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I’ve been following “Because Life Doesn’t Fit in a File Folder,” Renee A. Schuls-Jacobson’s totally hooty blog. Her recent post, “I Remember Prom,” started a flood of Big Hair Memories. I shared this message with Renee, but it lacked the photos that give it that certain…something.

Picture it: South High’s Senior Prom, 1983.

I never gave much thought to prom, seeing it as just a reason for the Hobnobbers to Hob Nob Even More. Then Mike asked me to the senior prom and I felt this strange compulsion to go.

Big hair was all the rage in the 80s

Me and my big hair. Not really…

The hair issue was already decided – back then, Big Hair reigned, and to be otherwise coiffed spelled doom. But what would I wear? What about shoes? Did I need a purse?

My poor parents.

I just hadta, hadta, hadta have this $100 dress, which was a lot for them 30 years ago, but Mom bought it without complaint. It had a jacket with filmy sleeves, a gazillion buttons up the back and a cami-sorta-slip-thingy underneath. 

As if there wasn’t enough lace on the dress, I wobbled around on lacy sandals, too. Throw in some big hair and a bunch of Aqua Net and I looked like stiffened baby’s breath with a wig on.

To top it off, Mike was a super nice guy, but we were oh, so wrong. He was on the honor roll, straight-A, destined for law school, and I had a hard time getting through Chemistry 1 without frustrating my poor teacher to the point of drinking over my inability to grasp redox equations. Poor Mr. Ahlf, but that’s another story…

A classic.

A classic.

Mike picked me up for the prom in his dad’s orange AMC Matador and the whole way to the restaurant, we didn’t say a peep. Nothing. For the whole meal, we didn’t talk. Nothing. The whole way to the dance, you guessed it –


The World’s Most Silent Prom Date had just been enacted. We got to prom, and my friend and her date were there, whooping it up and laughing. Clearly, they had agreed upon a Talking Prom Date.

Renee’s post was the key that unlocked the door to my Strange High School Memories vault, reminding me of the time my best friend and I drove her dad’s Dodge Diplomat to the junior prom.

I guess prom wasn’t so bad after all…