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OMG! Prom is Almost Here!

Prom season is right around the corner. Willmar's Weddings on First store has prom dresses displayed in their front window, or they did the last time I looked. Prom is a fun time for teenagers, but I get the feeling that prom isn't as big of a deal as it used to be. Am I wrong? I remember going to the prom both in Salt Lake City, Utah and also here in Minnesota. Prom dresses have gotten much better over the years. They were horrible in my day, with puffy sleeves and a big bow on the butt.

At my high school in Salt Lake City, it was tradition to be creative when you asked your prospective date to go with you to the prom or any dance. We had a lot of dances. For one of the dances (I can't remember if it was prom or just a dance), I asked a guy named Dave. I had a huge crush on him. He and I were teammates on the cross country and track teams. We were friendly, but we weren't good friends. Anyway, I asked him by putting a small tub of water at his front door with a barbie floating in it. I left a note saying "If you don't go to the dance with me, I will drown in sorrow." I rang the doorbell and ran. His response was to leave an inflated raft at my front door and a note saying "Don't be deflated - I will go to the dance with you." Of course he also rang the doorbell and ran. We double-dated with my friend Holly and her date. We took my dad's car. We had a lot of innocent fun that night. The prom date in Utah doesn't last all weekend like it does here. (I am assuming that Willmar prom dates last all weekend just as they do in Minneapolis). Also, proms in Utah aren't as formal as they are here - I think that girls in Utah want to be able to wear their dress again.

At my high school in St Anthony, Minnesota, I was asked to prom the normal way, nonchalantly and in-person. Jim was the class clown of the junior class, and I was a senior. I was reportedly the third girl he asked, and I said yes. I think the first two girls he'd asked were afraid of the attention-getting shenanigans he might pull during prom, or at least that's what I told myself. I remember how Jim dressed for Halloween - He came to school dressed as a big banana, and the banana was curved in such a way that it looked like he was really happy to see you, if you know what I mean. Jim and I were casual friends, mostly because we had mutual friends. Also, Jim was an aspiring stand-up comedian and was appreciative that I had gone to see him on Improv Night at a local comedy club. Anyway, this prom was another double-date occasion. He was actually pretty well-behaved. No shenanigans. We went our separate ways at the end of the night. And then, following the Minnesota tradition to stretch the prom for the whole weekend, we went to the Festival of Nations in St Paul the next day.

If you grew up in Willmar, what are your memories of going to the prom, or other dances? What is prom like now?