What happened to high school Prom?
It used to just be a dance in a high school gym decorated by the pep club; a night that never lived up to the hype generated by Hollywood movies like Pretty in Pink, Ten Things I Hate About You, Valley Girl, etc. – typical tales of star-crossed lovers and romantic reunions. Now prom has reached a frenzy once reserved only for weddings—but without the gift registry…at least for now.
Today’s prom involves party buses with TV screens and dancing poles that take the students to urban hotels for catered dinners followed by club-hopping after the dance.
If your child, like mine, is smack dab in the middle of Prama Season I feel for you, but if your kid isn’t quite there yet, you may be able to help stop the madness.
Here is my list of the Five Ridiculous New Prom Traditions. Feel free to add to it. I’m sure there are things I don’t even know about yet.
1. Let’s start with the point where the craziness begins: the “Prom-posal.” Yes, that’s an actual thing. In fact, March 11 is National Promposal Day .
I kid you not. (It’s also National Worship of Tools Day so there’s that)
I know boys who have choreographed flash mobs, girls who have asked someone via the Jumbotron at the Chicago Bulls game and someone who used the loudspeaker at school to sing a request to his date. There are even companies that will help with the planning.
What’s wrong with just asking, “Do you want to go to Prom with me?”
Would someone really say no to a potential date who asked by himself instead of singing it, posting it, splashing it across a screen or having a celebrity ask for him? If the answer is yes, then what happens down the road when a marriage proposal comes your way? Are you going to be disappointed when it’s just a simple, “will you marry me,” and not a sunrise ask on a mountain top with Ed Sheeran singing quietly in the background while being streamed via Facebook Live??
2. Then there’s the cost. WTF? You could feed a small country with the money that is being spent on this dance. My kid will be shelling out a lot of money (his own – let’s be clear) for dance tickets, a tux rental, a corsage, and a limo. On the plus side, at least he isn’t getting a spray tan, a manicure, a pedicure and an updo – as far as I know.
3. The extras. The pictures! The limo! The after party! The pictures should be taken in a spot with an appropriately breathtaking backdrop. The limo, excuse me, party bus needs to have flashing lights, music, videos and room to dance for the hour-long drive to and from the party venue. The after party, well, that needs it’s own paragraph. See #5 below.
4. The actual dance (or, as the kids call it, the worst part of the night). My mom was reminiscing about decorating the gym and serving punch and cookies at her prom ala Grease.
That’s never going to happen again but do they really need to drive 45 minutes to a hotel in the city for the dance? I guarantee there is somewhere in the ‘burbs that could accommodate the party without forcing a trek into the city. (But the party bus is one of the best parts, Mom!) Why can’t they just take a page out of the original Footloose and host the dance in a barn across the county line! (Wow! There really are a lot of prom moments in movies and, wow, I’m really showing my age.)
5. And, finally, there is the after-party. Yes, there is an after-party in addition to the picture pre-party, the party itself and, often, the day after party. The after party used to be just hanging out at someone’s house but now there are all-ages dance clubs, comedy clubs and boat parties with DJs to continue the fun. In Manhattan there’s even a company that caters to the after-prom party set.
All of this for ONE NIGHT people!!
It’s a slippery slope.
You’ve been warned.
Where do you draw the line? Can you if you aren’t footing the bill?
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