Grace, the World interjects, you obviously mistyped that. Prom isn’t a tragedy! Prom is the most magical night of a young girl’s life, filled with romance and sparkles and unicorn fluff. It’s right up there with Getting Married and Bleeding From the Uterus on the list of days that define a woman. You loved prom, Grace. You felt like Pretty Princess Grace of Prettyville. Tell the people the truth!
Okay, fine. I totally felt like a princess. My hair, long and blonde, was artfully curled into Lana Turner waves and my dress was—to date—one of the most gorgeous things I’ve ever worn. With the agreement that I would wear it to both junior and senior proms, my mom splurged on an espresso-colored silk taffeta ball gown, embellished with a trailing spiral of embroidered copper roses. It was fancy pants. It was—let’s be honest—fucking baller. It didn’t matter that my date was a complete stranger, or that we were going to Macaroni Grill for dinner. This was a bewitching night of wonderment!
Well, it was until we arrived at the actual prom, anyway. Despite having attended many 21st century dances, I expected more from this one. Prom was classy! Prom was magical! Prom was when boys turned from smelly dorks into Cary Grant. I was born to go to prom.
In my mind, prom looked like this:
I was deranged. My grasp on reality dulled by too many viewings of Meet Me in St. Louis. For modern prom, of course, looks like this:
My brain exploded. Grey matter splattered everywhere, as dreams were dashed. Rubbing crotches with that guy who sits behind you in Calculus is not dancing. It’s dry humping. There’s nothing wrong with it, explicitly, but it probably shouldn’t be done in public and it definitely shouldn’t be mistaken for “moving rhythmically to music, using prescribed or improvised steps and gestures.” There was no magic that night, only awkward fumbling.
Our society is crumbling, readers. When did people decide that oafish twitching was a proper substitute for the waltz? In less than fifty years, we’ve gone from turns and technique to shuffling side to side, pumping our pelvises. Teenagers don’t learn to dance anymore, they learn to pantomime sex. With a bit of booty shaking and crotch grabbing, we imagine ourselves to be Beyonce or Justin Timberlake.
No, darlings, just no. This is the great lie of modern culture. What they’re doing is Hip Hop. It’s actual, legit dancing that takes a lot of practice and talent. What we’re doing is ungainly grinding. These are not the same thing! This is why clubs are the most horrid of places. A strange man rubbing his hardening junk against your badonkadonk is not dancing, but sexual harassment. In what other setting would this be appropriate? When browsing the history aisle of Barnes & Noble, dudes do not gyrate their manhoods against me. If they did, cops would be called! In a dimly lit club, however, this is accepted behavior.
Shouldn’t dancing be readily distinguishable from a criminal misdemeanor? Maybe I sound like that old woman next door, yelling at meddlesome kids to stop trampling her petunias, but I refuse to grind with.you. When friends ask me to go dancing, they should mean swing dancing. I want my skirt to twirl and my heart to race! There should be minimal chance of my partner imitating a Great Pyrenees on Viagra, in the process. Someone, anyone, bring the standards and the sexy back.
I don’t want to get my freak on, kittens, I just want to tango!