I sat in heavy traffic on the A3 Guildford by-pass, pondering the rights and wrongs of school proms. It has to be said that in my opinion it is one of the better "traditions" that we have been given by our cousins across the pond.
This was my first school prom and I was driving Emily to pick up a young man and his date and take them to a golf club for a black tie dinner and dance.
I was greeted at the lad's house by his mum, dad, granny, younger brother and younger sister. All excitedly waiting to see him off on his big night. I am guessing, but I think that this was probably a first for them too.
As we drove we exchanged small talk, where was he going to college? What was he going to study? Does he have a part time job? Was the young lady that we were going to pick up his girlfriend or just a friend?
I glanced in the rear view mirror and saw that he was blushing, "No," he said self consciously, "She's not my girlfriend... yet. Hopefully she will be by the end of the night."
During the drive from the young lady's house to the golf club, the conversation in the back of the car was light hearted and amiable. Until, that is, we got close to the venue.
I glanced in my mirror, catching the girl's eye. She looked terrified. To break the tension, I suggested that I should drive past the road leading to the venue for about half a mile and then come back, so that they may have a moment longer to compose themselves. I told them, as I do with brides on their big day, that when we pulled up at the the golf club, I would get out and open the door. When they were both ready, I would stand aside to help them out of the car. There would be no need to rush.
I have to admit that I was not ready for the sight that greeted me as I turned the final corner of the driveway. There must have been at least one hundred school kids, all dressed in tuxedos or ball gowns mingling around beneath the entrance canopy. To swell the throng even more, many of their parents stood by watching as their offspring prepared to celebrate the beginning of the rest of their lives.
I lined the little 1934 Rolls Royce up behind two enormous open topped Cadillacs to await my turn to offload my charges. The silence from the back was broken by a small voice, "What if I trip up?"
Needless to say, she didn't trip. We took our time, just as we had agreed. Cameras flashed, people cheered and waved and two very proud mums looked on.
Did they end the evening as a couple? Well, I'll probably never know. Unless I get booked to drive for their wedding!