The Dos and Donts of Prom (April 30, 2013)

Jake Soble

   The word “Prom” which for some unknown reason almost always begins with a capital “P” is short for the word “promenade”.   The “Promenade” is the formal introduction or parading and announcing of guests at a party or function, like when the new Mr. and Mrs. and their wedding party are announced at the wedding reception.  As we mentioned before, it is a pretty formal presentation unless somebody mucks it up with, say, today’s type of wedding antics.  Picture the wedding promenade where the wedding party has put on their raccoon-tail furry hats in honor of the fact that the couple met in Boone, Tennessee …whatever!
   To say that Proms have evolved into something other than the formal dance of the 1950’s is an understatement.  Prom themes are almost always sentimental and gooey.  “Evening in Paris”, “Under the Sea”, “The Secret Garden” , “Endless Twilight” and “One Enchanted Evening” are a few of the gooier themes that have been cited.  How come you never see themes like “Snakes on a Prom” or “The Girl with the Dragon Corsage” or my personal favorite “Magical Mullet Moments”?   A sense of humor is something that is not required for a Prom theme, evidently.
   You must agree that Proms can get out of hand.  Granted, this is a big moment for some people.  Sometimes, it is as big a moment for the parents, which is a whole other topic.  Can we say living vicariously?  This is not to say that parents should not get their due respect on this night of nights.  A big “Do” for Prom is to acknowledge what the parents have done and let them take all of the pictures that they want without complaints.  Remember it is their rite of passage as well as one for you and your date.
   Don’t bring the drama.  As they say, “Save it for your Momma”.  So what if the girl you love to hate is wearing the same $5,000.00 dress that both of your mothers were insane enough to let you buy.  This night is everybody’s, not just yours.  Stay on the other side of the room and keep the snapping and sniping for another day.  Oh, and I’m pretty sure there is only one bona fide tiara, as in the one for the Prom Queen.  I know you love it and it your eyes sparkle, too, but leave it at home.
   Do dress for having fun.  If your dress is too tight or you didn’t get to the tux shop early enough and the pants look like Jethro’s from the Beverly Hillbillies, you will not be comfortable and will not have a good time.  How can you dance if your shoes are too tight or make you tip forward?  Lady Gaga might be able to dance in 10-inch heels, but that does not mean that you can.  I guess you could super-glue them.  But, now man, if you are good with those Calvin and Hobbs Cut and Paste Chuck Taylors with the tux, it’s your night, too.
   Do go with people that you can have a good time with and don’t have to worry about impressing for any reason.  You won’t do this again, well, maybe one more time …but THIS one you won’t do again.  If you have to worry about what somebody will say about you all night, and don’t tell me you don’t know who these people are, you will be miserable. 
   Don’t go off with your girlfriends or flirt with the guy that you wanted to ask you.  Um, he didn’t – get over it.  And if you said “yes” to a date just because you didn’t have other options, be nice, for freaks sake!  It’s a dance. It’s a party.  You may find out what this guy thinks is nice about you that you didn’t know about yourself, hotshot.  And that is enough said about nice and being nice.  It has it’s moments.
   I guess that in high school, this is a night when manners should be displayed. Guys, do remember dates are seated and they order first, hold doors open for them, your napkin goes in your lap, and elbows off the table.


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