Other feelings rise up, as your child fast approaches her milestone. This one, graduating high school. The prom is still with me. I was proud, truly, when The Teenager told me she’d be asking her closest companion at school, the Lady I, to prom. Not waiting on a boy to ask. My daughter had no interest in that let down of an evening spent. Throughout high school, there were platonic male friends who made pacts with The Teenager, the we’ll-go-to-prom-together-if-we’re-single, but as senior year unfolded, her circles shifted, and The Teenager’s focus turned to other things: her book, college, her stand up. A recurring theme of empowerment and actual interest. I sat on the sidelines, watching her blossom, her independence, always a constant, rising to another level. These themes manifested. When prom season rolled around, revealed in this choice, of asking the Lady I. Not waiting. Taking the initiative. Addressing what matters to her—the value of female friendship—and giving it its due. The Teenager planned how’d she’d pull off this prom-posal, for months. She wanted to surprise the Lady I. She wanted to bestow upon her dear friend a moment of sweetness in an otherwise dire day, that long slough of the final months of senior year, where every minute is a lifetime, the countdown to finally escaping. The Teenager and the Lady I have been friends, closely aligned, since ninth grade. The Teenager, socially adept, found a way to connect with different girls throughout her four years; the Lady I was always the constant. In their senior year, they clung to each other, knowing they had each other’s back. The Lady I shared The Teenager’s obsession with rom-com’s; it was fitting that The Teenager surprised her dear friend with a rom-com montage, playing in their class as the Lady I walked in. There was Colin Firth, alongside the Lady I’s other friends and classmates, celebrating this sweet child; I love watching the video (of course, one of their friends recorded it), seeing the Lady I slowly realizing that in this dark room was a throne to her: filled with her classmates, friends paying homage to her, and knowing that The Teenager was behind it all. The beaming, bright cheeks of these two friends, in embrace, a prom-posal that was unexpected and completely welcomed. Not in the slightest bit corny; simply and purely truly special. I was thrilled we could do pre-prom on my turf, that The Teenager would be surrounded by people she loved, taking photos, a happiness enveloping them. The girls walked proudly in their gowns on Saturday night, arm in arm. To the prom, at the midtown hotel. They danced for hours. They came back to my apartment. Changed into their after-prom dresses. Went to the party all of their friends and not-really their friends were. I don’t know what time they got home and it doesn’t matter; they had the best night. And they get to share it with each other, for all time. A prom filled with wonder. And absolutely no drama. I was filled with gushiness, wanting to hug them both so hard, but playing it cool, because, come on.
Mindy Kaling: “This one is just for guys: When you go on dates, act as if every woman you’re talking to is a reporter for an online publication that you are scared of…One shouldn’t need the threat of public exposure and scorn to treat women well; but if that’s what it’s gonna take, fine. Date like everyone’s watching, because we are.”
Loretta Lynn. Listen.
The women of Instagram, senior style
A period in Nepal is not a rite of spring.
I love Laurie Kilmartin.
And now have a laugh with Jackie Kashian.