It hasn't changed all that much since I last went to one about thirty five years ago.
"The last century," my daughter will remind me when she has had enough of my hard-earned wisdom. She's the one on the left, above. Next to her is our exchange student from Germany, Anke, and two of the seniors who are in the Spanish Immersion program with Marjorie, Elizabeth McCorvey & Jasmine White. Mar's just in tenth grade, but she will be away on exchange next year, so she decided to get a "date" to prom with an eleventh grader.
You can see that the girls still shop for pretty dresses and wear their hair styled. Flowers, music, lots of photographs, even the pre-prom dinner at a fancy restaurant. Dancing, high heels, a bit of magic. Get Aunt Eileen to come up in the BMW so she could arrive in style. It's as if time stood still. Some things just don't change, and that's nice. Who doesn't like a bit of tradition, ritual, predictability, nostalgia?
But some things change.
None of these girls had an actual "date" for the prom. Marjorie went with Anke, and they both went with a large group of girls and boys... very few of whom were "paired off." It wasn't expensive. My daughter found a dress on sale for $20, shoes for less than that, and used her own makeup and did her own hair. (This last astounded me.. but I think years of watching TV makeovers paid off). She and Anke split the dinner of Fettucine and drank water at the fancy restaurant; total cost for the evening -- less than $100, including the $30 ticket.
I am sure that some kids stayed out all night & broke lots of rules. But not this group. Did they have as much pleasure as those who, over the years and across the country, have rented limos, visited spas, purchased shoes worthy of Sex in the City? I think they did!
I think they may have even have had more fun. It poured rain, and their high school rented the old & rather dilapidated Red Mile facility here in Lexington, while the mostly white, well-to-do school, Dunbar, is renting a castle at what I understand is a $35,000 per night fee, but their expectations being down to earth as opposed to sky high, there was no crash of hopes and dreams.
Just good, old-fashioned (with some new-fangled twists) fun! Go, kids. Ya done good.