The View from My Section – A Father’s Perspective

A prom opportunity not to be missed!

My wife asked me once after watching a cute pet video on television, “Did you ever notice that humans are the only species that can enjoy dancing?” It was one of those thought-provoking comments that threw me for a moment. Although technically, a study out of the Neurosciences Institute in La Jolla, California actually found parrots and elephants have the ability to dance without training or provocation, as well. Given that it’s April, and soon high schools across the state will be celebrating their junior/senior proms, it got me to reminiscing about my own prom experiences in high school.

I know, proms can be one of those unique moments in life that you either remember fondly or with regret. Fortunately, both of mine were favorable events and most notably because of the exceptionally good friends I had in those days. I got out my old high school yearbook, and it stirred up memories of prom I hadn’t thought about in a while. For instance, in my junior year, I was dating someone, so the whole event went quite smoothly. My senior prom, however, was different. As I perused my yearbook, I fondly remembered the good times I had as a senior. I was also reminded that my ultimate date for prom that year wasn’t the girl I originally intended to go with. Leading up to the big dance I wanted all along to go with this one girl I had a crush on, but hadn’t gone out with yet. That should have been my first clue this was a bad idea. As you might have guessed, when it came time to ask her she turned me down. I can’t blame her. She wanted to go with another boy and was just waiting to see if he would ask her instead.

Feeling let down and disappointed, I decided I wasn’t sure now that I wanted to go, a typical immature reaction. That’s when my friends stepped in. I had a close-knit group of about eight platonic friends, split equally between boys and girls, that did everything together. It didn’t matter what it was; we could make a trip to the local park a fun memory. When a couple of the girls in the group learned that I was entertaining the idea of not going to the prom, they stopped me in the hallway one morning and said quite bluntly, “You’re going!” I was startled at first, but then shook my head in disagreement and said something like “That’s okay, I’m fine.” But I remember their response vividly. One proclaimed, “We will have you a date by the end of the day, so you better be ready.” While the other added, “We’re not taking no for an answer.”

They held true to their word, and that afternoon they came to me at my locker and handed me a note with the name of someone I knew and her phone number, and simply said, “Give her a call, she’s expecting you.” That kind gesture took our friendship to a whole new level, and was a moment I’ll always remember. Ultimately, instead of calling, I went to the girl’s house with flowers and candy and asked her officially. She was a very nice girl, pretty and with the sweetest personality. I couldn’t have done better if I’d chosen her myself. The evening was a success, we all had a great time, and I owe it all to my dear friends.

So my advice to any juniors or seniors out there contemplating whether or not to go to their prom, or to take a chance asking their special someone, or even just whether to go with friends, is simple. Do it! Take a chance, and if things don’t work out as you originally planned, go with it anyway. It just might turn out to be a memory of a lifetime.