Sunday, September 14, 2008
Prom Night 2008: Hotter than hell, and twice the fun!
The stunningly awkward photo you see here was taken by Amanda, and was given the special "Prom Treatment" by Dame Catoe.
So, it’s been exactly one week and two days since the Prom @ the Pitman fundraiser, and I find that I still haven’t the right words to describe what went down that night. Tami aptly likened it to being at your own wedding…you work so hard on the details, you’re so sick with worry before it starts, then everything moves too fast once it gets going, and then it’s over. Yep, that’s pretty much how this was. *Sigh* After all of the planning, decorating, sweat & blood that went into the prom, when it came right down to it, I was terribly nervous for the evening to get started. First, when it came time for me to get dressed, I was at a loss. I had the dress, the combat boots, the jewelry…but hadn’t a clue about makeup or hair. I was going goth, but I didn’t want to be uncomfortably freaky. Luckily, Dame Catoe had kindly agreed to give me fashion advice for the evening, so I headed over to the Catoe’s in minimalist makeup, and even more minimalist hair. I had a horrible case of the nerves and was beginning to wonder what it would look like if I didn’t even show up…one gorgeous corsage (courtesy of E) and one dose of vodka tonic (courtesy of K) later, I found myself crouched in the kitchen, sewing the Dame into her mother’s vintage party dress (didn’t want any wardrobe malfunctions to scandalize their family name) and thinking of nothing other than how great the evening was going to be. When finished with the stitching, the Dame looked like a beautiful confection, a confection that would probably not be able to remove her garment later unless she found a seam ripper, but a confection nonetheless. Once the Dame accessorized herself with jewelry, and expertly applied jewels to her face, she then applied some jewels to my face. After a brief eye-exam-like viewing of me with a) hair down, hat on, b) hair up, hat on, we decided it best to leave the hair down, hat on. I was comfortable, looked like myself, and was done. From that point on, everything was a blur of retro fashion, flashing cameras and mini bottles of wine…
Memorable moments from the prom (at least the ones I know about, and can remember in my excitement):
1) Jacob making his entrance into the Prom with his lovely wife Hilary, and his larger than life hairpiece. Evidently, his father (who is a hair dresser) added an entire hairpiece to Jacob’s full head of hair, the results being a value-added crowning glory of such a magnitude, that I was again glad to have forgone the open-flame candles on the tables (he was highly flammable). To match the hair, Jacob was his own sweet, dead-pan, inappropriate, dry self. Within ten minutes of arriving, he was on the dance floor with not only his wife, but with a number of other beauties, and announced to me later that he had already “made it with five girls that night” (no one ever told him that dancing with a girl doesn’t count as making it…someone really ought to help him out by explaining all the bases to him…his wife may appreciate it). The next day, when Kris mentioned to me the that he was impressed with Jacob not “breaking from character” all night, I snorted and replied, “Well, he couldn’t break from character really, he’s always like that.” Hey Jacob, Tim Burton called, and he wants his hair back!
2) The further scarring of Tami’s children…early in the evening, Tami’s 14-year old daughter, who was helping us out by selling soda and water, and who is quite athletic, but was looking quite cute an empire wasted shirt, was horrified when someone asked her when her baby was due (although she is from the small Alabama town whose name rhymes with Lardis, she is not fourteen and pregnant, which seems to be contrary to some other fourteen-year-old girls in Lardis). You could hear her muttering something about, “I better not be grounded anymore after this, not after what I’m putting up with…” When Tami’s fifteen-year-old son showed up, he was mortified when his mom’s boss tried to get him to dance with her, and when he refused, she furthered the embarrassment by saying, “No problem, I’ll wait. Just remember, I’ll be available for your senior prom…” Last I saw of him, he was using his sister as a human shield…
3) The back-door arrival of Cyndi and Kenny Nelson…Cyndi was stunning in the most shiny, light-catching turquoise dress that I’ve ever seen (the very one that she somehow managed to rescue from the washer just days earlier, and the very one that would later act as a light reflector in all of the photos), and she wore a very tongue-in-cheek beauty queen sash that read “Third Alternate Miss Faded Youth.” Her partner in crime was wearing a most fabulous burnt sienna, striped gangsta suit that, upon second glance, looked more like a pimp’s suit (perhaps a leftover from his days as a pimp?).
4) With the arrival of Eric, fresh from his Friday-night-high-school-football photo assignment, the polyester axis of evil was complete. Kris, in his awe-mazing Ron Burgundy sports jacket of ivory texturificness (with burnt sienna tie), Eric in his sleek and slim, forest-green fitted suit (also texturific), and Kenny in his sienna pimp skin…it was as if they were dangerous prom animals, having coordinated their polyester pelts, and were roaming free in their Pitman habitat, prowling for photo ops (of which, there were many).
Cutest couples (and their various manifestations throughout the evening, based upon my sketchy memory and from photos):
Jacob & Hilary, Jacob & Tami, Jacob & Jimmy, Jacob & Amanda, Jacob & Ashley, Jacob & Leslie…
Leslie & Scottie, Leslie & Nicole, Leslie & Nicole & Laura & Carol, Leslie & Jacob.
Kris & Laura, Kris & Eric & the Fan, Kris & Eric & their Flasks.
Eric & the Green Suit, Eric and that girl he was with (*snicker), Eric & the wall, Eric & His Bicycle Chain…
Liz & Chris, Liz & Laura, Liz & Chris & their tiny glasses of wine.
Tami & Jimmy, Tami & Jacob, Tami and Some Lady in Black, Tami & Sprout, Tami & Tami Sparks, Tami & Hilary, Tami & her hair.
Nicole & Stephen, Nicole & well, anyone she stood next to.
Nathan & Terica & their t-shirts.
Matt & his white patent leather shoes.
Cyndi & Kenny, Cyndi & Kenny & their champagne flutes.
The Monday after the prom, Jolly Green came into my office with a perplexed look on her face. In her hand was a ribbon of white lace and a baby blue rose, the very same ribbon of white lace and the very same baby blue rose that Jacob had been wearing the night of the prom.
“Jacob left this in my car.”
“What were you doing with Jacob in your car that would result in Jacob’s lace and rose being left behind?”
“I wasn’t the one in the car with him.”
“Who was then?”
“Jimmy…Jimmy and Jacob disappeared together for awhile…”
Oh, the joy of lost lace and roses! Hah! Just kidding! Evidently, the two of them went on a beer run, and when they returned, they sat in the car and promptly drank all of the beer without sharing with Tami. I believe she had thoughts of blackmail…
I want to give a big thank you to the spectacular crew of ladies (who worked in person and behind-the-scenes) who went out of their way to see prom beautification happen. Terica, Nicole, Leslie, Cookie and Ashley, if it had not been for all of your banner-making, balloon hanging, streamer streaming, King & Queen ballot-box painting, or crown bedazzling, we couldn’t have made it happen in such a pretty, pretty way! You are all so gooorgeous!
I want to also thank Mike Hilton of the City Parks and Rec Dept. for bringing almost his entire crew of workers over to the Pitman on Wednesday just to remove a few things for us, and then ending up leaving a small group of very tough-as-nails men to do anything we needed them to do. These rather manly individuals pitched in to do some very un-tough, but very necessary jobs for us. They moved our extremely sparkly pink-and-purple castle from the library to the Pit, and hung every stinking thing that we needed hung…Christmas lights, stars, clouds banners, and a shaggy red heart. I couldn’t believe my eyes, nor my ears when I looked up to see Lee hanging our glittery stars and heard Frankie and Bill telling him to stagger them more, cause they wanted the stars to look more realistic when they blew in the breeze…I also couldn’t believe when Bill, having watched me and Tami struggle with securing the quilt-batting-covered clouds to the wall, took my girly hammer (which looked like it came from Fisher Price in his big hands) and nailed the clouds up for us. But what really touched me most was when Frankie came over and began helping Tami and me glue red foil “hair” to the big red heart that we wanted to hang in between the two banners that were hanging from the balcony. When Tami and I had to go fold t-shirts, Frankie continued to work on the heart, and essentially finished it on his own. Then, while everyone else was taking a water break, he took the heart up to the balcony and hung it exactly where we wanted it. It was perfect.
I want to thank my co-worker and funny man Tami for making such a crazy suggestion of having a prom in the first place, my boss Amanda for not thinking the idea of a library prom a bad idea and Kay & Rachael at DGI for wanting to collaborate on such a crazy, potentially volatile program. It could’ve all gone wrong at any moment, but it didn’t. And it was magic.
Thanks go out to all of our volunteers for that evening: The Blinders (for playing such a rocking show), Logan (for DJing), and everyone who worked the front of the building.
Also, thank you to everyone who took photos, and who posted those photos to the Prom @ the Pitman Flickr pool, which may be viewed at this address: