Today is the first day in a week that I’ve been able to lay in bed and not care about anything but myself. The reason for this is because last Saturday was my Senior Prom and there was so much to plan and prepare that my friends, ultimately, left me in charge of. There are a couple of things that I would like to focus on, though. They are: my eyebrows, my dress, the party, and the limo.
The only other time I have ever altered my eyebrows was in my quincenera, and the woman who did my hair and makeup shaped my eyebrows with this razor on a stick thing. It left a little bit of a rash but that was covered up quickly with eye shadow. Besides that, I have never had to pluck or wax or do anything to my eyebrows, a main reason why my friends are jealous of them. However, for prom, and a community service gala the day before, my sister offered to pay to get my eyebrows threaded. I weighed the pros and cons of getting my eyebrows done and there were basically no cons. So, last Thursday, C picked me up from my community service building and we drove over to the salon where I would get my eyebrows done.
It was a single room establishment with two women working over salon chairs. We entered and C signed us both in, emphasizing that we were only getting our eyebrows done. I was directed towards one of the salon chairs and told to lie back. The woman clarified that she would only be threading my eyebrows and I agreed. Then she began the process.
If I could have punched something, I would have. It was painful. I had not expected it to hurt, but it did. It felt like she was ripping out every single individual hair one by one. Every time she ripped into my eyebrows, I cursed loudly in my head. But I clenched my way through it with the idea that crying is for lesser women. By the time she was done, my eyebrows and the skin around them were numb. But my eyebrows looked good.
I ordered a dress online a couple weeks back and it arrived in a few days. It was beautiful. It was olive green and had a nice ruffled look on the skirt and I loved it. But it didn’t get past my hips and I realized I looked at the wrong charts when I was choosing a size. So I returned it and ordered another one using the right chart. But this one was plum colored and had a silver brooch that I ultimately ended up resenting when I actually used it.
When that dress arrived, my mother was really angry with me because I couldn’t zip it up all the way. So we decided that instead of returning it because we only had four days before prom, we were going to get it tailored to involve a corset.
She took me to the indoor swapmeet. God, I hate that place. Anyway, we entered this giant store and walked by shops selling luggage, sombreros, and pets, then we arrived at a tailoring shop where two women were tending to a wailing child. My mother asked if my dress could be altered before Saturday and one of the women stepped up saying it was entirely possible. So we paid a down payment and left the dress with them.
When we went back on Friday to pick up the dress, we were told that they couldn’t do anything because they couldn’t find fabric of the same color. The best they could do was a slightly darker color that wasn’t quite as shiny as my dress. She asked if they could use that fabric and I told her it was completely fine seeing as I needed the dress the very next day. So she told us not to worry and just return the next day to pick it up; it would be ready.
The next day, I had to go with L and C because my mother was working. They stood awkwardly just outside the shop and were trying to hide from a neighbor they used to associate with who was walking around with a friend. I was fitted for the dress and then I paid the rest and took it with me.
Later that night, when I was dancing at my prom, the straps kept falling off. I hated it so much but there was nothing I could do except wrap them around my bra straps. It was the most trouble I have ever gone through for a dress and I have got to say that I will never do that again until my wedding.
The place where our prom was taking place is called Meet Las Vegas, and it’s right in the middle of downtown Las Vegas, just a block away from the Fremont Experience. When I was dropped off by my brother, I met most of my friends outside, surprisingly. We gushed over our dresses and hair and makeup, then we took a lot of pictures, then we were escorted inside by our school police.
Once inside, we walked around the mess of people at the entrance until we were on the opposite side of the place. It was small. I had honestly expected it to be a lot bigger, considering all the pictures they have on their website. But it was nice, nonetheless. We immediately signed up to take prom pictures (professionally) then we spent a good fifteen minutes in the bathroom making ourselves look even better and taking more pictures.
When we went back out into the main room, we formed a small circle that quickly grew to about fifteen people. We danced. At first, it was very mild movements and trying to get into the rhythm. But after an hour or so, we were pushing people into the middle of our 25-big circle to dance and cheering and laughing and hollering. We actually attracted a lot of attention because of all of this. Towards the end of prom, we were screaming out the lyrics to all the songs the DJ played and jumping up and down in unison, throwing our shawls and trains up in the air in an expression of pure joy.
It was fun and I’m incredibly glad I didn’t miss out on the whole shebang.
Ugh, this was the part I was kind of regretting. But I think the whole picture of my senior prom isn’t complete unless I talk about this.
My friends pressured me into agreeing to getting a limo. I didn’t want one and I don’t regret getting one, but I could have gone without it. Anyway, they put me in charge of collecting all the money in order to reserve it for the night. In total, it was $260 for the two hours we were going to have it. We would get it from 11:00 PM to 1:00 AM, so, right after prom.
First we had problems getting all the money. Because I was paying, my mom said I was not allowed to pay unless I had all the money. The complete amount was not in my hands until the Monday before prom. Then my mom transferred all that money to my account and I made the reservation.
Second, we had trouble trying to figure out our stops. We had a total of four stops plus our pickup and drop off points. They couldn’t agree on what we were doing and it turned into this giant mess that made me hate them. But we got over it and finally decided on our stops. (Which later turned out not to matter because we didn’t have enough time to go to them.)
Third, on Friday night, the day before prom, I called to ask why my credit card hadn’t been charged yet. They told me that my card was being declined. So I asked them to run it again and the same results came back. We decided to charge my mother’s card instead, and it worked. It wasn’t until later that my bank called that I found out why my card was being declined. They thought I was a victim of fraud and that someone else was trying to use my card because it was unusual behavior. But we paid anyway.
Fourth, during that same phone call where I fixed the credit card problem, I found out that if a limo is being saved for prom, the reservation needs to be a minimum of 6 hours, which would cost close to a thousand dollars. No. That is what I told my operator and he said there were ways we could get around it. So, I had to change the pickup point because if the limo had anything to do with a school or the place where prom was, they had to charge according to that. However, I had to do this at the last minute and without anyone’s consent because it was late.
Fifth, and lastly, we couldn’t find the limo when the time came for him to pick us up. Most of our group was waiting on the Fremont Experience, looking around for an SUV stretch limousine but seeing none. My friends were crazy at this point, though, so they started dancing in the street to the music blaring over the outdoor speakers. We couldn’t find K or her boyfriend or my friend Y or her boyfriend.
Then our limo showed up and we had to drive around the block twice before our driver parked on Fremont Street. I was on the phone with Y’s boyfriend, giving him instructions on how to get where we were, when I saw a couple of white guys in their 20s looking into the limo. I was already mad at this point and I knew I was going to flip out if these guys did anything, then the drunker of the two opened the door to the limo. Something came over me then, because I put the phone to my chest, stared at this guy, who said something incredibly suggestive and obscene to me, then I cussed him out. And it wasn’t senseless screaming. It was eloquent, fully formed sentences of anger and rage directed towards this guy who wanted me to do something I couldn’t even believe, then I told him to shut the door. As he was closing the door, our driver, brave man that he is, stepped out and cussed him, too.
Oh, I was so angry.
But then we found K, Y, and their boyfriends and we were good to go. We only got to visit one of our stops, but it was still a lot of fun. The only thing I regret is that in our hurry to not overstay our reservation, I forgot to tip our driver. He practically saved our lives, fending off all these drunk people who wanted to get into our car.
I think the moral of this story is, once a hood girl, always a hood girl.