This is the winter formal at my Midwestern high school—I’m on the left. The first thing to know about this dance is that I asked my date to accompany me and he said, “I’ll think about it.” How I survived that mortification, I don’t know. He eventually accepted, though, and off we went. You might think I’ve cropped him out of this picture out of spite, but in fact, the guy I was posing with was a friend. I’ve lost touch with him, and since I could find him to say, “Hey! You’re totally fine with being posted on a romance publisher’s blog in all your 1980s glory, right?” I had to do the responsible thing and crop him out. Which is too bad because he was wearing the bitchinest cropped double-breasted suit. I know the point of Throwback Thursday is to mock our past selves, but I genuinely thought that suit was the height of stylishness in a sea of rental tuxedos, and it would totally stand up today.
The second thing to know about this dance is that I turned sixteen a couple weeks before it. All of my friends were either still fifteen or not allowed to get their driver’s licenses. So if we didn’t want our parents to drop us off and pick us up (the horror!), I had to get mine. Dudes, I did it. I passed that damned test, and I drove us and two other couples to a suburban steakhouse and then to the dance in my parents’ Dodge minivan. I’m not really sure why my parents allowed it except that I was an inordinately serious kid who would never have dreamed of doing anything sketchy (I’m making up for that these days). True to form, I remember making everyone be silent and refusing to turn on the radio so I could concentrate on my awesome responsibility.
What am I wearing here, you might ask? Why, that is a black velvet dress with a gold lamé lace overskirt. And of course there is the 1980s claw bang. Not pictured: puffed sleeves. Also not pictured: my hair is pulled into a frizzy ponytail secured with a ginormous black rose clip edged in gold. What can I say? The 1980s were very matchy-matchy. Why could I not have made a more timeless choice, like my friend in her classic sleeveless number and timeless non-teased hairdo? I don’t know, but that wouldn’t be as amusing today, would it? You’re welcome.