I’m not a fan of “the mall”.  Oh I used to be, that’s for sure.  I remember back when I was the tender age of 12 and I wanted to go to the mall with my friends…by ourselves.   I also remember thinking that 12 was definitely old enough and mature enough for such an adventure on our own.  I’m hoping that by the time my own children reach that age, technology will have made microchips for kids, fitted with a GPS so that I can keep tabs on where they are at all times.  You know, for safety.

Anyway, I digress.  So this mall adventure was strictly forbidden by my mother and so I told her that Tracey’s mom would be with us, which was a LIE!  Shocking, I know.  But she was happy with that and so we went, all decked out in our jean skirts, big bangs, oversized sweatshirts, double socks and Keds.  We had such a wonderful time because we were so old and mature and awesome for walking around the mall by ourselves.

Back when the mall was a social scene and you could go and check out cute boys and giggle when they look your direction, and pretend you have oodles of sophistication, it was fun.  Now, it is not fun.  It usually involves me unloading the children from the van and reminding them that they would not be getting everything they see and ask for, nor was I going to be persuaded to ride that vomit-inducing carousel.  So, Don’t. Ask. 

Photo booth fun. Yes, I cost way too much.

Recently, however, I did go to the mall to take my daughter out for some girl-only time.  We squealed over princess dresses at the Disney store, we “awww’ed” at the animals in Build-A-Bear, and any other girly thing we could do.  We had our photos taken in those ridiculously overpriced photo booths, with a thorough explanation that this was not an activity we do every time we come to the mall.

I’m digressing again.  While we walked the halls and choked on cologne being pumped out of certain popular clothing stores, I noticed the wide array of formal prom wear in many stores.  There are so many styles in so many bright colors, I nearly burned my retinas just looking at them.  Part of me wishes I had chosen a more colorful dress for my own prom, but alas, mine was ivory.  Yes.  Ivory.  But it was very lovely and feminine and expensive.  Which was a really big deal for my parents because we didn’t have lots of extra money lying around.

My date was the guy I was “dating” at the time.  I put the word in quotation marks because I was horrible at dating.  I was boy crazy, no doubt about that, but when someone I liked showed interest in return, I didn’t know what to do.  Clearly, my undeveloped adolescent brain was…undeveloped.  And adolescent.  Anyway, my date was Nelson S., a very cute Korean (American) boy who I really liked.  Unfortunately, he liked me too.  Cue undeveloped adolescent brain freak out.  But can I share how that adorable boy asked me to prom?  I found a box of Fannie May chocolates in my locker one day and he had written out “Will you go to prom with me?” on the bottom of the paper cups the chocolates were in.  Yes.  Loved it.

Our Prom group. I'm second in from the left. Yep, I look like a bride. Fully aware of that, thanks.

Nelson looked very dapper and handsome in his tuxedo.  I was looking forward to prom, but I was scared to death about what to do with Nelson.  And I was that girl who didn’t even put together the words “prom” and “sex” so that wasn’t even on my mind.  I was just terrified that Nelson liked me and I had no idea how to handle it.  So I’d like to take this time to apologize formally. 

Are we getting married? No, no. It's just prom. He is adorable though, isn't he?

AHEM.  Nelson, you were a wonderful date, completely handsome, extremely courteous and respectful.  I however, was a terrible date.  I was nervous, and my behavior was immature and ridiculous.  *sigh*  Brain.  Undeveloped.  I am truly sorry, for you deserved better than that.  Warm regards, Beth. 

I will say though, that my prom experience had a lot of very entertaining moments.  I remember my friend Kevin (and it  may have been more people than just him) convincing the staff on the boat where we had our post-Prom party, to give him the leftover cheese cubes from the appetizer trays.  He marched onto the bus that would take us back to school with a garbage bag fullof cheese cubes.  On the bus ride home he yelled loudly from his seat to his date, Carrie (they went as friends), “So, when are gonna make out??!!”  The next day our group went out to the Michigan dunes and had a wonderful time running up and falling down those gigantic sand dunes, having a picnic, and passing out with exhaustion on the ride home.  At some point, that gigantic bag of cheese cubes was dumped all over the street in front of my friend Kaitlin’s house.  Soon, most were smooshed by passing cars, and I would venture a guess that there are probably still trace amounts of nasty, smooshed, moldy

On the way home from the dunes. Carrie and Sarah, totally passed out. And yes, friends, that's THE Saturn.

cheese cubes on that road.***

So to those who are attending prom soon, be safe, don’t drink, don’t have sex (your undeveloped adolescent brain can’t handle all of the ramifications), and have fun!  Because yes, you can have a lot of fun without any of the aforementioned stuff.  Hello?  Cheese cubes, sand dunes, and silly friends who keep you laughing?  There’s a recipe for a fantastic prom.

***Soon after posting, I received clarification from Carrie on the cheese cube spreading.  It seems that she and her date, Kevin, were the culprits, dumping it on Mayfair Lane at approximately 5am.  Naughty!