My friend Ami’s blog, Writing Out Loud, recently featured a post entitled “Polka Dotted Dreams.” I was instantly inspired by her vivid description to write my own post based on her prompt over at her Creativity Corner. Go check Ami out now & follow her–she’s such an amazing writer and a dear friend to boot. My own rather lame attempt is below. Please pardon my crooked pics!
My sophomore year of high school I decided I was going to the annual Homecoming Dance come Hell or high water. I’d missed it the year before because no one had asked me and I wasn’t brave enough to do the asking. I mustered up every ounce of courage I had to call this guy. I blurted out in a breathless rush, “I-know-we-haven’t-talked-in-forever-I’m-sorry-and-I-know-you-probably-don’t-want-to-but-I’m-dying-to-go-to-this-dance-will-you-go-with-me?” He said he would, and I eagerly commenced making all the plans: who we’d double with, where we’d go out to dinner beforehand, and who’d be doing the chauffeuring.
I had to have this dress. It could have been worse, I suppose, but it sure was poofy on top. The large polka-dotted bow detracted from my annoyingly flat chest (or so I thought). I’d fallen in love with the polka dots. I had to have it.
The night was fun, but nothing especially memorable. A ton of hormonally-charged teenagers crowded in some rented room at a country club, dancing and laughing. I vaguely remember feeling self conscious, being rather quiet, and awkwardly making conversation with my date.
This polka-dotted dress symbolizes the end of my innocence. No, I didn’t lose my virginity that night. But the morning after the dance my dad sat us all down and told us he was gay. And then he packed up and moved out.
The very same dress I’d loved and worn and shimmied on the dance floor in only the night before now sat in a rumpled heap on my closet floor. I couldn’t look at it. It made me remember my other life, the life that had existed just hours prior, a life free from anger and resentment and shock and sadness.
I never wore it again. It’s still hard to look at these photos and remember.
A practice run & dance lesson in the dress after we’d bought it.