Skimming my home-town newspapers’ web sites I noticed that this is Prom weekend for some of the high schools in the area. Tomorrow is Father’s Day. I’m not sure if the two occasions shared the same weekend in my time.
Some quick math, all in my head mind you, and I realized that it’s a long thirty-five years since my own Prom. To protect the innocent I will not show my date, T.F.
Mom convinced me that renting a tux was not practical when a good suit would last for a number of years.
High school in Quebec runs from grades seven through eleven, with another one-to-two years of Cégep prior to university.
Of course the very idea of asking ANYone to the prom was going to be a challenge for me, although I don’t recall considering the option of not going.
One of Mom’s piano students was in grade seven, was very good-looking, and our two families were on very good terms. (My brother performed the first marriage of her older sister and her parents got along famously with mine.)
I was fairly certain that she would agree to go, since it’s not too many in grade seven who would be asked. She accepted. Paying the highest of compliments to my parents, and to me by implication, her mother said that she had no reason in the world to worry about her daughter going with me. (I lacked the self-knowledge enough to know just how right she was!) She knew she would be safe with me, a stand-out son of my parents, and I was virtually certain that I would not be required to defend my honour!
Just to be sure, or perhaps to have a little fun while the kids were at the dance, a small party of our parents was assembled at the home of one of my fellow graduates – just a dip and a curve in the road from the school. So, yes, parental couples rode in the front seat while nervous Prom-goers were in the back.
Perhaps because of my own misgivings about the whole night, I do not recall feeling cramped by any of this close chaperoning.
I remember little about the dance, other than that we left our parents at the house party, and then we drove across the countryside to Valleyfield where we had made a group reservation at a restaurant downtown. I don’t remember how we killed so many hours – a little wine, maybe? – but, at closing time, we set out for the traditional (for recent grads anyway) viewing of the sunrise at Fort, or more accurately, Fortifications Coteau-du-Lac.
Did we then go for breakfast? I can’t recall but we stayed out long enough so as not to return to our respective homes at too ungodly an hour.
Was it Father’s Day? Quite possibly but I’d be lying if I said so for sure.
To think that thirty-five years ago my father was a spry 50 years old (I’m now 52) bursts any self-deception as to my age relative to those now experiencing their prom, their university graduation or, hell, maybe even the purchase of their first home!