26 Jun 2010


Inspired by VIVIENNE'S POST in which she talks about taking her friends son to his school prom, I thought I'd bring you a post on my feelings about proms.

I now the tradition of school PROMS is well established in America and, I'm led to believe, Canada but it's only a recent thing here in England. I certainly didn't have one on leaving school - not that I would have wanted to, the annual Christmas disco was torture enough.

Niece #2 who left school some 5 years ago (Is it really 5 years ago? Now I'm feeling old) did however have a prom and all in all it was an expensive business with her dress alone costing more than my wedding dress. OK so that was almost 24 years ago and, as said Niece informed me, 'in the olden days' but still it's an awful lot of money for a dress that would only be worn once.

And, of course, it wasn't just the dress - it was the shoes, the jewellery, the tiara type thing AND the having to have her hair/nails/make-up done. Then there was the limousine that was hired to take her and her friends to the venue - a castle no less. Oh and I almost forgot, the official photographs. As I said, an expensive business.

Note I wrote 'having to have'. Never before has so much pressure been put on our children to have what their friends have. Niece #1's friends were all buying dresses from a certain shop, all having their hair, nails and make-up done at a certain place and so she, not wanting to stand out, HAD TO HAVE the same.

Now my family aren't particularly wealthy, my sister raised Niece and Nephew (who has learning difficulties) as a single mother so money has always been pretty tight. Imagine then the children for whom money is tighter still, how could they have the luxury of a prom and all it seems to entail?

The answer being, unless they are 'brave' enough (or popular enough) to go, not having all that those around them seem to have, they stay at home which to me seems so unfair. Yes, yes, I know - life is unfair - but it seems to be a hard lesson to learn at what is already a difficult age.

So come on what do my blogger buddies across the pond think having had so much more experience of these things?


chitra said...

Pen and Paper taking a new look. I am seeing many test drafts.:) see you.

NabilaHazirah said...

I've not been to prom..yet. But i will agree going to prom is very pricey.
I think if the parents are pressure, its only fair if the kids pay their "prom spending" with their on money.


Alison said...

I didn't realize England had proms at all. It's a fun tradition although nothing I'm crazy about. I went to my prom in 12th grade but not before. I'm glad I went but it wasn't life-changing or anything. Of course, I can't understand how anyone can get that worked up by a dance.

Boonsong said...

This is an interesting post.

Thanks for your explanation left on my blog in response to my earlier comment.

All the best, Boonsong

susan s. said...

Having one 35 year old son and no daughters, I was glad that the prom wasn't important to him and I have no idea what would have been our reaction to today's overblown need to spend money like water for an event that didn't entail vows of lifelong commitment. I am of the mind that the Prom(over here in the US) is so important to a lot of kids because they will not go on to college. The whole Prom experience out here on the Left Coast often entails staying overnight in a hotel room with lots of other kids unchaperoned, after the Prom and coming home perhaps 24 hours later. As you say, Petty, it can be a very expensive proposition.

purplume said...

My experience is very old. When I went, my mother borrowed a dress for me one time and I made my dress another time. I think I got a used dress another time.
When my son went, he paid for his tux and a bunch of kids went in a limo. It was a manageable price by the time they split it.

I clicked to follow you after reading your joyous post above. I don't usually follow people because it isn't in a from that is convenient for me. My favorite way is to get e-mails of blog postings.

You'll be at 100 soon, no doubt.

Tracie said...

I went to prom my junior year and skipped it my senior year. My dress was simple and no extra money was spent on hair, makeup, or nails. Nobody went in a limo. Of course, this was 20 years ago and I lived in a very small town with few services available.

I'm glad I have boys. I think it will be much cheaper that way. :)

Congrats on your followers!

MOLLYC said...

I think proms have become much more elaborate than they were in my day, which was REALLY in the olden days! Limosines, pre-parties, and the like. I am more interested in your wedding. I bet you looked lovely in your dress. My daughter is getting married July 12 in front of her horse's stall at her barn. No wedding dress, just a nice skirt and blouse, but we will have flowers, carrots and apples for the horse...the dog will be there, wearing roses and daisies on her collar! xo molly

Kelly said...

Prom for me was more than 30 years ago. I went, but there sure weren't any limos or anything like that. Prom wasn't a big deal for my kids and only 1 out of 3 attended (and at her school it wasn't a dance, just a banquet).

Christmas Disco??? Now that certainly conjures up some visuals!

~Niki~ said...

just hoppin by dear friend! ~niki

Arti said...

The trend of proms does not exist in India!Nice to learn about it through your post..
But i am not in favour of spending unneccesarily just to 'look good' or 'be a part of some group'.

Jennifer McLean said...

Yep, in Canada we certainly have prom. and Yep it's expensive. We've had proms not only for graduation from High school but also from GRADE school!!! So, in grade 8 or 9 (depending on the province you live in) you do the whole dress, tickets to venue, shoes, nails, hair, etc!!! THEN do it all over again even bigger in grade 12 or 13, again depending on what province.

WOW, I skipped it 20 years ago, mom says they had high school grad back in the 50's. Grade school grad kind of started 15-20 years ago.

It all seems like a waste of money to me, but then I graduated a year earlier than most of my class and friends so I didn't care about the grad that seemed more for the year "above" me. My friends just took me out and got me toasted. :o) No pressure, just fun.

Hope you're enjoying "Madge" and husband dearest is feeling chipper.

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

I have two sons so didnt have a lot of expense with this. They rented tuxes at around $80 I think, but no hair or make up or jewelry required. They went out to a nice dinner but no limo. :)

I hadnt really thought about all the expense for the girls but you are right. I have seen the dresses in the shops and they are between $189 - $300 easy

Marieke said...

I thought I commented a minute ago, but it disappeared! Here it is again: For my senior prom I wore an $8.00 dress from a charity shop, old shoes, and did my own hair. I was trying to thumb my nose at the others who spent a lot more on their dresses... mine was hideous but I had fun anyway.

Actually it was mostly a waste of time, but the best part was when the power went out.