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Returning home Saturday night, we stopped at an Applebee’s on the Michigan and Indiana border (but too far east to be in Michiana). Applebee’s isn’t one of our favoritest places, but it’s a nicer respite from driving than a gas-station Subway. How surprised we were to find, not only in line ahead of us, but also scattered throughout the packed seating area, pastel tuxedos and glittery formal dresses: it was prom night. Since I never went to prom, I was surprised that Applebee’s would be so popular among the yearning, but K reminded me that, price-wise, it’s about their speed; I suppose it’s also the case that in some cultures Applebee’s is considered fine cuisine. As I watched one group of shiny teenagers after another line up at the door, sit down, and order their burgers and steaks, I realized that prom fashion is an oxymoron.

(The only girl I ever asked to prom for some reason favored oafish bores who had the advantages of being both braver and, consequently, quicker than I. I liked her, but I was ambivalent about the prom itself, so it’s probably just as well she didn’t say yes.)



Ahh, the prom. The one great crowning moment of adolescent glory before the post-graduation job at Big 10 Tires, the three kids, and every Sunday morning at church.

I didn’t go to mine either. I dropped out of HS, worked full-time at Wendy’s and an IHOP, then homeschooled the rest of the way.

Welcome back, btw. Sounds like you had a fairly unpleasant trip.

Unpleasant is probably the best word to describe it, though it wasn’t unexpected, so it wasn’t shockingly unpleasant. It wasn’t the kind of trip one looks forward to.

We read 3/4 of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on the trip there and back. It’s good reading, but JKR’s liberality with adverbs makes for some awkward voicing mistakes (if, like me, you go for voices).

He do the police in different voices!

It was prom night here on Saturday, and I imagine that the 60 or so kids and parents who went to dinner at the Spoke had a pretty good meal. That’s right—kids and parents. It’s so small here that the prom is open to the public. Since I didn’t go to prom the first time around, I opted out of this one, too.

Welcome back from me, too—and at least the trip is over.