and as diverse as the kids themselves. Some of my favorite choices from the ladies included sparkling hijabs, long-sleeved gowns, and duster trains. The gentlemen did not disappoint on the fashion front either. Gone are the days of the too-big-rental tux from Men’s Warehouse with matchy-matchy vest and tie. These boys went legit with tuxes ranging from white to black to navy to plaid, European fitted cuts, and bejeweled shoes. Somehow our conservative black frocks paled in comparison to the style these kids oozed.