it's different than the way you described it

Saturday night was Prom Night.

No, not my prom night, silly.

GB and I were getting ready for our night out with Band…going to see the legendary folk-punk singer at the club.

I was in the bathroom finishing up when GB comes in, slightly breathless, from outside where he had been cleaning out the backseat of the car so that we could pick up K & J.

“We’ve got a problem couple outside,” he said.

“Problem couple?!” I repeated picturing a couple of drunken lovebirds wrestling in our front yard or two agitated marrieds arguing about who lost the map.

“No, not problem,” he said. “A prom couple.”


And so it goes that there was this poor couple –nicely decked out in prom outfits (tux, formal dress, whiffs of cologne and perfume and corsages) standing on the sidewalk outside of our house – the boy’s car having broke down right there in the middle of the street.

We loaned them our phone but there was no luck in reaching anyone. We asked them where they were headed. Aside from the name of the place (a Jewish temple downtown) they didn’t know the address – seems they were following another car, that driver apparently did not realize he had lost his charge.

So the girl got back in the car (a very slick, new model Mustang) and GB and the boy pushed it to a safe parking space. I went inside and looked up the temple in the phone book and jotted down the address on a hot pink Post-it note. Beneath that address I wrote down our address so that the couple could find our house again, post-prom. I then grabbed my purse and jacket. GB came inside, grabbed his jacket and keys and we went outside and asked the couple if they’d like us to chauffeur them to the prom. They seemed hesitant at first but it was 9:00 at night and our street is dark and they didn’t have a cell phone and we don’t look like horrible ax murderers (or so I’ve been told) and so finally agreed.

The poor girl (a fragile looking blonde introduced as “Jenny”) said all but four words in the entire seven minutes that it took to get to the temple (“I’m Jenny” and “thank you”). But the boy (James – dark-haired with an air of sweetness) finally relaxed a bit and told us how his father had urged him to take the Mustang for the big night.

“I knew there was something wrong with the car but my dad said it should be OK tonight,” said James. “I said, ‘maybe I should just take the van’”

“The best thing,” he added, “is that my dad is the auto shop teacher at my school.”

Dad, you’re really gonna owe your kid after this one.

We dropped the kids off at the temple – driving discreetly up the street a bit (past all the stretch limos) so as not to embarrass them -–and went on our way. There were about 20 or so other couples outside the building’s entrance – all decked out in their Delias prom dresses and mall tuxes. Inside, I’m sure, the temple was probably decorated with crepe paper and banners reading “Tonight …under the stars” or “Forever Young”.

Or perhaps everything is so much more terribly sophisticated these days?

Who knows.

“I feel kind of old right now” said GB.

“Me too,” I said. “Yet somehow not at all.”

If that makes any sense at all…

In case you were wondering …no I didn’t go to my prom. I was too busy being a geek. GB didn’t go to his either.

Funny, it didn’t bother me then and it certainly doesn’t bother me now – 14 years later. And yet I remember what a big deal it was to those who did go.

I hope our prom couple looks back on their night fondly…I certainly will.

(A dream-version of this story, starring Madonna, appears here.)

The rest of our night was quite fun – we drank margaritas at the Band’s house, debated watching “The Osbournes” tape we’d brought over and then finally headed out. The show rocked despite the fact that the club was hot and sweaty and the performer insisted on turning off the fan (“you’ll hear me better this way”) and many of the people around me seemed to be of the we-only-get-out-once-a-year-so-we-can-be-rude-and-clueless variety.

We ran into my mother last night at the copy shop (where we were photocopying tax documents)

She gave me a new Costco card.

I haven’t been to Costco in years but I’m looking forward to returning and stocking up on gallon-sized cans of green beans and economy-sized bags of garden burgers.

Such is my exciting life.

In the spirit of tchotchke, here is a gift link. I spent way too much time there today and now it’s your turn.

3:37 pm - 04.15.02

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