Prom, Senior Prom

Inside Santa Barbara High's James Bond-Themed Senior Prom

Santa Barbara High School Prom 2007

Dinner reservations. Hair appointments. A glittery dress. Four-inch heels. Roses and ribbons. Months of planning. And plenty of phone calls. Ah:it’s high school prom.

“Are you two coming yet? We’re waiting to take group photos.”

“Give us 10 minutes. I’m finishing up Amy’s hair.”

My best friend hangs up the phone and returns to the arduous task of curling my unreasonably straight black hair. For a girl who’s only seen in makeup on the rare occasion, I’m already exhausted – I’ve spent four hours at her house with a now-empty bottle of hair spray and a hot iron to show for it, and the night hasn’t even begun.

Prom was the talk of Santa Barbara High‘s senior class for the past month – after all, AP tests were over, college acceptances were mailed in, and not a lot was left to do. As a junior at SBHS, I envied the seniors’ freedom, but since my boyfriend Josh was one of them, I was swept up in the planning for their James Bond-themed affair.

The first event in the upcoming month filled with graduation parties and BBQ’s, prom was to be a suave introduction to the glamorous nightlife that awaits these soon-to-be college students. Or maybe that’s just an excuse – come on, that overwhelming amount of prep time had to account for something.

Inside the DoubleTree at Prom 007.

Group shots, couple shots, joke shots. Six parents and 15 cameras later, we climb into our shiny white limo, blasting music on our way to dinner. After some tricky maneuvering into the tight parking lot at Hendry’s Beach, we arrive at the Brown Pelican, applauding our limo driver for driving such a monster. We alight onto the beach, the sunset filling the evening sky. The girls brace the bitter ocean winds as yet more photos are taken, perhaps one of the most essential components of the evening.

Paparazzi await us at the DoubleTree in the form of a professional photographer creating memories for a class DVD. After succumbing to more smiling and posing, we endure the body check given at the door. So very 007.

“Hey, are we allowing these?” I exchange a grin with my date, whose attending officer is holding up what we had stashed in his pockets earlier that evening.

My officer is bewildered, “What is that thing?”

The response from Josh’s agent: “A plastic water gun. All the kids in this group have them!”

With an eye roll and an exasperated shrug, we’re waved through the door. For a 007 theme, what else could they expect?

The author with her date Josh and their water pistols.

A thumping beat, colored lights, and tables full of poker chips. In just one room were people I hadn’t seen in weeks, all astonishingly beautiful. There was brandishing of guns, lots of laughter, and even some rolling of dice.

Something about prom sets it apart from just any other school dance. Maybe it’s the attire, maybe it’s the decorations, but I think it might just be the idea of prom, an event that’s supposed to be the greatest night of your life. Whether or not this is the actual result, who doesn’t want an excuse to stay up all night?

As for SBHS Prom ‘007, the party was definitely worth checking out, and we did celebrate until breakfast. Who knows? I might even show up again next year.


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