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Home » Donors Choose and Contests

The Tomato Nation Fall Classic: 0 For 2

Submitted by on October 6, 2010 – 11:25 AM32 Comments

Y'all raised for $300 the Jackie Robinson Foundation and Pitch In For Baseball yesterday, so as promised, I've posted my prom pictures. My date is cropped out to protect his anonymity, but he's wearing a tie and cummerbund that match my dress (obviously). I, meanwhile, chose to accessorize formalwear with a drugstore Timex (obviously), instead of the charging bull that little jacket obviously calls for. Lord, those bangs. Those SLEEVES. Sarah Bunting graduates!

This pic is from my prom; I went to two, my own (girls' school) and his (boys' school). I like the dress in the pic below (his prom), but I'd totally forgotten until looking at it today that my BFF and I had a whole negotiation over who would wear which Laura Ashley strapless to which prom, because she was going out with my boyfriend's best friend, so we went to the same proms, and she bought this other Laura Ashley dress that I had also bought in a different color, but she bought hers first and didn't want to wear it to our prom, so in order to avoid a Cuban missile crisis I had to go back to the store and buy this one…I mean, we had A Sitdown over it, for real. When you look back on that kind of thing and realize how little it matters, it's kind of amazing.

Also kind of amazing: the teenage metabolism. Friends, I wore both of these dresses in A SIX. While subsisting, if memory serves, largely on full-sugar Dr. Pepper and chocolate Donettes.

Moving on! My brilliant agent Kate has furnished a few books for your prizing enjoyment; just forward your receipts for donations to either Donors Choose or the baseball projects today, and you could win one of the following: Historical Tweets: The Completely Unabridged and Ridiculously Brief History of the World; Teh Itteh Bitteh Book of Kittehs (A LOLCat Guide 2 Kittens); or Josh Wilker's fantastic Cardboard Gods: An All-American Tale Told Through Baseball Cards. You should also follow Kate on Twitter because she's chic and informative.

Currently at $7,442 for Donors Choose and north of $700 for the baseball projects; Donors Choose giving page here, baseball projects PayPal button below. Let's make a big dent today in honor of the postseason, a discussion thread for which will open this evening.

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  • Toni says:

    Except for the Matador Bolero (obvs.) those dresses are both pretty adorable, and could easily be worn today. At least yours didn't include full-coverage turquoise sequins (Junior Year), or satin rosettes and a Sandra-Dee flip-do (Senior Year).

  • Jen S 1.0 says:

    I was too busy drooling and frothing with envy over your teenage metabolism to notice petty things like dresses. I never had that, even as a teen. Just packed it on like I have camel DNA.

    But that latter one is definitely spoiling for a Carribean cruise or Luau Night down at the Eagles Club.

  • cayenne says:

    Dig the Bruce Willis sunglasses. I think I had a pair, sad to say.

  • Rachel says:

    I'm far more concerned about the sunglasses in the first photo. The dress isn't *that* bad and the color suits you. Also? THOSE LEGS, whoa. I would smack a baby to get my teenage metabolism back (my diet was basically Pepsi and Oreos, seemed to work well).

  • Jenn says:

    Aww, you were a perfect size six, just like the Wakefield twins.

  • Amy says:

    I wish I still had my teenage metabolism, too! Laura Ashley… that made me giggle. I'm just surprised there was no baby's breath in the updo or rhinestones draped from your neck. I thought that was THE thing to do for proms back then. (I never did baby's breath but I had the rhinestones.)

  • MsMolly says:

    Sars, your prom dresses are a model of taste and restraint when you consider the time. For my junior prom in 1991 I made my mom drive to five or six stores before settling on the perfect dress. What did the perfect dress look like? Jamie Foxx is wearing it in this Living Color skit. No lie.

  • Tara says:

    I totally had those sunglasses too!

  • Elizabeth says:

    Is it wrong that I kind of love that pink dress?

  • Jaybird says:

    Uch, the teenage "I think I'm a water buffalo but I'm really small enough to slip through ventilation ducts" syndrome. I remember that. I was a size 4 in high school (5'3") and STILL felt like apologizing for the acreage I took up with my giant self.

    And I thought you looked really pretty in the second shot–your face and hair look very young and understated, but I say that now as a middle-aged southerner with tall hair. So…

  • Claire says:

    Maybe it's because my mother only dressed me in Laura Ashley when I was 5 and thus have painful memories of scratchy velvet collars, but I am seriously in love with your LA prom dress.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    I have to say, my HS BFF did me a favor with that whole drama. She looked super-cute in the other dress, but she is quite petite; on me, it looked like a begonia had mated with Liberace. I thought it looked great, but at that age I was still in denial about the realities of the "my height + certain prints" equation.

    $7,442 DC; $805 for baseball. Go.

  • Jo says:

    The Laura Ashley dress is actually really pretty. I don't understand the watch in either photo. Were you overly concerned with being on time to the prom?

    I went to proms in the late '90s, so my outfits weren't THAT bad. My makeup, on the other hand, was BAD. I insisted on borrowing my mom's foundation because I didn't own any, and she's about two shades lighter than me. I look like I'm dying.

  • Grainger says:

    The dress in that first one…the shoulderpad/sleeves look like something a Warhammer 40,000 Space Marine would wear as a cocktail dress…

  • mctwin says:

    I get the watch-with-formal-wear thing. I wore the same jewelry, and not much of it, all through high school! Same necklace, same watch, no rings or earrings! I think you make those dresses look great!

  • Amanda says:

    Oh my God. THE RUFFLES. And the sunglasses. I laughed so hard at the sunglasses. But I agree with everyone who said the dresses (minus the rufflero) have aged well. You definitely could have done a lot worse.

    I can't diss the watch because when I went to a friend's wedding in August, I almost wore my chunky black $9 Wal-Mart digital watch with my brown-and-ivory sundress, so concerned was I about the (still obvious in October) tan line on my wrist. Thankfully, I forgot to pack the thing before I went to her house that morning.

    And word on the teenage metabolism thing. I was still one of the fat kids in my class, but I wore like a size 14 and hated myself for it. Five and a half year after graduating, I would kill to be a 14. The fact that the aforementioned sundress was a 16 was nearly enough to make me weep with joy.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:


  • Kelly says:

    Hi Sars,

    Are you going to take any suggestions for projects if they aren't for books? I have loved having tomato nation help my classroom in the past and I do have one for art supplies. Did not want to step on any toes and thought I would ask. Thanks!

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    @Kelly: Not this time around, no. If your project is still open when we do the big drive in the spring, please send it along and I'll look at it then — thanks!

  • Sarah says:

    I think my favorite accessory is actually the sheer black nylons/pantyhose/stockings (pick your regional term for sheer leg coverings). Nothing dates a picture faster (well, and the jacket)! Can you believe the things we used to wear?

    God bless high school metabolism. That is a topic of discussion amidst my high school friends and I constantly. There was an awful lot of fast food ingested in those days (lunch, dinner on the go) and yet? Skinny with a belief of enormous-ness, just like @Jaybird mentioned. *sigh*

  • Jaybird says:

    @Jo: I graduated from high school in 1985, having survived an epidemic of parakeet-hued eyeshadow, applied in vertical stripes, a la "Hungry Like the Wolf", to say nothing of the four discrete layers of shoulderpads, hair that required a "Wide Load" sticker, and pink frosted lipstick. After that, going slightly Goth in college was restful.

  • Scrapper says:

    Tramp, it comes flooding back!

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    $7,542! Don't forget: free books! Just forward your receipts!

  • mspaul says:

    I have to agree with a lot of people here – those dresses could be *so* much worse. Like, say, for instance, my prom dress. From 1988, when in my area of the country Southern Belle was all the rage. Oh, the layers of crenoline. And shoes dyed to match, naturally.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    The dresses really aren't that bad, considering. It's the styling. And [Richie Aprile voice] the jackeeeeeet [/Richie].

  • Cyntada says:

    @Jaybird: 1986 grad here, and half the girls at my school would have matched that description. I was the misfit who passed those four years in no makeup, old jeans and wrinkled T-shirts. Not exactly a fashion plate, but I can't be convicted for any worse crime than not being acquainted with an iron.

    And now that you all know how keen MY fashion sense is, that pink dress looks to me like it would be totally cute today, once you machete your way past those sleeves.

  • Louisa says:

    Oh my God! I completely sympathize with weight blindness. In high school I was a size 6 (5'6") and was convinced that I needed to wear the 90s equivalent of Spanx under my clothes at all times, or people would notice what a butterball I was. What was I thinking?! Now I'm a size 12 and there's no way I'm binding myself into foundation garments unless I'm going to a wedding.

  • Nicole says:

    Here's the thing. I was a size 6 in highschool too. Now I'm a size 4. I'm bigger now. American clothing sized have gotten seriously sandbagged. Sars, you were the now equivalent of a size 0 with those long lean legs and skinny middles!

  • Louisa says:


    You're so right. I was making a costume from a pattern over the summer, and according to my measurements and the chart on the back, I needed to make the dress in a size 20. McCall's, you bastards!

  • DuchessKitty says:

    Sars, I was expecting so much worse. Like the horrendous electric teal and purple swirl print puffy sleeved satiny dress I wore for my prom in 1988. With matching eye shadow of course.
    You look down right gorgeous! I too wonder about the Timex accessory though – didn't your boyfriend have a watch?

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    I feel naked without a watch; it never occurs to me that I could just not wear one, or check my cell phone/the dashboard clock/whatever. I HAVE to wear one, a functioning one (I think I was probably offered my Nana's watch, which was more formal, for the proms, but it was broken, so I'm sure I nixed it on that basis).

    There's also the problem of the watch tan line, which is now 25+ years in the making and can't be bested by makeup.

  • Jaybird says:

    Wish I could wear a watch. I invariably kill them w/in 24 hours. The Wrist of Doom.

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