Friday night was atypical for Mrs. RW and myself. Instead of following our normal routine of screaming at the children for an hour to go to bed followed by 15 minutes of small talk until Mrs. RW passes out on the couch at 8:15, we got dressed and headed out to Prom.
Mrs. RW flatly refused to bicycle to the Prom, even though it was held fairly close to our house and would have been really cool. So we arrived in the usual way (hot air balloon) and took up our respective jobs as chaperones.
Mrs. RW is in charge of gushing. Over the course of the evening, she will talk to every girl in attendance and more than half of the guys. She will pretend to absolutely love whatever outfit they have on and will spend between 5 and 15 minutes convincingly pretending to care about whatever they choose to talk about. It’s something I’ve seen few people do well, and she is easily one of the best.
What do I do at Prom? The guy who hates dressing up with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns? The man who would rather have leprechauns tap dance on his face while wearing golf cleats than make small talk with people he barely knows? Well, I park myself next to an entrance or exit, adopt my Scowl of Judgement (not to be confused with the Frown of Disapproval, the Glare of Guilt, or the Grimace of Joviality), and wait for someone to do something untoward so that I can drag them out and send them home. Strangely, rather fewer students come talk to me than Mrs. RW.
This year’s Prom was a total bust. Not only did everyone appear to have a good time, I didn’t get to drag even one delinquent out by their collar. It’s fair to say that I was rather despondent over the whole affair. The only thing I have to look forward to now is Graduation Parking.
I just don’t think that I’ll feel better until I can tell someone’s grandmother that while I can understand that lugging an oxygen tank is difficult, if she doesn’t have a handicapped placard she’ll have to park her car in the far lot just like everyone else.