If you’ve ever watched my twitter feed, you know that I, like a lot of people, get temporarily obsessed with some artist or some song for a while, and then that gradually fades into the sunset, and it’s on to something new. Last week, I had Springsteen fever. During this protracted brain-worm illness, the Springsteen lines that spun around in my head the most were from “Prove it All Night”, particularly the phrases “Meet me in the field behind the dynamo” and “To buy you a ring and a pretty dress of blue”. Over and over. The field, then the dynamo, followed by the ring, and ending with the pretty dress of blue. It dawned on me after a while that every time I heard those lines, I was picturing this dress…
In case you don’t know what you are looking at, it’s a prom dress from 1980. Specifically, it’s my prom dress from 1980. After picturing it all week, I was compelled to go dig it out of the storage closet. I’m not sure what all this means, but there is a story that goes along with this dress. Naturally.
I grew up in a suburb of Jackson, that shall remain nameless, and we had a serious rivalry going with the kids that lived in Jackson. It got pretty ugly sometimes. It was all very Socs (short for Socials) and Greasers ( “The Outsiders”). We were the Socs, and the kids from Jackson were the Greasers, except of course we didn’t use those terms. We called them hoods; they called us preps. Which was entirely inaccurate – there were kids of both of these genres that lived in either place. But my girl posse and I used to like to sneak away from our suburb and cruise the strip in Jackson to check out the “hoods” and their hot rods. Suffice it to say that they were greatly admired. So when I broke up with my El Camino boy (and I use that term figuratively, you understand – he actually drove a smoking hot Olds 442) for some trivial infraction, I quickly rounded up one of these Jackson fellas as a short notice replacement prom date.
That was a big mistake. The guy acted like a total douche bag the whole night. In fact, I hate to besmirch the good name of douche bags by calling him that. Let’s just say he was defensive and angry. And understandably so, really, since he was in enemy camp and my former El Camino boy was also defensive and angry and glaring in our general direction all night. It was a powder keg situation. So I spent the whole night smiling nervously and trying to smooth things over on both ends, which naturally only made things worse.
Finally I feigned illness, which was one of my specialties at the time, having become a master of gym-avoidance via that technique, and we left early. Riding home, we were both completely silent. There I sat, in my pretty dress of blue, having created yet another fiasco, and with both fellas mad at me. He didn’t even pull up in my driveway; he just let me out on the street beside my house. I guess you could say it was a bad prom night. But now, with the power of technology, I can completely erase the guy’s face from my prom picture, as if he never existed and none of that ever happened. It’s too bad that the background is wallpaper, or the effect would have been even better, like an empty suit just standing there. Beside me and my pretty dress of blue.
This is the song that finally ended the brain worm. Note that it’s also got the blue theme going. Lord knows I’ve paid some dues getting through. Tangled up in blue.
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