Southern Fried Angst (of Bon Jovi, Big Hair, and Boutonnieres)

Sonia Sunshine sent out a group prom invite and I have to admit I had to dig deep into the memory banks for senior prom 1987.

One of the best memories of my senior prom, besides my date (more on that later), was my dress. It was a baby blue Zum Zum tea length dress with a cool diagonal waistline. I bought it off the rack at the local mall. Oh, how I wish I had kept that dress because Zum Zum is still rockin’ the prom wear. Back then I had bigger things to think about than saving my dress for posterity, like making sure my Clairol hot rollered hair was sufficiently plastered, because apparently I needed a hair style that would withstand a hurricane out on the dance floor. I wish I had kept the dress so that I could share it with the girls, but in a fit of late teen stupidity, just one of many I might add, I gave it away. Not that I’d be able to squeeze myself into it as I think I weighed 95 pounds soaking wet 21 years ago, but still.

Senior prom was a classy “Never Say Goodbye” Bon Jovi themed event held in the school cafeteria. My date picked me up in his mom’s white family sedan. We posed for photos in the entry way and out on the lawn.


I had the fake tanning bed glow. He had the cheesie moustache. By the time the evening closed he and I had had a serious parking session in his mom’s car in some country cow field off the main highway in town and I reeked of Polo cologne. This was a happy event that was just the start of a cruel summer that would have made a perfect John Hughes movie. I left for college that August and generally went hog wild boy crazy, spending my weekends developing a taste for cheap keg beer (you know, when I wasn’t studying), finally out of the house and feeling a little wild and carefree since my mother had always been rather strict. Meanwhile my boyfriend at home finished high school and generally felt trapped in a town where he didn’t feel he quite fit in, writing me long love letters and probably wondering why he still loved me when I was generally an immature girl who played his emotions in a mini melodrama that would have been great inspiration for a big hair metal band ballad. I’d drive home for the weekends in my little white sports car and revel in the status of college life, only to take off again and leave him in small Southern town-ville.

My senior prom date may have “just” been a sophomore, but he was, and still is, an old soul. A blonde-haired, blue-eyed brooding type who typically arrived late to school, he wore a denim jacket and stood out to me in a sea of boys who drove pick up trucks and listened to Hank Williams Jr. My date listened to Jimmy Buffett and the Eagles. He hung out with the older guys from my class. He bought cigarettes and cheap beer at the local corner market. He made mediocore grades, but was smart as a whip. He did crazy things on the weekends, and I marveled at how he never got caught. He had a bad boy streak, but I knew him as a kind, sensitive, super intelligent guy. He was nothing but a gentleman to me and the epitomy of politeness to my mother and he won her over immediately.

Good thing I finally grew up and figured all this out, since our 11th wedding anniversary is this Saturday.

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  1. Mackmomma24 says:

    OH EM GEE!!! That was the sweetest post ever! Happy early anniversary. Your hair and dress definitely rocks my socks off!

  2. Amy says:

    Oh, that Freshman college year. The torment you put that boy thru!! And I, the ever present best bud, got a full dose of both sides of it! tee hee. Not to mention if it had not been for him, I would not have met Brian…Congratulations on your anniversary.

  3. Bluegrass Mama says:

    What a great story! And the dress still looks good! I never went to a prom and never had a high school boyfriend. I did marry my first boyfriend, though (after the keg years). 😉 Happy anniversary!

    Bluegrass Mama’s last blog post..Shameless Link

  4. Trish says:

    Polo. Oh I remember the smell of Polo cologn. I think every other guy in my high school bathed in it — The other half in Drakar.

    Trish’s last blog post..Getting Older

  5. Ernestine says:

    Yes, he completely won me over.
    Especially when at 16 or 17 he gave me a card addressed to his “Other Mother”
    I cannot imagine my youngest daughter married to anyone else.
    Where has 11 years gone.
    Congratulations and looking forward to having my two baby girls on Friday night.

  6. Lisa says:

    I had no idea you were high school sweethearts!!! How wonderful is that, and that you have the picture to document the whole thing!!!
    Man, I wish you still had the dress too. Funny thing is, I went with my future sister-in-law to look at wedding dressed this past weekend, and that whole style is coming back, diagonal waist and all! You were ahead of your time 😉

    Lisa’s last blog post..Happy Birthday Baby

  7. Michelle says:

    I think the Aqua Net craze of the 80’s is largely responsible for the ozone layer problems. I know I contributed. And that dress was the perfect prom dress for the 80’s!

    How sweet that you married your high school sweet heart. You should go make out in the car on your anniversary 🙂

    Michelle’s last blog post..13 is going to be ugly

  8. Cara says:

    How sweet! That is awesome. Zum-Zum! That name totally brought back memories of neon bright colors and puffy sleeves for me. I can’t believe they’re still around.

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