Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Mayday, Mayday
Prom'd At Last
Who Will Chaperone The Chaperones?)

So May has been a busy month. Two weeks ago I went to the May Day celebration at Bryn Mawr with Naomi whilst up in New Jersey visiting her. It was quite the event--for a school that's been around roughly half as long as William & Mary, they certainly have enough tradition to go around. One of those traditions involves, happily enough, a day where all the girls don white dresses and get quite inebriated and conduct all sorts of scandalous behavior of various stripes all over the campus.

Or so I have been told. I was shielded from the most egregious behavior, and was treated only to an incredibly profane and drunken improv performance of Romeo and Juliet (and part of Twelfth Night). Apparently streaking and other such behavior transpires as the day wears on, but Naomi (accidentally by her account) prevented me from witnessing any such events. I have no regrets, though--between the two of us we drank a bottle of champagne on the lawn near where the earlier picture I posted was taken, and that was enough to ease the heartbreak off of not seeing any real debauchery.

The "normal" version of the May Day 2008 picture featured earlier.

So that was May Day. Quite an enjoyable excursion, to be sure. However, the best was still yet to come later on in the month. Naomi--I may or may not have mentioned this--is a teacher, and the advisor of her junior class. As such she wound up in the unenviable--or maybe enviable, depending on how nostalgic you are--position of having to help plan her advisees' prom. Thus I was able to go along as her escort and co-chaperone.

Being the kind of lady she is, Naomi ended up taking a lot on her shoulders, and to her immense credit it was a huge success (at least to my untrained eye). Her headmaster showed up with his wife, and instead of sneaking out the back like they usually do they actually stayed and danced--an act that would have rendered any comedian (had they hired one for the night) largely redundant. The weather was lovely, so students moved freely between the patio of the country club where the prom was being held and the inside where the music and food was. It had been raining almost nonstop since I got there, and resumed again on Sunday, but the entire day of the prom up until the hour it was over was pleasant and dry.

All of this made for an experience I thought I'd never have. I mean, I went to plenty of formals at William & Mary. Hell, I went to as many formals as I could in order to make up for not going to prom. And here I was, five years after graduating from high school, going to another high school's prom in New Jersey, for God's sake. (These kids were talking and behaving as though they would later be graded on their performance as stereotypical Jersey teenagers.)

I'm glad I got to share it with Naomi. I'm glad that after all I went through in the college, all the first times and novelties and changes and so on, that I got to have another first time. What Naomi and I have is the first calm relationship I've ever had, one that isn't marked by frenziednss or anxiety or mania but solidity and stablity and true affection. I didn't even realize I had been missing it until I had it. (Which is the nicest vice versa to come into my life for a long time.)

(I'm still flying.)


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