What We Didn’t Know Back Then

This week’s Spin topic is “prom”. Now, if you think I am going to amuse you with pictures of myself way back then, you are sadly mistaken. They would definitely be amusing, but I’d have to dig through too much junk to find them. I will just tell you that I did attend both my junior and senior prom. I did not go to either one with people who asked me, but I asked older boys who had already graduated from my school. I asked one boy that I was crazy about to my junior prom. He didn’t want to spend the money on a tux. I tried to tell myself that he was cheap and it was his loss. Truth was that I was terribly hurt. So, I turned around and did what any revengeful teenage girl would do. I asked his best friend who obliged. No before dinner. No limo. No party after. Just a prom date…no excitement. Then, I took Dirt Man to my senior prom. I plead the fifth on that one. I will just say it was fabulous!

The following pictures are of a few proms my boys attended. Seems like they continued being asked to proms long after they graduated. I finally told them that I would not pay for anymore tux rentals, flowers, dinners, or limos. After I sealed the pocketbook, it only took once for them to find paying for it themselves was not worth it!

The funniest thing I recall about proms happened about fifteen years ago. I used to go out to dinner once a month with a group of other moms. It was a girls night out thing. We went to this really nice Italian restaurant. It was eight or ten of us. What any of us failed to identify ahead of time was that it was prom night. We were amazed at not only the gowns but the bodies in them. These gowns were expensive, sequined and rhinestoned and covered little of their very well-developed bodies. Their prom dresses must have cost small fortunes. I remember going to like JC Penney and paying about $35 way back in the day for mine. And our bodies definitely didn’t look like theirs. Heck, our bodies still didn’t look like theirs. Why couldn’t we have grown up on hormonal- laden milk and meat?! And the tuxedos were no longer ruffled shirts and piped pants. They were smooth and sleek. They all looked exquisite and grown-up. And we were sure with the all night hotel rooms that everyone seems to invest in these days, the sex was a lot more prevalent than in our day. Anyway, we were sitting and drinking and making small talk about their appearances when someone piped up with how time sure changes the perspective of women. She went on to say that those girls had probably manipulated and connived all year long to get that one hot date for prom. She continued that each of us had manipulated and connived all month long just to dump our husbands for one night out! Wow, the times really had changed.

50 thoughts on “What We Didn’t Know Back Then

  1. What great looking kids!

    I’m often agog at the figures of the teenage girls these days too. I never thought about hormone-laden milk before. I just chalked it up to the baggy clothes style in the 80’s.

  2. Oh, Suzicate, I so did enjoy reading about some of our young people of today. You know they are our future. They do look older and very well stack as my mom would have put it. LOL I can remember my girl’s prom, and I remember telling them when you come home with your gown it better have some material on it. I have to say they did honor my wish, and pocket book. Love these pictures, thanks for sharing with us.

  3. I can see why your sons kept being asked to prom night, they make wonderful “arm candy”!

    I just love the ending to this post comparing your Moms night out to those girls on their prom dates – yes, how times change!

  4. Great photos , tho I’d much rather see you and Dirt Man! I don’t think I’m brave enough to do this Spin. So far my older 2 only attended their own proms and the youngest doesn’t have one till next year. Sooo expensive, but they do look beautiful that night, don’t they?

  5. I’m with you on this one – I spent $50 on my prom dress (that was quite modest) and my mother went into shock. She couldn’t say anything, though, because I paid for it myself.

    We went to Cheesecake Factory in Cincinnati recently (The G Man’s daddy is the kitchen manager there) on a Saturday night, and there were just hundreds of kids decked out for the prom. I was amazed at how “formals” fashion has changed in the last 30 years – my parents wouldn’t have let me out of the house wearing something that skimpy.

  6. ” each of us had manipulated and connived all month long just to dump our husbands for one night out! ”

    Hahahahahahaha….OMG, how funny! And how true!

    Faaaaaaabulous photos, SC!

    And you’re so right….the bodies on young girls now-a-days are completely different-looking than when I went to HS. I posted about my senior prom over year ago on my blog, and you should have seen the photos. I looked like Wayne Newton in a Vegas night club act and my date looking like Elvira.

    BTW…I love your new template! Your header looks so good with the blue/grey surrounding it. I also used this one for a few months on my WordPress blog.

    Have a great day, SC!


    • hahhaha…Wayne Newton and Elvira (now that’s an image I hadn’t thought of in years!)…oh, I so can’t wait to go dig that one up to read! And gawk at the pics! And tease you!

  7. Good spin. Having trouble with your new format downloading though. Don’t know if it’s my computer or what. All the pics didn’t come through. Looks nice though, what I could see.

  8. These girls are amazing looking, but I fret over what media does to them.

    I wore my sister’s hand-me-downs to prom…No money spent. LOL!

  9. I am sure my Mom still has pictures of mine and yes those late 70’s styles have sure changed 🙂 and the girls now do seem to grow up faster than we did.

    I have pictures of our boys and their dates but I will blackmail them at a later time.

    You have good looking kids there SC thanks for sharing the pics with us.

  10. Wow! What nice pictures! 🙂 Also, I agree – – style has changed, even from when I went to prom. I know that there are some dresses out there that my parents would’ve never let me walk out the door in. LoL At any rate, I never had fun experience both times I went to prom.

  11. You and I must think alike. Thank goodness I already wrote my Spin or I would be scrambling for something else to talk about!
    The boys look handsome and the girls look….. well? Perfect. 🙂
    You’re linked!

  12. The leopard print dress is, um, interesting!

    I agree—times are a’ changin’. I’m scared for 10 years from now when my girls start having dances to go to. But we try to eat organic around here, so maybe they won’t have those bodies to go in the dresses. Lord knows I didn’t when I was young.

    And that last bit–about conniving to get away from the husbands for a night out—-so true and priceless!

  13. Handsome prom photos! I have to agree with you on the cost of prom — we definitely shaved off expenses where we could (no pre-prom makeup/nails/tanning — not that I felt I wanted to go through that ritual! — and no limo and definitely no hotel rooms!). I didn’t realize kids did the hotel room thing so young. Hello, naive CT. My husband and I were senior prom dates. Looking back, I think we can both say we were plenty happy just getting to have a date together, even with his parents’ minivan as getaway car.

    Catching up after a weekend unplugged here — like the new look of your site.

  14. Nice new format. Surprised me at first.

    Handsome young men.

    It always makes me laugh because so many things have changed, yet so many things have remained the same. The “stuff” has changed; the styles, the technology, the “advancement”, the pressures. Yet the feelings are the same; insecurity, loneliness, carefree, I-don’t-care attitudes.


    This is also funny because I just came across my prom picture a couple of weeks ago. It was from the ’80s so I have big hair, big make-up, and big shoulder (pads). Geez.

  15. They all look so grown up!

    Both my sons went to prom – and definitely on a budget! They looked great, they went with female friends, and enjoyed themselves. It was a relatively unsequined and down-to-earth crowd, with a party before and a party after and (phew) no major dramas.

    When they all return in one piece after prom, I’m happy. (It does astound me how mature the girls look though. Often several years older than the boys.)

  16. I am little scared anticipating my own daughter going to her prom and that is many years away.

    For my own prom, I rented my prom dress. It was this blue puffy thing and I paired it with white gloves. Hideous – my fashion sense, thankfully, had a makeover when I grew older.

  17. Great post (and great responses!). My prom story involved asking a friend to the prom (honest, all I thought of him as was a FRIEND!), getting my Mom to pick him up (he opened the car door for me! Sweet, but could have been a clue) and take us to the prom bus. We ate a mediocre meal, then dancing began. I left the room for a moment and when I returned I heard my name being called. All eyes turned to me and a path opened that led to the stage. I nervously walked up to the stage where another girl stood in front of her boyfriend and my prom date (FRIEND!!!). They proceeded to sing a beautiful old love song duet to us. I was shocked (flattered), and did not know what to do. Would like to think not, but kind of expect I broke a young man’s heart. oops… 😦 Win some. Lose some.

  18. Ahh prom memories! Sweet. The boys are so cute, no wonder they were popular dates!

    I am a little stunned by the girls’ outfits nowadays, but the last High school homecoming queen prepared me. I was all, she is 18????

  19. You’re not kidding! Back in my day, dresses has lots of fabric and lace (girly, frilly lace – not mesh!) When did the gowns get so provocative?

  20. Oh yes, things have changed! When I went to my prom, more years ago than I’m going to admit to, I wore taffeta and ruffles. We had dinner and dance in the school gym. Oh yeah, back in the day. . . .

  21. Those are some cute kids and SEXY girls! My prom dresses I can just describe as Puffy. Along with my hair. Puffy. Today the look is more sleek than puffy! I went to a Bat Mitzvah recently and could NOT get over the bods on the 13 year old girls and the dresses they were wearing. I wore a turtle neck long sleeve Laura Ashley dress with lace around the neck and wrists. SEXY. 🙂

    • Styles have changed so much. I have friends who fight with their daughters all the time about the appropriate style and how much is too much to show. I am often thankful I have boys because I think id I had girls they would hate me!

  22. Sounds like a fun dinner conversation so many years ago. Oh to be a fly on the wall–well one that could write juicy comments with a pen and notepad that is.

  23. Everyone needs to go to at least one prom in their life…it is a rite of passage and something you never forget. I went to two proms…with friends…but I still had a great time. Love the pictures…your boys are so handsome!!

  24. Your boys are gorgeous … no wonder the girls were still asking them to prom years after they were done!

    And holy cow! Those are some pretty girls … they look like they’re going to Vegas for the weekend! Why couldn’t I have looked like that at my prom? And, more importantly, what will girls look like in 30 years to make the girls in these pictures say, “Wow! I sure wish I’d looked like that in 2010!”

    Nice spin!

  25. Sadly, I never got asked to prom.

    I’m over it now, but back then? Ohmygoodness.
    NOt the best of times.

    LOVE the leopard print, but I thought animal prints began in middle age, no?

    • Yes, I was a little taken back by that as well. I figured it must take someone with a lot of confidence to pull that off at that age…I would have been too worried about what everyone else was thinking and saying about me!

  26. What a fun post. I’m just glad to say that I’m mom to 2 sons and not 2 daughters! The dresses these days are quite revealing! I loved how you ended it too, it sure is funny how times change, isn’t it? heehee

  27. Your boys are very handsome young men.

    All I can say is..if I would have tried to where what some of these dresses nowadays look like, my dad would have locked me up, made me burn it and never date again!

  28. Oh I totally know what you mean about prom now-a-days! It was like that 12-ish years ago when I was in high school, which is why I REFUSED to go to prom. I hated what it stood for. I even wrote several anti-prom articles in the school newspaper! (Looking back, I wish I had gone to mine. I went to one prom, not at my school, and was profoundly disappointed. And I was the ONLY conservatively dressed girl around!) I love the pictures. In the first picture, he looks a lot like my little brother!!

  29. Your boys are gorgeous, Suz!!

    Sean has only ever attended one dance and that was enough for him! He thought it a huge waste of time and money. Molly went to 2 proms her freshman year and I loved helping her shop for the dress and get ready! I remember my proms and how exciting they were!!

    Great post, great pics!

  30. my prom was a nightmare. I must have asked 6 different guys till one finally relented. Horrible, just horrible and don’t even get me started on the dress

  31. My mother MADE my prom dresses. Can’t imagine a girl nowadays putting up with that. That tiger skin dress? Good God! Yeah, I don’t know if the bodies are different or if they’re just showing them off better now, but it seems like a whole new world. Your boys are darling.

  32. Fun post and fun pictures! I loved this post – I suppose times do change, but hey, that’s not necessarily better! Girls these days may do some serious stuff to their bodies just to be able to get that one hot prom dress, and that isn’t always good…

  33. “…each of us had manipulated and connived all month long just to dump our husbands for one night out!” Guess the more things change, the more they stay the same! I’ve long thought that high school “girls” have mutated into more womanly forms over the past decade. Must be all the hormones in our food. :O I agree with Gretchen, your sons are adorable.

  34. Yes, times must have changed to take different amounts of time to manipulate and connived the men to go out, or to ditch the men and go out with the girls.

    I like how quickly the luster of going out to prom wore off when they had to pay for it all.

    Great Spin,

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