I'll write more about the prom at a later time. Right now I'm so exhausted that I cannot even pretend to be coherent.
My dress was bright (but not "hot") pink. My date wore a black tux with a tie that matched my dress. He gave me a sweet pink rose wrist corsage, and the bouttonniere I gave him matched my corsage. We looked like a junior bridesmaid and a junior usher who had been matched up for wedding photos. Last year, however, had I been able to attend and had he been my date, we would have looked like the flower girl and ring bearer, so I should be grateful for progress, however little there has been. (Had I attended the prom last year with my original date, wheelchair, sling, and cast or not, my date and I would have looked like pedophile and victim. Maybe it was divine intervention that the other runner and her hurdle came flying into my lane to injure me. Memories are only what we make of them, but photographs are forever, or at least as long as anyone possesses them. Perhaps that aspect of my time spent in purgatory worked out for the best.)
We went out for dinner at a restaurant my date could afford. He didn't want me paying more than my share. I have disposable income because I used to be a church organist and still fill in occasionally, and I work for my school district as a choir accompanist. I receive disability payment (75% of my salary) for any session I miss when I'm in the loony bin. The state of California may be going bankrupt one disability check at a time, but damn, I paid into the fund, and I'm collecting now that I'm eligible. My parents make me bank 80% of all money I earn, and I must tithe or give to charity another ten per cent, but the remaining ten per cent isn't a bad disposable income for someone my age.
We stayed at the prom for almost two hours. Then we boarded the limo that we shared with three other couples and headed to my house. My parents arranged activities for twelve couple, including my brother's friends and mine, some of whom overlap. My parents heated our pool. It has the capacity to be heated, but it's almost never actually heated because doing so is too expensive. A few years ago my rich uncle paid to have our pool deepened and diving boards added so that I could practice diving at home. Nonetheless, a "no diving except for simple dives and cannonballs" rule was placed in effect for the night so that no untrained person would do anything stupid that resulted in paralysis or loss of life, or in my Uncle Scott actually having to venture into the water to rescue anyone. I was kicked out of the pool for the rest of the night after my first dive by my Uncle Scott, who was acting as lifeguard for that particular shift. He did let me get into the jacuzzi as long as I promised not to try any dives while I was in there (Duh! It's like four feet at its very deepest) but that got old after awhile. I told my date he could still swim if he wanted, but he chose the chivalrous route of playing ping pong and pool with me. After awhile, my date fell asleep in a recliner and I konked out on a loveseat. I have no clue what anyone else did until my mom woke me up at 6:00 for breakfast.
By seven a.m. everyone was gone. I tried to help with the cleanup, but my parents sent me to bed.
Conclusion: The prom was in no way monumental. (The band was pathetic, and sounded less talented than that group from The Ringer who sang "I See Pretty Girls Everywhere I Go." At one point I requested the song, as it seemed as though it would have befitted the talent level possessed by the group, but the front man for the group said that they had tried to learn the song, but it was too difficult for them to master, which wasn't hard to believe. I'm all for hiring the handicapped, but I don't think this group was handicapped in any way except musically. However much the group was paid was too much.) If I had not gone, however, I would have spent my whole life wondering what I had missed. My fifteen-year-old date is a junior, so he still has one more prom opportunity, but he said he doesn't know if there will be anyone at our school next year who looks young enough for him to accompany without looking like a little boy there with his nanny, so he's glad he took the opportunity to attend this year.
To all those who either encouraged me to go or who gave ne strategies for making an informed decision, I thank you. Your advice was sound and wise.
Next week it's off to a prom in Utah for me. I'm going as the date of my-sort-of-aunt's nephew. (We're not related. Put away your dueling banjoes.) I already knew I was attending this prom, but going would not have addressed the issues of facing down my own demons or battling my own dragons or however one might express the idea of facing life's unpleasantries head-on.
To my dearest Aunt Becky, my Aunt Maria from Sweden, and anyone else who cares to claim me as a close or extended relative (let me know if you wish to go on record as such and I will add you to my list), I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I also thank my mommy and daddy, Uncle Steve and Aunt Heather, and PseudoUncle Scott and PseudoAunt Jillian for making the event as pain-free as it could possibly have been. (A small dose of Klonopin helped, by the way.)