Prom (part 1)

So I‘ve been thinking about what all else I could write about instead of COVID-19 and how it’s fucking up everyone’s life. Keaton’s been telling that all the complaining is totally gayass and Joyce and Meemaw both agree that the blog’s getting to be a downer…so it’s time to try and change topic. Besides, y’all probably want to hear about something that’ll take your minds off the current crisis.

So I came up with an idea: I’ll tell y’all about prom.

Yeah, Maryville High has a prom, usually held at a hotel in Knoxville, and 2011 was no exception. Like most schools’ proms it had a theme, and the theme for our year was James Bond. It may seem kinda weirdass that we had such a boy-oriented theme, but this was the year after the BOYcott and boys were still kinda running the show at Maryville High. Besides, the idea of a prom theme that favored dudes seemed to everyone like a cool change from Under The Sea or Home on the Range or some boringass shit like that.

Ok, so y’all probably have one big question before I start telling you about prom.

Who’d I go with?

Y’all know of course that I broke up with my girlfriend Shoshanah in February of my senior year, and I think I’ve pretty much made it clear that, once I got over my broken heart, I went out and slept with every cheerleader at Maryville High and then some. I reckon you can say it was a rehearsal for 30 chicks/30 days in college. That didn’t just happen; I needed some practice lol. And, while I wasn’t exactly keeping count in high school, it was definitely a 2 digit number.

And the one I went to prom was…

Sunny Sue Carson

Yeah: some southern girls still have names like that. Sunny Sue, who we all called ‘Sunny’, was well named. She had a great personality and it seemed like she was always smiling. Nothing got her down. People said we made a good couple, since, once I was back to being myself after the breakup with Shoshanah, people thought I had a pretty sunny disposition myself.

Sunny was co-head cheerleader and pretty dang hot. Like 9¾ hot. She was blonde and very curvy for a cheerleader…and she knew how to make it work for her. When they were cheering, Sunny was the one who the guys were looking at. I don’t know why I didn’t say she was a 10, since she had the looks for it, but I think most guys think that a 10 is a super hot chick who’s gonna shoot them down in flames lol. So Sunny was too nice to be a 10. She was one of the hottest 9¾s I’ve ever…um…known.

The other great thing about Sunny at that point in my life was that she wasn’t into having a steady boyfriend any more than I was interested in having a steady girlfriend. We were kind of a couple, since we hung out together and Sunny was definitely on that list of cheerleaders I wasn’t keeping, but there were no notes slipped into each others’ lockers, no single roses when I went to pick her up…and no rules about being anything like exclusive.

Back when I was telling y’all about the BOYcott, I explained that, while it ups a dude’s reputation if he sleeps around while the same thing ruins a chick’s reputation. Sunny was an exception. Maybe it was because she was so nice, but I don’t think I ever had to knock anybody down for calling Sunny a whore. She didn’t mind what I was doing with other girls, and I didn’t mind what all else she was doing with other guys. Remember Clay – the swimmer who was Ashleigh Renfroe’s’ boyfriend before the BOYcott? He and Sunny had a little thing going around the same time that me and Sunny had our little thing going. Nobody minded.

I’ll give you another example of how nice Sunny was: she worked as a candystriper one afternoon a week, just like I did for my big non-sports extracurricular activity. We didn’t work the same days, but very often, when I went around to see patients, they’d seemingly all ask about the ‘lovely’ blonde girl who’d been around earlier in the week. People just liked Sunny. While I reckon there must have been some meanass girls who called her a whore behind her back, she didn’t let it bother her none. She knew who her friends were and stayed with them. I guess she was a lot like me in that respect, and maybe that’s why we got on so well.

She was a great ‘non-girlfriend’ (that’s what we called each other, non-girlfriend and non-boyfriend) to have after all the drama I went through with Shoshanah. I guess she was a little like Charlene, my girlfriend in Maryville after I gave up playing ball, but there were a lot of differences…not the least of which was that Mom liked Sunny…and Mom hated Charlene. But, then, Sunny was my age, we were both in school, both planning to go to college, and, yeah, I reckon Mom liked it that I was seeing a Christian girl. It’s not that Mom had anything against Jews, and she always liked Shoshanah, but, when things got real serious between me and Shoshanah, Mom started getting worried about me marrying out of my faith. There were no worries about that with Sunny.

Meemaw liked Sunny too, and could see that she was the right girl for me at the time. Meemaw was my main first responder after the breakup with Shoshanah, and I think she was relieved that I had a girl I liked but didn’t have to be too serious about. Dad was onboard with Sunny as well…although she earned me not one but two trips to the condom aisle at the CVS. I remember him saying on one of those trips: “I know a boy your age with your looks is gonna be sleeping around some…just be dang careful when you’re doing it.” Like I told y’all before, Dad would have killed me dead if I got a girl pregnant.

Gardner and Turner liked Sunny well enough too. Gardner even had a little thing with her junior year…he, Sunny, me and Shoshanah double dated once or twice, but the great thing about my friends in those days was that it wasn’t awkward when I started seeing Sunny…if ‘seeing’ is the right word lol.

I never found out what Shoshanah thought, since we were a big enough school for us to be able to avoid each other for the last semester of senior year. Did she know about me and Sunny? Probably, it wasn’t that big a school. Would I have been glad if Shoshanah had started a campaign to label Sunny a whore because she was jealous and regretted dumping me? Hey, I was all of 18 at the time, so, yeah, I would have been pleased if that had happened lol. But, if it did, it never got back to me.

So Sunny was the logical person for me to take to prom. We were non-girlfriend and non-boyfriend for getting on 2 months already when it came time for me to ask her. I know that some guys get elaborate ‘promposals’ together to ask their girlfriends to prom, but that wasn’t what my relationship with Sunny was like. We were casual about dating and casual about liking each other…and casual enough about that other thing, too.

No, I didn’t just say “hey, let’s go to the prom together, since I don’t have anyone else to ask”. I at least did something. I got a big bouquet of assorted flowers and handed it to her in the hallway with enough people looking to make her feel kinda important. The problem with public proposals like that is that you can get told ‘no’ in public, which ain’t never pleasant, but I was pretty sure about what Sunny’s answer was going to be.

It was ‘yes’ – and that’s how I got a prom date.




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