Thursday, December 01, 2011

Posted by Laurel Garver on Thursday, December 01, 2011 25 comments

Today is Vicki Rocho's "Well, I Never" blogfest. She invited us to share something we'd never done, never thought we'd do (but did) or something that simply puzzles us. Go swing by Rambles and Randomness to see the other participants. Rather than a list, I'll share one quick story...

I never went to the prom. It wasn't because I wasn't asked. No, it was largely because I didn't want to go with the guy who asked me. We had a history, one I didn't care to repeat.

I briefly considered asking a friend who went to another school, but as fun and cool as he was, the fact he was a freshman and I was a senior gave me pause. Too much potential to get really awkward. I was also kind-of-sort-of seeing someone at the time, a junior from my own school. Our daily walking-home-from-school flirtation would really go nowhere if I asked someone else to the prom--someone even younger than he. I had a real knack for relationship muddles like this at 17. Is it any wonder I write YA?

From what I could tell, the prom would be just like the school cafeteria but with formalwear--every clique keeping to themselves, everyone carefully guarding his or her established image. Honestly, why bother? So I decided to throw an anti-prom party instead. I had a fantastic night watching movies and hanging out with my favorite underclassman and a senior or two, who, like me, decided the prom was one of the "high school necessities" we could happily live without.

Funnily enough, my friends who did go to the prom ditched early and came to my house instead. Apparently, annoying classmates become even more so under the influence of cheap beer and Jack Daniels. More genuine fun was to be had with us sober, soda-sipping geeks.

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In other news, there's a wonderful new e-zine now accepting submissions: Vine Leaves Literary Journal. This publication features vignette writing--short pieces that deeply explore character, setting or description rather than being a traditionally plotted story. You can read more about the editors' vision and submission guidelines HERE.

Vine Leaves Literary Journal is the brainchild of Jessica Bell (author of String Bridge) and her critique partner Dawn Ius, a Canadian writer and marketing/communications pro. They felt this subgenre of literary writing deserved a venue of its own.

I'm thrilled to have a piece accepted to the premiere issue (January 2012). I'll post a link when the issue goes live.


Did you go to the prom? Tell me your story!

25 comments:

  1. Never went to prom either. Also, sober geeks at a friends house.

    Love, love ,love the "school cafeteria but with formal wear" line.

    Mary

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  2. I did not go to the prom either. Just not my thing. I went to the city to see a Broadway musical instead! Though I have no recollectin of which one. Hmm. Anyway, congrats on getting another piece accepted!! :)

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  3. My school was small. The juniors always put on the prom for the seniors. I went to both. No I wasn't popular, I took my best friend. At one I sat at the same table as a couple of my friends and Scott McKenzie. At another I took my shoes off put them on the table and danced barefooted. I didn't have fancy store bought dresses for either. My mother and grandmother worked together to make both. The style was slinky long sheath which I didn't like. I came in floating on a cloud of fabric, layers of nylon from dark blue to sheer white. I loved being different!

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  4. I went to prom but didn't go with a date. A group of my friends just went together. That's what I liked about going to high school in the 00s (wow, so long ago right?) is that it wasn't weird if you didn't go with a date. Most people who didn't have a boyfriend/girlfriend didn't go with a date anyway. It was a lot less pressure on me.
    And the pre-prom and after-prom was the only thing I really enjoyed as well.

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  5. ahh, I went to prom senior year, but not junior year. It was... forgettable. But isn't it supposed to be one of those "rites of passage"? (who decided that?) And yay for Vine Leaves! Those guys are rockstars. Can't wait to contribute~

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  6. First off - congrats on having your piece accepted for publication!

    And secondly - I had an almost identical prom experience! (minus the boy walking me home, as we rode a bus). I had an anti-prom party too, and it was fabulous. Then, as a college freshman, I was able to go to a formal at West Point, and let me tell you, it would have put the prom to shame. Pure magic. I was glad I waited for the real thing. :)

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  7. I went to my first prom junior year with my best guy friend, who then became my boyfriend, so of course we went to senior prom together, and now we're married. But I don't credit prom for any of that. Prom was fun, but it's definitely overrated. I think it's so silly that girls treat it as if it's like their wedding or something. Prom is totally lame compared to your wedding day!

    So you didn't miss anything. It's just like a regular school dance but with fancier attire and at a way too expensive location.

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  8. PS) Congrats on your submission acceptance, Laurel! :)

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  9. Thanks for the shout-out! :) We didn't have proms in Australia, but we did have a kind of end of year dance called a "formal." Weird ... was fun. I was rebellious and did some crazy stuff ...

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  10. See I think because of your muddled relationships you're perfect to write YA. And anytime someone says "Well I never..." the country girl in me says "Well your Momma and Daddy did." ;)

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  11. Ah, well, I was home-schooled. People used to ask me, "What about PROM?" in a horrified manner. I had more fun just hanging out with my (sober, geeky) friends, too. :)

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  12. No Prom or Homecoming for me. Never could work up the courage to ask anyone. I'd probably still be single if my wife hadn't asked me out on a date. :)

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  13. LMAO at Dana's comment. I've never heard that come back. Too fun!

    Isn't it funny how many of us never went to prom? Is there a gene mutation for that? ;)
    Thanks for joining in on the blogfest today...and a HUGE congrats on having a piece accepted with Vine Leaves. Anxiously awaiting the first issue...

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  14. That's awesome! I actually went to pro twice... both years it was offered. Both were awesome, but i like senior year better cause the whole group of 7 of us stayed at my house and hung out most of the next day.

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  15. Mary: we seem to be in good company. Nice to meet you through the fest!

    Melissa: That sounds AWESOME! I have yet to see a Broadway play in NYC--all my theatre experiences have been in London's West End (which believe it or not is far cheaper than US theatre) and Philly's pretty good theatre scene.

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  16. Bish: Your custom-made dress sounds lovely. I think I would have enjoyed a formal more in college where people were more mature.

    Jenna: That's interesting. No one would've dreamed of "going stag" to a prom back in the dark ages when I was in high school (Pretty in Pink era), but there also wasn't the pressure to spend on limos and such back then either.

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  17. Leigh: I think prom is considered a coming of age experience because it's one of the first times you're expected to dress formally. There's something innately grown up about that. In older times, more frequent formal occasions arose earlier. Read some Austen, right?

    Heidi: That's awesome. I also got to attend a real formal after college--it was a very swanky charity ball. I think some debutantes "came out" at the event. I definitely felt like Cinderella, expecting everything to go POOF at midnight.

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  18. Laura: You married your HS sweetheart? That's becoming so rare anymore. Love it! What a wonderful story.

    Jessica: No problem. Your formal sounds exactly like an American prom, just with a different name.

    Dana: Yup, that's what I was trying to say. Had I had a more smooth teen experience, I wouldn't have so much depth to mine. :-) And I love the sassy comeback to "Well, I never...".

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  19. Faith: See, I would be more saddened that you missed all the extracurricular stuff that made my HS experience so fun--marching band, choir, newspaper, theater--stuff you need groups to do.

    DL: I suppose that means I should've asked the flirtatious junior from my school, huh? See, the trouble with shy guys like you is that it's extremely hard for girls to read just how interested you really are. We end up assuming you aren't. Sad, but true.

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  20. Vicki: Thanks for hosting. I think the extroverts of the world (the prom-going 'popular' sorts) don't like all the alone time that writing requires. So I can't say it really surprises me too much.

    Kelley: There are times I wonder what it would've been like to go, but I can't say I really regret missing it. My party was really fun. Old friends still remember it two decades later.

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  21. Sorry I'm late getting around to everyone's blog, Laurel! This was a great story. I didn't go to prom because my school didn't have one. But I did go to the "banquet" --which was required. LOL! It was still fun to dress up, though we didn't go all-out like people do for prom. I think I spent less than $10 on my dress. :)

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  22. Ooh! Congratulations on the acceptance, Laurel! And to Jessica also on the launch of the journal. I'll look forward to reading it!

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  23. First: congrats on your work being accepted! Please let us know when it appears.

    As for prom: I didn't grow up in this country and am still fascinated by the event as an anthropological phenomenon. Your response was great!

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  24. I did go to the prom when I was a junior. I really wanted to go, but it ended up being a boring evening. My boyfriend was at school out of town and I went with a friend (that should have been my first clue that it was going to be a lousy night!). Anyhow, lesson learned. :)

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  25. Prom itself was so lame!!! hanging out with friends afterward (not a party scene, just hanging out) was the best! so you got the best of it, for sure

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