Best Years of Your Life


Best Years of Your Life

There’s the dress, the shoes, the hair – with or without tiara? And you must get the transport right. Pink Mini Cooper? Stretch Limo? Tacky, but what the heck.

My son preferred a lift in a vintage Cadillac and his Dad’s suit – fitted so well my husband never saw it again. My daughter, in gold home-sewn prom dress, walked there under a polka-dot umbrella.

But what a nuisance: the library taken over by chatting teenagers for weeks before exams, the park and playground filled with them hanging out doing nothing much afterwards. I won’t miss any of that.

Actually, it breaks my heart.

Miranda Lewis 2020

(Genre: unreliable memoir)

It’s Friday so I’m late once again to Friday Fiction and I find myself not very fictional.

Today, as schools close across the UK, I am just so sad for the children and young people, particularly those at crucial rite-of-passage stages of their education. No chatting instead of revising in the library for them, no prom night. My library will not be full of irritating teenagers this year as it will be closed; when I stroll through the park (alone) this May and even June there won’t be large groups of teenagers celebrating the end of exams and the start of a long summer by doing nothing in particular together. I still have exam nightmares but now realise there’s something worse than exams – no exams.

Thanks to our host Rochelle who deserves her own Friday Fiction purple Limo to conduct her to story land each week, and  to J Hardy Carroll for the photo prompt.

Thanks to all who visit and especially those who stay to comment. Keep well my fiction friends.

No such thing as a prom (that more recent import from the USA!)  when I took O-levels in the long hot summer of 1976. But quite a bit of fun as I recall. Yours truly below!


21 thoughts on “Best Years of Your Life

    • I definitely didn’t have a prom but my children did – and although not all details are reliable I did make my daughter a gold dress! The prom can get completely over the top but my children’s school kept it all low key and affordable. This year a virtual prom? Who knows. Keep safe and well.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Dear Miranda,

    Love this nostalgic story. I remember the excitement of prom night. And I remember when my sons went. Strange state of affairs these days…everywhere. I do miss my boys as one of them turns 42 today. And I’m just a couple of years older than that myself. 😉 A purple limo? 😀 I like the idea.



    Liked by 1 person

    • Odd that isn’t it, how our kids catch us up in age!
      We didn’t have proms in the UK until probably the 1990s but when I lived in Maryland (in 1987) I made hand-painted prom outfits for a quirky little shop. At least one went to the prom! Thrown out long ago or hidden in an attic somewhere?
      I think they’ll think up something instead of a prom for this year – we are a creative species when we need to be, but it won’t be quite the same.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Endings are hard anyway but for those children not going back it was so sudden. I do a tiny bit of
      tutoring exam Maths for GCSE. It went from being able to have a teenager sitting with me at my kitchen table doing algebra to that being not the thing to do and no exams anyway! One Mum was incredibly upset.

      Liked by 1 person

    • As a quiet person who loves to garden, read, write, potter around at home on my own I am still finding it all very strange. We did just go for a two hour walk as a family of three for the first time in ages so some adapting could bring us together! Stay well! (Ah yes, the photo! It surfaced on a Facebook page run by my old school. Embarrassing but fun!)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Someday, the next couple of generations will be talking about this particular virus with nostalgia. Thank of that! “Remember when we all stayed home, self-isolating or quarantined, and everything just came to a stop? We though it was the end of the world! But, well, here we still are 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s been hard for the very young ones as well – no time to say goodbye to the loving teacher, to school friends… No hugs from us grandparents as we self-isolate…
    Our Cheshire East libraries are still open as today, but who knows when the doors will bang shut.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Some of my teacher friends said exactly that – no proper goodbyes. As for libataries my daughter stocked up from her Edinburgh library just before it shut and also has a very nice electric drill borrowed from the library of useful things that shut rather abruptly! Everything will get back in its place eventually.


  4. I didn’t even think about stuff like that. I wonder how kids’ educations would be resumed. Will they have to repeat the current year next year? Will they pick up where they left off? Why aren’t they all doing online classes? I also didn’t know prom was an American invention. There’s nothing like a little apocalypse to help one learn new things.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Schools in the UK have closed for all but certain pupils – vulnerable pupils, children of NHS workers and other key workers. Think it is similar in many parts of the world. We now have a very formal exam system here at 16 and 18 that assesses by summer exams right at the end of school – my kids did modules all the way through (which was great!) but this was changed. The schools/exam boards are sorting out a fair way to award grades.Too many children to just repeat a year – universities would have no first years for one thing!

      There is lots of online stuff going on from schools and elsewhere and help for parents, but many parents are also trying to do their own work cooped up inside at home. Children are resilient and at least to some extent everyone is in the same boat and people seem to be helping each other. But what a disruption! A lot of teachers were getting ill and it had to happen. Thank goodness few children seem to be ill – but they can spread the virus.

      I saw a few kids out with parents today – keeping away from other children. So difficult and so sad.

      But I bet someone somewhere is organising a virtual prom! Difficult to fall in love though or fall in the chocolate fountain virtually!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. So much is now denied us, illustrated well in your story. I hope that when this pandemic is over, we will value much more what is now denied us.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.