Last weekend, I experienced another first in my life -- my first high school prom.
Now, I know what you're thinking: Yes, Chris looks so young, fit and devastatingly handsome, but I could have sworn he was too old to be in high school.
Well, I have only two things to say to that: One, you shouldn't swear; it's not nice. And, two, as my best friend from Possum Holler High School, Uncle Grandpa, used to say, "You're never too old to be in high school." Of course, Uncle Grandpa was the only person in my graduating class who was collecting retirement as he was not quite as smart as those of us who breezed through high school in just six years.
They had junior-senior proms back then, but it was just one of the many things about high school that simply didn't interest me -- like pep rallies, algebra, chemistry, geometry and history.
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And it's not that I couldn't get a date. Granted, I couldn't for less than $50 an hour, but that's not the reason I wasn't interested in going to my high school proms. I simply didn't feel like getting dressed up. I've never felt like getting dressed up. Still don't. Never will.
That, kinda like my picky eating, bothers an awful lot of people. I'm not one of them, so it doesn't really matter. But it has bothered assistant principals who had to measure whether my shorts were too short and bosses who had to post memos that started like "Apparently, some of you have forgotten the dress code."
I always found that offensive because (a) it was always targeted at me and (2) I never forgot a dress code, especially if I found them humorous.
I'm sure my loathing of formal wear will haunt people until I die as I've explicitly stated in my will that no one wearing a tie is allowed into my memorial service/luau. And anyone wearing flip-flops gets to go to the front of the line to talk about how natural I look in my pajama shorts and flip-flops. (I don't know how hot it's going to be wherever I'm heading in the afterlife.)
Yet, last weekend, I found my way to the high school prom at last -- for my stepson's "senior walkout." I thought "senior walkout" was when we skipped school to go fishing and swimming at Whitewater Creek, but, no.
It's actually when seniors who do decide to get dressed up are announced before the prom gets into full swing and parents take pictures of them in less-than-ideal lighting.
Judging from the blurry picture I took, it must have been a senior runout instead of a walkout. My stepson is Usain Bolt, apparently.
But I was there, by golly. And I was dressed in my finest -- yes a collared shirt, jeans without paint on them and shoes two of them!
As I looked around at all the happy kids, the girls in their overpriced fancy dresses, the boys in their rented tuxes, the decorations (I think this theme was Colonoscopy Under the Stars) and listened to the music or whatever that noise was, I wondered if I should have gotten dressed up and gone to my junior or senior prom.
"Nope! Time to go!"
Perhaps if they'd have had a prom that was somewhat less formal -- no shoes, no shirt, no problem -- I'd have been interested.
Maybe I should have staged my own prom on a beach somewhere with all the like-minded folks I could round up.
Who am I kidding? I've never been around any like-minded folks, not outside the institution anyway.
So my alternative prom would have been me alone on the beach with a bottle of tequila and a cassette player (kids, ask your parents) belting out Jimmy Buffett tunes while I kicked my bare feet up and felt the sun on my bare shoulders.
On second thought, I shoulda had that prom, after all!
Connect with Chris Johnson at Facebook.com/KudzuKidWriting or on Twitter @kudzukid88.