Friday night was prom night. Oh the excitement. I was picked up at 1pm from my house by my friend and her parents. At her house, her sister did my hair and make up. The hair took almost three hours as she was curling it in small sections. And used half a can of strong hold hairspray, which I swear is still in my hair.
At about 5pm I changed into my dress and put on my jewelry. I own so much jewelry it fills three boxes and lies on my desk, but still the jewelry for prom was either bought or borrowed. Finally we were sorting out our clutch bags, wrapping our shawls around ourselves and putting on our heels (not something either of us are used to). Her dad drove us to the venue, picking up another friend on the way.
The prom was held at a massive posh hotel. Not because it was posh but because it was one of the few that previous sixth years at our school haven't got us banned from. Although there are stories of how close they have come. Throwing up down the main stairs and passing out in a locked toilet stall are only stories from the year above ours.
There were various umbrellas involved in getting the three of us from the car to the hotel without getting our hair wrecked. Someone was playing a bagpipe. Well what did you expect, it's Edinburgh. Inside, a smart, plainly dressed woman showed us the way to the right, where a queue of our year was already forming. The girls in dresses, varying from floor-length to knee-length to 50s style. The guys mainly in kilts, complete with sporan. The occasional guy in a suit or their national dress.
The queue was for a sheet which enabled you to get your free professional photo, taken in the main hall where we would later dine and dance. The photos were quick (had to be considering the number of people there). They must have taken at least three of each person. We then went to get our champagne (hey, we were paying £80 for this shit, there better be drinks involved). Another friend arrived later, with her mum insisting on taking photos of all of us. She had come from her cousin's wedding so arrived a little later than us.
We decided to go find the toilets. Down some stairs (ridiculously hard to go down or up in heels even without drink) there was a huge lobby area with four (really comfy) sofas. And a TV. The TV was only playing football, which later attracted various guys and members of staff. Once the game was finished it was turned off. Shame. The toilets themselves had an insane number of flowers painted all around. The walls and the sinks. Who puts flowers on sinks? Anyways, we chatted with others, everyone complimenting everyone. I swear more photos were taken in the toilets than anywhere else.
The champagne reception was in the bar upstairs and it was here we waited for dinner. Chatting, taking photos and discussing the size of that maths teachers shoes. She said she would soon change them for the trainers she had with, but kept them on for much longer than I expected. Huge pink heels, but a black dress. We also saw the girl who had made her dress from old pillow cases and sheets. It looked fucking epic, 50s style white with flowers.
It was 7.30pm by the time we were allowed back into the main hall for dinner. I had left my shawl on my seat and now our table had been laid with the posh cutlery, plates, bread and wine (white and red). We shared our table with a chemistry teacher, a music teacher and the active schools co-ordinator (no, I don't know what that title actually implies). A history teacher was supposed to be there but he was marking exam papers and had said he would be late. He didn't turn up in the end.
The last call for group shots came with the staff leaving for one big photo together. It seemed like forever before a door opened and in came a long trail of waiters with our starters. A soup of some kind. The name was odd, but it turned out amazing. The chemistry teacher came round with the white wine (the red turned out to taste horrible, far too bitter). There was a pause before the main course. It was chicken with creamed potatoes, cabbage, carrots, mushroom and sauce. The break after this course was longer, as many people couldn't finish it. Finally, the desert. A chocolate terrine with cherry sauce. I was annoyed that the desert had been changed from the ice cream (just because people thought rosemary ice cream didn't sound like it tasted good), but this was delicious. The final part of the meal was petit fours (tiny cake-like things on a little tray) with tea or coffee, perhaps an attempt to sober some people up.
At some point during the meal (I forget when), music started playing and various members of staff and some pupils got up to dance to YMCA and the Time Warp. While we had been eating the ceilidh band had been setting up. With the lights dimmed slightly, the first dance (the Gay Gordons) began, at least one of my friends getting up to dance. I have never been a big fan of Scottish Country dancing, especially the sort done at the school christmas parties where no guys would ever want to dance with you. But it's a lot more fun with a crowd of half-drunk people who really don't care.
The first time I dance was with a friend and a history teacher, who had come over to our table for the last course. Don't bother asking me for the name of the dance, the dances are now well forgotten. Names like the Flying Scotsman, the Canadian Barndance, St. Bernards Waltz... I have but a vague memory of them. That night I danced with a few friends, and some other people. Well, there was the music teacher who had been at our table and was pretty drunk. She thought we were doing great, but I got stood on by the guy in front because of he. And then there was the DJ. An old, balding guy who told everyone what to do in the dances. He came over and asked if I wanted to dance. Never being any good at making quick decisions and not wanting to seem rude, I accepted. The dance was fairly humiliating.
There did come a point where we chucked our shoes aside. And then the dancing changed to disco. The first song (no doubt suggested by our year) was Call Me Maybe, with the guys yelling it. Not much dancing to be done there, except for the Cha Cha Slide. We spent our time drinking and going done to the toilets (it was much cooler there). I'm unsure when, but the friend I was staying over with got a little drunk. She kept apologizing because her voice would go high in the middle of a sentence.
The final part of the night, returning to scottish country dancing, with less staff and more drunk people. There were a few more dances before the final hurrah: Auld Lang Syne. Joining hands in a huge circle around the room while the DJ "sung" the song. The constant moving back and forward bashed me (and my friend) against a pillar. There was then "For He's A Jolly Good Fellow" aimed at the teachers. And Three Cheers, which turned into six cheers (for six years). But no one seemed to be sober enough to actually count. The soberest of my friends said it was seven, but I would guess anything from four to nine. I really had no idea.
So now the band were packing up, and we had to start leaving. It was about midnight when the last dance finished, but we stayed for another half hour at least, despite having phoned a friend's dad to pick us up. Talking to the few teachers left, with hugs from our old year head, and many other drunks along the way. Suggesting to an english teacher she ought to spray paint a massive painting on the wall, so as she could use a friend as a lawyer.
We stumbled into the car, exhausted. At my friend's house the living room was already set up with air beds, sleeping bags and bottles of water. But it was still a long time before I could switch off and sleep.