Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: The Prom (08/02/04)
TITLE: pro…aaagh…gg.. hack-hack, oh, excuse me, om
By Lisa Beaman
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
SEND ARTICLE TO A FRIEND
Perhaps my experiences would be more fitting for a Greek tragedy. However, much to my dismay, there wasn't any bloodshed. I may have felt like killing my (absent) date, but my stomach's too weak and my conscience is too strong. Even without cold-blooded murder, the gory details of my junior prom would no doubt cause every woman reading this to cry for days. At least that is the effect the tragic story had on me.
I would love to write a comedy about it, but my sense of humor would probably be too cynical and harsh for a Christian web-site. I also might be forced to use words that are normally not part of my vocabulary and I would be banned from FaithWriters. Some of my "friends" did think it was funny at the time. One of them called me a "loser to the fourth". The math reference wasn't very funny to me then and to tell you the truth, sixteen years later, it still isn't. I do not think I could accomplish writing a comedy.
In fact, I believe I told Joanne Malley that I would be boycotting the writing challenge this week. I told her that the very thought of the word causes me to break out into hives. It's absolutely true. I'm all red and blotchy as I type. Yet, no matter how offensive the word "prom" is to me, I could not get those humiliating memories out of my head. The topic will haunt me until I write something. So, instead of writing about the prom that never was, I'll share with you some of the life lessons that my experience has taught me.
First of all, I have learned that if you happen to remain in the same small town that you grew up in, to be prepared to come face to face with ghosts of the past. Time may have dimmed my pain, but those feelings of anger, hatred and low self-esteem can come rushing back at any moment. Sixteen years later and I still feel a stab in my heart every time I see his name, talk to his wife or am forced to conduct professional business with him. Please note that it's hatred that I fight, not heartbrokenness. I am a happily married woman.
I have also learned that forgiveness isn't something that you only do once. The fact that this man is now a brother in Christ has forced me to do some serious soul searching. I have had to ask God to help me forgive him many times. Jesus told Peter to forgive his brother seventy-seven times (Matthew 18:22). I'm sure that he meant for him to forgive seventy-seven offenses. I have had to forgive seventy-seven times for one offense. I must be a slow learner.
Since romance and Greek tragedy are out of the question, perhaps one day I will be able to laugh at myself enough to write a comedic rendition. Until then, I will set my prom dreams on the future. One day my children will have their own prom experiences. Hopefully theirs will be more pleasant than mine, and I will be able to live vicariously through them. I also hope that I won't ruin the moment and say, " pro…aaagh…gg.. hack-hack, oh, excuse me, om" out loud.