Last week we were all aflutter getting the twins (14) ready for their first high school dance. The list of necessities was long:
Dresses - Much research, mall treking, and negotiation was involved in this most-critical element of all. They wanted lovely and VERY expensive Jessica McClintock dresses. We countered with discout store, craig's list, or ebay dresses. We acheived a truce at new, but affordable mail order.
Accesories to the dresses were:
Dates- check. Two Tenth (!) graders had asked and been accepted. They were told to wear ties that matched the girl's dresses.
Shoes - Must "go" but not "match," and "I don't know, Mom! But I'll know it when I see it. Also, they can't be the same as Tina's or she'll get mad at me for copying."
Jewelry - Mom's heirlooms anyone? No, way too outre. It's got to be cheap crap from the hot store at the mall.
Makeup - All I can say is thank God for Target.
Finally the big night came. The boys, driven by a mom in a minivan, arrived. Let me just say here, because I only have girls and haven't observed the young male of the species closely for quite some time: fifteen year old boys are like great gangly uncoordinated puppies! Cute, but in a sort of silly way. The mom was great. She kept saying "Stand up straight! Her dress isn't apple red. It's cranberry. Why did you tell me it was Apple red? Now you don't match!"
Humiliation by camera was endured. They had been delighted for me to buy them all this stuff, but were horrified that we might actually want to record the event (and our purchases) for posterity. But she who holds the credit card holds the power.
When the great, longed-for event was all over and the girls came home, I asked, "Did you have fun?" The answer was a dull, "I guess." And in that answer I heard the crashing sound of dreams meeting reality. I don't know exactly what they expected, but it wasn't provided by lovely dresses and fifteen-year-old dorks.
I remember going to a prom in tenth grade (my first and last!). I had a lovely red velvet dress. I was nominated and (to my surprise) won Sophomore princess, so I got a tiarra too. A dress, an actual boy as a date, and a tiarra! We're talking serious little girl (me at least) fantasy territory. But, after the prom we went for drinks (this was in Taiwan. No drinking age or carding.) I got a Singapore sling, which had a maraschino cherry in it. I hate maraschino cherries. So innocently and stupidly, I held it out to my date and asked, "Do you want the cherry?" To which he, OF COURSE, replied. "That's not the cherry I want." Yuck! Which is, I recall, what I actually said to him. And all around me was the icky squelching sound of fantasy sliding into the gutter. As I said, it was my last prom.