I know exactly what Mama Kat meant when she gave us this prompt:
Clearly, she means when I took someone out. Well, I’m taking this in a whole different direction.
There are many memorable dates in my life: my birthday (March 25), Mom’s birthday (March 26, the day after mine) and the day she died (April 21), Dad’s birthday (February 15) and the day he died (January 25), my brothers’ birthdays (December 11, November 13, September 9), of course Mary’s birthday (April 20) and our anniversary (January 28), Grandma Holton’s birthday (Bastille Day, July 14), the day I had my stroke (February 18, actually early February 19), and on and on and on. It’s how I was raised and how my mind works. I’ve heard more than once that time and dates are artificial constructs (Einstein said time was invented to keep everything from happening at once), but not in my family.
Then there’s June 6. It’s significant to me because that’s the day I graduated grammar school (1970) and high school (1974). That’s a relatively recent revelation. One of those things you remember when you wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, and you’re get back into bed and try to go back to sleep, and you realize you can’t. So you start thinking about boring things to try and get back to sleep, and you realize something like this.
Senior Prom was the night of graduation. That way, we didn’t need to rent a tuxedo twice and the girls only needed to buy one dress. Since we lived in the posh suburbs of Chicago’s North Shore (yeah, right), I guess they wanted graduation to be a formal occasion, so the boys wore tuxes (actually a light blue dinner jacket and all the other stuff) and the girls wore long white dresses. Like a bunch of Barbies and Kens, circa early 1960’s. It was a drag, as was having the prom the night of graduation. Really, the night of graduation? By the time we got there, we were high school graduates on our way to college or work or the ArmyNavyAirForceMarines. Prom was for high school kids.
I just remember not wanting to be there. My date and I really didn’t like each other by that time. It started at her prom. Long story, not worth the aggravation of rehashing it. I just remember dropping her off after my prom, telling her to have a nice life, and her saying something that sounded like “truck flu.” Haven’t seen each other since. Just as well. It wasn’t exactly the low point of my high school career, but it was definitely up there. Or down there, depending on your point of view.
I think the best part of graduation was the next day, when I rode my bike down to Evanston with my rented tux over my shoulder and returned it. The tux rental place was a block away from where they had the prom. It would have been convenient if they were open so we could drop them off after the prom. Nah, that would’ve meant having to carry our play clothes with us. Anyway, I ran into a guy who was in my advisory (like homeroom, but different). We talked for a minute, then he got on his motorcycle, I got on my bike, and went our separate ways. It was a catharsis. I can’t explain why, but I remember riding home, the sun was out, it was pleasantly warm, and I was totally finished. I felt twenty pounds lighter.