Here in New England, the deep snows are finally melting and there are small but unmistakable signs that Spring is almost here…like the mad, chaotic frenzy that is The Prom. Although the big event is still two months away, the local Facebook pages are literally sizzling with everything prom-related. Being a fairly inefficient and clueless mom, I was completely unprepared for the commitment I was making when I agreed to help my daughter prepare for her first prom.
I’m dating myself here, but it’s been exactly 30 years since I went shopping for my first prom gown with my mom. I distinctly remember traipsing through the only mall within 50 miles, looking for that perfect dress. Back then, the perfect gown was a Prairie-styled, Gunne Sax gown by Jessica McClintock. The one I wanted was made of calico printed in a sweet, tiny-floral pattern, with sheer puff sleeves and ruffled wrists. Sadly, my mom refused to pay $180 for the dress of my dreams, insisting she could make me a much prettier gown for a fraction of the cost. I remember lying on my bed in tears while my dad patiently explained that my dress would be hand-made, not home-made. It would be beautiful. I was sure that I was going to be the laughingstock of the prom; the only one without a modern dress. In the end, the white-eyelet and satin dress my mother made was simple and sweet and completely beautiful.
Flash forward to today and the prom dresses are glamorous designs with red carpet appeal. Plunging bodices and bare backs, deeply slit skirts and slinky, shimmering fabric with beaded embellishments. I am completely stunned at the idea of my teenaged daughter wearing something so overtly sexy, but if I express my dismay, I’ll be seen as outdated and clueless about current fashion.
So I’ll remember the excitement of my own prom, and do my best not to seem too out of touch with the world my daughter is growing up in.