Monday, August 29, 2011

21 Proms

21 Proms
Various authors
289 pages
Publisher: Scholastic

You can read the Goodreads summary here.

21 Proms consists of twenty-one short stories by popular YA authors about prom. 

In a collection like this, you can only expect that you'll like some of the stories while there will be others you either don't like, or don't "get."  This was the case with 21 Proms.  I did not understand the story about the gorilla prom.  I understood that the main character was gay, but what was with the monkey fetishes? 

My favorite story was actually the last one, "The Great American Morp" by John Green.  In this story, Maggie's parents are hired to photograph her prom, which to her is mortifying.  So she and her best friend plan a Morp (prom spelled backwards) as an alternative to Prom.  I loved the outcome of their Morp, which made it my favorite story of the twenty-one.

There is a reason the back of the book states the book is for those 15 an over.  There was lots of sex, drugs and alcohol in these stories, but I didn't find any of it offensive.  I think this would be a great collection to read if you were actually going to prom soon, maybe not so much if the last prom you attended was in 2005.
Naturally this book got me thinking about my own high school proms and dances, so now I'm going to leave you with my own prom-related anecdote.

I had a boyfriend in high school who went to private Catholic school, so I actually went to four proms and countless other dances.  I used to love dances; in my youth I had the energy to dance four hours straight, never leaving the dance floor.  Now I'm lucky if I have any breath left after two fast songs, but I digress.

I used to think it must be stressful to be a chaperone at a Catholic high school dance.  We used to joke back then about nuns telling us to leave a foot between us "for the Holy Spirit."  Jokes about our dates' Holy Spirit in their pants ensued.  Anyway, I thought it would be stressful to be a school official, having to walk around a gym, looking at each couple to make sure they weren't touching to much and that they certainly weren't grinding to this awful music the DJ picked. 

My date and I attended a dance at his school one evening and I don't think I was feeling too well that night.  It might have been anxiety, I can't remember, but we ended up sitting at a table chatting and watching everyone else dance.  He sat down, I sat down, and I put my feet in his lap.  Soon one of his teachers was rapidly approaching.  "Oh no!" I thought.  "Here it comes."  I thought for sure he would tell us we were breaking the rules and kick us out, but instead he introduced himself and chatted about school for a bit, and then moved on.  Whew.

Ironically, the chaperones to my public school senior prom were more offending by youthful touching than the Catholics were.  There were chairs outside set up for a wedding that had either happened that day or was going to happen the next day.  It was a lovely evening where we all pretended we would be with our dates forever.  I got many a compliment on my "classy" attire and I was feeling good, despite the dry chicken.  So my date and I went out side, he sat in a chair and I sat on his lap.  Very chastely, I might add, as the only things touching were our thighs.  We weren't even kissing, my head was at least twelve inches from his!  And then, the chaperone yelled at us.  Startling for me, considering I was a good kid and at that point had not been yelled at in a school setting.

She was a cat lady, so I think maybe she was jealous.  Middle aged with no prospects and dressed in a floral patterned Coldwater Creek dress from four years previous, she must have been jealous that we were such a good looking young couple with endless prospects.  She told me to get off his lap, not once but I think twice if I remember correctly. 

It just goes to show you never know who is going to be offended by what.  And there's my anecdote.

Did you go to prom?  Did anything unexpected happen?  Were you yelled at by a crazy cat lady, too?  Leave me your prom stories below!

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