The subject of today’s blog is also the reason I didn’t do this blog yesterday. It was Prom Day, and my daughter had requested dinner for her entourage at our house. So I had to slave, yes literally slave, over a hot stove AND clean my house for the six sets of parents who would be coming over to take pictures. I’d like to spend this entire blog whining about how tired my legs were but I know, as a writer, that you will not read any further if that’s all you have to look forward to, so I’ll talk about interesting things, starting with the make-up artist fiasco.

Actually, I’ll start a little earlier because those of you who read about the problems we had finding a dress will be pleased to learn that the alterations turned out beautifully – the dress fit like it had been tailored and made my already gorgeous daughter (people say she looks like me) into a veritable beauty queen. Too bad about what happened to it.

The girls all skipped school because they had to get pedicures, updos, and makeup done. I wasn’t too keen on that but my daughter pointed out that, “Everyone else skips school all the time and I haven’t missed a day all year. Katie misses class so much and she’s stoned most of the time and Celina….” They wear you down.

She got a purple pedicure, “it matches my green dress,” and she got curls in her hair. The next thing was makeup. At an auction, Jenna’s mother bid on the services of a makeup artist who would come to the home and do a small group for a special occasion. That was scheduled for 3:00. At about 2:00 the artist called and said she couldn’t make it because her husband was called unexpectedly into work and she didn’t have a ride. “We can come to your house,” Jenna said, to which to artist replied, “Oh, and there are child care issues, too.” “We can babysit.” “That won’t work, look I’ll call you Monday and we can reschedule.”

We live in Oregon, and it normally rains from November to July. On rare occasion, we get a sunny day. Ever rarer is a sunny day AND a warmer temperature. Yesterday it was sunny with a high of 71 degrees – downright Hawaiian for Portland. This may or may not have had a bearing on the artist’s sudden decision to break the hearts of these sweet girls just hours before their prom.

Of course this change in their perfect day was the end of the world. They all decided to call their dates and cancel the whole thing. Well, the thought crossed their minds, but then they rallied and stuffed their own makeup into duffle bags and came to my house to put it on. They crammed themselves into one small bathroom and stayed in there for about an hour with the iPod blaring so loud it drowned out all but the loudest squeals. At one point my daughter came in and said, “Sam put fake eyelashes on me, does this one look crooked?” I’m not a fan of fake eyelashes, mostly because I’ve never successfully gotten them unstuck from my fingers to transfer them to my eyelid. “They look beautiful,” I said.

When the girls emerged in their tank tops and shorts, they were knockouts. I don’t think a selfish, unreliable, flaky makeup/con artist could have done any better. At 5:30 – fifteen minutes before the boys and parents were to arrive, they raced out the door to go to Jenna’s house to get a memory stick for her camera. Good grief! Luckily they were back in 7.38 minutes and dressed in 2.4, so they milled around in their gorgeous dresses, looking for something to spill on them. My daughter succeeded. She rubbed up against something oily, Lord knows where, and had spots on the front AND back of her dress. All that shopping, altering, the tears, the fights, and finally finding the perfect dress (that cost a small fortune) only to have her get it dirty within minutes of putting it on. Kids – you gotta love ‘em or you’d strangle ‘em.  

All the parents arrived on time (5:45) and we took pictures of the girls, but where were the boys? Everyone knows that girls are supposed to be late. It’s almost a requirement. But there were strange forces at work – a sunny day in May, false eyelashes that looked real, I hadn’t burnt the chicken – and now late boys. And I don’t mean fashionably late. They didn’t arrive for 45 minutes. They’d all gotten ready together, which means that instead of pulling up their pants, buttoning their shirts, clipping on their ties and tying their shoes at their own homes, they were at a friend’s doing it all at one time. How could they have been 45 minutes late? They blamed it on Luke’s mom. “She kept making us pose for more pictures.” They were awfully cute in their purple and green ties and black shoes so pointed they could have used them for arrows.

We took every combination of pictures you could imagine – serious, funny, girls only, boys only, moms and kids, dads and kids, couples only, couples only on stairs, group on stairs, group funny, couples funny, my daughter holding the dog. Finally, exhausted, the parents packed up and left an hour and a half after they came, and we served the first course – Caesar salad.

My husband was the dapper waiter – carrying plates out of the kitchen and refreshing their sparkling apple-pomegranate cider. Then I dished up their plates with chicken with lemon sauce, herbed rice, marinated green beans and garnishes of snow peas, radishes, petite pear tomatoes, baby corn and tiny radishes. It was pretty, though I knew most of them wouldn’t touch the garnishes. Then we cleared their dinner plates and served a lovely cake on a pedestal that Sharon brought, plus strawberries with whipped cream. A feast!

My kids won’t stay at a dinner table more than ten minutes unless forced, but this bunch wouldn’t leave. My legs were throbbing. Every now and then one of them would say, “Shouldn’t we leave?” and I bit my tongue before saying “YES!” out loud. Then someone else would say, “I’m having such a good time sitting here enjoying everyone’s company.” I don’t know who said that, but I wanted to slap them.  My husband and I were just hovering in the kitchen, trying to give them space and overhear any dirt we could but these guys weren’t ever interesting. They didn’t cuss. They didn’t talk about sex. They didn’t talk about other people except to tell funny stories about them. SO LEAVE! I was saying over and over in my head to send the vibe. Typical teenagers – they didn’t pay any attention to me, much less my vibes.

Finally about 8:20 (the prom started at 8) they got up and the guys put on their coats while the girls rushed back into that small bathroom and stayed ten minutes. Then they loaded up into two cars and I took a couple more pictures and went back in the house. I looked out the kitchen window and they had all climbed out of the cars, so I went out to see what was wrong. They were spraying, “Just Prommed” on the car windows. Then my daughter sprayed directly on the car and had to run in and get paper towels because it was someone’s borrowed nice parent car and it might eat the paint off. Finally they loaded back up and I got to go back in the house and spend another hour on my feet cleaning up.

When they came back around 11:30 to rummage through the refrigerator and get the two other cars they left parked here, I didn’t even get up out of the Lazy Boy. “It was SO MUCH FUN,” they all said and took off. The girls were going to end up at Jessica’s house for a sleepover, and hopefully the guys weren’t with them.

And that is why I didn’t do my blog yesterday. Oh, and the dog ate my paper.