Is Prom Important? Thoughts by Mallory.

I tried looking up the history of prom this week. There were articles from Bustle, Time, and the all-time lazy favorite, Wikipedia.

I was genuinely curious about why these things have been going on for so long, why there is still pressure on teenagers for them, and what the patriarchy had to do with it (a constant question, honestly).

It was sort of what I expected. Back in the day (the technical term), there were grand balls for ladies where they’d be brought out officially into public, essentially a time that would declare that this woman was now available to charm into marrying. Since balls didn’t stick around forever, and public schools were The Thing, to me it made sense that they continued to use the same sort of idea, but for everyone to play pretend that they were adults because, hey, you dress up nice, maybe have a fancy dinner, have a nice car…

But the proms, from what I’ve read, went from simply wearing your Sunday Best to rather extravagant extremes. While Tamu and I paid small amounts to look great, and may have had those around us create their own dresses/tuxes, the typical high schools that my friends went to? Some people were spending $500 on a dress!

And that’s where I ask the question: Is a prom so important to spend such a fortune?

I can see it from both points. This is a day for most teenagers that is a passage of going into adulthood. It should be enjoyed, celebrated, and, quite frankly, can be quite the ego boost when you’ve bought your clothes and are surrounded by the fancy attire. Although Tamu and I didn’t have Prom King/Queen, that’s probably fun, too. Everyone voting democratically for a monarchy. Plus, tradition. It’s been going on for so many years, it’s a notable event in every single novel/movie/television show that depicts high school students. And it’s a popular enough tradition that it’s basically world-wide.

However, it is also…just one night that, while I personally remember it being fun, it wasn’t the highlight of my youth. It isn’t in the top ten moments of my life. And I cannot imagine spending so much money on something before starting college–nothing like starting out in debt to more debt (although, maybe people would argue that’s just America. *bah-dum-dum tishhhh*). I guess my main point here would be that if I hadn’t gone to prom, I don’t think my life would have changed significantly.

And yet… I guess I’m still in favor of prom when it comes down to it. I have seen some really amazing things come out of this tradition, mostly as it becomes less traditional. For instance, prom is also considered a time to show off yourself with your couple. While this can be too much pressure for those of us without a partner, many LGBTQ teenagers are going with their partners.

In the end, the importance of prom is what you make it, I suppose. Tamu and I had a great time with friends, dancing and laughing. I have heard stories of terrible proms and fantastic proms. I know people who married the person they went to prom with. If you didn’t go, it probably didn’t change your life for the worse. And if you did? You’ve got a memory long faded that will emerge once again at your 10/20/30 year reunion, complete with photos you’d probably well forget anyway.

What about your prom? Let us know if you had a Pretty in Pink situation, or if you forewent the event to watching a film instead.

Duckie vs Blaine

The podcast is out, and so is the main question: Duckie or Blaine?

This question has been asked since the film first came out. The ending had been changed from the script because “she would never choose Duckie”, Duckie was based off of a gay friend, etc. But when it comes down to it, who would you choose?

Tamu said Duckie. I said Blaine (after saying no one). And there were some amazing comments, one of which said to choose the record store owner, so I guess she should have written the movie instead.

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IF you haven’t yet, make your comments on our Instagram post to put in your two cents! And maybe make a comment or two about the prom dress she wore…

Unsolicited Advice From Your Single Friend: Dating

There comes a time in every singleton’s life that you start getting advice from everyone around you that isn’t single. It’s usually from those that are perfectly happy couples that, after you answer their question of what your current dating status, they click their tongues and say, “Don’t worry, it will happen! Have you tried ____?” And you want to rip their throats out because they brought the shit up in the first place and you didn’t ASK for their advice when you answered their nosy question.

This is why I now say, “Happily single!”

As someone who honestly doesn’t talk too much of love in her daily life (yet has a podcast about it), I decided that perhaps it was about time for us singletons to take over the advice, to talk about the problematic things we constantly see in long-term relationships. The things that make us say, “Thank the gods we don’t have to deal with that.”

Be prepared for some wonderful generalizations.

Today, it’s about dating.

I often hear that when people have been together for over a year, things start to get routine. And depending on where you’re at in life, you could be married, with kids, with dog, or just simply by yourselves (that includes cats because, let’s face it, cats can live without us (unless you’re my roommate’s cat, Oliver, the cat that must be wrapped around your neck at all times)).

When you’re single, you’ve got plenty of time to live and life is never boring. I’m here to tell you how to spice things up!

Have a date night at least once every two weeks. And don’t just go to some restaurant every time. There are GroupOn’s for a reason. Go to a cooking class, try wake boarding, dabble in sky diving, volunteer to walk dogs or play with cats at a shelter. Avoid the painting pub classes; you end up with two pieces of similar art work, so now what are you going to do?

You could also take a kink sex class or something. I’m not saying you have to go all out into BDSM or fetishes (although, if you both are hot to trot, two thumbs up!). But it can be fun, you learn new things, and nothing says I love you more than staying open in your communication about the bedroom.

In fact, I hear about the bedroom being a problem frequently in long-term relationships. Better make the kink sex class your top priority.

Have you tried making cider? Have you tried ice cream tastings? Going to a psychic? Therapy?

That last one is for those that have communication issues in general, so it isn’t necessarily for everyone.

The point is, your bland couple’s lifestyle doesn’t have to be bland. And while kids do add a special spice to your life that only those that have them can speak to, just go on a date already — and ask your single friends where the best places to go are. We’re living it up 24-7.

Mallory’s Birthday

This week, I turned 31.

This isn’t really all that significant in the giant scheme of things. People get older. That’s nature.

Yet, I was reflecting upon this prior to the party I was throwing myself in the shower. I was thinking about how many people turned 31 and will turn 31 within my current year of turning 31, and that while there will be many more people to eventually turn 31, the millions of people who turned 31 with me can’t be added to, and thus it is, essentially, just a group of people that dwindle down until there is only one of us from that year that finally dies out. Poof. No more people from 1987.

And then I was thinking about how many people I know from all of these other years, friends and family, and all of us are at different points in our lives, and lessons I’ve learned are things they haven’t necessarily learned themselves, but things they’ve learned I have yet to even consider.

And then I thought about what I’ve done this past year. We do that, I think, as humans, ponder over what we have accomplished, what we failed at, what we’re in the process of doing. That’s the bonus of having a larger brain, I guess. We think about more than hibernation for the winter.

These were my highlights of growth at my 31. Things I’ll forget and have to remember again later, probably.

Learning the art of letting go, as well as the art of when petty pays off. Seriously! I have, most of my life, been learning about letting go, and every time I thought I was doing the thing, I wasn’t really doing the thing. But I’m getting there. And what makes letting go fun is realizing what is worth the extra fucks to give. And then allowing myself a once in a blue moon moment to think petty thoughts and let those go, too. Because once I would let go of the petty thought, I’d end up thinking of an interesting solution or an idea for something I want to make or write. Although I do allow myself the occasional mutter of road rage under my breath.

My time is valuable. There is only so much of me to go around, and I only have so much money. The best thing I learned this past year is that I don’t have to feel so guilty about not being able to do everything with my friends and family due to my current funds. And it’s also allowed me to be more assertive in my job environment. I’m pretty assertive already, but I like to be helpful in every way possible. I’ve learned that I can’t always be there and I can’t do everything, and feeling guilty does nothing but make both parties feel bad. Healthy relationships understand situations when you communicate. And understand when you have to say ‘no’.

When I’m having a shitty day, I have my friends/family. And when I don’t have my friends/family, I have myself. And when I feel I don’t even have myself, I have therapy! Between work, life, and Netflix, lives are busy. So when I have a shitty day, I want to tell someone so they can say, “That sucks!” to make you feel valid in your emotions. In the end, everyone else has a life just like me and can’t always respond to me saying, “WHY DOES MY JOB DO THE THINGS IT DOES?!” So it’s up to me to say, “Yeah, it sucks today!” And whenever I don’t have the full capacity to pep talk myself into a better mood, therapy exists! And it is wonderful! Yay options!

Having a dog made me realize what true unconditional love is. When I was potty training Indigo, she woke me up around 2am one night with a whine. We raced to the first floor to the back door, but Indigo couldn’t make it and she peed all the way down the stairs, which are wooden and have no backs. I was exhausted. The summer job I had was fun but used up lots of energy running around parks with children, and the nights were filled with plenty of random wake-up calls for Indigo’s untrained bladder. I put her outside and gave myself a moment. Tired tears were forming. I sighed and grabbed paper towels and antiseptic spray. As I cleaned the staircase (and everything under the staircase), I realized that, despite being tired and irritated with the situation, I wasn’t angry. This was a puppy. She was learning bladder control and sleeping patterns. And she’d pee inside again. But I was okay with that. And that’s when I realized unconditional love was your loved one peeing on a staircase at 2am and you not being angry about it, just cleaning it up because this, too, shall pass.

 Emotions are valid, and using them as tools is better and more efficient than them using me. These past two years have had at me angry and more irritable than ever in my life. My therapist told me there are two ways to deal with anger. You could either have the tidal wave of emotions tumble you through in a mess, or you could be on top of the tidal wave to allow it to pass so you could do something about what you’re angry about. And she was right. Keeping the emotion with me wasn’t allowing me to have a clear head to make a decision I could be happy about. And it would often leave me so exhausted at the end of the day I couldn’t do much but go to bed or lay on the couch to watch Netflix. I found some techniques that allowed me to feel valid in my emotions and then use that energy to create something or do something that made me feel exhausted in a productive way. Hell yes.

I’m the only expert in me, just like everyone else is the only expert in themselves. When I was in my early teens, I was so naive that the world was bliss. I was the most myself ever, and it was amazing. Then I broadened my life and got wiser and it was harder to hold onto who I was consistently. As a codependent, it can be hard to be the person you want to be when you’re also worried about being the definition of yourself other people think you are–and it can be hard to allow someone else be who they are if you have a definition of who you think they are when they most likely aren’t. This realization of me has been a relief of thought responsibility, and a huge release of control. And I’m happier for it.

If I want brownies with sparkler candles, I can make that happen and light them myself. As I turned thirty-one, I thought about what I had and what I was able to do and what I wanted. I wanted close friends, I wanted Sailor Moon, I wanted brownies instead of cake, and I wanted candles that looked like sparklers because I love fireworks. So I created an event and did just that. And when it came to the part of celebrating me, I grabbed my brownies and lit my own candles and everybody started singing. Because it’s okay to say “I AM ME” and for people to say “HELL YEAH YOU ARE” and not feel guilty about it and instead wear unicorn horns and fedora hats and laugh about Sailor Moon getting her name from a cat howling at the night sky.

I’m not even done learning anything, and I guess that’s pretty cool. I’m thirty-one and I’ve learned these things and I know I’ll have to constantly be reminding myself of them to make anything a habit, and everything I think I know will be broadened as I learn new definitions to the old things I already know.

Ain’t growing up fun?

So, these are the things I’ve learned just this year. If anyone has extra advice or life lessons or interesting things that happened to them this year, shout them out!

AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!