I didn’t get asked to the prom. My best friend and I were both left dateless in the dust, and had to resort to inviting guy friends from the grade below us. It was slightly humiliating, but better than missing the biggest event of our high school careers.
My mom handmade my dress, which at the time was exactly what I wanted—forest green velvet, fitted and long, with a heart-shaped bust and spaghetti straps, and a big ‘ole slit up the front. It matched nicely with my other friends’ long, navy blue, crimson and various other velvet ensembles. It was the grunge era…apparently heavy fabric in May was cool and cutting edge…
Dinner and the dance itself were relatively fun. I remember taking and posing for a lot of pictures and having a decent time with my date. I didn't get food in my teeth or spit when I was talking to him. Although, I think he wanted to hang out with some of the younger attendees more than he wanted to be with me.
Afterwards, a big group of us went to “Prom Plus.” When I was a freshman, a local girl was shot in a hotel after the prom. This rocked our town and prevented a lot of our parents from letting us go out into the great, wide open after the dance. Thus, the PTA or some other concerned group put together an after-prom party with karaoke, a casino, sumo wrestling, a Velcro wall and all sorts of other activities that didn’t involve guns, drugs or sex.
At 6:00 a.m. my group left Prom Plus and headed over to a friend's house to crash out for a few hours before going home. There were about 12 or 14 of us spread across various pieces of furniture and splayed out on the floor. I was wedged between my best friend and a guy named J, sharing a blanket, staring at the ceiling, unable to sleep. I could hear my friends A and D talking and laughing in the other room and decided it would be much more fun to go goof off with them than continue trying to will myself into slumber.
So I sat up.
And the force of moving from my back to an upright position caused a catastrophic shift in my body. One that made a noise. A noise that escaped somewhere between my knees and my waist, on the backside. Suddenly, the entire room was awake.
“WHO was that?!”
I couldn’t speak. I was rapt in silent, horrified, mortified laughter and profuse full-body blushing. My shoulders shook, tears collected at the corners of my eyes.
“IT WAS MELISSA!” my best friend screamed, surely to clear herself of any possible blame.
“That was like an alarm clock, you woke us all up!”
“Damn, what’d you eat?!”
Boys were saying this stuff. I was in a room with a bunch of guys, including my poor younger date. And they had just heard the sound I had produced...in a silent room.
When I was finally able to breathe, I explained, “I didn’t mean to, I just sat up…and I don’t know what happened.”
The laughter and ridicule eventually died down and after a couple more hours we all left to go home. When I opened the front door of my parents’ house, my mom was waiting.
“Well, how was the prom?” she said, smiling with that knowing, motherly pride.
All class and feminine charm, I am. Yes folks, I will forever get to remember the pinnacle evening of my teenage years as being punctuated with a very poorly-timed toot.
That night, all of us who had attended prom together met up to see Beverly Hills Cop 3. We were getting ready to leave when my friend said, “I need to get gas in my car.”
And as expected, one of the guys chimed in, “No you don’t—Melissa has plenty to spare.”
And now you know everything there is to know about me.