We Threw An Adult Prom So We Could Get It Right This Time

Adult prom > high school prom.

When you think of prom, you might think of over-the-top promposals and painfully posed photos that your parents insisted you take. Maybe you think of the jittery feeling of dancing with your high school boyfriend or being hopelessly crushed when you saw the hot guy from Calculus dancing with someone else. Or, maybe your friends got into a fight, your dress ripped and all hell broke loose. Perhaps you didn’t even go to prom because you wanted to GTFO of high school pronto.

The point is, prom is different for everyone.

While I had hoped to have the prom experience of Julia Stiles in “10 Things I Hate About You,” I was pretty let down instead. You see, when you’re afraid of boys and awkward AF, it sort of makes it impossible to have Heath Ledger at your side. I flew stag to my prom with a bunch of friends and spent the night chasing down my crush and his date on a three story yacht, where I tripped over my dress multiple times and only got a half-assed “hi” out of it. The highlight of the night was spazzily dancing with my best friends in the middle of an empty dance floor. Without an ounce of alcohol in us, because we thought drinking was the devil.

Prom is supposed to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and a milestone of young adulthood, but I never really felt like it was a big deal to me. Then again, the most adventurous thing I did in high school was read Cosmopolitan in my friend’s basement and talk about how funny oral sex was. Getting all dressed up to go to a dance with a bunch of people I didn’t care about was not high on my list of things to do.

Like most people, though, I’ve changed somewhat since high school. While I’ve never been one to live in the past, I’ve definitely thought about what it would be like to go back to high school now that I don’t trust Cosmo to tell me how to flirt with boys.

When I pitched the idea of a prom article at work, I realized that many of my coworkers shared similar sentiments about their proms — it wasn’t this magical experience the movies paint it to be. Most people said that since high school they’ve adopted a DGAF attitude. Others said that if they could go back, they would have smuggled in alcohol to make the experience less cringe-inducing. Whatever it was, there was at least one thing people would love to do at prom differently if they went back as an adult.

Dose editors Dee, Erin and Rebecca pose with the Prom mascot, a handsome lobster.

Which is exactly why Dose decided to throw an adult prom for our colleagues and friends — it was our chance to do it all over again.

We of course picked the cheesiest theme—Under The Sea — since we had to make this experience as authentically prom-y as possible. Which yes, included recruiting my over-enthusiastic father to chaperone the event.

To glam up for the big night, the Dose ladies headed to Dorothy & Delora Makeup Room.

For high school prom, I kept my look pretty simple — but since this was adult prom, I got to wear all the heavy makeup I was too scared to try in high school, including some dope fake eyelashes that gave Kim Kardashian a run for her money. Plus, our fantastic makeup artist Susan airbrushed my entire face so I had an ah-mazing photo-finish to my look. So this is what it’s like to be a celebrity 💃.

The Frock Shop rented us these stunning red carpet-level dresses.

Of course, since taking pre-prom photos is a rite of passage, my coworkers and I snapped a bunch of photos in our dresses before we headed to the big event. Not pictured: the enormous water bottle full of Malibu rum I snuck in, and my coworker’s tampon flasks (we had to abide by traditional prom rules, so we got v shady about how we brought in alcohol). We then headed to the venue, Motor Row Gallery, which was decked out in dangling fish decorations, streamers, and ocean photo booth backdrops, all courtesy of Windy City Novelties.

To kick off the night, Energy Productions brought down the house by getting everyone to dance to “Party in the USA.”

Nothing like some old-school Miley to break the ice — I even had flashbacks to dancing to this very song at my high school prom!

Energy Productions emceed and DJ-ed the entire night, inspiring us to break out our finest dance moves.

K+B Photography took the Dose Content Team’s most epic picture that’s now framed in our office.

Big Hugs Photobooth also gave us plenty of Dose-squad pics to hang on the fridge.

They also brought tons of A+ props to snap pics with.

All in all, adult prom kicked high school prom’s ass.

Me + King Will = Prom Royalty.

Whether it was the spiked punch, the makeover, or the fact that I was now a grown-ass woman, adult prom definitely beat out high school prom by a long shot. I won prom queen (LOL, what?!), danced with a bunch of my friends, old and new, and took many embarrassing pictures that I regretted the next morning.

In high school, I was extremely disappointed that I didn’t have a date. The only guy who had asked me was this Pokemon-obsessed kid in my gym class. In retrospect, I wouldn’t have changed anything about my high school prom because it made adult prom that much better.

A mermaid and a prom queen embrace.

At adult prom, my dates were my two best friends from high school with whom I first attended prom six years ago. I wouldn’t have wanted to have anyone else there with me. Just like old times, my friends laughed at my spazzy dance moves and my pathetic attempt to talk to my new crush — because that’s the thing: Sometimes a lot of big things change, but the little things never do. You need those embarrassing experiences from your past to remind you that things get better when you learn to laugh about them and accept yourself.

Just a couple of boss ladies with their boss.

One thing’s for sure — high school is definitely not the best time of our lives. With time, we grow and learn more about ourselves, and that self-acceptance creates possibilities for badass life moments to happen. Getting to relive prom reminded me that memories are made in moments both big and small. Yes, I won prom queen—but my high school bestie and I also did our secret handshake on the dance floor, and both of those are memories I won’t forget. I wouldn’t change anything about high school or Dose prom— but I will disclose with full confidence that drinking at prom makes everything more fun.

Yup, some things never change.

*Throwing my hands up in the air since prom 2010*