You probably think I'm going to make fun of Marche Taylor for wearing a skimpy dress to her prom and getting escorted out in handcuffs, don't you? Admit it: you think I'm going to go off on a rant about how the kids are out of control these days and the world is going to hell in a handbasket and nobody knows how to make a decent handbasket anymore. That would be a great rant for an older, more conservative blogger1, but me? Come on. I can actually relate to Ms. Taylor's plight, because I went through something very similar at my own prom.
The year was 1999. Limp Bizkit and Smashmouth were at the top of the charts, people were legitimately concerned that their computers might kill them on New Year's Eve, and there I was, standing outside my senior prom in a leather harness and a pair of assless chaps.
Our principal, Dr. Louis Killjoy Sr., was standing in front of the doors with his arms folded across his chest. "You're not coming in here dressed like that," Dr. Killjoy said.
"I completely understand," I replied. "This is a ridiculous outfit for me to be wearing to senior prom. What was I thinking?"
"Well, I'm glad we see eye to eye on this. Put 'er there," he said, holding out his hand. I tried to shake it, but my hand kept slipping out. "Are you slathered from head to toe in baby oil?" he asked.
"No," I lied.
"Thank God," he said. "If you were, it would be nearly impossible for us to catch you if you tried to run through this security gate into the prom."
A few minutes of blank staring went by.
"I see," I lied.
"You know - because you're too slippery to grab."
Another minute or two went by, and we both looked at our watches. Mine was too smudged from the baby oil to read, but I pretended I could read it anyway and looked around impatiently, as if to say, "Come on, people - let's move it along." A few dozen people stood behind me in line with the same expression on their faces.
"You're an idiot, Wolinsky," Dr. Killjoy said. "Go home."
I took his advice, and the next day I went out for pie with my friends. They all told me the prom had been lovely.
A few weeks later we all went to college and never saw each other again.
1 Like an 88-year-old, for example.