Note the crepe paper flowers...note the tails on the tux...note the silver lame' bow as big as my head. I remember that Jeff actually had to BUY his tie and cummerbund because back then, no one would rent lame' stuff because it couldn't be dry-cleaned. I think it cost him an extra $50. My dress was a little over a hundred bucks and the only reason I was able to get it is that my sister promised to wear it the next year.
Folks, lemme tell you, times have changed. Here's a re-cap of what the past oh, 6 months have been like in my household, pre-prom.
First, the kiddo is dating a guy that goes to another school (we'll call him #1)...his prom is in March, so in December, she wants to go dress hunting. I stress REPEATEDLY that anything over $200 will have to be worn to BOTH proms. She finds a dress that she LOVES for $300. We buy it, but don't take it home because A: With all of the beasts currently residing in our house, it's just safer the longer it can stay in a nice, fur- and claw-free environment. and B: I'd never hear the end of it from Jeff because I bought the dress so early when we have a kid that changes her mind more frequently than her socks.
Of course, she breaks up with #1 in less than a fortnight after the check clears the bank from the dress purchase. And now she hates the dress that she bought with him in mind. Because the dress has never actually left the store AND because I snivelled and begged to the owner (with whom I went to high school) to please, please, please let us put that dress out on the floor and get another one, we had to go dress shopping again.
In the meantime, the kiddo decides that she's just going to agree to go to prom with a friend...a person she's known for years who is a friend, just a friend and will forevermore remain a friend, forever and ever, world without end, amen (#2). That seems reasonable...that way no matter who each of them is "liking" or "talking to" or "texting" or whatever, we are spared the drama of worrying about prom. We pay the HUNDRED AND EIGHTY DOLLAR prom fee (yes. $180 American dollars. Per junior. The whole racket made no damn sense to me whatsoever. $180 would cover a couple...as long as the date wasn't another junior...then EACH of them had to pay $180. RE-FREAKING-DICULOUS.) Oh, AND this prom fee is due in January for a prom that's not being held until May. Does ANYONE at this high school remember that we are dealing with teenagers? Asking them to make a nearly two hundred dollar committment 5 months in advance? Is the prom board high? Are they smoking crack, because this is insane. Ahem.
We go back to Bow-Ties to look for another dress and what do you know? The kiddo finds one that she LOVES and it does look fantastic on her and it is just to-die for and it makes her forget ALL about whats-his-name (#1) that she broke up with last month. I am ashamed to even print here what I paid for this dress. I will say this...it is the single most expensive piece of clothing I have ever bought. And that includes my wedding dress. However, since $300 of it is already paid, it is slightly more bearable. Of course, the purchase of this dress promptly inspires her good friend, we're-going-to-go-to-prom-together-as-friends-and-just-friends-no-matter-what (#2) to change his mind. I won't even get into the whys of that right now...but I'm fairly sure it was largely due to the fact that the child had started dating someone else (#3). Who gallantly stepped up to say that HE would be thrilled to take her to the prom. Of course, it's not that easy, because you can't just agree to go to prom. Nosireebob, you have to have a PROMPOSAL. I shit you not. The guy has to have some incrediably complicated, romantic, original way to ask a girl to the prom and it has to be the envy of every other girl across the breadth of every social media known to humanity...Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Yes. Girls really expect all of that from some 17-year old boy who has to be reminded to sign his Mom's Mother's Day card. Because we all know how sappy and sentimental 17-year old boys are.
We are now within 7 weeks of the prom...the kiddo is stressing out that #3 isn't ever going to "officially, officially" ask her to prom by having sky-writting planes fly overhead of the school or whatever when it happens. THEY break up. At this point, even the kiddo is sick to death of the constant upheaval that is prom planning.
Not only are we having all of these stupid boy issues, but there's the whole prom bus issue. I guess now a-days, instead of borrowing your older brother's awesome convertible, everyone gets together and rents a prom bus. These things transport about 20-40 kids to and from their prom and whever they're going to dinner. Since everyone usually goes to either Birmingham or Atlana (60 and 90 miles away respectively) it's probably a good idea so that the kids aren't driving themselves and wrapping older bro's car around a guardrail. However, prom buses are a political quagmire unto themselves. We went through so many itterations of "I'm on a prom bus!" and "They overbooked that prom bus! Now I'm going to die!" and "Nevermind, I found a group that's taking a limo!" and back to "Oh, wait, someone dropped out of the prom group, I'm back on the bus!" that I lost count. She decides to ask another friend (#4), one who graduated last year, if he wants to go with her. Again...just as friends.
In the meantime, she starts dating another guy...who is just as happy as a clam that HE doesn't have to go to prom. He (like many, many others of the male species) would rather eat a bug than get dressed up in some fancy-dancy monkey suit and be forced to DANCE and to HAVE PICTURES TAKEN and all of the other stuff that the girls love and that the boys hate. Everyone seems to be on the same page.
Quick re-cap for those who are still counting:
Number of prom-dates so far: 4
Number of dresses so far: 2
Prom bus plans: too many to count
Okay...we get to within a WEEK of actual prom...the #4 has ordered his tux and...he suddenly loses his damn mind, decides that he wants out of the friend zone RIGHT NOW even though it has been made explicitly clear that they are only friends and besides which, she's been dating her new beau for a whole entire month and is pretty nuts about this guy. Sigh. The kid and #4 agree that it would be just too uncomfortable to go to prom together NOW. My child declares that she's just going to go to prom by herself because hey, at least she's on a prom bus. But with 5 days left on the prom count-down clock, her current BF, being the sweetie-pie that he is, asks if he can take her to prom. Whew! Thank God!
Crap. I forgot about the alterations drama as well. We take the dress that cost the unmentionable amount of money to be altered. The kiddo needed it shortened (she's a really short lil ole punkin) and taken in at the waist. Poor chile has the genetic combination of my boobs and her daddy's no butt. That puts her jean size at a 0 but her bra cup at a D. Yeah, I know, such tragedies. We had bought the dress to fit up top, which meant it was really loose through her waist and hips. We take it to a lady that comes highly recommended...come back a week later...and it does not even COME CLOSE to zipping up at the top. I don't know what happened there, but the alterations chick told us not to worry...even though it was a fully beaded dress. We both looked like we wanted to cry when we left...fortunately, the second fitting was perfect.
Finally, we have arrived at the evening before prom. Her dad & I had given her a gift certificate for a mani-pedi to a local spa. She had decided to use it for her prom nails. She made her appointment for the evening before because she didn't want to be rushed getting her hair and makeup done. She spent THREE HOURS getting her nails done and they looked like this:
The next morning FLEW by with hair and makeup and etc., etc. and finally, FINALLY they went to prom:
Next year I am seriously considering offering her a weekend trip to the beach in leiu of prom. It would be cheaper and would HAVE to be less complicated!