BRISTOL, Connecticut, U.S.A. — Some senior classes have the worst luck.
First, our pep rally was canceled due to nor’easters. Our graduation date moved farther away with each snow day (actual snow or bad weather being optional).
And much-anticipated field trips are constantly being canceled. Add terrorist attacks, war and the dwindling economy, and it sums up the past two years of high school for me.
Don’t get me wrong, these setbacks haven’t been anything except slightly annoying.
I will still be happily sightseeing in everyone’s favorite neighboring country, France, for April vacation.
And hey, screw high school, I’ve been accepted to college.
But there’s one last hurdle to the race to the finish line of secondary education. I’m not talking about finals, or even CAPT, AP, or SAT tests. It’s the most dreaded event for the slightly unpopular, consistently sober, or shy and self-conscious teenager.
It’s the prom.
Okay, granted, one should’ve prepared him or herself at the semi-formal in the fall, but there are striking differences between the two dances.
For one, the prom costs lots of money. Tuxes, dresses, corsages, corsettes, a nice haircut, tanning, nails, flat stomachs, limos — they all cost big dollars.
Sure, one could get by with nothing except a family-owned suit or Salvation Army dress, but people have dates to impress here.
Granted, most dates are just casual friends, but most of us teenagers have standards with a budget the size of a small country, so one must always try to impress, or at least fit in.
So I will be stuck with 50 cents in my pocket trying to find a tux where the sleeves don’t dangle over my hands, a beautifully arranged corsage that will probably be left on the prom table all night, and either a Mercedes, a Ferrari, or a ride that can fit six people even if there will only be one passenger.
As a gentleman, I should pay for my date’s ticket, but I have to make some compromises here.
Socially, the prom invokes twinges of fear and paranoia. Do I have friends who would give me a table to sit at? Will I be kicked out of that table in two weeks for another couple? Wait, do I even have a date?
If you’re not female and don’t remember events that will happen two months from now, you basically end up pleading for everything. Please go to the prom withme. Please let me sit at your table. Please invite me to your pre-prom and post-prom parties. Please do something with me the next day.
Miss any one of these important planning stages and wallow in self-humiliation. Before you know it, I’ll be driving up in a Pinto to the Aquaturf alone, on time, with no dance moves, and nowhere to go afterwards.
But seniors, take a breath! As if you’re not already wasting hundreds of dollars that could buy books for college, there’s no need to worry about the details. You’re not getting married! Just have fun.
There’s really no fun in being prom queen or king — people watch you dance. Who wants that?
Everyone else will be too tired or inebriated to judge you when the night finally comes, so let loose!
Mike Nguyen is a Reporter for Youth Journalism International.