Prom-a Drama

My son, Tinny, is a senior in high school and it’s prom time so I asked him, same as last year and same as every year at homecoming time, “Are you going to the dance?” I did not say it sarcastically or even roll my eyes. 

I know, my first baby’s senior prom I am supposed to be all nostalgic and weepy or happy or whatever, probably at least excited and wanting to take a million effing pictures, but seriously? I just want to fulfill my parental obligations without guilt and wash my hands of it.

I’m not a prom fan, or a formal dance fan, or a Dance Mom or a fan of ANYTHING formal. I’m sure you’re shocked to hear that. I seriously hate going to, hearing about, knowing about, thinking about, looking at pictures of, or magazine articles about stupid shit like prom. I'm not saying I'm too cool (out loud) for it, or that's it's vapid or 1st World or whatever, it's just not my thing. So. NOT. My. Thing. 

Even when I was in high school. I was all 'Barf me out, gag me with a spoon, put a power tool up my asshole, turn it on and kill me.' I was a lovely teen.

As the mom, however it is my lovely job, want it or not, to make sure he gets the tickets in time, and has clothes that fit, etc., if he wants to go. If left to their own devices, guys, just like ME in high school, (and yeah ok, even me NOW,) forget everything and then shit doesn’t happen. 

Anyway, every time I ask him about a high school event he is always surprised by the question, like it never occurred to him. He is never sure when the thing even is, or if his friends are going, or any part of it. I know they make announcements in school of these types of things, and I’m sure when they do he’s either telling jokes or eating flamin’ hot cheese doodads from the vending machine and/or staring off into space thinking of something else, just like he does when I talk to him. 
from gurl.com
In the past, he has gone to homecoming in #groups, which is currently #trending (I know that’s annoying espesh not on Twitter, that’s why I DID IT.) I obviously prefer kids go to these things in groups, that way there is a greater chance they will all actually have FUN, even if one of their boyfriends/girlfriends/BFFs is a being an asshole that night. I mean, let’s face it it’s high school, someone is going to drop a Drama Bomb that night. Hopefully with a group there is less chance of hi jinx and well, coitus. 

I picture this as the group situation (yes, those are Bibles)
prayer group from ehow.com
And this as taking a date situation
from cafepress.com
Yeeeaah, my mental images really need a frickin’ UPGRADE to 2.0, from 8-bit Atari times. Retro-y.

Also the group is easy like Sunday morning as far as clothing, with Tinny I've been lucky. He and his friends agreed at past dances to wear jeans and hoodies. Literally. I thought this was weird, but it also made me positively giddy, because that meant I didn’t have to buy him dress clothes, that he would wear ONE TIME before outgrowing them.

Thankfully the ONE THING I don’t have to argue with him about is clothing, he will actually GO to a thrift shop/Goodwill and pick out stuff. Tons of stuff. At a family event at my sister’s resale shop, we got 50% off, of resale shop prices, and I still spent over $80. Used Nikes, yo, still cost some coin.

This time it’s his senior prom, so even my dumb ass would encourage him to dress nicer, and luckily his dad just had this thing with work, where the two of them flew to Detroit to watch the Blackhawks (NHL) game on Easter, and fly there WITH the actual Blackhawks team. Like on the same private plane. I know right? Anyway, for the second time in his life his father actually bought him dress clothes, good news for me. 

As usual, he is not sure if he’s going to prom. It is two weeks from today. I did ask him about it a few weeks ago, telling him if he wants to ask a girl he better hurry before he gets stuck with a dork, because I’m a GOOD MOM. He  knows I’m kidding. Kind of. He said the only girls he would “even ask” are dating someone else right now. Fair enough.

So I asked if he was going as a group, and he sounded just like me when he said, “Tickets are $145 EACH PERSON, that’s a lot for some dance with your friends. There’s some after party, we’ll just go to that.” I didn’t check that pricing, but his plan sounds like a solid plan, right?

Now I’m torn between encouraging him to go, and letting him go with his gut. He’s a guy, and not dating anyone, but then again I can’t help feel his ambivalence is partially my doing. I’m not a guy and I never gave a flying frick about dances and such, I HATE being forced to dress up and act fancy, but people always told me I needed to go to these damn things

Especially my senior year, people kept telling me if I didn’t go to senior homecoming and prom I would “regret it.” How true is this, do you think? Is it different for guys vs. girls? I mean STRAIGHT guys, obvy.

I do not have romantic, champagne and taffeta, or even fun and happy memories of my high school dances. Kind of the opposite. I think I skipped senior homecoming, I have no memory or pictures of it, and maybe even junior homecoming after the trauma of my sophomore stupid homecoming. I went with some creepy douche, and it was really awful. 
from treymorgan.net

In class, probably during class, he asked me if I was going and said we should go together. Somehow I agreed.

Turns out if you kind of get along with a guy because you’re both smartasses in class, that does NOT mean you’re going to have fun going out together. 

Even though I already had a dress and didn’t put out any great effort or money, I totally regretted going to that stupid dance. I missed my cousin’s wedding because of it, my family all said THAT was fun, and my night sucked. My “date” -- who again was not a guy I was dating let me just remind everyone -- picked me up super late with a giant HICKEY on his neck. Not from me. Class act.

Also that night he was kind of pedophile-looking and turned out to be a put-your-hands-up-and-point-your-fingers type dancer, and not ironically. 

The after “party” he took me to was so boring I had to teach/force his few lame friends to play drinking games. They had like a 12-pack of crappy canned beer, so you can guess how much fun that was. I think I was home before 11:00 trying to get a hold of anyone else, and I did not even have a curfew. We had too many kids at this point for my parents to try to keep track of any one of us.

My senior year, when people started telling me I would regret skipping senior prom I seriously doubted it, but junior year? Prom was a bust. I dated eleventy different guys that year, each guy painfully asking me to go, 
‘Should we go as friends?’ 
Yeah NO. 

You should NEVER go anywhere, espesh a formal dance, with your ex. I shouldn’t have to tell you that, AP-class-taking, college-bound guy.

The dude I wound up dating at prom time went to regionals or finals, or state, or whatever the frick you call it when you’re really good at track, what do I know? There wasn't a Sarcasm Team. 

Anyway, he wasn’t going to be back in time. I did go with my friend and her brother and we had a blast, but I wondered if Senior Prom might be more fun with a date. I also learned that the more I force myself to do normal/traditional things, the more I can communicate and relate to normal humans. I’m told this is a good thing. The jury is still out.

Anyhoo, I went to the stupid senior prom. Even though the guy I was dating had already graduated high school two years before. After pressure from my sisters and friends, I told him: “I guess I need to go to my prom. If you don’t want to go, I’ll ask someone else to go as a friend.” For whatever reason, he wanted to go with me. I'm sure it was not at all because I was super slutty. He even rented a tux, even though his mom laughed at him.

I didn’t have to do much, just get the tickets. I had a dress, he had his own car, I never gave a crap about limos, or make-up or nails or tanning or whatever other repairs and landscaping girls do. I don’t know if girls still do this, but seriously at my high school, a lot of the senior class took the WHOLE DAY OFF OF SCHOOL to “get ready” for their prom. 

PLEASE tell me they don’t do this anymore. Parents, PLEASE. TELL. ME. My girls will not do this for their prom. I can already tell you that much.

For my prom? Not only did I go to school that day with the band geeks, I literally had to write myself a note to remember to actually shower and wash my hair that morning so I didn’t forget. Most days I rolled out of bed, usually washed my face to minimize zittage, and brushed my teeth because rotted baby teeth gave me a tooth-brushing OCD thing, threw the hair in a ponytail, grabbed the cleanest looking/smelling clothes off the floor and went to school. Some people found this hilarious, others not so much.

There was one other awesome girl, we used to compare when the last time we washed our hair or shaved our legs was. We would literally walk past each other, point to our hair and she’d say “Wednesday” and I would say “MONDAY!” and she would high-five me. 

She always won the leg shaving b/c she was a blond, so she hardly ever shaved, but I usually won the hair washing, or NOT washing actually, competition because I dyed my hair some dark, gothy color, so you didn’t have to wash it very often. Plus my sister taught me to put powder at my scalp if it looked oily, so I only washed it maybe twice a week. Hey, I worked. And played hard. I was uh, busy. Freshman year I went to an all girls school where everyone did this, but this had been (still is,) my regimen for life and I wasn’t changing when I started going to school with dudes. 

Tangets, it's kind of what I do. 

Soooooo, the day of my senior prom, my BFF stopped over in the early evening to see how I was doing. She no doubt knew I would need HELP, bless her heart. She still went to the all-girl school, so her prom was a different night. She found me on the couch watching sitcoms and eating chips. True story. I will share this post with my BFF, Deb, because she always teases me about this. 

She said: “Aren’t you going to get ready? When are you getting picked up?” I probably had no idea, but I knew I should probably slap on some blue mascara, (didn’t have any) tease the shit out of my bands, and promptly hairspray my whole head to a huge helmet. Did I mention it was the 80’s?

I threw on the outfit from my oldest sister’s wedding, unlike most bridesmaids dresses it was actually pretty cool. I wore the crap out of that dress, and like a drunk idiot I left it in the hotel room. Of course they “never found it” which sucked ass, making me think maybe I should not have even bothered with stupid senior prom.

It was really pretty boring. We went, we danced, we got the obligatory pictures. Good thing too, we captured my timeless Mall Wall, and "fancy hair" which was the only hair trick I knew: Throw in a low ponytail and wrap a velvet ribbon around it. Pretty flippin sweet. Even better? My boyfriend at that time had a killer long blonde mullet. I should see if I can find that picture, it’s pretty radical. The mullet I mean, the prom felt fake and lame.

I didn’t know where my friends were, hold on to your SIM cards, kids, this was before cell phones you see. If you didn’t make a solid plan for something ahead of time, you were fucked and forced to entertain yourself. Not being a planner is probably how I learned to be so damn entertaining.

A lot of people had said they were going OUT to dinner instead of eating the dinner the ticket paid for. I was cheap back then, too, so if I paid for a dinner? I ate it. We sat a table with rando people from my classes, had a boring chicken ala blah-blah and we just kept asking each other “Why are we here again?” After pictures and dinner, we danced a few dances, made like a tree and got the fuck out of there. Ok, rope it back to the subject at hand, Tangelica.

Now maybe I would have regretted not going, or at least wondered what it was like, who knows, but I didn’t really give a crap about it. And I had a boyfriend. By my son’s logic, it’s a dance and dinner for couples, and there isn’t anyone he feels that way about, at least anyone that is single, so why should he go? That’s some solid logic. My gut says let HIM make the call. But that may very well be because I have to argue with him about e-HEV-erything, and I’m just so tired.

I am torn. Do you have any thoughts on this? Am I terrible mother if I just let him go the after party and be done?

I hope I have the energy to encourage my baby girls to go if they are on the fence about it. I already don’t want them to go and one is still potty training and the other is in diapers. And no, I don’t plan on NOT potty training the baby just so no one asks her out. I’m pretty sure her Bully-ass personality will take care of any potential suitors.

Lola, the 3 yr old Drama Queen on the other hand? Oy. That just might push me fully into Rehab.

I picture her prom to be something between this:
And this:
from screenpicks.com
You guys will help me through it, right?

*p.s. when I search for images to eye-punch my point home, I find the FUNNIEST shit on the internets. 


  1. Were you a tomboy, too? Not easy at formal dances!

  2. I loved, loved, LOVED all those dances - mostly for the new dress shopping my dad did with me. And if he was feeling particularly generous, I got new (fake) earrings & necklace too. I think I went to every Homecoming and prom that my high school hosted the 4 years I was there. I even went to a prom at another high school one time because I was dating a guy who went there.

    But I totally get not liking the whole thing - so much pomp and circumstance wrapped up in it and SO many opportunities for the girls to get all Mean Girls on each other. I didn't have a particularly good time at my Senior Prom, so that was disappointing, but I think I would have regretted not going.

    I have 3 girls, and I'm really not looking forward to the fortune I'll spend on dresses and I swear to GOD if they pick out a slutty one they are going straight to a nunnery.

    1. They have sooooo many places now where you can get pre-worn dresses, and I would DEFINITELY go with that for a number of reasons: The BIGGEST REASON being all new dance dresses for young girls are totally whore-y. I mean BAD. I don't know where you find regular ones, maybe at bridal stores or something?
      Walking through the mall, espesh at prom time? Makes me want to CRY. I have 2 little girls, and I really want to track down the designers of young girl's clothing and give them a GOOD, LONG TALKING TO. Not only are you making them grow up before they're time, you're TORTURING young boys with these hoochey dresses. Remember what teenage hormones are like? Yeah, cover those KIDS UP, YOU PERVERTS. With all of our frivolous laws, let's tax every slutty kids clothing designer and put that money toward teen post-prom counseling.

  3. If any children I end up having really wanted to blow those events off, I'd let them. Of course, maybe I would be projecting.

    Back in school, I was one of those kids who tried to fit in, so I went to those things in spite of my being hopelessly socially awkward & incapable of properly combining the necessary steps to make half-decent dance moves. In hindsight, I probably would have been better off staying home & reading a book.

  4. Hilarious! My prom sucked. My date behaved like a total asshole. But you know what's cool? He apologized to me on Facebook some 20...blah blah blah years later. How great is that? Even better is that he's divorced twice.

    1. Ah, Facebook. Making you glad you broke up with EVERY DOUCHE you ever dated! NO regrets here!

  5. I never went to those social events in high school. I, like you, felt awkward and out of place. When I put on heels now, the only things that comes to mind are, "Are these pointy enough to stab someone with?" or "Oh, gawd, I hope I don't fall..."

    And let's not even mention that I forget how to act in public places to begin with.

    1. We would have had a blast going as a group. To a bowling alley in our prom dresses. And bowling shoes.

  6. Fun! I went to my senior homecoming with my "friend" and by the time senior prom rolled around we were sleeping together, so he was my date. Actually we went to HIS prom. I didn't bother to go to mine. Had a blast at the party and the after-party, which actually lasted all weekend at my boyfriend's beach house. I'm so glad we went, as a couple, with a ton of friends. It was one of the few experiences of high school I actually enjoyed.

    1. WOW! That sounds like a John Hughes movie. I wish I went to YOUR prom after situation!

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