A Night of Enchantment and Dreams
By Heather Frese
published in Youth
Allied By CFIDS, Summer 1996
The stage was set. Faerie
in the trees as the ocean crashed gainst the rocky cliff. Elaborate candelabra
illuminated the glistening pond and roses and ribbons abounded, decorating the
tables laden with food and drink. A dazzling gazebo reigned atop it all,
overlooking the enchanted scene. Then, just as the sun began to set into the
sea, they began to arrive; some by yacht, some by horse and carriage, some by
hot air balloon, some by limousine. The men looked dashing in their tuxedos, and
the ladies glowed with an inner light in their dream dresses with flowers in
their hair. Delicious hors d'oeuvres were served and soon the dancing began with
special songs requested. As the night progressed, each person lived his or her
own dream, one of health, happiness and magic.
When Jenn Waterman wrote to her friends
the Internet chat group CFS-Y about the sorrow she felt at missing her junior
prom, she had no idea that a wonderful event would occur. But as sympathetic
letters from around the world filtered in, we all began to realize a common
loss: missing our proms and formal dances. Soon ideas began to spring up like
magic - why couldn't we have a CFS-Y "Virtual Prom"? With imaginations running
like wildfire, girls described their dream dresses and member Christi Brogan
suggested the perfect hairstyle and flowers to go with each. A setting evolved
and refreshment committees were formed. Since this was "Virtual Land," we could
eat and drink whatever we wanted. Soon virtual dates were made and matchmaking
flourished. Jenn ended up "going" with my brother, mostly because I liked saying
"Jenn n' Ben."
With everything "virtually" in place,
tackled the logistics of the Prom. Because of time zones and some funky
computers, we found that holding the Prom in "real time" would be too difficult.
A series of e-mail letters from the participants served as the event, so that if
you were too ill to write one day, there was always the next. The Prom was a
shining success and now we look forward to our next Virtual Shindig.
It strikes a chord in me that such
time for many was turned into a joyous one, all because of good friends, an
international network of computers, a lot of imagination and a whisper of magic.
I could have danced all night.