So it’s prom season around here. Not sure how many of you are as old as I am that you are now immersed in prom season but those of you who are and are also my age or older will understand the madness that has become prom.
When I went to my junior prom, we bought some kind of gunnie sak dress at Macy’s, bought some white shoes that we died to match the color like exact, threw our hair up in a banana clip, put way too much makeup on our faces, and headed over to the school cafeteria for a lot of too close dancing and neck sucking. My how times have changed. I mean we did the whole limo thing, cause who doesn’t love a limo but let me tell you, prom ain’t what it used to be.
Let’s start with the asking process. When I went to prom, the guy or girl usually awkwardly fit the words “Will you go to prom with me” really quickly in hushed tones in some kind of unrelated conversation. It would go like this: “Hey so and so, did you go to the mall over the weekend? Can you believe that French regents exam, I think I failed. willyougotopromwithme?” The end. And either the person on the receiving end said yes or no and it was over. Pretty soon it was whispered around the school who was going with who and the whole world knew you were going to the prom with someone. The end. Let’s turn to now. Now there are PROMPOSALS. Do you not know what a promposal is? Let me tell you. The asker makes some sort of gigantic poster with some uber clever way of asking along with lots of candy or flowers or confetti or all of the above and publicly asks the askee to prom. This is accompanied by the best friends videoing the promposal and posting it on social media and snap chatting it out to every living soul. You know, for posterity. Cause when you’re someday 45 you’re gonna want to revisit this moment over and over.
Now that the asking has been done it’s time for the dress. Back in the day, 5 people would show up with the same gunnie sak dress and we’d all eye each other and get over it and move on. Nowadays there’s a groupme of girls who post pictures of the dress immediately after they’ve said yes to the dress and you are FORBIDDEN BY GIRL LAW to even think about buying that dress even if your boobs do look better in it. The dresses way back when were usually bought at some department store and maybe cost 50-100 dollars, less or more depending upon your means. Nowadays you’re looking at 300-500 dollars for a prom dress. That she will wear once. ONCE. And can we discuss what we are paying for here? Back then the gunnie sak dress covered every inch of the bod with lace and tulle and whatever. Nowadays we’re lucky if the 300 dollar dress covers nipples or ass cracks. For real. Picture JLO’s dresses on the red carpet. Then picture your teen in it. Then shudder.
Ok so she said yes to the dress. Basically we were done after this. We did our own hair, makeup and nails because your mother would never pay for something like that when you were 16 or 17 or 18 years old. The first time I ever got a professional manicure was AFTER my wedding day on a girls’ spa weekend. Now, these kids get updos, manicure, pedicure, spray tans, and makeup done at a spa or salon. So basically, after you’ve spend 300-500 on a dress, you’re going to spend at least another 300 on all this other shit and for what? To go to a dance where the boys could give a shit about the fact that your hair is up, your makeup is on point and you look like you were once an oompa loompa in your high school production of willy wonka. Mind you, this is way more than I even did on my wedding day let alone prom. But if you don’t do this, you are not a good mother so just do it. Okay?
Next you have to pay for prom. When I went to prom, tickets were like 50 dollars total and the prom was held in the cafeteria of the school. Nobody cared about where it was, we ate some cold food and danced and then went to somebody’s house to suck face after. Now it’s almost always at a fancy hotel and the cost is usually between 180-200 for a pair of tickets. I’m sorry, are they going to the four seasons for dinner? Are they going to a black tie affair for a charity? Um no, it’s prom. They are far too young to appreciate anything other than mac n cheese, pizza, and a paper tablecloth with plasticware. But sure honey, here’s another check that will come out of your college fund. Have fun!
So tonight I head over to another parents house where we will all gather together to celebrate the spectacle that has become prom. There will be pictures of the 10 couples and wine and cheese for the adults. Because dammit we earned that goddamn cabot cheddar with all the shit we put into this affair. And we can’t afford to all go out to eat after since we spent all of our money on prom.
Happy prom season!