19 May 2007

Hooker chic: DC Prom Night 2007


It was a scene straight out of HBO's "Cathouse."

Standing outside the Logan Circle Westin - formerly the Logan Circle Wyndham - in groups of twos and threes and one larger clique of six off to the right, was the most highly concentrated rainbow of skank I'd seen in my neighborhood - in any DC neighborhood - in the past three years.

What was confusing, though, was that for every unequivocal indication this was in fact a handjobs-for-money crowd, there was something else to contradict that assumption.

Pleather dresses in broad daylight. Plastic stripper heels in a high family foot-traffic location. Sparkly-lycra halter mini dresses that I believe were of the rip-away variety and up-'dos with side tendrils. Egregious amounts of pancake cleavage, bruised white thigh exposure and octogenarian-poor posture. Corsages. Gum-snapping, expletive-laced conversations and a line of DC Metro Police Department cruisers. What looked like parental figures with cameras trying to break up said expletive-laced conversations with "Please, sweetie, for Mom - a picture? Please?" pleas.

But still, I didn't get it. For all the signs that might have led me in another, less sordid direction, there were a whole lot more that supported my first instinct that I was in fact staring at an assembly-line of sex purveyors.

After a few minutes of head-on, not-even-trying-to-be-inconspicuous staring, Monte gave me a final tug and exasperated tilt-of-the-head that clearly said, "Mom, I'm over it. They're not hookers - it doesn't make any strategic sense for them to stand in groups if they were. We're going. Now."

And as usual, he was right and go we did, but not before I heard a Mother loudly encourage her daughter and her daughter's friends to "squeeze in" and show her how they would do their "coochie ups and downs" on the dance floor. "Coochie ups and downs" -- word for word, I shit you not.

Between this and Monday's post on inappropriate church-wear, I'm starting to feel uncomfortably older than my relatively young age of 27. But at the same time, I'm also feeling more consistent in my assessments of venue and age appropriate dress. As I looked over my shoulder and caught a glance of yet another creamsicle-orange slit-up-to-here strapless disaster, I couldn't help but give my precious, well-preserved prom dresses - a burgundy with gold henna-print silk lantern-neck halter gown, an ivory tiered column dress and a Posh-Spice-inspired fitted black brushed-silk strapless knee-length shift - a remote hug.

And then, as I turned the corner, I sent one more of those hugs to my own Mother who not only would never use the word "coochie" but who would also never have let me out of the house, prom or otherwise, wearing anything that didn't meet the standard of sophistication to which she held herself. And to which, thankfully, she held me.

1 comment:

dc girl said...

you're not alone. I saw a few prommers out on the town on Friday night and thought the same thing. I blame the parents, because we all know the girls didn't pay for those dresses themselves.