Prom Nightmares

Maureen Johnson has once again thrown a gauntlet for the eager Twitter masses to run.

maureenjohnsonmaureenjohnson maureenjohnson

Tell me your #promnightmares. *puts hands on chin, listens*

And that’s all she needs to do to send Twitter a-buzzing. Because she’s Maureen eff-ing Johnson and that’s how she rolls.

Some highlights from this call to arms include:

Natalie ParkerStarTripper Natalie Parker

@maureenjohnson I was brutally attacked. By a bat. #promnightmares

Ashley RautenstrauchHolyPunsBatman Ashley Rautenstrauch

@maureenjohnson Two words: Foam Machine. #promnightmares

Alicia AuBuchonAlicia07 Alicia AuBuchon

@maureenjohnson My date hit a gardener on the way out of his driveway. Then we ate dinner at Auntie Anne’s at the mall. #promnightmares

Abielle RoseAbielleRose Abielle Rose

@maureenjohnson iwe weren’t allowed to bring dates (strict Catholic school) and I ended up dancing with a priest. It was awkward.

Lauren MillerLmichelle705 Lauren Miller

@maureenjohnson my date spent the whole limo ride, and most of the night, pretending to be a pterodactyl #promnightmares

But after all this hilarity, I feel like sharing my own prom nightmare. Because I’m just thoughtful like that.

Having been home schooled for most of my high school career, I didn’t get a traditional prom. However, I was in luck – sort of. At the time, I was 17 and living in a small West Virginia town, known for having at one point been a tourist town and hub for artists in the mountains. Now it’s home to nudist colonies, New Ager’s, and crotchety old hicks trying to pass the crap in their yard as antiques. But I digress. Let me return to Twitter for just a moment.

Maria D'Isidoro@Maria_Disidoro Maria D’Isidoro
@maureenjohnson My prom was hosted at the eccentric millionaires castle on the mountainside. It was fairy-themed. We wore wings. #promnightmares

You’d think I’m joking, but I’m not. I’m reminded of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, where the narrator describes just how weird Savannah is. My little town was a little like that only even poorer and without the varied ethnicities and historical color to justify or excuse the wonkiness.

There really is a castle on the mountain. You used to be able to tour it, but an eccentric millionaire bought it a few years ago and turned it into his home. Somedays, you could see him walking down the main street, wearing a top hat and twirling  a cane. Did I mention that he was eccentric?

a less than 100% accurate portrayal of my prom location

To make him seem like less of an asshole for buying a local historical monument and rehabing it into a personal residence, he hosts parties there. One of these was a Faery Ball, which became a substitute prom for the many home school teenagers in the area (the local high school had an astonishingly high pregnancy rate and quietly encouraged the bullying of children of divorced parents. Mom and I agreed I did not need that shit).

Since the many local New Age and holistic shops helped set up and sponsor this non-prom, it had to be faery themed so that attendees would have to go to those stores to purchase wings. Oh, there were so many wings. And fox tails. And glow sticks.

The ball started off nicely enough. It’s hard not to enjoy a castle. And there was a novelty to a party where everyone was in masks and wings that only a teenager or the mentally infirm can truly enjoy for longer than an hour (wings are a bitch to dance with). Unfortunately, the ball wasn’t just for us poorly socialized home schoolers; it was an open invitation. That meant that anyone in town could come. Including the poorly socialized aged.

I can sum up my feelings for the night by relating one horrific dance. The wings were the only warning I had of what was to come; the jostling behind me was different from the usual instances of bumping into other winged dancers. I turned around, assuming that it was my Mom trying to get my attention by tugging my wings. Oh, how wrong was I. So, so very wrong.

wait for it...

There we go.

Behind me is the worst nightmare of any teenage girl with a modicum of self-esteem.

Pants up the waist, suspenders circa 1976, socks exposed, wearing sandals, reeking of tobacco and Sprite, with a comb-over that would make Donald Trump weep and sporting stained dentures, is a man in his mid-to-late 60’s trying to grind against me to Madonna’s Vogue. And he followed me for the rest of the night. There was no where I could go to escape.

Eventually, I hid in the castle, giving him the run around in crowds until he lost sight of me. Then, free at last, I ditched my heels and walked down the mountain back to the town square where my mother’s car awaited to take me home to showers and frumpy clothes. I couldn’t listen to Madonna for a year.


About Morgan Maria D'Isidoro

Morgan Maria D'Isidoro has lived in Baltimore, MD for most of her life, saving a handful of failed escape attempts. Given the murder rates, she'll probably die here too. Morgan is a writer of speculative fiction and poetry, a musician of dubious quality, cat aficionado, art history fangirl, kitchen sorceress, recovering pyromaniac, accomplished liar, and an all around person of questionable employability.
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