Thursday, September 22, 2011

1995 - prom dresses and mall cops

i've mentioned before, i'm a rule keeper. i honestly hate getting in trouble. it makes my blood pressure rise. and this memory is no exception. 

one of my friends, rachel, was turning 13 and we decided that we were now old enough to go to the movies alone. so rachel's mom dropped off rachel, nikki, mindee and i and we headed to the theater to buy our tickets to the much anticipated box office thriller, little women. 

the movie wasn't scheduled to start for about an hour, so we had some time on our hands. since the theater was located right next to southtowne mall, we couldn't think of anything better to do than go into zcmi and try on prom dresses. and so we did. 

we looked amazing, i tell ya. me and my 4'11' frame. it was a sight to see. we felt we were so beautiful, in fact, that we decided to take some pictures in the dressing room. lots of taffeta, lots of chiffon, lots of lace...and lots of sleeve. you would not believe the sleeves. but they were gorgeous! we each modeled our dresses and we snapped some photos on my trusty 35mm point and shoot. 

as we were finishing up and heading out of the store, a mall cop confronted us. looking back, i can't believe he was so rough with us. we couldn't have looked intimidating! but apparently, taking pictures of clothes before you buy them is illegal. it's design infrigenment or something.

i was seriously beside myself. this cop said he was going to have to take us to the police office in the mall so he could take down our names and then he would have to confiscate my camera before our parents came to pick us up. 

all four of us were crying. rachel suggested that he simply take the film. there was no reason to take the entire camera, when the images he was worried about could be disposed of by ruining the film. but he was insistent. our group was a mess. sobbing and trying to explain ourselves - we just came to see a movie and we had some extra time, so we only wanted to have some fun and try on prom dresses. we were only twelve! it wasn't until an employee walked up - probably about my mom's age - and assured the cop there was nothing wrong. she had been keeping an eye on us and was certain we weren't there to copy any dress designs. the cop was hesitant, but he eventually left. and i got to keep my camera. i don't have any pictures of us in prom dresses, so he must have taken the film. i don't really remember. i honestly was too shaken up. 

after everything died down, we walked across the parking lot to watch our movie. when it was over, we used a pay phone to call rachel's mom to come pick us up. we were all so nervous. should we tell our moms or not? what if the cop told them first? surely they would find out we were almost arrested? and so, we decided to tell them. first was rachel's mom in the car on the way home. and do you want to know what she did when, with tears in our eyes, we told her about the evening's events? 

she laughed. 

she laughed! we were shocked. she wasn't mad. she thought the whole situation was hilarious. it took awhile for me to be able to laugh, but eventually i did. none of our moms were upset at us. in fact, some were kind of upset with the mall cop. 

i think about this experience almost every time i'm trying on clothes. and, since that night, i've never taken another photo in a dressing room again.

also in 1995 {apparently these were my awkward years...making my beauty in a prom dress that much more ironic...}:
{the quintessential denim family photo. 
i'll have you know i thought i was hot stuff wearing a 
denim jumper rather than a denim shirt and jeans. 
please also note the famous glasses that 
couldn't decide if they were squares or circles.}

 {photo booth with karalyn}

{scott's high school graduation}
{such a happy family. hehe. 
and what was i wearing!? seriously. i look like i'm 70!
it takes guts to post a picture like this, people.}


KaraLyn said...

Love the picture of us, Maren! That must have been when we went shopping with our mom's to find ME a prom dress! Loving your stories and pictures. You should write a book of all this!

Britta said...

Like your mom, this story makes me laugh so, so hard. (sorry!) Who knew that it was against the law? What a ridiculous law and what a ridiculous cop. I can't count the amount of times that I've tried on fancy dresses with friends and took pictures. It's a part of growing up.

p.s. love your glasses. One of these days, I'll have to show you the eyewear that I used to sport around.

ed and kelli said...

why am i the only one who looks happy in the last picture:)

t.t.turner said...

Looking back, I think the mid-90s were just a horrible time for style. At least that's how I console myself when I look back on old photos.

And yet, you're still GORGEOUS in each photo.