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24

Updated draft: Milestone #3.

MILESTONE #3: Updated Draft

When I imagined my prom, it was always best case scenario. I found the perfect dress, my hair and makeup transformed me from broken-out teen to Disney-worthy Princess, my date was the Captain of the Rugby team. Stunningly, despite many quality hours spent imagining it, the reality of my prom was very, very different to the daydreams.

In hindsight, I made a lot of mistakes. Like getting my makeup done by a woman with eyebrows stencilled on in a surprised expression. So, in the spirit of letting others learn from my mistakes, here’s a guide to going to prom, from someone who learnt the hard way:

Don’t...book your make-up the day before prom. There will be no appointments available with anyone who knows about flattering makeup application. The lady behind the Clinique counter at your local pharmacy is NOT the person you want, especially with your low-self-esteem and current breakout...situation.

Don’t...laugh it off when both your mother and brother comment, independently of each other, that you look like a drag queen.

Don’t...decide months in advance that a dress you have in your wardrobe is the perfect dress for the event without trying that dress on.

Don’t...wait until the day of the prom to try that dress on and realise that it’s all together too clingy, too sheer, can’t be worn with a bra and has a cowl neck that won’t stay sitting on your chest and straps that won’t stay on your shoulders. 

Don’t...stand next to your closest most beautiful friend, who is six foot tall and  had her makeup done by the makeup artist on her last modelling shoot, while she’s wearing a custom made dress from the designer she’s currently operating as “muse” for. Especially not in your drag queen makeup and see through dress. 

Do...breathe a sigh of relief when your friend takes makeup wipes and a full makeup palette out of her teeny purse and re-does your face. Do thank her profusely and say you’ll return the kindness one day. 

Don’t...flash your high school principal when leaning forward because the double sided tape you decided was enough to hold your dress in place turns out to be...not enough. And don’t continue to make eye-contact with him after the fact. 

Do...buy dress tape. 

Don’t...for gods sake, kiss the English Gap student named Giles, just because you’re still a little obsessed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer and that’s where you first heard the name.  

Don’t...worry about people talking about you later. As it happens your model friend will get very, very drunk and vomit over the railing of the party onto the people below. While you hold her hair. Your role in the entire evening shifts from amazingly bad looking to amazingly good friend. Slate: cleaned.

Do...perpetuate this version of events. For the rest of your life.

MILESTONE #2: The First Draft

Here's my first draft. Feedback welcomed! It's almost 50 words over the word count at this stage, but I wanted to wait for feedback for the sake of my curiosity before deciding what to chop.

Just...don’t. A letter on navigating the highschool prom for my teenage self.

They say hindsight is 20-20. But really, should it have taken hindsight to realise I should never have trusted my prom makeup application to a woman with eyebrows stencilled on in a surprised expression? I realise you’re not supposed to know all the answers at 17. But surely I should have had that one. 

Other answers I should have had: 

Don’t...book your make-up the day before your prom, because there will be no appointments available with anyone who knows anything about flattering makeup application. The lady behind the Clinique counter at your local pharmacy is NOT the person whom you should entrust your face, especially with the twin guns of low-self-esteem and a breakout currently trained on you. 

Don’t...laugh it off when both your mother and brother comment, independently of each other, that you look like a drag queen.

Don’t...decide months in advance that a dress you have in your wardrobe is the perfect dress for the event when you haven’t tried that dress in months.

Don’t...wait until the day of the prom to try that dress on and realise that it’s all together too clingy, too sheer, can’t be worn with a bra and has a cowl neck that won’t stay sitting on your chest and straps that won’t stay on your shoulders. Because, news flash, you have no option but to wear it. 

Don’t...stand next to your closest most beautiful friend, who is six foot tall and  had her makeup done by the girl who did it on her last modelling shoot while she’s wearing a custom made dress from the designer she’s currently operating as “muse” for. Especially not in your drag queen makeup and see through dress. Just...avoid photos altogether.

Do...take it as a bad sign when said model friend gets a fright at your face. 

Do...breathe a sigh of relief when she takes makeup wipes and a full makeup palette out of her teeny purse and re-does your face. Do thank her profusely and say you’ll return the kindness one day. Although sadly, there are already photos of the drag queen face. 

Don’t...flash your high school principal when leaning forward because the double sided tape you decided was enough to hold your dress in place turns out to be...not enough.

Do...buy dress tape. 

Don’t...for gods sake, kiss the English Gap student named Giles, just because you’re still a little obsessed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer and that’s where you first heard the name. (FYI: other, better reasons to kiss him: his accent, his gym-every-day physique, his plus-six-foot-height. At least the miracle of hindsight can save you with this one.)

Don’t...worry about people talking about you later. As it happens, god is finally on your side and your model friend will get so heinously drunk and vomit over the railing of the upper level of the party over the people below, with you holding her hair. Your role in the entire evening shifts from amazingly bad looking to amazingly good friend. Slate: cleaned.

Do perpetuate this version of events. For the rest of your life.

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MILESTONE 1: Ideas

My ideas:

The world's worst date. With a stalker. 

I finally agreed to go on a date with a guy who'd asked me out a few times. He turned up with a bunch of my favourite flowers. Happy coincidence? Nope - throughout the night he proceeded to tell me all that he knew about me, factoids he'd gleaned from my twitter, speaking to our mutual friends and logging in to my friend's Facebook so he could read my page. And the next day, he turned up to my office. With lunch. And introduced himself to my boss. As my boyfriend.

The ultimate fashion faux pas: The day I went to prom in a see through dress and more makeup than a drag queen. 

I should never have trusted a woman with eyebrows that were painted on in a surprised expression. And I really should have checked that my dress left nothing to the imagination when a camera flasneck not off. And finally, I really wish I knew about dress tape when I was 17. 

The crappy world of crohn's disease.

I was diagnosed with crohn's - an inflammatory bowel disease - 8 years ago. None of the symptoms or surgeries have been fun, but by far the worst is the constant diarrhea when I'm having a disease flare up. Always having to know where the bathroom is and the related difficulties make for some pretty ludicrous stories, like having to break in to a library after hours, or sprinting through the lobby of the fanciest hotel in town, or being targeted by airport security for being a drug runner for having to go to the bathroom so many times between disembarking the plane and going through customs. 

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