His name was Kurt. We went to high school together. He was a year ahead of me. I think it was my junior year. We took creative writing together one semester. I remember his appearance. He had very fair skin and very light blonde curly hair. I am pretty sure that he wore glasses. I also think he sat kitty corner across the classroom from me (we sat at tables in a “U” formation instead of in rows of desks). I remember his being nice but not really knowing or noticing much about his personality. As I recall, he was fairly quiet. He was one of the boys at school who was into muscle cars and he had some kind of old but “cool” car like a Ford Mustang, or something.

One day, as I was walking in the hallway from one class to another, he stopped me. I don’t recall ever having had a one to one conversation with him previously, but then again, I could have forgotten many. I am and was pretty friendly and talked to many people. Kurt looked assumed a very relaxed stance and with apparent nonchalance, asked me to his senior prom.

You may already know that I never attended a formal dance at school: No prom, no homecoming, and no winter ball. I did not attend any university formal dances; those were mostly for sorority girls. I was not in a sorority and honestly, at that time, would have avoided attending any event like that.

So, if I was asked to prom and didn’t go, I must have told Kurt, “no”, right?

Strictly speaking, that’s the truth. But the part that still embarrasses me and makes me feel guilty is that I told him, “yes” when he asked me and then changed my mind and cancelled on him the next day. I was afraid. I didn’t really know him. He wasn’t one of the boys who I was wanting to ask me out, either. And he drove a hot rod! I was afraid that he would be one of those boys who would pressure me for sex on prom night or try to get me drunk!   I backed out in as nice of a way as possible. I later got to know him a little better and he probably would have been a good date. I could have been able to attend a major high school “coming of age” social event and NOT hurt a boy’s feelings. Oh yeah, I may have even had a good time.

About four weeks ago I was reading my neighborhood’s community blog. I saw that a “Second Chance Prom” was to be held as a charity benefit, at the golf course down the street from me. The tickets were very reasonably priced and it looked like a small, low key affair. So I bought two tickets and made an additional donation to the charity. Then I told John that he was taking me and as I had hoped, he readily and enthusiastically accepted.

I spent more time choosing clothing and accessories for my Second Chance Prom than I did for my wedding. I got my hair and make up done professionally. For my own wedding, I cut my own hair, styled it, and did my own make up using drug store cosmetics. But this is grown up prom! I wanted to get the best out of it and enjoy the process leading up to the event as much as I could. I trusted that I would not go crazy. After all, I will always be a discount shopper.

I tried on a lot of dresses. The one I ultimately chose was not my favorite based on photos. But it fit almost perfectly, required no uncomfortable foundation garments, was comfortable, and fit the James Bond theme of the prom. Also, it had an open back, which I knew John would like, and I looked about as good as I could.

Yesterday started as “glam day”. After my walk, I spent about 45 minutes online looking at photos to inspire hair and make-up ideas. If I were going to look like a Bond Girl, I wanted to go retro. I started getting a few ideas from photos of actresses from James Bond films from the late 60’s and early 70’s. Then I just started thinking about actresses from that time period and I thought, “What about Ann-Margaret?” Ding, ding, ding! I found an old photo of her with glam hair and make-up well suited to the time period as well as my hair.

My husband did not want to see my dress so I wore a coat over it, though he could see the bottom of it since it was a full length gown. He had still not picked out his outfit. Most of his button-down shirts are Hawaiian shirts. Knowing how overheated he gets, I even told him that I didn’t mind if he wanted to wear one. My only request was, “Please, no sneakers.”

He drove me to the salon with the plan that he would pick me up later and take me to dinner. This would be his way of picking me up for prom. I thought that was really sweet. I have gone to this salon for many years, so people know me there. They loved the idea of my going to prom and were excited to see John pick me up. I was seeing a different stylist for my make up and hair, Candace, who was recommended by my regular hair stylist, Megan.

I showed Candace the photo. She immediately understood what I wanted. Megan also came over during one of her breaks and said, “Good choice!” Candace was funny and sweet. I had arrived with a clean face and clean, frizzy hair. She styled my hair first and then did my make up. At one point, she said, “You are looking really glamorous, Dude. You clean up well.” When she was finished, I could tell that she was proud of her work. She said, “Let me parade you around the salon.” I followed her to the other side of the salon, where Megan was working. She also approved.

I was very pleased. Candace took a couple of photos of me for her portfolio and sweetly gave me a hug before she left to work with her next client. My husband arrived and responded in a positive but slightly stunned way. Then we got our photo taken together. John then kept asking me to pose for photos. And by “pose” I mean he instructed me on how to pose, a good thing because I have one pose and that is it. I think he said, “Wow” about five times. We had a great dinner.

We knew no one at the dance. But we were both ready to have a good prom. We danced when we wanted to even if we were the only couple on the dance floor. John sat down when he needed to. (It was hot and his back is still bothering him.) I danced even if he wasn’t dancing.

I danced even when I was the only one on the dance floor. I just enjoyed myself. I enjoyed the experience of dancing, which is something I love to do. I’m sure that I raised a few eyebrows. When I “get into the zone” with dancing, there is a certain level of abandon that people typically associate with um, intoxication. If this had been high school, there would have been mean gossip. As I keep saying, age has its benefits. After about 1 1/2 hours of dancing, I took off my shoes and went barefoot because I could tell that my feet were going to hurt, if I didn’t. After another 1 1/2 hours, we called it quits. My hip was hurting and John was drenched with sweat.

I missed my first chance at prom because I was afraid. I could have missed my second chance by being self-conscious about my body, my age, or being the only person on the dance floor. But I didn’t miss it and I had the time of my life with the man I love.


Hubby opted not to wear a Hawaiian shirt and his one blue dress shirt perfectly coordinated with my dress. And for those of you who have had breast construction, the little dent under my right underarm would probably be described as a “deficit” from a reconstructive surgery standpoint. Does it bother you? It didn’t bother me, either! And if the appearance of symmetry is important to you, the neckline of this dress is helpful in that regard.


The best kind of smile comes from laughing in delight at your husband's insistence on taking a million photos of you.

The best kind of smile comes from laughing in delight at your husband’s insistence on taking a million photos of you.


Dinner at "the most romantic table" at Salty's, which has a splendid view of Elliot Bay and the downtown skyline.

Dinner at “the most romantic table” at Salty’s, which has a splendid view of Elliot Bay and the downtown skyline.


Corsage and prom bling on display.

Corsage and prom bling on display.