Milestones in a Mask: Pandemic Prom

Katie Maier




It was 4:00 pm on a Saturday, May 1st, and after a failed attempt to repair the sewing machine, I was left hastily hand-stitching a sparkly mask out of the scraps of my hemmed dress. My frantic needlework could only be leading up to one event...Prom 2021!

Yes, for this year’s juniors and seniors at Lovett, Prom was a masked event, and we were grateful to have it. After last year’s dance was cancelled, nobody knew quite what to expect out of this year, and whether it would happen at all. But already being the PDC fanatic who I am, I (for the most part) planned ahead, convinced that Prom was going to find a way to happen. 

With some pretty intense optimism, I started dress shopping last fall and discovered that, when it comes to prom dresses, the year of a global pandemic is actually the perfect time for the quest. Since so many formal dances had been cancelled, stores were teeming with floor-length gowns marked down in price in hopes that an overly enthusiastic shopper (like myself) would swoop one up. It was in the midst of this unprecedented shopping opportunity that I came across a lovely pink gown for just twenty dollars! 

Flash forward to my sewing frenzy on the afternoon of the actual day of prom, and you would never have guessed that I had already decided on my prom look months before (this is what happens when you prioritize your AP Calc test over your prom fashion. Don’t repeat my mistake). While I sewed those last couple stitches, my mother was literally yelling at me that we had to leave or else I would be late to the picture party (which I wasn’t...my mother just likes to be dramatic). As a result, the skillwork of the last-minute mask was not quite ideal, although I do commend myself for the effort. 

Despite the non-typical nature of my pandemic prom fiasco (matching prom facemasks just wasn’t on my radar in 2019), I must say, the prom itself didn’t seem too out of the ordinary, especially since it was the first prom for most of us who attended. The outdoor venue of Railey field was filled with many of the same sights of prom years past...awkward non-dating couples taking pictures together in the photo booth, high heels abandoned in the corner about three minutes after their owners’ arrivals, groups of friends halfheartedly debating whether to infiltrate the dance floor. Nothing seemed to be missing, other than the other half of everyone’s faces. I guess we’ll see those at Prom 2022.
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