Things Not To Do At Prom

15 05 2005

First of all, you could always not go.

I think I went to my high school prom. I think. The embarrasing admission though is that I remember absolutely nothing about it. I don’t think it was about drinking (since I didn’t) or drugs (since I didn’t either). I think it’s about the era when Proms meant nothing, yearbooks were uncool, and doing anything that would smack of school spirit was waaaay uncool.

In any case, as a Rite of Passage for me, it totally blew chunks.

Elizabeth and Friends for PromFlash forward about 500 years to my daughter’s prom. It was last night and, as a rite symbolizing the movement out from parental control, it really doesn’t work in a mystical fantastic way anymore. (Perhaps the need to break out is less now) This was really much more of big party, then a blazing stakeout for a future without parental oversight.

Still, for me — as a parent — let me tell you that it was the shits. There was Elizabeth and her friends (that’s Elizabeth on the right in the photo, in the black outfit), some of whom we’ve known for over fourteen years. There was one boyfriend, and one brother who was going as a date because “it might be fun.” The heart burst, let me tell you.

The report back later was that the prom was “weird” or “kinda boring” but the after party was fantastic. Back when I did it, after part was a ride on the Staten Island Ferry or hanging out at the beach. In both places it was too cold out to really do anything. Nowadays, afterparties are at hotels, where everyone chips in for a large room and then you hang out all night until you collapse at 5:30am, just in time to wake up for checkout at 11am or noon. Diaphragms distributed at the check-in.

No drugs allowed.

Yeah, I’m sure.

For the parents (for those of us who don’t think this is a descent into personal hell for ourselves) it’s really the acknowledgement that these kids are all too old for us to be constricting parents. They’re all off to college in a few months and we won’t be able to say dick about what they’re doing. So, perhaps, the Prom is really a rite of passage for parents, more so than for students.

Somehow, it skipped a generation.

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