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Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Prom That Never Was

Do you remember your prom?

 I don't. That's because I never had one. Not that I was sick or injured, but because our school didn't have one. Instead we had the "JS Fellowship" (JS=Junior/Senior) Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I went to a conservative Christian co-ed school, so this was their "version" of the prom, a way for them to say "Look, we gave you SOMETHING like a prom, so stop calling us dinosaurs, OK?"

Everyone dressed to the hilt? Check. Dinner and a theme? Check. Co-ed pairings? Nuh-uh.

As I recall from our "memo", boys and girls should maintain "some distance" to avoid "'suspicious behavior". Tables were arranged in big groups (around 10 people to a table) to further discourage "secret couplings" from doing whatever it is couples at that age were expected to be doing. The event started with a Kumbaya type song, standing at our tables with hands get the picture. Somehow I think from this point, it really veered sharply away from what everyone expected a "prom" to be. The only part that I think was universally accepted was the passing of the key from the senior class to the junior class. The night got lost in a mix of Bible quotations, some adminstrators' speeches, and the long queue for the food. Getting intoxicated without alcohol - how sad does that sound?

Dance? What dance? That would violate the "no couples" rule.

I wonder now, though: If we had a chance to actually re-do the prom, and we got to choose a person to bring for a date, who would each and everyone bring?

No, I'm not drunk while writing this. High school can be a terrifying time, and particularly brutal and lethal for a few. When I hear now of kids going berserk in schools, gunning down their classmates and teachers, or of teachers who got just a little too close to their students, I reflect back on that time in my life where the word "innocent" actually meant not knowing certain things and how the world works.

It is an innocence that we can no longer reclaim. Nor can we afford at this time. The world has changed so much in so short a time that I wonder for my classmates who have children now what a frightening prospect it must be when parents don't always know all the answers anymore. I fear for the new world we are now entering, where the possibilities are so myriad, things that were once the stuff of fiction are already becoming obsolete.

Yes, it is an uncertain time. But I keep my hope up that our shared humanity - in this time of great social upheaval - will see us through. Whatever creed, belief, morality or religion we cling to, I am hopeful that we will remain respectful of each other. It is the one thing I am counting on humanity to uphold as a species - that despte the differences, we will not only co-exist, but thrive.

After all, we shouldn't deny anyone their night at the prom. No matter the version.


  1. hahahaha funny ;-) are you guys in a seminary and convent? ;-)

  2. Thank God Joey that you finally got around to creating your own blog. I always love to see what you have to say about anything and everything. We may not always agree on certain issues but you state your opinions so passionately and so clearly that I can't help but listen and consider what you have to say.

    You know what? I didn't enjoy my prom either. I had this idea that prom is supposed to be a rite of passage. A ritual that every teen should go through so they can have a glimpse of what it is like to be in a "sosyalan", getting all primped, dressing up and trying your best to fit in, without losing yourself in the process. On the contrary, you should be able to find the "real" you in a setting that is "artificial". But society always dictates that you should be a certain weight, height, "look", social status or should have the right "date". Worrying about all of these things takes away all the experiences that should be enjoyable. I hope that when it's Rain's turn, she will be able to see this event, not as something to dread but something to look forward to, and hopefully learn something from, whatever she may look like, or wear or who her "date" may be.

    Keep on writing Joey... and please keep me posted :-)

  3. Twenty years after that concentration camp run by Dr. J, our batch finally had that prom that we never had in the form of our recently concluded reunion. :)