Guess what time of year it is? Yup, it's PROM time. Or, as I call it, the time of year when parents of seniors go flat broke.That time when the phrase "I NEED" becomes the mantra for your senior.
Last year I lucked out. My son had no interest whatsoever in going to prom. Tuxedos and good manners aren't really a part of his life style, and his social skills in that kind of setting are completely lacking. This year, I'm not that lucky. Not only does my daughter have a date for the prom, she wants every single thing to be perfect, and that means that the whole world revolves around the prom this year.
First we had to get the dress. She went off with a friend and came back with a black dress that is elegant, not too low cut or short or tight. In fact, it's surprisingly sophisticated. I was proud of her choice. After all, there are an awful lot of inappropriate hooker-esque prom dresses in the shops.
After the dress was acquired, her attention turned to shoes. She wanted to define her color scheme with shoes and a matching handbag, so her date could find a tux in a matching color. But she didn't know what color she wanted. We had a lot of conversations going over the merits of this color over that. Then one day my online shopping site Rue La La was featuring a shoe boutique and there was a really nice pair of shoes in silver and gold. I showed them to my daughter, she loved them and I ordered them for her. When the shoes arrived they not only fit perfectly, but were comfortable despite the enormous heel due to footbed padding. She was so thrilled with them, she had to try them on with the dress, and then wore them around for a bit to get the sole scuffed.
In a complete stroke of luck she entered and won a contest at our local beauty school for a hair and makeup do-over just for the prom. She's going to have hear hair done up, something I couldn't do if I tried. She's also got an appointment for a mani-pedi and has already picked out the color of the polish.
Now we're working on the jewelry portion of the ensemble. She thinks pearls would be nice, but I think they would be too plain and have suggested something a bit flashier. But what? Fake diamonds? Or maybe she could borrow something from Harry Winston like the stars on the red carpet do.
Besides the outfits, we have to get her and the date to the prom, and that of course means renting a limo with friends. Friends that are notoriously flaky about making plans. Phone calls, texting, and Facebooking are all in use to get this detail down pat.
After the prom, which is at a downtown Boston hotel, they'll go back to the high school for an all-night party. In order to attend the party they have to use a Breathalyzer and promise to enter and stay there. Once they leave, they can't go back in. So at least the parents know the kids will be sober and not in some hotel room having a party of their own. Oy!
Other details include the prom photo that of course costs money, The before prom meal. The corsage and boutonniere. Hair accessories. It just doesn't end.
Total cost? I'd guesstimate about $500. I know, it's a once in a life time event. I just wish it were a cheaper once in a lifetime event. But I have to admit,I'm getting just as much of a thrill with all the preparations as she is. It is really fun seeing her so excited about the prom. I just hope she has a great time, one that she'll remember fondly for the rest of her life.