For many in high school, spring means prom and a rite of passage into adulthood. It means finding a date and dressing up for the night.
My date for my senior prom was a cheerleader named Cortney. Now understand, I was not one of the popular kids in high school. However, Cortney took me under her wing and looked out for me and the other special needs students for three of the four years I attended high school. I owe her a lot of gratitude for helping me survive high school, which is usually a difficult place for someone with Aspergers.
I wrote a cute poem to ask her out. After she said yes, saying I was overjoyed, which is an understatement.
On the night of the senior prom, I arrived at her parent’s house and gave Cortney her corsage. A couple of her friends from Jacksonville State came that weekend to help her get ready for the evening. She looked stunning in her dress. Of course, no prom night is complete without pictures and we visited several locations for photos, including both sets of parents and the Sonic Drive-In where I worked at the time.
For dinner, Cortney and I met a few other couples at a fancy Japanese steakhouse. It was cool watching the chefs ignite the grill in front of the patrons and put on a show with the food the customers ordered.
Unfortunately, an embarrassing moment happened at the restaurant when my debit card did not work. I forgot to activate the card at the ATM. Not only that, I did not have a lot of cash on me at the time. Despite being tense, I was able to keep my emotions in check. Fortunately, a kind family swooped in and saved us from having to spend prom night washing dishes by paying for our meal.
The dance was held at an old train depot in downtown Huntsville. Although I do not remember the theme for my prom, the night was magical. All the couples had fun socializing with each other at the tables and around the dance floor while also dancing the Electric Slide and casting ballots for prom king and queen. I enjoyed dancing with Cortney as her cheerleading skills translated perfectly to the dance floor.
After prom, Cortney and I concluded the special night by eating an after-prom breakfast at a local church. As much as I did not want the evening to end, midnight eventually came, and I escorted my date back to her house.
Life happens, and Cortney and I went our separate ways. She is married with two adorable children. Although life gave her many challenges, Cortney overcame those obstacles and recently completed her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Samford University in Birmingham and will graduate with that honor on May 12th. She is currently a teacher with the Jefferson County, Alabama school system.
Do not get me wrong; I am glad I am no longer in high school. Even though there were difficulties during that time, I try to remind myself that few boys get to escort a cheerleader to prom. That night is still a big deal to me a decade and a half later.
What do you remember about prom? Comment in the section below.
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