Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The king, the queen and their court

I am not quite sure how to write this blog without coming across as holding onto the past way too much and being totally and completely ridiculous and a dash pathetic. At the same time, I figure why not? At this point I have already written about quite a few things I cannot believe and shared more than I ever imagined. Why not open it up to one of the most ridiculous, uncomfortable and predictable rights of passage I willingly participated in during high school.

What could I possibly be talking about? I am talking about those typical high school dances where a king, a queen and a court were selected. Now, I can only speak to my personal experience at Uxbridge High School. We didn't have students vote, it was thought voting would cause a popularity contest, I assume.  All I remember is walking around in a circle at our junior and senior prom with my dates. I was reminded today when someone mentioned prom, I felt a bit sad that all that came to mind, after throwing up a little bit in my mouth, was our parading around like cattle-- I guess at least we weren't in swim wear. I am pretty sure for Homecoming and Snowball staff and teachers just kind of hovered. I don't remember walking in a circle for those.

Now, I totally understand that it is a tradition to have a king, queen and court for these dances, I guess? I mean, what is the point of dressing up nice if someone doesn't win, right (sorry, sense the sarcasm). All that being said, I think I would be lying if didn't admit that I was hoping and praying for my own personal moment, which clearly never happened. Perhaps that should have been another section of my "What If" blog? What if? Would I have been a different person if I ever got on court, or was ever "queen." I hope you can hear the sarcasm drip off each and every word, however, I have to admit, it kind of burned each time I wasn't chosen.

At the same time, I also am not for everyone getting "gold stars". I know a lot of arguments can be made for the importance of learning how to be a graceful "loser" and congratulating the "winners." Don't get me wrong, I never expected to win and would have probably passed out from shock if I did, however, I think all those 80's movies had me convinced at some point, it would happen.

I can honestly remember dreading the moment at each and every dance. I was never quite sure how people chose who would be on court and who would be the king and queen? I honestly never knew how they chose, but I think I pretty much batted an 800-900 as far as guessing correctly, before even arriving at the dance. It was pretty much always the same people (pretty much). Now, don't get me wrong, the people who got chosen always looked just beautiful and spectacular (and often my good friends), I just never quite understood how some "looked" better than others and honestly never knew if they were going off of dress color, or rock, paper scissors? I always felt like everyone honestly looked "their best" at these dances so I cannot imagine how people chose, regardless. I personally think it would have been just as meaningful to have names picked out of a hat, or perhaps have some type of activity to choose "the winners." In general I don't agree with being judged and winning based on looks, but again, that doesn't mean I never wanted to "win."

All I know is that it lent itself to actually wearing make-up, which I never did, putting on nylons (dear lord) and actually doing my hair, well Linda always did my hair. Regardless, here I was, finding the entire process ridiculous, but still doing it? Why? I had a wonderful time at each dance and was lucky to have many awesome dates. There aren't any dances that were too awful, I am sure many tears were shed, often, but I don't really have any traumatic memories, well, ok, maybe that isn't true, but regardless.

My sister "won" prom queen her senior year, I guess? Or maybe it was her junior year. My parents and sister told me they picked her name out of a hat, but I don't believe them for one second. Maybe they were telling the truth, but all it ever felt like was they trying to make me "not feel bad." Why? Because everyone knew I never "won". See, this alone makes me feel like everyone knows that it is a tradition that carries weight, and clearly affects people one way, or another. I still, to this day, do not believe her name was picked out of a hat, but I guess I appreciate their pity and effort to make me not feel so bad for being surpassed, yet again.

I feel like this blog would hold much more weight if I had been chosen and was also writing it. I guess I am just wondering how other people experienced this long-time tradition? How did other schools "handle" this? Was it always the same people? Is it an important practice and tradition? I know some schools make a big deal with Homecoming and have them go out onto the field during the football game, ride in a car, etc. etc.

I guess I am realizing more and more each and every day that I am a proud feminist who continues to battle with the fact that not being chosen clearly affected me enough to write about it all 15 years later (happy 15 years to all you '97-ers). I guess it disappoints me a bit, makes me curious and kind of sad. I am not looking for anything here, certainly not losing any sleep over it, I guess I just needed to vent. I continue to surprise myself and will find solace in the fact that I will certainly at least "be on the court" on my wedding day :)

and that's all she wrote...

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