By Gail Nott
Recently, I was accused by one of our ex-pat matriarchs of “throwing my breasts on the shoulders of a married man to sexually entice him.” I was very flattered by this false accusation; I had never considered it possible to throw my chest anywhere. But this incident triggered memories of my first prom.
I was a freshman and the man of my dreams was Bruce, a junior from another town. After endless discussions with Mother, rules the Geneva Convention hadn’t thought of, a lengthy and confusing lecture about sex, I got approval to accept Bruce’s invitation.
The home-fire coffers were empty; the search for a prom gown and shoes began with my classmates. Eventually, the older sister of my friend, Lynn, agreed I could borrow one of her gowns and matching shoes. The fact that Lynn’s sister was extremely well-endowed never fazed me; I was 14 years old, and going to a Junior Prom!
The dress was pale blue. Four crinolines had to be worn to fluff out the mid-calf length skirt, the mid-section was row upon row of tight little pleats and it was strapless. Undaunted, I tried on the dress. If I pushed my stomach out, I could keep it from sliding over my hips to the floor.
I glanced down at the cavernous bodice of the dress; only cold air filled the space. Half a box of Kleenex later, we made contact. Cotton balls were stuffed in the toes of the shoes. Still 1 1/2/ sizes too big, but I was ready to attend my first prom.
Princess Di didn’t have as much help for her wedding as I did, getting ready that evening. Four friends teased and sprayed my hair. Even if there wasn’t a roll bar in Bruce’s car, there would be no chance of a head injury.
We all stared in the bathroom mirror at the “zit” on my chin that had tripled in size since the previous night. A Band-Aid was too obvious, and Clearasil didn’t cover it; Cover Girl delicately applied with a putty knife was the only recourse. Then the Kleenex and cotton balls were strategically placed and I just knew that I resembled Jackie O.
Bruce looked so handsome in his powder blue tuxedo jacket, but the cummerbund looked a little out of place down around his hips. As he reached toward me to pin my corsage on, I panicked. I knew the front of the gown would not withstand any extra weight. Bruce blushed, thinking I was being modest as I grabbed the corsage out of his hand, and pinned it to my purse.
The auditorium was decorated with blue and white crepe paper, small white lights and an archway of toilet paper tissue flowers. As we walked through the archway, I could see heads move toward each other and hands covering mouths. Let ‘em eat their hearts out. Bruce had brought me to the Taneytown Junior Prom!
Slow dancing to Little Anthony and the Imperials was magic. But when the DJ played Jerry Lee Lewis, disaster struck; as I boogied to the left, my dress moved to the right. It was as if two sink holes had suddenly materialized. The Kleenex had compressed and was slowly moving down my ribs and toward my back. Bruce, ever the gentleman, made no comment until I danced out of my shoes. The cotton balls had wedged into the pointy toe of the shoes. It is likely I wasn’t the only girl stuffing paper into the front of her dress in the Ladies Room, but I knew Bruce would never ask me out again.
Because my curfew was midnight, all our wonderful plans to go to a round of after-prom parties were wiped out. Bruce was extremely romantic on the drive home, his arm around my shoulders; only when he had to shift gears did I repeatedly hit my head on the dashboard. While I was anticipating our first kiss, the fear that Bruce would attempt to touch the bodice of my dress and find only toilet paper dampened the moment. Lips ended up on chins and noses, and thankfully, the porch light was going off and on.
This provided me an excuse to slide out of the car, with Bruce quickly following. As I moved into his arms for a “Good Night” kiss, his hug tightened. Even through four crinolines, I felt a bulge against the front of my leg. Though mother had made it clear that making contact with specific areas of the male anatomy was dangerous, I held tight to Bruce, glowing with the knowledge that I had actually sexually enticed a man!