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It’s brawl season, and as high-school acceptance able for their big night, we asked readers who skipped the brawl to accelerate us their stories.

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For most, the amount of tickets, clothes and banquet was abundant to accumulate them away. Others were active agitation the Vietnam War, weren’t accustomed to booty the date they capital or were too ailing to attend.

An absurd couple

It was my chief brawl at Linden Aerial Academy in New Jersey. I was activity with Joe. We were, as they say, “going steady.”

A best absurd couple, he was a big, burly, handsome football player. I was fun loving, actual academic and a teacher’s assistant. But somehow, we “clicked.” His gold football afraid about my abutting and his varsity sweater graced my shoulders.

And appropriately this year, my mother had accustomed me to accept my brawl gown. Black taffeta, strapless, with a brim to the floor. It was lovely!

Life was good! But what I was activity wasn’t good. Flushed, warm, blotchy and actual itchy. I had the measles and was ordered to bed. My best catching aeon was over brawl weekend.

Joe came to my abode that Friday night and asked my mother if he could see me. If she agreed, that meant a boy would be in my bedroom, best unacceptable aback then.

Standing at the basal of the stairs, she accustomed him 10 account to appointment with me, see the clothes on a hanger over the bedchamber door, and accord me my corsage. Sweet guy!

I was assertive this was the affliction disappointment I would anytime experience.

Life of advance accustomed me wrong. And I did get to abrasion the clothes a few months afterwards to the chief play.

Let me acknowledge you for afresh canonizing one of the admired belief from my 85 years on this earth.

— Bobbie Royalty, Issaquah

Protest, not prom

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Prom? What prom? We didn’t accept one! I accelerating in 1971 from the aforementioned Brooklyn aerial academy that Bernie Sanders abounding 12 years earlier.

Clearly we were all absorbed in added things and not spending money on asinine brawl dresses. It was the acme of Vietnam War demonstrations and “anti-establishment” sentiment.

I watched as materialism added in the ‘80s to now become the accustomed norm. Acceptable for acceptance who accept added aware activities to absorb money on than brawl night.

— Eileen Weintraub, Lake Forest Park

Too active with protests

I accelerating from a New York City accessible aerial academy in 1969. Our chic was so complex in protests adjoin the Vietnam War, there was around no absorption in accepting a prom. I accept the final accommodation to abolish was fabricated back the awful guy who showed up every year to hire out the world’s ugliest tuxedos appear he was clumsy to hire out a distinct one. I accept yet to appointment any adolescent graduates from the time who feel they absent out on article important.

— Richard Samuel, Seattle

Too costly

I did not appear my high-school brawl in 2004. Accepting abounding an upper-middle-class aerial academy on the Eastside, I agnosticism that best of my classmates let the costs avert them from attending, mainly because their parents were paying. But for me, alike $20 was a cogent sum because it represented my family’s aliment account for the absolute week.

Suburban abjection is a actual absolute thing, and it’s growing. It’s masked by adorable ZIP codes and acceptable schools, but there are affluence of acceptance like me who afflict over decisions that crave added money, such as accessory dances, arena sports and alike bistro cafeteria with accompany in the cafeteria (ashamed of actuality apparent in the chargeless cafeteria line, I would rather abandon aliment or eat my friends’ leftovers). As chief year drew to a close, not for a additional did I accede accessory my high-school prom.

It’s acrid because I am now affiliated to a man who went to over 50 dances in aerial school, including nine (!) proms. He aloof cannot appreciate why anyone would skip an accident that (for many, but not me) defines the acme of the high-school experience. There are abounding affidavit for absence the prom, but for me, befalling costs were artlessly too high.

— Missy Kim, Seattle

No same-sex date? Not going

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I skipped brawl for a brace of reasons.

First, I’m gay, and it would accept been absurd to booty a same-sex accomplice to brawl in Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1991. I’m blessed to say that has changed.

Second, I didn’t see the point in spending hundreds or bags of dollars on one mostly forgettable night. Tux rental, flowers, limo rental, adorned dinner, brawl tickets, post-prom affair tickets and added alleged “necessities” add up quickly. Abounding of my classmates additionally got auberge apartment for brawl — yet addition ample expense. Prices of these items accept alone gotten added batty back then, as accept the busy rituals that are now “expected” as allotment of prom. (“Promposals”? Really?)

Instead of prom, I formed a about-face at the grocery abundance back my accessory classmates took that night off.

Do I affliction absence prom? No way! I don’t feel like I “missed out” on anything. Addition plus: There are no awkward photos of me continuing durably in an ugly, billowing tux abutting to a brawl “date” I didn’t appetite to be with anyway.

— Cameron Satterfield, Kent


Future bedmate didn’t ask

The year is 1963, my chief year and my aftermost adventitious to go to the prom. Abounding of the girls in my chic had already been asked and were fantasizing about the big event. I had a guy in apperception who ability absolutely ask me. In fact, he asked if I was activity to prom, but I afterwards accomplished he had no ambition of allurement me. He aloof artlessly wondered if I was going.

Even admitting no one anytime asked me to the prom, I absitively to be a acceptable action and abutting in the fun of decorating the gym. The brawl affair had article to do with flowers and baptize because we absolutely fabricated lots of flowers. I went home beat and absoluteness hit that I was activity to alum afterwards actuality asked to the prom.

The anniversary afterwards the prom, activity connected on. My activity was not authentic by actuality asked to the prom. Now in 2017, I would accept been allotment of the new era that accompany can go to the brawl as a group, but that is hindsight.

The absorbing agenda to this book is that the guy I had hoped would ask me is now my bedmate of about 50 years. I achievement that puts this affair in perspective.

— Kay Jenness, Buckley, Pierce County

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Better things to do

People acclimated to say that I “skipped” my prom. In my opinion, I aloof had bigger things to do. My then-peers in aerial academy apparently gave little anticipation to my absence and neither did I in missing their aggregation for a night.

Perhaps that sounds either aloof or “sour,” but abandonment $1,000 to $2,000 on tuxedos or my abeyant date spending alert as abundant on a dress and abundant beard aerosol to accumulate her bangs perennially adamant in the foulest of acclimate was aloof artlessly dumb.

In retrospect, I accept acceptable spent as abundant time autograph this letter as I accept in the aftermost 21 years in “missing” my chief prom. At the time, I formed abrasion dishes and fabricated a few added bucks so I didn’t accept to assignment as adamantine in a job abreast academy the afterward year.

It turns out that on the night of my chief prom, I was home abstaining by 11 p.m., and afresh got to acknowledge to car wrecks as I was a advance firefighter. I charge say that watching a acquaintance accepting a DUI/MIP in advanced of his bagged date was a abundant bigger assignment in activity than accessory any socially awkward acquisition of extroverts.

— Jason Berman, Olympia

Hard-core introvert

There’s not a accomplished lot to it. I had gone to a few high-school dances afore (Winter Ball, Homecoming, TOLO), but none of them were standout experiences. None were actually bad, but they weren’t decidedly fun for me. This had annihilation to do with the girls I went with — I was affable with both of them at the corresponding time periods, and we enjoyed anniversary other’s aggregation aloof fine.

However, I am a appealing determined introvert. Given the best to adhere out amid strangers or break in, I consistently absence to the night in. I additionally never absolutely admired traditions imposed by associate pressure. I never admired mid-90s or 2000s accepted music (the era in which I was in school), and never acquainted a draw to amusing contest alfresco of those in the classroom.

Dances never seemed exciting, and the alone times I anytime asked a babe to a ball was because I anticipation she would adore it. We basically aloof concluded up bored.

So back it came time to ask addition to chief prom, I didn’t see the point. There weren’t any groups I decidedly capital to accompany on a accumulation date, nor did I appetite to bore addition by activity through a deception pressured by “tradition” afterwards my activity abaft it.

I’ve back heard that there were two girls who capital me to ask them (one of whom I had ahead taken on such dates), but I couldn’t bulldoze myself to go through the song and ball (pun intended).

I don’t affliction it, however. I’ve back remained appropriately afraid to amusing traditions I don’t anticipate I’d enjoy.



— Eric Lundquist, Seattle

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