Tuesday, May 20, 2014

'59 Pontiac and the Prom

I saw a story on Facebook today about a woman who left the top down on her convertible while she went grocery shopping...and then it rained. In the weird way these things happen, the story rang a distant bell of memory for me.

Back, back, back in the past when I was teenager and graduating senior, all my classmates were yapping about the prom. The PROM!!! I wasn't because my parents didn't approve of dances, low-cut formals, or all night dates. Mostly, the whole idea of going to the prom gave me a queasy, roiling tempest in the gut.

I had no social skills. No 'girly-girly' skills. No yearning to wear revealing clothing as I was not even remotely endowed. And had not the faintest clue what to do with make-up. I weighed 97 lbs. straight out of the tub before I dried off. So I was okay with not going to the prom. Oh, yeah. We had ZERO money to invest in dress, shoes, etc., blah, blah...

I'd only been dating the hunk for a few weeks when he mentioned taking me to the prom. After some discussion, he reluctantly agreed that an evening out at a fancy restaurant instead would be okay.

The day arrived. Most of my female classmates cut their afternoon classes so they'd have time to get all gussied up for the prom. I didn't have that excuse so I went home at my normal time.

The humidity was a killer that evening. I had a very nice cool white crepe dress and white heels. A friend loaned me a gauzy purple shawl and tiny handbag so I was all set. When my 'date' arrived in his suit, I felt very grown up.

He had a 1959 Pontiac convertible--baby blue. That thing was a tank. He had a glasspack muffler so let's just say you could hear him coming and going. He had the top down when he arrived, which was just fine because I had enough hair spray on my hair to make it qualify as a football helmet. And away we went!

He chose a very nice restaurant--The Black Angus. We left the top down since it was such a warm night. Inside was cool, chilly enough I was glad I had the shawl, and really dim with little candles on the table. My experience with restaurants was very limited, but looking back, this was a pretty formal place. There were heavy white tablecloths and napkins and flowers.

It was a lovely meal. We even had dessert! And while polishing that off, we decided to go bowling. Once the check was paid, we pushed the heavy outer doors open and stared in dismay at the rain pouring down. Yep. Pouring.

The storm moved on quickly, but the damage was done. We crossed the wide boulevard and surveyed his car. After a moment, he walked around and opened the doors so the water on the floor could roll out. Then he opened the trunk, took out an old ragged towel and a blanket. After wiping the doors, dash, and steering wheel, he spread the blanket over the seats and sort of smiled. "Ready?"

Heh. It was a foretaste of the many disasters we faced together over the next forty-plus years. Disaster happens. We clean up. And we go on.

We went bowling. We stopped at an ice cream joint and had a sundae. And at eleven PM sharp (my curfew), he parked in front of our apartment. I had a great time.

I'm so glad that Facebook posting reminded me of my long-ago 'prom' night.   

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful memory! I never went to a prom or a school dance.