Prom night story

Four of us took the obligatory limo to our high school senior prom, my girlfriend and I, and another couple. After the prom, we stopped at an IHOP for some munchies, still in our tuxedos and dresses. Surprisingly, the place was actually pretty busy so early in the morning.

Anyway, when we were about ready to leave, I asked our waitress for the check. She said it had already been paid. What? Who paid it? The guy at the table behind us had paid our tab.

Weird, but we turned to thank him, and he explained that back on his prom night many years ago, someone had done the same for him and his friends. The guy who had paid his tab also explained that someone had done it for him years earlier. Now it’s our turn to pass it on.

I’ve long since lost touch with the kids I was with that night, but I’ve never forgotten the pact to which we’d been committed. Over the years, I’ve had numerous chances to settle the debt… prom groups are easy to spot. But, I’ve yet to actually do it. I can’t help but feel like a weirdo engaging a group of teens on their prom night.

So I’m thinking of creating something like a laminated business card with an explanation of the history of the free prom dinner, and the expectation that it be paid forward someday. Figure the next time opportunity presents itself I can just settle their tab with the waitress, and ask her to give them the card. That way, it’s anonymous, but I will have held up my end of the deal.

What say y’all? Still weird?

Yeah, kinda weird. That doesn’t make it a bad thing though.

It’s a nice story and it’s nice of you to continue it.

To me, the laminated card makes it way weirder. I think if you pay it, and let it be awkward if it needs to be–but if they ask, smile self-disparagingly and hand-wave it away and say, “On my prom night, somebody paid my tab, so I figured, y’know, good karma!” Only add details if they ask.

But a laminated card? This shit’s premeditated, and would make me feel like I’d become a character in a Hallmark movie.

Yeah, these days that’s likely to earn you a visit from law enforcement. :rolleyes: Kinda fucking sad, really.

I like your idea, but honestly, too much time/money investment on your end.

Some traditions just need to have a natural death. But, hey! If you don’t mind doing it, go for it!

:smiley: See? This is why I asked.

I could just type it up in Word, and print it off. I have those card sized laminate sheets around here somewhere, so it’s no trouble. But like Lefty said, it might still be weird.

At least I don’t drink anymore. That’s why I’ve never done it before when I had the chance. Imagine a 40-something drunk guy paying for a table of teens? Ahhh… no.

Fuck! :mad: If I’da know this was such a bad thing, I’da saved* hundreds* last weekend!

Just think, I felt good giving a little kid a quarter at the gum machine. I guess I need to try a little harder.:slight_smile:

Yeah, the laminated card thing is too weird for me. Almost like stalking.

Get yourself a van and a whole bag of candy! :smiley: Take your generosity mobile!

I thought vans came with puppies, not just candy?

On the back of the laminated card, there should be a photo of the group taken several hours earlier, with your leering face photoshopped onto both of the boys.

The puppies are always missing. That is why the kid needs to get in and help you find them.

If you’ve lost touch with the other three, how do you know the debt hasn’t already been paid? You could be in the clear.

If that’s what you’re worried about, don’t engage the kids. Ask the waitress or restaurant manager not to reveal who paid their tab. Or better yet, pay their tab as you’re leaving.

If all 4 in the group pay it on consistently the following year, it will only take about 12 years until every kid in the entire U.S. going to prom gets a free meal.

yes but if they don’t pay it forward, terrible things could happen so it can be a Stephen King Hallmark Movie.