Today’s Proms Are As Elaborate And Costly As A Small Wedding


PROM SEASON is upon us. It’s that time of year when mothers all over the country will go out and purchase dresses for their daughters that cost more than their own wedding gowns, rent tuxes for their sons that cost more than Dad and all his Groomsmen combined, and then top it off by spending more money on food, flowers and limousines than was spent on their own wedding in its entirety…

Face it folks. These days, Prom feels like a small dry-run-practice-wedding you throw for your high schooler.

Like all blessed events, it begins with the “PROMPOSAL.” We actually had TWO at our house yesterday. The first one was a promposal my son made to ME, and the second was the promposal he made to his girlfriend. They were both propositions, but that’s where the similarities begin and end…


No sooner had my son walked out of his 7th hour class at Hoity-Toity Catholic High School, than I received this phone call:

“On behalf of the entire 2016 Senior Graduating Class of HTCHS, I’m formally requesting the use of our home and surrounding property for this year’s After-Prom Party.”

When I told him, “No way — Not happening,” he seemed almost flummoxed, as if he couldn’t fathom why not. I patiently started to help my boy connect the dots, leading with the two most obvious deterrents, “liability issues” and “property damage.” Waving off my concerns, he assured me that, “Nothing bad is going to happen!” (Ahhh … the optimism of youth — and of people who’ve never actually owned anything.) When I informed him that we simply couldn’t afford the risk, he countered with,

“Why do you and Dad always go straight to, “worst case scenario?” I don’t really have an answer for that. I guess we are the Landed Gentry around here and we don’t much trust The Peasantry.

As he began to concede defeat, he opted for one last persuasive point,

“I think you and Dad are full of crap, constantly citing ‘liability issues!’ In my entire life I’ve never heard about one of these tragic incidences that you two are constantly referencing!”

Just to re-cap: In my son’s vast 18 years of interviewing folks about matters such as this, he’s “never heard of one tragic incident,” as though he’s been out and about collecting relevant data on Homeowners’ Liability his entire life. He thinks he’s “Jake-From-State-Farm,” I see him more as “Mayhem.”


Fortunately, the second promposal my son tendered had a more positive outcome. After quite a bit of effort, he got a “yes!” My friends and I have been simply astonished at the sheer amount of ingenuity our sons put into asking their girlfriends to The Prom these days. So much has changed since 1981, when my Boyfriend-turned-Husband said to me,

“You don’t wanna go to that do you?”

My son enlisted the help of several close friends who collaborated with him on an elaborate scavenger hunt. It started with a clue in his girlfriend’s room and after several more clever clues placed at key locations throughout our town, it culminated with him standing in the drive-through window at a local fast-food restaurant holding a glittered sign that said, “Will You Go To Prom With Me?” It was just adorable — as if anyone could say no to him.

In fact, the whole thing got me to thinking … maybe if he’d gone to a little more effort with me earlier, I might’ve agreed to the bash he wants to host at my house for 100-200 of his nearest and dearest. Perhaps instead of a stream of marginally persuasive rhetoric, he should’ve coordinated a Scavenger Hunt for his mom that ended with him holding a sign up with sweet and endearing pictures of the two of us, that said,


Moms like glitter and effort too … I might’ve said, “I Do!”

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