I was surprised when Jake asked me if I would volunteer to be a chaperone at the Senior prom this year. I like doing things with Jake, but chaperoning always makes me feel like a killjoy so I was reluctant, but then he told me the theme was "Masquerade" and it was going to be like a 17th century Masquerade ball. It sounded like a lot of fun, so I agreed.
The school had a costume shop they were refering all the students and staff to, but I found something better over the Internet. The gown I rented came complete with a powdered wig and mask.
Jake looked so handsome dressed in a coat of burgundy velvet with wide cuffs and a white shirt trimmed in lace, a powdered wig and patent leather shoes with big buckles. I can't describe the effect exactly, but he looked a little like a cross between Austin Powers and the Duke of Buckingham. I looked like Madame De Longuiville from The Three Musketeers. My husband, Tom, took a picture of us with our masks on. He said we looked like royalty! I was ready to enjoy myself!
Jake shared the expense of a limousine with a few of his friends, but there was no way I could fit into a car with such a full skirt on so I had to take off the hoop skirt under the gown so I could fit behind the wheel. I threw the into the back seat and put it back on when I arrived at the hotel.
Jake's school rents the same hotel ballroom every year. This year, the decorating committee really outdid themselves. I think they must have raided a few theater prop warehouses to get all the furniture and props to turn the hall into a 17th century ballroom. There were Queen Anne-style chairs, settees and sofas and a gorgeous crystal chandelier over the dance floor. Two throne-like chairs, upholstered in rich purple and gold brocade, were set up for the prom king and queen at one end of the room on a raised dais behind the podium.
The tables were covered in gold damask linens with white lace drapes over them. Each place was set with white china edged in gold, crystal goblets and golden utensils on each gold damask napkin. In the middle of each table was a beautiful iridescent glass rose for centerpieces. There was a small chamber music ensemble in the corner playing classical music, but there also was a DJ setting up to play popular music after dinner.
When I arrived at the ballroom the seven chaperones had a meeting. Three were dressed as servants, two were dressed as a carriage footman and David's father, Mark and I were dressed as aristocrats. Each of us was stationed in areas of the room according to our costumes. Mark and I would patrol the dance floor, the servants the rest of the ballroom and adjoining gardens while the foot men would also keep track of any couples who left the ballroom for the adjoining courtyard garden.
The food was served buffet-style. There was roasted rosemary breast of chicken, and prime rib, potatoes au gratin, mixed vegetables and lots of French bread. There were sodas, sparkling apple cider and a delicious punch made from ginger ale, and lemonade to drink. All the chaperones were given a chance to eat before the students arrived so we could spend the entire evening supervising the prom without distraction. Everything was delicious!
As the students arrived, the chaperones dressed as servants, seated them at the tables in order they came in. Then they could take their plates and get in line for the buffet. Eventually every seat was filled and all the seniors were all enjoying the meal.
I barely recognized the school principal when he walked up to the podium. He was dressed in a gorgeous 17th century cavalier outfit complete with hat and outrageously long ostrich plume. While he was congratulating the Senior class I looked around for Jake, but I didn't see him. The principal announced the name of the prom queen first and then called my son's name for the prom king! Jake looked so handsome as he walked up the aisle with Amber on his arm.
After they were crowned the king and queen performed a cakewalk dance with the other nominees for prom king and queen. They had been practicing it for weeks and they all looked terrific as they promenaded and switched partners winding their way around the circle.
After the cakewalk, was over everyone came back to the 20th century as the DJ started playing popular dance music. Everyone took off their masks and began rockin'. One good thing about the huge skirts the girls were wearing was they made chaperoning easy because it was impossible to stand within a foot of them.
A photographer was set up at the back corner of the hall and had a gorgeous backdrop of a moon lit hedge maze and artificial marble bench for the couples to pose and have their portraits taken. Jake and his date looked so elegant in their photo I had a copy framed and hung it on the wall in the living room.
The DJ organized a costume contest between the students at each table. The vote was by applause and the winners received the glass rose centerpiece. All the winners from each table were brought and over all best, voted by applause, received a fifty dollar gift certificate at the local department store.
Everyone had a great time dancing and partying until late. I really enjoyed myself and was very proud my son was chosen as prom king.