Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Post Prom Post

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

“People are going to ask why I have the notebook onto which I write these words. Well since I’m staying out until the wee hours of the morning, I”ll suffer from the sleep hangover for well into Saturday afternoon. I won’t be able to write until Sunday and I won’t retain any specific memories. So while everyone is off being crazy, I’ll be taking notes on Grand Unified Dance Theory from the table.”

Or so I thought at 9:30 PM Friday night, sitting in the Rosemont Convention Center. Let’s start from the beginning.

At about 4:15 PM, I started getting ready for the 5:00 pre-prom party. I put on my camera holster, pimp shoes and tie (still tied from Homecoming) and Mrs. Schmitz picked me up.

Our group met at a sort of pool-house duplex in a golf course subdivision. There were foods laid out for us, cookies and nachos and sausages. There was also soda and beer (hopefully not for us). It being really humid, I was steaming in my suit. Then came the obligatory photo barrage. After my vision came back, all the boys clustered together in the middle of the room despite JY’s attempts to break us apart. Embarkation, following many more photos, at 6:20. The limo just barely fit the ten people in our group. I was still roasting and asked José to crank the AC, but the girls were freezing in their dresses.

We arrived at what looked like a construction site with red carpet. We asked a nearby crowd of people where we were. They told us that they were there for the West Leyden High School Prom just as our limo peeled out into the street. It turns out Hersey was just in a room upstairs.

We got up and mingled in the hallway outside the actual room until they finally let us in at 8:00 to find our tables. It was at this point that I whipped out a spiral notebook that I had had concealed on my person for all of the night and started writing, which was considered by many to be a bad move. For some reason, I was really motivated to try and beat last year’s prom post, which remains to this day one of my favorite and longest. I garnered more attention that I would have liked for that. The table next to us wanted me to “blog them” and I didn’t care to explain the term to them.

The meal had three “parts”: there was a salad, then chicken, then a billiard ball-sized Crunch chocolate-covered ice cream ball. We had a surprisingly involved argument about whether the large cups of dressing already at our table were strawberry or raspberry-flavored. Lori and Schmitz were locking horns when I suggested the possibility that it was both. We moved on to an argument on what color indicated the bitterest salad green.

I think I was overly paranoid during the dinner. I knew how I was supposed to use the fork and knife to eat the chicken, but what about green beans? There wasn’t a chapter on that in my book so I played it safe and cut the beans into small pieces. A real hassle. Can’t someone give me sticks so I can shove bite-sized cut-up pieces of food into my mouth? By dessert I had given up on the whole etiquette thing and attacked the Crunch-sphere with a fork and knife.

I was still sawing through dessert when the music started and the lights had dimmed. As expected, I took a lot of flak for being one the last remaining sitting and writing while everyone hit the dance floor. Ian even tried to wrestle the notebook away from me. At some point around 10:00, something in me just… snapped. I, for some reason, experienced a major “F&#$ IT!” moment and let Ela drag me out onto the dance floor. And I danced my ass off. And I don’t know why and I don’t know how. Maybe it was the humidity or the smoke machine depriving me of oxygen or whatever JY slipped in my drink (courage, it seems), but I stopped caring. I was too sleep-deprived and too close to not seeing anyone again for their opinions of me to matter anymore.

Their set-up was pretty spiffy. They got an actual DJ this time so the music was better. And they put up giant rear-projection screens that broadcasted live what a camera guy with a small spotlight was recording of the crowd up on stage. I really hope that camera didn’t have tape in it.

Dateless, I stepped into the role as photographer of embarrassing/cute as hell moments during the last slow dance. (You can see all my pics on my facebook or at the joint Prom photo page.) And them José, Walthers, Schmitz and I waited as everyone else left so that we could board the bus to Post Prom. So we waited.

And waited.

And waited.

By the time 1:00 AM rolled around, there were a couple of hundred teenagers lying down on the carpet in the lobby that teachers hopped over to get to their secret meeting outside the doors. It turns out the buses were going to be 24 hours late, due to conflicting interpretations of “12:30 Saturday night”. So 200 parents got 1 AM phone calls beginning with “Hi, Dad? Uh…” The subsequently pissed-off parents then had to drive down to the Rosemont Convention center to pick up what turned out to be completely sober teenagers. And some pissed off teenagers get screwed out of a post prom. Oh, well. Item 56 on the To-do list of things to do after discovering time travel…

The night got worse for some. The gate at the exit of the parking garage jammed shut, causing a long line to build up in the parking garage and further infuriate some already angry prom-goers. Mr. Novak had to come over and crane kick the thing open so everyone could leave.

As we waited for Mrs. Schmitz to pick us up from the convention center, Meredith, Andy and I got a little impulsive and decided to run across the street to the DoubleTree Hotel for lobby cookies. So we walked into an empty lobby, two guys and a girl in prom attire in the middle of the night. We were informed by the desk clerk that cookies are usually only offered to those who rent a hotel room. She then walked over to a warming drawer, got out three cookies and started typing away at a computer. I was about to reassure her that the three of us didn’t want a hotel room when she said the cookies were for us. Hooray for cookies! And then Schmitz’s mom drove us home. Hooray for Schmitz’s mom!