As I walked Buddy this evening through a nearby neighborhood, my mind drifted to memories of my youth. I didn‘t recall any of the challenging times but only the good times.
In the fluffy memory cloud circling above my head, thoughts popped in and out of high-school days and of a particular instance of promising my boyfriend I would remember to pick up our senior-prom pictures. He couldn’t wait to see them as we had such a marvelous evening dancing, doubling afterwards with another couple and dashing out of town in one of his father’s convertibles.
My friend, Haven, and I were headed to the Curley’s Soda Shoppe after school one night when the promise to pick up the prom pictures tapped my memory bank. We decided that we would meet one another in front of Curley’s after I swung by the photo studio. Haven went home for something as she lived only a couple of blocks from the soda shop.
Haven made it to the corner first, and I could see her blonde, little-pony-tailed head waiting on the street corner as I hurried to meet her. She was a pretty girl but wore a lot of makeup and got teased about it a lot. It didn’t seem to bother Haven in the least. She generally wore only white or red and it was never a combination of the two colors. I can also remember that she was always grounded by her stricter than strict aunt and uncle. She was a good friend and we looked past the trouble she could find.
Anyway, I hurried down the street with the sealed envelope containing the pictures of Gary and me posing in a scenic spotlight at the Senior Prom. I had been fortunate to afford a very stylish, black-designer dress because my sister was able to get a huge discount as a result of working in the art department of the store where it was purchased.
The bottom of the dress was kind of tulip shaped in that it wasn’t full or fitted. It was strapless and had a huge bow that swept sideways from the waist and over the bare shoulder. The dress was quite a fashion statement and had a magical look and feel about it. As I recall, Gary was wearing black tuxedo slacks with a white tuxedo coat. He was the first love of my life, drop-dead gorgeous in a tuxedo look or plain jeans and such a marvelous fast dancer.
At last, I made it to where my friend, Haven, was waiting impatiently. We began squealing with delight at being able to see the pictures of the big senior prom at last. As we opened the envelope, we were shocked to discover that I was not only standing pigeon-toed, but my toes were hanging way over the ends of the patent-leather sandals I was wearing. In addition to all that, my hose were really, really bagging. It was awful…just awful, to see the top of the photo that was nearly picture perfect and then have your eyes reach the bottom of the photo where all this was going on with the feet and legs. Whatever was I thinking or could have happened?
My head was spinning for a while, but then we started laughing so hard we thought we would drop to our knees and expire. It probably would have been better if that would have happened, because I stood on the corner of Broadway and Main and peed my pants. I shall always remember roaring endlessly with laughter and the steady stream making its way past the curb to the street.
Looking back on all this years later, makes me cup my hands to my face for a moment and cringe. Fortunately, however, it’s times like this when we think past the embarrassment, remembering the laughter ~ the wonderful, wonderful laughter and the way we were.